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Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel

 
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Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel is a film I accidentally stumbled upon. It is proof that you can do a fantastic movie with a tiny budget. The tag line says “Dr Who Meets Shaun of the Dead”. That’s a pretty good way of describing it.

 
FAQATT (for short) tells the story of three friends who go to a pub one night. At some point during the evening, when alone, one of the friends is approached by a woman who claims to be a time traveler from the future. To his disbelief she says he’s very famous in the future and she just wanted to meet him. He, of course, does not believe a word she says.

 
When he later shares this with his friends they don’t even believe he saw anyone. But then one of them goes to the restroom and when he returns it seems everyone in the pub has been violently murdered – including a bearded version of himself and his friends! Naturally, when he runs back to the restroom and out again, everything is back to normal and no one believes him.

 
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that this is the beginning of a crazy evening that involves almost every aspect of time travel. Traveling to the future, seeing yourself, the grandfather paradox, the butterfly effect, etc. There are also a lot of nods to other time travel movies (just look at the picture – clearly a nod to Back to the Future). It is also extremely funny, it did remind me a lot of Shaun of the Dead (another fantastic movie if you haven’t seen it). And the best part it – it all makes sense! Unlike other time travel movies – I’ll even generalize and say science fiction movies, everything connects at some point and is perfectly clear.

 
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel is a hilarious, witty, intelligent, fun time travel movie that shows a good story trumps special effects any day of the week

 
To get Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel from Amazon, click here.

 

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That’s it, I’m done with network television. I know that the threshold for cancellation has decreased in recent years, but in the past 2-3 years it just seems every single show that I find even mildly sophisticated gets canceled – just a matter of time. Whereas other shows – whose name I won’t mention so no one will get offended – that are insult to our intelligence, survive for many seasons.

 
Today I finally watched the finale of Dollhouse. An excellent show that was rushed in its second and last season, and truly was not given a fair chance. Joss Whedon (the creator of Dollhouse, Firefly and Buffy tried to cram so many superb ideas in the last season, each one of those could’ve been the basis of an entire season. He probably intended for that to be the case. No matter what Joss creates, I know it’s going to be worthy of watching. But alas, it doesn’t draw enough of an audience. [Sarcastic tone]

 
Even though Terminator: the series started as a pretty average (or worse) show, when it diverged from the Terminator mythology it became significantly better. At least they finished it properly, unlike many other shows.

 
I’m not even going to mention Heroes which was a superb show in its first season but just got worse and worse – I blame the networks for that.

 
Journeyman was a pretty decent show… canceled, of course.

 
When Flashforward was made into a series and was actually better than the book I was happy. Finally a show – even one that deals with a variation of time travel – is on the air! Naively I thought that this is it. But of course, it too was canceled. I guess it was just too hard for the studio executives to understand.

 
So I ask myself: why bother? Why get attached to a show and its characters? It’s starting to feel like I’m setting myself up for disappointment.

 
And the answer comes: I don’t think I’m going to. Flashforward was the final straw. That was a really good show. Enough is enough! Particularly when the threshold for cancellation is so much higher on cable. True Blood is a fantastic show. Dexter – despite not having any aspect of fantasy or science fiction – is probably the best show I’ve ever seen. Although many of Syfy’s shows are not the greatest (i.e. Warehouse 13, Eureka), they are fun and at least you know they’re going to last a while. The Stargate franchise: SG1, Atlantis and now Universe, are all excellent shows. The franchise lasted so far, what, 15 seasons? I highly doubt it would’ve survived if it were on the networks.

 
I’m not going to mention other shows. If you’re here, you probably know what I’m talking about.

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My friend Adam created this fantastic, award-winning, short film. He’s also starring in it. Hilarious, I think :)

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I just got this movie from a friend. I think it’s literally one of the funniest online movies I’ve ever seen – top 5. Of course, I’m biased because it involves two of my all time time travel franchises: Back to the Future and the Terminator … but I’ve already said to much. Take a look and tell me what you think. I think it’s pure genius. I also like some of the subtle touches (I’ve seen Back to the Future more than any other movie ever (~25 times) and remember every scene) – clearly the maker of the movie is a fan too.

