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|Index||117 reviews in total|
This movie proves what Hollywood does not practice. A great movie (like this one) does not need: famous name actors, good-looking/sexy protagonists, stupendous sets, expensive special effects, gratuitous violence, & violent shocks to be a successful, entertaining, and provocative movie, which this is in every respect. All it needs is good writing, capable direction, plausibility in terms of premises and plot turns, and decent acting. This has it all. And it's a great movie. The actors are all average looking. The sets look like a normal environment. The special effects are nothing special at all. And yet, there is not a dull moment in this extraordinarily good film. Saw it at the Cleveland International Film Festival this year. It stood out from the crowd as an exceptional film
"Timecrimes" was a movie I almost didn't see. It seemed interesting,
but since "Primer" I wasn't sure if I wanted to wrap my mind around
another time travel movie. The director, Nacho Vigalondo told us this
was his world premiere and he was very nervous giving his introduction.
After about 90 minutes, I realized my second movie at Fantastic Fest
2007 may be the best one I see all week. "Timecrimes" was an engaging
movie that is easy to follow, despite it's complex plot. I would hate
to give away even the smallest of details, the title says everything
you need to know. Even though I felt like I was in the driver's seat
the whole movie, there were still surprises throughout that kept things
interesting until the closing credits. The journey taken by Hector
(Karra Elejalde) develops his character beautifully, and he is
complimented by a small and effective cast. It would be a crime if this
movie doesn't get the distribution it deserves. The Q&A afterward
revealed some interesting behind the scenes stories and some info that
made me want to see the movie again. Fortunately the buzz from our half
full screening was enough to sell out the second screening at the
festival. The film won Best Picture at Fantastic Fest 2007, was the
Silver Medal winner for Audience Favorite, and was the highest rated
film at the festival. If you get a chance to see this movie, DO IT!!
***UPDATE*** "Timecrimes" has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures.
The first minutes of this film are a bit on the dreadful side, but
don't walk out or you'll miss one of the most entertaining time travel
stories ever!!! This one will leave you scratching your head as how the
writer pulled it off with a very intelligent, resourceful, and quite
clever script. He is aided by a marvelous job of editing which along
with a tight direction moves the story forward, backward, sideways, and
in any way that might be needed.
Our hero manages to find himself trapped in a time continuum that keeps deteriorating as he tries to find a solution to the original mess that started it all. The challenge is not how he struggles to tie the loose ends and come out of the mess he has apparently created. Messing with the time continuum always has dire consequences, and this film is a perfect example, but one thing that has always proved frustrating is being in the audience and just watching things unravel. The challenge in this film is becoming an active participant, as you try to figure out how the game is played.
Making things more complicated is the scientist who decides to take a jump and test equipment that has not been properly tested. His actions, along with the main character's, put an unexpected twist in the equation, and fixing things might just be a bit more difficult that anyone ever imagined.
What makes the film so spectacular is that everything is the movie is not the result of high tech, computer generated imagery, or dazzling special effects, or an overblown budget. The fact that the film doesn't even have the best actors give it a sense of reality that helps us become more sympathetic or repelled by the various "crimes" committed by the protagonist in order to fix his other "crimes".
I particularly enjoyed the fact that the film has only three settings, a dark woodsy hill, an empty complex, and a home that is being remodeled. This keeps us grounded and aware that anything is possible and has a chance of happening. Never, through the entire film I even doubted the clunky machine could even work. Great science fiction!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a fan of time travel movies and enjoy puzzling out the paradoxes, but this film was basically spoiled by the total unbelievability of the protagonist's actions. For example, if you went back in time (and apparently accepted the fact quite readily) and saw your earlier self with your earlier wife, would you totally freak out? It would be a lot more disturbing to me if I DIDN'T see my earlier self with my wife. Overall, the protagonist, who appears to be fairly intelligent (though with a slight kink..hint, hint), just does a lot of stupid and unexplained things, most of which are pretty violent and counterproductive. The net result is that we don't have any "A-ha!" moments where we suddenly understand why things in the time loop are the way they are. Instead, we're busy asking out loud, "Why the hell did he do that? That made no sense unless he was intentionally trying to conform to the the time loop." In short, most of the characters act like idiots.
It's very hard to review "Los cronocrímenes" without spoiling the fun
of watching the movie and seeing how the different stories within the
main plot outline keep unraveling ever so intelligently. Let's just say
that it all starts out with a man watching through his binoculars and
spotting something that catches his eye. He follows his curiosity, and
that will be the start of some extremely unusual, mysterious, and
intriguing events involving this man, a mysterious stalker with his
head wrapped in a pink bandage, a naked girl in the woods, and a young
"Los cronocrímenes" is a terrific movie, one that was made with a low budget, a reduced cast, and very few settings. It combines sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, action, and also sprinkles of comedy -I found myself laughing out loud more than once while watching this. It's a twisted, tragic, cynical sense of humor that I find very fitted to the Spanish way of being and general look on life.
You may enjoy "Los cronocrímenes" for what it is, taking it at face value, and enjoying the twists and turns (and even if you think you've got it figured out, it keeps the ability to surprise you all along). You may also take a deeper look into it. Each viewer sees a different story and message in a movie; for me, personally, besides an extremely entertaining and thoughtful mystery and action movie, "Los cronocrímenes" offers good insight into the human soul, our deepest and darkest motivations for things, and how the line between good and evil is ever so blurry.
