A teacher opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son's elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions -- some that have already occurred and others that are about to -- that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events that are about to unfold.
In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff.
Evan Treborn grows up in a small town with his single, working mother and his friends. He suffers from memory blackouts where he suddenly finds himself somewhere else, confused. Evan's friends and mother hardly believe him, thinking he makes it up just to get out of trouble. As Evan grows up he has fewer of these blackouts until he seems to have recovered. Since the age of seven he has written a diary of his blackout moments so he can remember what happens. One day at college he starts to read one of his old diaries, and suddenly a flashback hits him like a brick! Written by
Elden Henson shot all of the later "normal" scenes with his character first because he had to gain around twenty pounds in one month for the later timelines in which his character is crazy. He was to look bigger as crazy Lenny and thinner as normal Lenny. To the filmmaker's amazement he accomplished this. See more »
When Evan reads his journal and goes back to where he and Kayleigh are making the Robin Hood movie in her father's basement so he can fix it. While he is making his speech to her father about his decisions, during the entire monologue we can see a crew member standing in the back left mirror. If you watch closely, you can see the crew members move. See more »
[reading aloud as he writes a note]
If anyone finds this, it means my plan didn't work and I'm already dead. But if I can somehow go back to the beginning of all of this, I might be able to save her.
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THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT- THEATRICAL CUT (4 outta 5 stars)
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT- DIRECTOR'S CUT (3+ outta 5 stars)
Now normally I tend to prefer movies that let the writer/director tell the story that they want to without having to water it down for mass consumption. In this case I have to say that the ending they they were forced to re-shoot for the theatrical release of this movie is a much more emotional, resonant and appropriate ending than the bleak, cold and grotesque finale they had originally planned. On the US DVDs you get the choice of which version to see (foreign editions only have the less compelling director's version)... so North American viewers can make up their own mind about which ending they prefer. I would suggest watching the theatrical cut first... and then check out the director's cut... which would you prefer to think of as the "real" ending?
As for the movie itself... don't be put off by the idea of Ashton Kutcher in the lead role. He does quite a good job in a serious part quite different from his usual TV persona. He plays a college student who, having been plagued by mental blackouts all his life, devotes himself to the study of human memory. Eventually he finds that by re-reading old journal entries he can will himself back in time to experience the events he had blacked out... and even CHANGE THEM using the knowledge that his older self possesses. Unfortunately one small change in the past causes some HUGE ramifications in his present day world. Can't say too much more about the plot without giving away the many fun surprises. Believable performances and a basic seriousness give the film an urgency that is sometimes missing in modern fantasy films of this type.
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