 


 

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Meeting celebrities



 

I never used to be a celebrity hunter. Through my father (who’s very famous in his field) I was introduced to many extremely famous people – the type of people that will be remembered a century from now (Ok, I’ll be more specific – more than one has won the Nobel prize for a major discovery) – and was lucky to learn at an early age that they are all just people, like you and I. Really, really smart people, but people nonetheless.

 
That being said, when I watch a movie or a television show I like, or read a book that has touched me… at times I still want to “touch” the actor/author in the sense that I want some personal contact. Ask him what he had in mind when he wrote that story or acted the part. What influenced him. Which are his favorite movies or stories?

 
I went once to a Star Trek convention. To me it was a very disappointing experience. I was expecting to feel at home (they always say that about Star Trek fans), but I didn’t – at all. Maybe I’m not enough of a Trekker even though I’ve seen all the movies, shows and most episodes. I met only a couple of actors, and was really disappointed. Not only that they didn’t strike me as fascinating human beings, they weren’t even nice ones. In fact, at times it seems like they enjoy coming to this event (I won’t say “these” since I’ve only been to one) only so they could – for just a brief while – feel like they’re above the common person. My friend Jean went to dozens of Star Trek conventions and loves them, and says many of the actors are extremely nice. Maybe I just went to the wrong one, I don’t know. But I’m not eager to try this agian.

 
However, my experience with authors has been very different. I went for a book signing/lecture with Neil Gaiman (if you haven’t read any of his books or watched any of his movies, check them out, they are *all* awesome). I didn’t care at all about his signature, I just wanted to listen to him talk, hopefully strike a brief conversation with him (which I got to do). Neil was the personification of his books. Wonderful, friendly, imaginative, fun. Exactly the opposite of the experience I described above. I left the place simply happy.

 
I also went to a book signing/lecture with Stephen R. Donaldson (again, if you like serious fantasy, you absolutely have to check his books out. I can’t review any of them as they don’t belong on this website, but – in my opinion – they are as good as the Lord of the Rings series. Seriously. Only much, much, much darker. So dark that several friends of mine had to stop almost at the very beginning). And he, too, was the personification of his books. He was witty, and intelligent, and bitter, and complex. Exactly what I expected. Exactly the sort of person that will create the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. My wife came with me and decided to read all his books after the meeting – which she loved (until that point she just didn’t have enough motivation).

 
In a very weird set of circumstances I actually got to befriend a less known author, Gur Shomron. And my experience is the same, no, even better: Gur is literally his book, exactly (he admits it too). Gur is actually one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life, and became a close friend of mine (we meet every 2-3 months for dinner, where we discuss books, entrepreneurship, technology, etc). Again, a wonderful experience. We’re even thinking of creating a computer game together that’s based on his books.

 
As great as this is, the web is making all this much easier. Through Social Media applications such as Twitter and Facebook I’ve sent questions to actors, but more often to authors who I simply find more interesting (with the exception of Brent Spiner – Data from Star Trek – who’s such a funny and witty guy – check him out on Twitter). Robert J. Sawyer, who’s one of my favorite authors (and in fact, I’ve reviewed on this site two of his books: Flashforward, and End of an Era) is my Facebook friend. Although I can’t say we’ve corresponded much, he’s always very responsive.

 
This month his book, Flashforward, is coming out as a new television show (which I have a feeling is going to be great – Time Travel is involved!). And it was simply exciting to follow the turn of events from his perspective (he frequently updates his Facebook status). Every time I ask him a question, he responds, and sounds like a really great – and funny – person. I wish I could meet him in person – and I’m sure I will at some point – but until then, this is good enough.

