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The romance/relationship at the heart of the story is not bad, and has been unfairly panned. It's actually one of the strengths of the story. Kristofferson does a good job of playing a rather dull character without a lot going for him... a working stiff without much of a life, who wakes up a bit when he meets Cheryl Ladd's character.
Ladd underplays her part nicely, with a nice understanding of the nuances and double meanings of some of her dialogue. The directing is fine, low key, and the editing is good (apart from the ending, which I doubt was the editor's choice). The script sparkles most when it deals with Ladd's character, her difficulties in communicating across a profound cultural barrier, her inadvertently humorous faux pas when interacting with a world very different from her own. The "cigarette scene" in the restaurant is a classic.
There are some problems, mainly around the ending, some of the acting on the part of the minor characters, and the character of Sherman. I won't reveal the ending, but I will say it was disappointing, and probably responsible for the cool reception the film received. The robot Sherman is poorly designed and conceptualized, and drags down the rest of the story. It's not a question of budget, in Sherman's case, but of someone without a good intuitive feeling for science fiction concepts, making decisions about that character. He's not campy, to my mind, he's an embarrassment.
Some people posting here have complained about the dialogue. I think they may be missing the profound reason for Ladd's character's odd choices of words, and what the words reveal about her. Others have complained about the scenes that are shown twice, telling the same story from different points of view. I can understand that people looking for a more action packed movie could have been bored by these scenes, but they do reveal key information; they're not just reruns of the first, they're revelations. They're an effective device for showing the parallel but very different points of view of the key characters.
In sum, Millennium is a reasonably good but not great movie. It's frustrating because a genuinely good movie could be made from the existing footage if the robot was redone (redesigned digitally after the fact and given a better voice and better dialogue), and if the final voice-over was omitted. But I still like watching it and appreciate the elements that are successful in the movie.
I wasn't expecting much so maybe that's why I enjoyed it.
"Take a chance, Louise"
There was some good comedy in the movie. For example the android Sherman, who looked like he came right out of a 1950's B-movie. Then there was the joke about how the people from the future had to smoke in order to stay healthy, otherwise the air in the past was too clean and pure for them. You disposed of the cigarettes by just tossing them over your shoulders and a point laser would shoot at it and disintegrate it instantly. Also this was definitely a 1980's movie, you could tell just by the hairstyles, which were good for a few laughs.
And for a movie made on the cheap, the special effects weren't half-bad. They certainly weren't comparable to today's CGI effects, but they were of a generation of special effects that made Star Wars so successful.
Their interpretation of time travel concepts was also very interesting. For example, they chose to represent time paradoxes as "temporal quakes". I suppose this was done as a dramatisation technique to show the audience how serious a temporal paradox was in terms they could commonly understand (i.e. like an earthquake).
Don't be fooled by the linear minds giving this movie a bad review, if you have an abstract mind, then you'll love this movie.
If you like nice tidy productions with crisp acting and wonderful cinematography and wish to see something not very taxing on the mind, stay away from this movie! It is not a "beautiful production", the acting does leave something to be desired and the production leaves much to the imagination. But then that can sometimes be a good thing as I personally think not enough is left to the imagination in the motion pictures of today. After all my imagination, and I'm sure yours also, is a far more interesting place than 99.9% of what the film industry thinks is inspirational! But more importantly, it's the beautifully conceptual plot... the wonderful wonderful plot that really makes this movie many times over.
By my rating of this film you can clearly see which camp I sit in. I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did. If you are a fan of sci-fi, then this film is a mind blowing MUST SEE! If you are not a fan of this genre then sadly I am afraid there is not much for you here. Otherwise ENJOY.
If you like campy, idealistic sci-fi you might want to give it a shot.
Kris Kristofferson and Cheryl Ladd prove themselves as credible film stars, but their talents are hampered by the poor overall impression given out by Millennium. The script is not the last word in brilliance, and that simple romance plot we witness leaves a lot to be desired. Add to that rather tame special effects and a sudden uninspiring ending, Millennium is certainly no masterpiece and will be easily forgotten.
An interesting premise proves a let down for an avid film fan like myself but is lifted up by Ladd, who proves she can portray a character far beyond Angel Kris Munroe. 5/10.
The film really works and with Cheryl Ladd giving the performance of her career, you get time travel with sex appeal and sincerity. Ms. Ladd had the potential to be a Holllywood film star, but either by choice, talent or fate, she ended up in Hallmark movies and sub par TV shows. This movie proves however that my prior sentence has no place in this universe. She sells the character of Louise Baltimore from the future in the most convincingly appealing of ways.
Kris Kristofferson is also on his game while Daniel J Travanti has some powerful sci fi grounding scenes. An offbeat future world containing a weird array of thought provoking characters including a believably fake robot named Sherman (that is the epitome of 80s cool to look at) should satiate your distant future doldrums.
The story flows logically with limitations while the wonderfully natural aura of the film dumps paradoxes, time travel gates, duplicate persons, swirling colors and retro future technology into the thought pleasing synapses of your brain. 1989 was a good year because of this flick. Creative brilliance all around from directing to acting. Engrossing and ahead of its time. Lets get some behind the scenes snippets and directors commentary with Cheryl Ladd chiming in before the world ends. Ah, Millennium!
Meanwhile Daniel J. Travanti, of "Hill Street Blues" fame as Captain Frank Furillo, plays a physicist, Dr. Arnold Mayer, who lectures about time travel, and people from the future. Do these theories (conjectures), explain some of those "little impossibilities". (Sure they do!)
