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- Story -
A few friends decide to go for a fun break at a ski resort and when they try out the hot tub in the chalet their staying at, their accidentally sent back in time to 1986, when their nephew was about to be concieved. Realising whats happened, small details start to happen differently in their version of 1986 than what they remember, so they realise that they better ensure their nephews mum and dad still get together or he'll cease to exist. Will time be changed forever?.
- Thoughts & Opinions -
Two words come to mind when it comes to summing up this particular movie - seriously mediocre. I usually quite enjoy time travel based movies, the premise behind them and I presumed this movie would be pretty zany, not heavy on plot but quite funny in a daft way, I guess and quite saucy, which the former it isn't really but the latter; it is.
As far as the time travel element of it is concerned, the movie definitely takes elements from the first Back to the Future movie (which fans of that movie should recognise given the basic storyline mentioned above) in that the characters go back in time and have to ensure the same course of events happen to ensure someone still comes into being, as it were - thinking about it, they go back in time to 1986, which is the year that Back to the Future (the original movie) was made and that the present was based in. The main difference with this movie is that there's alot less of a story behind it, there's no real deadline or even clear reason why their back in time - well ok there *is* but it doesn't come across much in the movie, its certainly not edge of your seat material in any way. This is a movie that will, in my mind, mainly appeal to adolescent men, with heavy use of strong language and sexual references, plus drug references.
I knew not to expect much from this but all the same, it really didn't interest me much at all. The characters all came across as quite smug, petty and selfish, plus (in my humble opinion) there was too much dialogue and not much in the way of action or intrigue, so I felt bored and distracted. This movie definitely has the 'gross out' factor that teenage boys enjoy but I don't think it'll appeal to many people outside the teens to early 20s age range.
Probably one of the main or only reasons to watch this movie would be the presence of quite a few classic 1980s American power ballads, although it might be eaiser just to buy the soundtrack instead, or even better I'd recommend the American Anthems compilations but thats a side point I suppose...anyway I'd say there is an element of 80s nostalgia present in the movie. There's one or two fairly amusing scenes but it still doesn't really save the movie for me, as it were. To me this movie doesn't really stand out, its not a movie that your likely to look back on fondly after having seen it, if anything it might be better viewed when somewhat tipsy, then you might find it more funny - when it comes to similar movies based around a group of fun loving middle aged men, I'd think of movies such as The Hangover, which also appeals to a similar adolescent audience as well as to a slightly older audience and that movie I thought was funnier and more entertaining, personally, by way of comparison. I think if there were more in the way of visual comedy then this could have been better but there wasn't enough to it (as it were) to keep me feeling particularly interested in the characters or the eventual outcome, although I do think that perhaps younger males may enjoy it more than me for some of the dialogue but if their/your looking for a strong plot and some decent action then you'd likely still be disappointed. Overall im giving this a 2 star rating as some might find it somewhat amusing but other than that, its really not worth bothering with, in my opinion.
- Would I Recommend It? -
Funnily enough, no I wouldn't recommend it. This doesn't cover any new ground and isn't even particularly funny, as I'd hoped it might be. There's too much dialogue and not enough drama and so I found myself feeling bored and distracted at least by mid way through the movie. If you like heavy swearing and the 'gross out factor' and enjoy movies about middle aged men going back in time to rekindle relationships/mess around with women then you may enjoy this but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it, certainly as a time travel movie it wasn't much cop.
Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all rates and comments.
It's a very brave or very stupid film that dares to take on Back to the Future. The 80s time travel tale has become such a favourite that attempts to step into its territory could be seen as sacrilege.
Yet that's exactly what Hot Tub Time Machine does. Replace the time travelling DeLorean with a hot tub, exchange Marty and the Doc with three adult friends and a young geek and send them back in time, and you've got pretty much the same deal. They even have the cheek to visit the same decade and have a running gag featuring Crispin Glover (the original George McFly).
Even the plot is not that different. A group of friends whose lives have not panned out as they expected get a chance to relive their youth when they a hot tub (what else?!) sends them back to 1986. Once there, they need to make sure that everything they did first time around happens again; otherwise the consequences could be very serious.