 
I’m just happy we live in the 21st century, when people you are a fan of (though I am a fan of no one, I don’t like the term ‘fan’) are so accessible. I’m sure that those who respond to their followers and treat them as people, and not just book/ticket buyers, find the feedback reaffirming and pleasant. If I were a writer, I’d certainly feel so.

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Chronos

It’s been a while since I updated this website. Which is a shame, since is the first content-based website I made, and has more features than any other I made afterwards. Not to mention the fact I made it truly for fun. It’s my baby.

 
The problem, however, is that I didn’t grasp how much time and effort it would require. Since April I have been working on creating my own business. This has caused me to work insane hours, and I literally mean insane: I work 7 days a week, usually until 4am. Even though this is very hard, I’m not really complaining (as I mostly enjoy what I do). However, during these few months I read a single book (yes, it was a time travel book, thanks for asking ;) ). Probably a first since I was 6. This is really unacceptable. Even worse, I’m still not financially independent – even though I believe I am getting close.

 
In the back of my mind I kept waiting for some free time to write reviews, but writing reviews (a) is a very time and energy consuming action (that is, if I want them to be good, which I do) and (b) doesn’t really pay the bills – and at the moment I need every minute I can spare to do things that pay the bills. Every minute.

 
I have toyed with the idea of even paying someone to write the occasional article. But I can’t do this. It’s not the money – it’s the quality (which I doubt will be good unless I really spend a decent amount, which I can’t afford), and more importantly, this is my baby. I also toyed with the idea of having some sort of weekly raffles (i.e. I’d give away two books per week in exchange for filling some forms – this could result in a small but noticeable revenue that would make writing reviews worth my limited time), but this seemed like too much hassle, I wanted simple forms (the first I experimented with were a nightmare), and I just don’t have the time for this administrative headache.

 
In the meanwhile, there are just so many things I want to say. I’ve created a professional blog (one that deals with issues such as Search Engine Optimization) for business reasons. At times, I have barely contained myself to write the occasional general thought on sci-fi. But I can’t, there’s an aim to that blog, and breaking those rules could really hurt my goals.

 
So here’s where we stand: Ultimate Time Travel is here to stay. It’s a matter of time before I have the luxury of time to properly tend to it, but it will eventually happen. In the meanwhile, I’ve decided to use this platform to create a sci-fi based blog – one which is not limited to Time Travel. I have so much I want to say, and it’s my site, so – I’m breaking my own rules ;) The rest of the content will be time-travel based.

 
Unlike reviews, from some reason writing blog posts is nearly effortless for me. Yes, I do require time to properly format and organize them, but it’s not like writing full book or movie reviews (which require searching for facts I’ve forgotten, setting parameters for the website to index it properly based on author, ranking and classification, etc). I don’t know whether it’s obvious, but some individual reviews on this website took me several hours to write. So I am quite certain I will write more posts.

 
The good thing is that I believe that by writing this blog, not only I will have a creative outlet, but I also believe it’ll make the site better in the eyes of the search engines. Which may actually help financially (let’s just say that the banners you see on the website don’t really bring much revenue, and that’s an understatement). So it’s a win-win for everyone.

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upcoming science fiction movies, is time travel possible, upcoming sci-fi movies

 

I haven’t written a review for quite a while. Busy doesn’t begin to describe what I’m going through. In fact, I haven’t read a book in 3 months, which is probably the first time this has happened since I’ve been 5 years old (I read a LOT of books).

 

So last week, I was happy to see that a new time travel movie (sort off) came out on DVD that I haven’t seen. If I’m not reading time travel books, I may as well watch some movies.

 

Knowing tells the story of John Koestler, a widower and a father of Caleb. One day, in Caleb’s school, a time capsule is being opened after 50 years in the ground. In case you are not familiar with the term ‘time capsule’. A time capsule is a box that is locked for a specific amount of time. In this case, the box was locked in 1959, and was filled with letters written by children depicting how they envision what the far future would look like (2009). All in all, I think this is a pretty cool idea. My school had something like this when I was 10, we had to envision the year 2000. Feels a bit silly now, doesn’t it? None on the flying cars or robots came into being.

