Monday, November 12, 2012
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed
This is written on the poster :) In case it wasn't visible enough. And it represents a classified ad from '97 published in a bi-monthly US magazine targeting mainly .. life on a farm, around the farm, etc. For real. Meaning that's what really happened + an P.O. Box address that I didn't reproduce. What's not that real is the part with "This is not a joke". Actually it is a joke, and you can find the complete story here: The time-travel ad . To put it short, the editor needed something to fill up the page. Of course, the conspiracy theory says that's just a late cover-up excuse :) especially given the context in which that ad cause a lot of online activity at the time and after with responses, investigations, theories, other following ads, and so on. I remember that I stumbled into this a while ago (before the author's explanation) and I lost I think something like 30 minutes surfing from link to link and getting more and more amazed up to what something like this can go (+ I caught some other publicly made "time travel" tracks, with a trust degree ranging from "hmmm..." up to "this is laaame"). I never thought though that the ad will generate also a movie script. And I have to say it now that this wasn't bad at all to happen ...
The movie is an indie with not too many actors, and surprisingly for the budget also featuring some nice effects on the ending. It starts with the idea of investigating the above ad. The inquiry is lead by a journalist, who is more interested in finding his high school girlfriend, who by chance lives in the same city with the ad author. Consequently, the job is actually done mostly by two interns, freshly college graduates - an Indian with a classic geek/nerd profile and a girl a bit too fed up with the everyday life. Actually the job is done mostly by the last of them, who seems the only one able to successfully interact with the ad author. Author, who in the movie is a measly supermarket employee, apparently having some mental issues, but possessing a big hangar, lots of spare parts and a time machine made of these + an even bigger ambition to travel into the past. Well, there is more to say from the subject but I don't want to spoil something that can be a very pleasant hour and a half in front of a screen.
Essentially the movie is a comedy, that gets also a bit into romance from a point onwards (reaching up to some scenes which were a bit too corny at least for me). And obviously we can't ignore the "SF" = the time machine. Without getting into spoilers about this, something deserves a note: if you're carefully watching the action flow you'll have a way to explain yourself the "I have only done this once before" part ;) in case you'll feel the need to. And you might feel the need to if after the ending you'll read again the ad :)
Rating: 4 out of 5