Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Author Richard Matheson dies at age 87

You might not immediately recognize the name, but you almost certainly know his work. Author and screenwriter Richard Matheson passed away earlier this week on June 23, 2013 at age of 87.

He's probably best known for his novel I am Legend, which was adapted to film no less than 3 times - Last Man on Earth (1964) with Vincent Price,  The Omega Man (1971) with Charlton Heston, and finally in 2007 as I Am Legend with Will Smith.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, Matheson wrote 14 episodes of the original Twilight Zone series including the classic "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" staring William Shatner as the passenger who sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane. He is also credited for writing Rod Serling's opening monologue on the show.

His film credits and novels are too many to list here, but you'd be surprised how many films and tv shows he's had a hand in. You can check out his Wikipedia entry here - Richard Matheson - Wikipedia Entry.

Of course time travel fans will know his 1973 novel "Bid Time Return" which was made into the 1980 movie Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Matheson also wrote the screenplay for the film.

A very busy and prolific author and story teller who touched many people.

Obituary at the CBC - http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2013/06/25/obit-matheson-richard-author.html

Obituary at the Hollywood Reporter - http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/iconic-sci-fi-author-richard-574197

Monday, February 4, 2013

Time Travel Related Commercials (Pt. 2)

Advertisers and marketing departments love using Time Travel in commercials. Back in 2009 I posted another entry on Time Travel in Commercials  - that looked at a 1986 Pepsi commercial and a more contemporary Bacardi commercial that used Time Travel to sell a product.

Recently on TV there have been two commercials that play on the notion of time travel.

The first is a Pizza Hut spot that is hyping how their low price is a blast from the plast so to speak and the hapless guy buying pizza wonders if he hasn't accidently travelled back in time. The spot takes it one step further when he meets a young look alike that he urges to "invest in the internet".

Pizza Hut "Price from the Past" Commercial.

The second commercial actually involves a time machine comes to us from Dodge and the re-introduction of the DART as an econo replacement to the Dodge Neon. Bragging that tech so futuristic must have involved a Time Machine it reminds me a bit about the Toyota commercial from a few years back.

How to Make the Most Hi-Tech Car (Dodge Dart)

The Toyota  commercial was bragging about things that are reinvented including of course their Toyota Camry. One included a baby that didn't poop and for no particular reason, other than it was funny, was also a time machine. Personally I am holding out for the rain that makes you skinny.

Toyota Camry 2012 Reinvented.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

15 Years of Andy's Anachronisms

You might have noticed that there hasn't been much activity on Andy's Anachronisms in a while. Doesn't mean the website or the blog is dead. Far from it.

It's bee a busy year personally and I have been working on drafting up a new design for the website, now heading in to its 15th year. Yes, in one form or another Andy's Anachronisms has been on the internet since February of 1999. Hard to believe.

From its humble beginnings its been a one man show with the ocassional guest contribution. Speaking of which I am always looking for interesting Time Travel and Alternate History references and reviews. If you see something during your travels on the web, don't hesitate to send it my way.

You can leave it here or find me on Twitter @SooGuy68. (see link below)

If there is something you'd like to see a review for or have a question feel free to drop me a line.

Here's to 2013 and a new year of time travel fun.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chris Marker - Director of La Jetee Dead at Age 91

I was saddened to learn that Chris Marker passed away today.  Most are likely unfamiliar with  his contribution to cinema, but among those that have been exposed to his work it's a sad day.

Perhaps his best known work is the 1962 experimental short film La Jetee which would later form the inspiration for the 1995 Terry Gilliam film Twelve Monkeys.

La Jetee is THE perfect time travel film in my opinion and the fact that he manages to distil so much into under a half hour is an amazing feat.

With the exception of a few brief frames of motion La Jetee is told entirely with the use of black and white still photos that are stitched together in what Marker calls a photo-roman.

La Jetee tells the story of a man who witnessed a traumatic event as a child and is selected as a guinea pig for a time travel experiment. Set in a post-apocalyptic Paris destroyed by World War III the survivors live beneath the city which has become “rotten with radiation”. The victors stand guard over a “kingdom of rats”. Realizing that the human race is doomed, the victors work to manipulate a loophole in time to seek assistance from the future.

The man is sent to past on several occasions to visit the woman from his childhood images, before an attempt is made to send him to the future. In an effort to evade his captors he strikes a bargain to return to the past of his childhood, but it is not to be.

The film manages to explore the horror and futility of war, human degradation of the natural environment, the nature of time itself, and the intricacies of human memory.

I have reviewed the film at length on my site here - La Jetee by Chris Marker and recommend the film to anyone who will listen.

