Browse our numerous shelves and you will find DVDs, BluRays and Rokus for your viewing pleasure. We offer a wide selection of genres, movies, cartoons, TV series and educational films for everyone’s tastes.
This year, one of my all time favorite cult classics will be celebrating its 30th anniversary…an eighties classic, the time travel movie Back to the Future, starring Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox. Back to the Future, which the New York Times called “sweet and ingenious,” soon drew a cult following, and inspired two sequels, a theme park ride, an animated series, and a forthcoming musical. October 30, 1985, anyone? Powered by 1.21 gigawats, great Scott!
Time travel is a theme of perennial fascination to both movie directors and audiences. The result has been hours of pleasure for moviegoers everywhere. Below are some recommended titles.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989). This is one of the funniest, silliest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s great for an evening when you just want to laugh. The two dim-witted teenagers named in the title are going to fail history class unless they ace the final. Fortunately for them and for us, George Carlin comes from the future with a time machine disguised as a phone booth (because, you know, that’s just the sort of thing George Carlin does) so they can visit the historical events they need to know about for class. It’s the ideal history class prep. Admittedly, they do almost get beheaded in Renaissance England and Ted’s little brother leaves Napoleon in a bowling alley, but they get to bring Joan of Arc and Genghis Khan to class for extra credit.
Time After Time (1979). It appears that H.G. Wells not only wrote about time machines, he actually invented one. At least that’s the premise of this quirky time travel movie. At a London party in 1893, Wells (Malcolm McDowell) is showing off his invention to his friends, one of whom just happens to be (unbeknownst to Wells) Jack the Ripper. And when the police show up at Wells’ house looking for the murderer, Jack uses the time machine as his getaway car. Wells pursues Jack to 20th-century San Francisco, where the Ripper starts another killing spree. The scriptwriters also find time to work in a love interest for Wells (Mary Steenburgen) that doesn’t take away too much time from trying to bring the Ripper to justice (hey, it’s Hollywood). And if you want to find out what else happens, you’ll have to watch it (or read the Wikipedia summary). New York Times film critic Janet Maslin called Time after Time “a movie that’s as sweet as it is clever, and never so clever that it forgets to be entertaining.”
Midnight in Paris (2011). Aspiring novelist (Gil) (Owen Wilson) isvisiting Paris with his self-centered fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and her insufferable parents. One night he’s out walking on Montmarte, when at the stroke of midnight some strangers drag him into an antique car and take him to a party. He soon realizes he’s been taken back to the 1920s. In a re-imagining of the Lost Generation so flawless it’s almost impossible to believe, Gil gets to know Hemingway, Buñuel, Gertrude Stein and Zelda Fitzgerald. Each night Gil escapes his horrible fiancée and nasty future in-laws for a literally magical experience. Midnight is a marvel of casting and direction and a compelling meditation on nostalgia. It’s a movie I find very hard to write about. It must simply be seen.
Dr. Who (1966- present) . While not a movie, perhaps the greatest of all time travel characters , this British television program first aired in 1966 on the BBC, giving rise to science fiction television. Uniquely, the main character, “the Doctor” the sole survivor from the planet Galifrey, travels the time continuum in his TARDIS, which resembles a police call box. Battling Daleks and Cyberman, the Doctor regenerates each time a new actor stands in for the character. Admittedly, I am a fan of the fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker. His distinctive tweed coat, floppy hat, and impossibly lengthened scarf make him more of the memorable iconic versions of this character.
Star Trek (2009). This dramatization of how the original crew of the starship Enterprise came together is a total geek’s delight, with a fast-paced plot that grabs you and doesn’t let you go until the final credits. The cast does stellar work, with particularly great performances by Zach Quinto as young Spock, Leonard Nimoy as old Spock and Simon Pegg as young Montgomery Scott. You might be wondering where the time travel comes in. Hint: Spock meets Spock.
Twelve Monkeys, this superbly acted and directed film is Terry Gilliam at his bleak best. Most of humanity has been wiped out by a pandemic. James Cole (Bruce Willis) is a prisoner who has been selected to travel back in time and collect information on the disease that will help scientists in the present find a cure. Unfortunately he gets sent back to the wrong time repeatedly (including briefly appearing on the Western Front during World War I–just long enough to get shot). But in Philadelphia in the early 1990s Cole encounters a psychiatrist (Madeline Stowe) who stumbles on the truth of what’s been happening to him. Then Cole’s handlers in the future make contact with him and change his assignment, ordering him to carry out a deadly mission that will haunt him the rest of his life. Twelve Monkeys is a gripping, thoroughly disturbing meditation on the nature of memory and humanity’s self-destructive impulses.
With the power of your library card, you too can travel through time.