One of the common issues with time-travel movies is that they are
filled with holes in the story, things that you never get to know how
happened or why they did happened in the first place.
This movie is perfect in that sense, the plot is squared and every small detail has a meaningful reason to exist so in a way is mathematically perfect.. Which leaves you with a rewarding feeling but on the other hand if you understand the plot you can solve the mystery 3/4 down the movie and the last minutes are just obvious.
But this is a great movie.. Thats why it leaves you wondering what would it had been if the plot were more ambitious and more factors had been involved in the equation. Perhaps more characters and more interaction between them.. Who knows! You just want more!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Timecrimes is the type of film that relies purely on its concept, much
in the same way as The Human Centipede. The problem with that is the
concept becomes a crutch. This review will contain spoilers but unless
you have seen the film, the spoilers will probably make little sense
The concept that I'm talking about is the idea of an illogical time travel paradox. To be more exact, a predestination paradox. A predestination paradox is when a time traveler is caught in a loop of events that "predestines" or "predates" them to travel back in time.
Hector 1 is caused to go back in time because of the actions of Hector 2. The only reason Hector 2 exists is because Hector 1 went back in time.
Similarly, Hector 3 exists only because of events Hector 3 puts in motion before Hector 2 even knows there is a Hector 3. It could be more accurate to say that Hector 2 decides to use the time machine to become Hector 3 once Hector 2 becomes aware that there is a Hector 3.
It's actually not as complicated as it sounds, and that is the entire plot of the movie summed up. Once the concept becomes apparent within the first 15 or 20 minutes of the film or so, the rest of the film plods along in a very predictable fashion. We know the destination of the character, because for him it has been predestined.
The problem is that watching Hector go through events, and then put events in motion again once he travels in time, becomes a bore. The film takes place across a day, the character only traveling back in time 90 minutes or so. Hector is an unlikeable character and his actions as the various versions of himself make no sense.
To be more clear, an example is when Hector 2 has wrapped bandages around his entire head making himself look like a maniac, who then stabs and chases Hector 1, and forces a woman to undress. The motivations are completely unclear. The only reason Hector 2 does these things is because it predestines Hector 1 to go to the time travel machine in the first place. Hector 3's actions are similar in their lack of clarity, and the only seeming motivation being to keep the predestination paradox intact. Maybe the writer/director is trying to make a point about lack of free will. Personally, I just think its lazy writing. You can't have a plot that revolves entirely around a predestination paradox, and have characters that behave outside of any idea of logic or common sense. Otherwise, what is the interest of the film? What is the draw? When the entire draw of a film is its concept, rather than story and characters, something was fundamentally wrong right from the script up to the filming.
Wow, this one took me by surprise. As a matter of fact I had no idea
how this film would develop even when I was half-way done watching it,
but then the real story kicks off and its exciting and hilarious
thereafter. The premise is fairly simple about a guy who keeps landing
in exponentially ridiculous situations. You'll know what I mean when
you watch it. And each situation has a sense of deja vu to it and is
great fun to watch. Can't say much about the acting and direction,
which were very, very good nevertheless. However the script is
supremely intelligent and ensures that every loose thread is perfectly,
and I mean, perfectly tied up.
Time travel can be real head bender. Frequency and The Butterfly Effect are good examples of comparable movies of this genre (and the Back To The Future sequels are terrible ones) and Timecrimes sits comfortably in that group.
I'll be glad to recommend it to all my friends who have the patience to read subtitles.
The plot of recent Spanish hit "Time Crimes" is fairly simple:Hector accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour.Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences.The feature length debut of Nacho Vigalondo is a pretty good science-fiction thriller with a sprinkle of horror thrown in.The time machine looks similarly to the contraptions used in 60's time travel sci-fi flicks.The central performance of Karra Elejalde is excellent and his character is sympathetic and believable.Although many of the twists and turns of the story can be guessed quite early on,they are in some ways all the more enjoyable for that and Vigalondo impressively combines thriller,horror,dark comedy and even slapstick elements without making things feel forced.A little bit of nudity provided by beautiful Barbara Goenaga certainly helps!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The set up for this film is great. Mysterious and frightening events lead an ordinary guy to a laboratory with a time machine. Once there, he is sent backward in time by a scientist in order to escape some deranged, scissor wielding pursuer who's all bandaged up and looks like Dark Man. Up to that point the movie had me. Then it lost me. I must agree with what another reviewer wrote here: the main character's actions push the limits of plausibility after he goes back in time! HERE IS THE SPOILER: He finds out that he is the deranged pursuer, come from the future, chasing himself in the past. It is a premise with potential but the way the film lays it out, every coincidence seems overly convenient, implausibly strange, and repeatedly the ethics and true nature of the main character are called into question. He terrorizes, humiliates and ends up killing a young woman in the film, all to set things right in time as he sees them. Is there really an ordinary man who would do this? It leaves one feeling confused as to what the psychology of this guy is. Did time travel scramble his brain cells? THAT WOULD BE MORE UNDERSTANDABLE AS AN EXPLANATION! He seems to be working on the logic that he must do these insane things to send himself back, but why doesn't he consider doing nothing? What about noninterference? That's what they do in Star Trek, and it seems a lot easier! The film is otherwise well made, there is good pacing and atmosphere and all the actors do fine jobs. Unfortunately, when a story seems so off center, the good work that was put into it seems utterly lost. If there is a remake I suggest the script go through serious revision!
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