Movie Review: The History of Time Travel

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The History of Time Travel * 2014 * Ages 13+ * 1 Hour 11 Minutes

😸😸😸😸🌑 4 Happy Lap Cats

“One small step for Russia, one giant leap for Communism.”

The History of Time Travel is a quiet, low budget fictional documentary that asks the question, “What would happen if time travel were developed secretly, for personal reasons, by a single family of scientists? Would anyone notice the changes?” It answers the question as the documentary is being made, in small increments, that require the viewer to keep up with the details of the storyline. Easter eggs abound, as the story plays out on both the intimate scale of a family drama and the large scale of 20th century history.

The story is told through fake interviews, staged photographs and stock footage. The science of time and time travel are explained early on. We’re introduced to physicist Dr Edward Page (Daniel W May), who’s assigned to work on the secret Indiana Project during World War 2 after President Roosevelt is informed that the Germans are disturbingly close to developing time travel. Dr Page works diligently on the project throughout the war, becoming obsessed with his subject and ignoring his family.

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Undone Season 1 Episode 3: Handheld Blackjack Recap

Undone S1Ep3 Sleepwalking

In episode 3 of Undone, Alma tries to resume her normal life, Jacob begins to tell his story, and we begin to wonder just how bad an influence he would have been if he’d been alive through the girls’ teenage years. Alma, along with everyone but Jacob, questions her sanity, but she also finds a couple of new hobbies. Sam takes up a new hobby, too, gaslighting his girlfriend when she’s already in a delicate mental state.

And y’all wonder why I’m always so suspicious of men- even the nice guys.

Recap

Alma pops out onto the street at dawn in her pajamas with no idea how she got there. Well, some idea. She’s either sleepwalking or sleep time traveling. A neighbor yells at her to go back inside and put some clothes on. At least that’s what I think she said. It’s hard to be sure, since Alma doesn’t have her hearing device on.

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Prime Video’s Undone Season 1 Review/Episode 1: The Crash Recap

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Prime Video’s new animated series for adults, Undone, is a unique show that explores mind-bending themes, mental health and family drama in 8 short, 22-24 minute long episodes, making the most of its stellar cast and experienced animation team in each episode. Creators Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy (BoJack Horseman) used the animation technique of rotoscoping to give the series a surreal quality that takes it a step beyond magical realism.

Rotoscoping involves filming the actors in live action, then tracing over the filmed images to create a polished animated product. Undone is the first serialized TV series to be fully animated using rotoscoping. Probably its most famous previous use was in the film A Scanner Darkly. The same team, Minnow Mountain, did the rotoscoping on both that film and Undone.

Undone is the story of Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar), a young woman who is struggling with her goals and identity, in addition to the lingering trauma from her father Jacob’s (Bob Odenkirk) death when she was a child. Outwardly, her life seems Happy and Fine. She lives with her nice boyfriend, Sam (Siddharth Dhananjay), and has a decent job at a daycare center, working with her good friend and boss, Tunde (Daveed Diggs). (Who wouldn’t want to work with the voice of Daveed Diggs?)

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Dark Season 1 Episode 10: Alpha and Omega Recap

Dark S1Ep10 Stranger Listens to Clockmaker

In the finale of Dark season 1, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the season comes full circle. It’s confirmed that Winden is caught in a time loop. Working with Gnostic/Hermetic imagery, Noah is the Demiurge/Old Testament God, who benefits from the control he has over the world that’s caught in a mistake. Claudia is Sophia/Wisdom/Holy Spirit, the completion of a trinity which includes the Clockmaker and the Stranger. She is Noah’s, and now Bartosz’s, arch enemy. Bartosz grows closer to both Martha and Noah, which leads Jonas down a path he’s walked before. Like Ulrich and Jonas, Helge tries to understand the nature of the universe and to fix what’s broken.

Recap

“Everything is fixed and you can’t change it.” -Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar- Jesus to Pontius Pilate)

“Everything is now.” -Dark

It’s the night Mikkel disappeared and Peter is considering breaking his promise to remain faithful to Charlotte. He’s sitting in Benni’s parking lot, watching her from a distance. We haven’t been told if he’s obsessed with Benni specifically or if Benni’s the only one in town providing a particular experience, particularly one which Charlotte can’t provide. Or maybe they are another pair of Winden’s star-crossed lovers. The photographic evidence suggests the latter.

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Dark Season 1 Episode 8: As You Sow, So Shall You Reap Recap

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In this episode, Ulrich follows Helge from 2019 back to 1953 and we’re introduced to a generation of new characters. Most shows wouldn’t introduce an entirely new cast just 2 episodes before the season finale, but most shows aren’t Dark. I love this show so much. It takes no prisoners.

The new characters are an intriguing bunch, including middle school Helge, Jana, Ines, Claudia and Tronte, and some of their parents. Tronte’s mother, Agnes, who comes to town as a single mother, wearing a red dress and a confident, flirtatious air, is particularly worth noting. She’s hiding something.

This episode also begins to explore Helge’s origin story and to explain why Egon has always been suspicious of Ulrich. But, while he’s had some good reasons to dislike Ulrich, he’s also always been an incompetent investigator.

1953 Winden alternates with the Stranger and the Clockmaker in 1986, having a physics discussion that starts with wormholes and proceeds through time loops and the creation of time machines.

