Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Overland Park pt 90

Gotta get back in time.

Part 90, in which we discuss the ins and outs of what will become known as the future. The future. Time travel.

Is it possible?

1.21 gigawatts, we all know what it means and we all know where it comes from. We all have been a part of it, and at least once a week, someone brings up this most holiest of trilogies.

Back to the Future.

You see, I'm stuck wondering about this film as Lost has decided to take a particularly interesting idea, time travel, time fissures, time paradoxes, and wrap that into the ongoing mystery of the show. And I'm left banging my head in denial as time travel is impossible, but I'm left with questions.

And when I have questions, I write a blog.

Whether to bore you, change you, make you aware of something, I write a blog and offer my opinion and it's here so let's get to it.

Back to the Future is where we start. It's not where everyone starts and it's not where everyone ends. But Back to the Future is where this blog begins. The reason?

Look back at that trilogy and then look at other trilogies that came out when we were children and tell me which still hold up. Which of those films hasn't been tainted in recent years by remakes, sequels, refurbishing or whatever George Lucas calls it.

Back to the Future is still in its original form. Untainted. Preserved. Beautiful.

Warts and all, it's still there for us to enjoy, unspoiled, unbastardized. We didn't have to suffer through a series of awful prequels that shamed us into giving up our love of something that we held dear, and we didn't have to suffer through a despicably terror-inducing sequel about aliens and a really stupid sidekick named Mutt.

No, we still have Back to the Future in its purest form. And I still love it.

But why? Why do any of us love it?

Why do we still dissect it? Why do we still try to understand the timelines and how in the hell Marty can be in so many different places all at once in the second film? Why do we do it?

Because like the films of old, it made us believe. It made us feel like a part of the film. It made us want to be a part of it and enjoy these people as real characters.

Now if you look at the upcoming spate of films like Transformers 2, GI Joe, whatever pile of shit Nicholas Cage is in next, I am Legend Sequel/Prequel (really, I'm not kidding), sequels, prequels, remakes, and mall cops, I'm left stunned. Stunned.

Absolutely appalled and stunned. I cannot place my finger on it.

Hollyweird is losing money. They are feeling the pinch of the recession just like every other aspect of the world around us, and yet, we aren't looking for new avenues in film. For every Wrestler and Slumdog Millionaire, we have Hotel for Dogs and Paul Blart Mall Cop and My Bloody Valentine 3D.

For every Gran Torino, we have Confessions of a Shopaholic and Bride Wars. For every Dark Knight, we have the Day the Earth Stood Still.

And they wonder why we as viewers want more.

The people that are out there, talking, making motions to make films and write books and have grown up in these worlds, they are the ones that are having their say. They are the ones throwing their hands into the air when we see the trailer for Harry Potter 18 and Star Trek Begins and everything else and just is left wondering, why?

Why more of the same? Why not something different?

Why not something better?

Why can't we go back to the golden age of cinema, hell, back to when films had a purpose other than just to make a shitload of money? Why?

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

They get a lot of blame placed on them, but it's true. To a degree.

If it hadn't been for Star Wars and Jaws, films that are made today like Con Air, the Rock, anything Michael Bay touches, may never have come up, may never have seen the light of day. But something else, surely something else, would have been made to make the summer blockbuster something necessary, right?

Surely if not for Spielberg and Lucas, then Woody Allen would have made Superman or Alfred Hitchcock would have made Batman and Stanley Kubrick would have made Spider-Man and Akira Kurosawa would have made Aliens, right?

If not for them, we never would have had James Cameron. But we also would have never had Titanic, so it's a losing argument.

So, what does this all have to do with Back to the Future and time travel and Lost?

A lot.

See, I can tie anything together.

Back to the Future is a series of films, as I mentioned, that remains untouched, preserved in my memory and not a film series that someone needs to go back in time and change for any reason. I still bite my tongue when saying that for fear that it might happen.

It's goofy, it's fun, the whole family can enjoy it, and it really wracks your brain with questions. And now, Lost has thrown the time travel wrench into its long-standing story, and I'm left scratching my head yet again.

In a good way.

According to Wikipedia, "Time travel is the concept of moving between different moments in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space, either sending objects (or in some cases just information) backwards in time to a moment before the present, or sending objects forward from the present to the future without the need to experience the intervening period (at least not at the normal rate)."

You got that?

But in my belief system, just like so many others, time travel is impossible. There is no way around it. You can't go back in time to something that has happened already because just by being there you change something. Just by stepping foot in a past event that you may have been a part of or maybe not, you change something.

Thereby creating an infinite number of parallel realities and universes and yous. The number is impossible to define, but by pure logic, that's the point. The point is you can't define it, just like the future.

You can't step foot in a time frame that hasn't been defined. Therefore, time travel is impossible.


That doesn't change my fascination with it. A lot of the shows, books, comics, movies, everything I love may revolve around time travel and it's possibility. In some way, shape or form. Most comic books have time travel plots, a ton of movies do too.

Donnie Darko, The Fountain, Back to the Future, Time after Time, I could keep going but there are too many to list. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3.

Lost has regained my fascination by including time travel. And for a show that never really loses it, it's just another reason to love the show. I constantly am in awe of it and constantly left wondering how in the hell it's going to end.

And that's the point of that. To keep us guessing. To make us a part of the experience. Not to make us lazy and passive.

That's where most of the movie and television industry is now, and that's why I'll never shut up about it. Because I don't feel interested in most things coming out. If it's a comic adaptation, I'll take a look. If it's a film by a favorite director or writer, I'll give it a shot. If it has a ridiculously awesome looking trailer that hooks me, I'll give it a try.

But if it's more of the lazy same-old same-old, forget it. I'm good. I'll stick to books and I'll stick to my own writing.

I would however like for time travel to become possible only for the sake of Hollyweird. Maybe they could go back and fix some of their problems. Maybe they could find a way to keep Michael Bay making Playboy films and never allow him to touch Bad Boys again.

Maybe the world would be safer. Maybe we'd all be alright.

I'll keep that as an image of hope for my own future.


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