Tag Archives: time travel

Tenet

14 Sep

‘Tenet’: Time travel caper by Christopher Nolan chooses its moment, masked against apocalypse

By Tom Meek

Well, I did it: I went to a theater and saw “Tenet.” Would I recommend you to? That’s a personal call. For me it didn’t feel too risky, but read on. I attended a 4 p.m. show at Landmark’s Kendall Square Cinema. I bought my ticket online, but still had to wait in line to show the usher behind a plexiglass shield my emailed barcode and get a printed ticket. I saw only three other people at the theater, all folks asking for senior discounts – in short, those in high-risk categories but clearly desperate for an in-theater experience, as was I. Landmark offered no snacks, and masks had to be worn 100 percent of the time. Every two seats in the theaters are blocked off, and management asks you to sit in alternating rows – something, I did not need to worry about. I was the only person at my screening. (Apple Cinemas near Fresh Pond and Alewife is showing it too, since reopening Friday.)

This being a Christopher Nolan film, seeing it on a big screen is kind of a must – in the very least for the imposing, driving score (by Ludwig Göransson, though it feels and sounds a lot like Hans Zimmer’s work on Nolan’s 2010 “Inception”) and the impressive camera work by Hoyte Van Hoytema, Oscar-nominated for Nolan’s WWII time scramble, “Dunkirk” (2017). Playing with time and space is Nolan’s thing; he did it with “Memento” (2000) to tell a murder mystery in reverse, and “Interstellar” (2012) as space travelers who go through a black hole where decades of Earth time pass in minute. Here time is imbued into objects sent back from the future. Sounds zany, right? It’s one of the things you just let wash over you, because no matter how hard Nolan and his characters try to explain, you feel like you’re just not getting it. The best I can do is that you can rewind history and insert yourself into the action – in essence, altering the future – but the catch is everyone else is moving in reverse while you’re going forward. People walk backward, cars go in reverse, and bullets get sucked back into their gun. 

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Terminator Genisys

2 Jul

“I’m old, but not obsolete,” is the new Arnold Schwarzenegger zinger in the “Terminator” franchise reboot, “Terminator Genisys.” “I’ll be back” gets recycled too, and there’s plenty of logic for the aged Schwarzenegger terminator – now affectionately called “Pops” – being gray and wrinkled (his external covering goes like ours). He even gets to confront the young, buff, naked Arnold, so sleek and intimidating as the lethal T-800 prototype back in 1984.

063015i Terminator GenisysMuch of what propels “Genisys” lies in the basis for James Cameron’s game-changing B-film some 30 years ago: the notion of rewinding the clock and altering history and destiny. Wrinkles upon wrinkle in time have changed the game so much you almost can’t tell where rebel leader John Connor (Jason Clarke, with a scar-marred face) ends and Skynet begins.

The ever-churning plot machinations are wild, but don’t offer much bite. Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke from “Game of Thrones” – the second actress from the series to play Sarah Connor, as Lena Headey starred in the 2008 series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) is still on the hit list, but knowledge from the future has worked its way back in time, so what was a pat scenario in previous chapters becomes a game of time-hopping chess, with Skynet and the humans trying to out-wrinkle the other.

Not to give too much away, but we begin in the Skynet future from where the young Arnold T-800 (a killer computer recreation) is sent back in time to L.A., exactly like in the ’84 original – but just as he’s about to steal the clothes from a trio of punks, things go off-script from what had been. The year of  Judgement Day (1997) has been pushed to 2017 as well. Why? Well, Skynet has decided the best way to rule the world isn’t an apocalyptic nuclear strike, but a Trojan horse computer virus through the highly sought new operating system Genisys – from a company that’s Apple cool and Microsoft hungry. There’s much more to it too; Oscar-winner J. K. Simmons (“Whiplash”) plays a cop in L.A. and again in San Fran in 2017. He’s a bit of a boozer, so no one really buys it when he says he’s seen time traveler Kyle Reese (played by the handsome but wooden Jai Courtney) and Sarah before.

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