But does Bill care? He has fallen in love with a girl... then loses her ... then he finds her again, when the two have never met (from her point of view.) Got that? If you are sure that you could never "get that", don't watch this movie... and tear up your Mensa application. This movie is too smart for you.
If you can follow the 4D logic, an impossible mystery is solved, the universe is saved, kind'a saved. And Bill gets the beautiful girl(who smokes three packs of cigarettes an HOUR.) This unusual time traveler is played by Cheryl Ladd (who was the last of the original "Charlie's Angels")
There are a few clever sub-plots.
This is a GREAT movie
This trip takes her to 1989 when Millennium came to the theaters. To keep the species going these travelers are taking trips to reported plane crashes where they remove the passengers before the crash and replace them with already dead ones from their future. When the dead ones were around they were sterile anyway, Cheryl happens to be sterile also.
There carefully prepared project goes totally awry with a trip back to a 1963 crash that is impacting on the future. A trip to 1989 where Kris Kristofferson is the National Transportation Safety Board investigator screws things up even further as Kristofferson is certain he's seen Ladd before.
The third principal player in the cast is Daniel J. Travanti a famous physicist who has an interest in time travel and has got the scent of something not right with these crashes. What Travanti does is totally mess with the future of planet Earth as Ladd knows it.
Although some have trashed Millennium I've found it to be a thought provoking movie about time traveling and about our lax attitude toward the environment which gives Ladd the future she lives in. There's also a nice performance by Robert Joy as Ladd's android in the future who's more human than Commander Data of Star Trek The Next Generation. He's got quite the wit. But in the end he's a disposable machine.
Check this one out.
There are some strange things in this movie. For some reason in this movie a lot of people smoke. There is this premise where all the people from the future must smoke. Like smoking is considered healthy to people. If this movie were made today would it still be rated PG-13? There ends up being this love story between Bill and Louise. I don't know why they choose to have a love story in this movie. I don't think the love story really detracted from the movie.
There are some things in this movie that makes it really good. You have an android named Sherman which adds some comedy to this movie. He provides a lot of good one liners in this movie. He reminds of 3-CPO from the Star Wars Movies. There is some things that make me want to watch this movie over and over again. I could care less if some of this movie looks cheesy or doesn't exactly make sense. I would watch this again.
"Millennium" is one of the most original sci-fis of the cinema history, with a story that is unique. The plot is very well-constructed with humor, and Cheryl Ladd is extremely beautiful. There are flaws that are not relevant, maybe due to budget restraint, but the story is excellent and unforgettable. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Millennium - Guardiões do Futuro" ("Millennium Guardians of the Future")
This is a very ambitious script. Probably the best screen telling of a twisted-world-line story I have ever seen. Unfortunately it failed the rule of 3, a well known film adage:
"Say anything important 3 times. The first time subtly. That's foreshadowing and maybe 5% of your audience will even notice. Next say it directly. That will cover the next 10% of the audience.
For the last 85% of the bell curve, hit them over the head with it."
Millennium explains the divergent world lines of its two main characters through the comments of Sherman the "personal robot" but fails to beat morons over the head with it.
The paradox that causes the disaster at the movie's end is really only stated subtly and once, and left for the audience to reason out. No one ever says "the professor would have invented time travel if the actions of the time travelers hadn't prevented it" but all the clues are there for anyone paying attention.
I agree with others that the "timequake" mechanism is a little hokey but it provided a good way to demonstrate the impending disaster in a way the audience can relate to. After all, spaceships in space make no noise, except in the movies, where they have to to get people to understand that they are moving fast. You seldom here people complain about that license and I see this, while a bit more heavy handed, as fundamentally no different.
All in all an excellent script done quite well considering the sfx of the day and the limits on budget
This film used the film noir aspect of everyone lighting up but managed to explain the smoking for health reasons. If you have a chance to see this movie you should. Just ignore the old tech special effects.
She is great in Millennium!! But this movie is tough to follow.
But if you can watch it with a SciFi fan or someone who is really smart its really interesting.
(After the movie talk the conversation continued.) Compared to the explanation of why the Red Shift, and the Theory of Relativity, and the expanding 3 dimension surface of a 4 dimension universe shows that our Universe is only 14.5 billion years old.
AND that there are an infinite AND growing number of universes.
All of a sudden my "really smart person's" explanation of the movie seemed simple.
(There really are people like those on TV's "Big Bang Theory".)
While this is a very interesting premise, all the interesting science fiction and mystery elements are unfortunately made nearly worthless by the horrible pacing, extremely poor dialogue, annoying redundancy (we see many of the more boring scenes twice from different perspectives!), and worst of all, the silly romance plot.
I liked the look of the future world in this movie. The production designers did a good job, especially on Sherman the personal servant and on the future elders, who were held together loosely with spare parts in their tubes. However, the dialogue was so cheesy I could only enjoy the excellent scenery when the actors didn't open their mouths to ruin it. The ending of this movie was so horribly cheesy I wanted to vomit. When will Hollywood learn that never every movie needs a romantic subplot and a unrealistic happy ending...
FINAL RATING: 5/10 - The only reason I even give it a 5 is because of the interesting premise and nice production design. Its sad that these excellent elements were ruined by such a poor script.
For a decent script movie thats been dispatched to the small screen, it really does have a lot of redeeming features.
Cheryl and Kris put in fine performances to keep the story bubbling along. Nice paradoxes keep the intelligent amused, but will fly over the head of those wanting Independence Day shoot ups.
The love of the robot for Ladd points strongly to where Lexx got the side story lines.
If its on TV make an excuse to see/record it.