 

But I digress…

 

When Caleb opens his letter, he finds a single page filled with numbers. He thinks it’s some kind of a 50 year old prank and doesn’t pay too much attention to it. However, his father – who’s still recovering from the loss of his wife – and as a result is continuously losing himself to alcohol – accidentally peeks at the paper.

 

What he discovers is that the series of numbers is not random. In fact, it details the date of every single major catastrophe since 1959: the precise date and the number of people who died. Almost all of these events have already occurred except for three. Strangely, there is another set of numbers John can’t fathom.

 

John becomes obsessed with trying to prevent these last three events from occurring. After the first one occurs right on top of him (yet he manages to survive), he solves out another piece of the puzzle: the last set of numbers is coordinates that define where the event is going to happen.

 

Armed with this knowledge, he tries to prevent the next catastrophe. I won’t say how this turned out, but I will say that the next – and the last – catastrophe didn’t have any coordinates at all.

 

Before we started watching with movie I told my wife that based on the trailer I think it’s going to be a somewhat unusual time travel movie. I’m not sure what made me think so, something in it just seemed out of place (and trust me, I know my time travel stories). I was right. Although a large portion of the movie deals with future knowledge and how to prevent it, there is a second story taking place. I don’t want to spoil the movie by revealing what it is about, I’ll just say that it was rather bizarre – and made the movie much less predictable than a Hollywood movie should have been.

 

All in all, I thought Knowing was a decent film. The only disadvantage – which unfortunately was not too minor – is that it felt the authors were trying to cram two stories into one. The first with the time travel aspect, and the second, with the story elements I have not discussed. As a result, the movie turned out completely unpredictable (the best types of movie for me), however, it was also quite unfocused, and some parts of the plot simply didn’t make any sense. It’s almost like two voices were competing for attention, and in the end some compromise took place (which I’m guessing is what really happened: the studios combine two stories into one).

 

If you have nothing to do and want to watch a spooky, unpredictable thriller with some time travel elements – go for it. If that’s not your thing, it might be ideal to skip this one.

 

P.S. I know I haven’t written much (or anything) lately. I still care about this site, but have less time than I ever had. At some point it will resume full activity in one form or another (either I will do it, or will get someone to help me – any volunteers?).

 

To get Knowing from Amazon click here.

 

 

 

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May
05.
Comments Off
Category: Blog Post

Sorry for being silent for a while and not providing any new reviews. Unfortunately, my day time job contract has not been extended last month, and I have been scrambling to find a solution. Although this may sound like I now have plenty of time, I’m probably the busiest unemployed person in the US :) This site I created for fun (and not for profit), so unfortunately it can’t really help me get any income. However, I am trying to find creative ways where it could at least be used for some supplementary income. Anyway, apologies for being absent – hopefully life will go back to normal soon.

 

 

 

 

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Mar
27.

I’ve finally been able to add a forum system to UltimateTimeTravel.com. Hopefully it will be a useful addition. Please let me know if you have any comments/suggestions/criticisms.

 

UltimateTimeTravel Forums

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Classification: Plot Device

 

Just in case some reader hasn’t seen any of the Terminator movies (is there such a person?). Here’s a quick recap of the series: In the very near future, Skynet, a super-powerful military computer gains consciousness and declares war on Humanity. It is a bitter and costly war, billions of humans die, and in the end we almost lose: but thanks to John Connor, a resourceful and intelligent leader, we manage to win. However, Skynet has many tricks up its sleeve: in the first movie, it sends a Terminator, a cyborg that looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger to kill Sarah, John’s mother, before he is born, hoping to alter the timeline and assure a victory. But future John is aware of this plan, and so, he sends someone, a trusted lieutenant, Kyle Reese, to protect her (which he does, quite successfully – and becomes John’s father in the process). In terminator 2, John is a young teenager, and Skynet sends a powerful, shape-shifting new type of Terminator (the T-1000) to kill him. However, future John sends a ’standard’, Terminator to protect his younger counterpart (again, oddly enough, one that looks like Schwarzenegger. A pretty bad idea, IMO).