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Dark Season 1 Episode 6: Sic Mundus Creatus Est Recap

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In Dark episode 6, the Nielsons sink deeper into grief over the loss off Mikkel, with each expressing it in a different way. Jonas goes deeper into the caves than he ever has before. Regina and Alexander get some bad news. And Ulrich does the thorough investigation into Mads’ disappearance that Egon failed to do in 1986, answering more than one question in the process.

Recap

Episode 6 opens on a flashback to 1986, when Ulrich and Katharina tied Regina to a tree near the cave and left her there for hours, long after it was dark. She sees something that frightens her enough to scream.

Regina wakes up in bed in the present day. Alexander wakes up too, and comforts her that it’s only a nightmare.

The next morning, Charlotte instructs the entire police department that they’re intensifying their search. She wants them to knock on every door, question everyone, coordinate with other agencies in the area, search the records for similar cases going back 50 years, search every basement. They’ll be working double shifts until they solve this case. They just have to find the one clue that breaks the case.

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Dark Season 1 Episode 5: Truths Recap

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In episode 5 of Dark we meet the mysterious Noah in two different time periods. After the relative calm of episode 4, Truths increases the intensity, as it switches between 1986 and 2019, sees one character falsely accused of rape, and investigates the disappearance of a third boy in 2019. After Elisabeth’s near miss in episode 4, it seems safe to say that the kidnapper only wants boys. Other truths are revealed in this episode which are much trickier.

Recap

The episode opens with a split screen montage reminding viewers where the story left each character in each time period.

Hannah obsesses over Ulrich in 1986 and 2019. In 1986, they’re friends, but she’s also making a stalkery scrapbook about him. In 2019, she’s called him 22 times, and he hasn’t responded.

Charlotte and Egon, the 2019 and 1986 police chiefs, stare at their missing persons boards in frustration. In 2019, Charlotte has added Elisabeth’s friend Yasin to the board. In 1986, Egon looks for a different case to distract himself from the lack of leads on Mads.

In 1986, Ines looks in on Mikkel in his hospital room. In 2019, she pulls out a children’s book called I Am Not Afraid and smiles, remembering the past with her son.

1986 Ulrich meets Hannah on his bike, while in 2019 he sits in Mikkel’s room and ignores her calls.

In 2019, Martha repeatedly calls Jonas. Jonas lies in bed, ignoring her calls. He stares at the red noose someone left on his bike and looks tragic. Bartosz repeatedly calls Martha, but she ignores his calls. Their love triangle gets a triple screen. Jonas looks even more beautifully tragic. Cue the opening credits.

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Dark Season 1 Episode 4: Double Lives Recap

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Let’s go deeper into the rabbit hole that Dark is taking us down.

The Clockmakers’ voiceover:

“Black holes are considered to be the hellmouths of the universe. Those who fall inside, disappear forever. But, where to? What is it that exists behind a black hole? What other things vanish there, along with space and time? Or, are space and time tied together as part of an endless cycle? What if everything from the past was actually influenced by the future?”

Helge: “Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.”

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Always a Witch Season 1 Episode 3: Ouija Recap

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Episode 3 begins with Johnny Ki explaining the threat he made to Carmen at the end of episode 2. He shows her a video his mom made the last time he saw his parents, then explains that his parents were killed in a boating accident. He was learning to drive and lost control of the boat, so he blames himself for the crash. He wants Carmen to help him talk to his dead parents so that he can get their reassurance that they don’t hate him and that they forgive him.

Carmen can’t speak to the dead, so she can’t help him. But she assures him that real love is unconditional, so, wherever his parents are, they still love him and have forgiven him.

Carmen tries to leave, but Johnny questions why she can levitate, but she can’t speak to the dead.

Because those are two really different powers?

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Always a Witch Season 1 Episode 2: A University Witch Recap

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In episode 2 of Always a Witch, Carmen settles into the 21st century as she makes an arrangement with Adelaida to stay at the hostel while working there. She also gets acquainted with a new group of friends, while searching for clues about Ninibe’s disappearance and trying to stay one step ahead of Lucien. Carmen audits biology classes as part of her modern cover story, which brings her into contact with many of the people she needs to meet and increases her knowledge about the 21st century and witchcraft.

It’s so refreshing to watch a show about a witch who fends for herself, without an older male handler acting as a father figure to “guide” her actions and education. Carmen has various friends, advisors and mentors in her life, as any normal person does. But there’s no one in her story whose opinion she allows to take precedence over her own, such as a vampire slayer’s watcher, the Charmed witches’ whitelighter, or the male partner of virtually any fictional woman. In both time periods, Carmen listens to the opinions of others, then makes her own decisions. Not even Cristobal can sway her opinions or decisions for long.

Since I hate the trope that a powerful/magical woman always needs a male handler or she’ll become out of control (looking at you right now, Roswell, New Mexico), I’m thrilled to see Carmen able to think for herself at 18. Once Cristobal teaches her to read and write, she adds those skills to her supernatural powers and begins to leave the mindset of a slave behind. During her arrest and trial, it’s clear that existentially, her mind is already free. The Inquisidor even accuses her of seeing herself as equal to her master. It’s not an attitude she develops in the 21st century.

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