On Twitter today William Gibson, author of Neuromancer and Pattern Recognition, tweeted in recognition of Marker's passing:

Its well worth seeking out  but try to get a copy with the original French narration and English subtitles if you can.

Criterion Collection  released a restored version of La Jetee in 2007 in standard definition and in 2012 on high definition Blu-Ray together with Marker's film San Soliel.

I found a copy of La Jetee in 1999 as part of a short film collection called Short 2: Dreams  that had a number of bonus features including interviews with both Terry Gilliam (Director of Twelve Monkeys) and Janet and David Peoples (Writers of Twelve Monkeys) discussing the Marker’s work and the influence La Jetée had on the creation of Twelve Monkeys.

For further reading check The Guardian which has a very in detailed obituary on its website here: Chris Marker obituary Experimental French director acclaimed for his post-apocalyptic film La Jetée

Monday, May 7, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed

Only just stumbled across a reference to this indie movie called Safety Not Guaranteed about a man who places an ad looking for a "companion" to accompany him on a time travel adventure and the reports that try to investigate his claim that he can time travel.

The trailer tries a bit too hard at first, but I think it has potential by the end of the trailer to be a very interesting and engaging film.

Check it out here - Safety Not Guaranteed - Official Site

It looks like it will be in limited release in June 2012

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review: Triptych by JM Frey

Had the pleasure of reading the début novel from author JM Frey earlier this year, but only now have had time to write a proper review.

In Triptych, earth has become the last refuge of a race of bipedal aliens whose planet has been destroyed in a cataclysmic explosion. While the majority of people have been accommodating and accepting, with many nations formally working to integrate the aliens into Earth civilization, there still exists groups whose racism and bigotry have found new targets.

Enter two reasearchers with The Institute, Gwen Pierson and Dr. Basil Grey who are working with the alien Kalp to help reverse engineer some of the alien tech and acclimatize to each other's cultural norms. Frey's trio of characters are the emotional heart and soul of the story. Their journey from workmates to an "aglunate", a type of intimate social unit common on Kalp's home planet, is what drives the story. Not everyone is ready to accept this level of integration and conflict ensues.

Oh and did I mention there is time travel? While not the focus of the novel, time travel does play a pivotal role in the story and is used to good effect.

You can read my full review here -Review of Triptych by JM Frey

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why I Hate Terra Nova

Review contains some swear words - If you are easily offended stop reading now

Okay maybe HATE is strong word considering I haven't seen it yet, but as a fan of most things time travel related, I am NOT looking forward to Terra Nova's debut later this month on FOX.

For starters the premise strikes me as clichéd - human race is doomed, scientists decide to save the human race by exporting our problems to some other planet or in this case time period. It sounds like Earth 2 meets Land of the Lost.

If you were actually going to use a time machine to try to save the human race, I would not choose the  Cretaceous period. For starters there's that nasty problem of carnivorous dinosaurs to deal with and if that weren't enough civilization is still likely doomed in 65 million years when that big old meteor comes crashing to Earth. I could probably give you another 50 reasons why this little colony is more doomed than first settlers at Roanoke.

Okay so I gather from early reviews that perhaps the pioneers were misled about the time period, but still the scientists should have known better. The only logical reason I can think of transporting back to the era of T-Rex and his bad ass buddies would be for pure entertainment purposes. Oh, wait that's right, this is TV and people lapped that Jurassic Park shit up 20 years ago. It would make for killer TV right?

I dunno, I am not sold. YET. I'll try not to prejudge it more than I already have, but its going to be hard to get over my distaste for the premise.

I could think of a lot more DRAMATIC and interesting times to transport people back to if you were going to try to give humanity a better chance of surviving. I gathered from previews that the expedition is largely American-centric so why not send the crew back to pre-Columbus times in America. It's your country anyhow right. [Sarcasm Alert] Who's going to argue if you go back and colonize America a few hundred years earlier. Sure you mess up the timeline (just a little), but it would make for interesting drama. You could have factions that want to do it right this time around and come up with some sort of Utopia where they live in harmony with the aboriginal people (Native Americans or as we Canadians say First Nations people.) Except they're not Native Americans yet, its their land still, ain't it. So the assholes among the expedition want to "do it right this time around" and "assimilate" them before they become a problem. Ah, now I see the problem, people don't want to deal with that sort of racism and race issues on TV.

So they give you dinosaurs. No one can get upset about blowing up some T-Rex because they threaten your plans to conquer the world.

I somehow doubt this overpriced show will last more than one season, but I wait for them to prove me wrong.

For anyone unfamiliar with the show here's the First Look Trailer on YouTube

If you want a second opinion check out the NY Times Review here