 

Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles is the television equivalent of the Terminator movie franchise. It takes place somewhere between the second and the third movies, and presumably, things will take a different turn of events than they have in Terminator 3. In the show we follow the life of Sarah Connor, and her teenage son, John Connor – future leader of humanity and its savior against the war against the machine.

 

As it turns out, Skynet sends numerous Terminators to kill John and other important figures in the future human resistance. An additional goal of these terminators is setting up operations: machines, weapons, explosives, so that when the war begins, Skynet will be better prepared. Future John is aware of this, so he sends two of his most trusted allies to the past: Cameron, a reprogrammed female Terminator, and Derek Reese, the brother of Kyle Reese – John’s father. He also sends additional agents that work independently – though occasionally the gang has some contact with them.

 

The first season was pretty bland. We follow John’s life as a high school teenager, and episode after episode, he, his mother and Cameron hunt the occasional Terminator sent to the past. It’s not that it was a bad season, but it was just – well – not too interesting. The series does have an additional story, focusing on Cromartie, a terminator sent specifically to kill John (unlike most of the others) that has proven to be quite persistent, resourceful – and very dangerous.

 

After finishing the first season, I nearly gave up the show. It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t sure it’s good enough to justify spending time watching it. However, in the second season there was a dramatic improvement. The show stopped killing Terminators every week but started developing a much more complex plot, one that involves future flashbacks. The season included elements such as: a T-1000 (the shapeshifting new type of Terminator) being sent to the past and tries to build skynet – and strangely – teach him ethics. Riley, John’s girlfriend – who knows a lot more about the future than she lets John know. Jesse, supposedly a refugee from the future, but in reality following an agenda of her own. In the second season, Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles became much better. In fact, it’s probably my favorite Sci-Fi TV show on the air (and that’s saying a lot).

 

What I particularly liked about the second season is that it became, darker, much darker – and also – what’s the word I’m looking for: philosophical. For example, there is an episode which focuses on Cameron (the reprogrammed terminator). Since she doesn’t sleep, she likes going at night to libraries to read books and watch old movies in an attempt to gain a better understanding of humans (always a smart thing to better know your prey). During one such visit, she spots an anomaly in one of the old movies from the 20s: she recognizes a Terminator that from some reason was sent there. This causes Cameron to initiate an investigation into the matter in order to discover why was a terminator sent to such a far point of time, and how could its mission be averted.

 

(Skip if you don’t like spoilers): as we later find out, this was not the goal of Skynet: as a result of a malfunction, the poor Terminator simply arrived in the wrong time, and accidentally killed someone in a fire, causing the timeline to diverge. Determined to achieve its mission, it spends decades doing various uncharacteristic things (starting businesses, driving competitors out of business, etc) only so it could restore the timeline to what it is supposed to be, and accomplish its mission: which is to kill someone.

 

This episode is completely unrelated to the main story. In fact, a viewer could skip it and not lose anything. However, including such a ‘minor’ plot adds so much to the series. Not only it is a very intriguing mystery (why was the terminator there?) and a compelling story (how did it restore the timeline?), but we also learn a lot about terminators in general, and Cameron specifically. In my opinion, including this type of episode in a show is what turns a good series into a great series. It’s taking the time to fill in the small details. (one comparable example I can think of is ‘Lower decks’, the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that focuses on several junior officers).

 

Although the series is not over, and things may very well deteriorate, right now I’d give the first season 3.5/5.0, and the second season: 4.5/5.0. However, so far the second season just keeps improving: and I expect greatness from the next seasons. All in all, highly recommended. I just hope it won’t let us down like other shows that used to be good.

 


Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles: the first season on Amazon.com

Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles: the second season on Amazon.com

 

If you’ve seen this TV show, please vote below:

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Time Travel Movies