What when I first saw this advertised at the cinema, I made a conscious decision to avoid it. It looked like the sort of "hilarious" film that would normally star Seth Rogen - a crude and only intermittently funny piece full of jokes about sex and bodily fluids. I finally caught it when it was on TV and, at the risk of damning it with faint praise, Hot Tub Time Machine is not as bad as it sounds.
Inevitably it does have its share of gags about sex, a bit of mild nudity and lots of swearing. Yet it's not as outright crude as some of its stable mates. It might not be something you'd want to sit down and watch with your mother, but neither is it utterly offensive. Yes, there are a few visual (and verbal) jokes relating to vomit or bodily functions, but these are balanced against some strong situational jokes and banter between characters. HTTM is perhaps best described as the love-child of Porkies, Animal House and Back to the Future; it's a love letter to 80s films from the perspective of a new Millennium.
What surprised me most was the range of humour on show. It wasn't just a one-note wonder but had a range of things up its sleeve to make you laugh. The running gag with Crispin Glover is particularly amusing. Almost against my wishes, Hot Tub Time Machine really made me laugh. OK, so there are jokes which mis-fire, but these are not so numerous that they spoil the film.
The cast is an odd one, but one which works. John Cusack returns to form after a series of poor choices and gets to exercise his undoubted comedic muscles. Cusack is a naturally funny guy when he allows himself to be; his delivery of even the most ordinary of lines and the way he looks at people can be amusing in itself. Give him some daft dialogue and he really comes into his own.
Rob Corddry is brilliant as perennial loser Lou, whose slide into depression and alcoholism can be traced back to this very winter of 1986. OK, he has got the most obviously funny part -he is essentially the man-child of the piece - but he seizes the opportunity with glee, stealing the film from under the nose of his more famous counterpart. He even manages to make you feel sorry for Lou, even though his character is deeply selfish.
Cusack and Corddry certainly get the best deal from the script. Clark Duke is fine as teenage nerd Jacob, but it's an underwritten role which borders on cliché. He is also saddled with having to drive the plot forward much of the time and this limits his opportunities for comedy.
Least well served is Craig Robinson as Nick who is side-lined for much of the film and rarely gets a moment to shine on his own. Having said that, he does have a particularly fine moment which sees him in 1986 haranguing his then 9 year old future wife over the phone over an affair he believe she is having!
It's hard not to like this bunch of lovable losers, disillusioned with the path their lives have taken. Like so many childhood friendships, they have drifted apart as work and wives took priority and have lost a vital connection that linked them. Needless to say, during the course of the film, they start to find this again but thanks to some spot-on performances, this never feels forced or saccharine sweet.
I expected very little from Hot Tub Time Machine and so was pleasantly surprised. It's a love letter to those great films of the 80s with a few knob gags thrown in for good measure. It captures the spirit of those earlier films, channelling the innocence and charm of Back to the Future with the sex comedy elements of Porky's. Not essential viewing by any stretch of the imagination, but not a total waste of time either.
Hot Tub Time Machine
Director: Steve Pink
Running time: approx. 101 minutes
(c) Copyright SWSt 2013
Hot Tub Time Machine just shouldn't work on any level but it really does. From the title of the film onwards, this is a film that is happy to absolutely deny its own credibility at every moment and it is really funny for it.
Three middle aged friends whose lives are falling apart decide to head back to the ski lodge mountain resort where they enjoyed their best moments during their teenage years, Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson) and Lou (Rob Corddry) are joined by Adam's geeky nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) who Adam feels really needs to live in the real world more.
On arriving at the ski resort they realise that some faces are the same but that this buzzing metropolis of debauchery is now a dying relic. Gutted with their continued failure they open some beers (And some strange Russian energy drinks) and try out the time machine. Following a fairly heavy night they wake up in the resort with their teenage faces and bodies but current personalities.
What follows is a mockery of everything that could have been perceived as cool in the 80's, the clothes the hair, the music, everything is parodied, however whilst reliving the best days (for most of them) of their lives, the guys contemplate whether this really was their golden era or whether they have more to live for than they possibly believe.
This is a quality film, at first I was a bit disgusted that Cusack, an actor who generally guarantees quality films was associated with this, but I get it, like Grossepoint Blank (Which I believe was directed by the same guy), this is a low budget indie film that film loves should love. Cusack is the calm anchor of the film, he is funny and knowing whilst being a man on a downward trajectory, Craig Robinson follows up good work in 'The Office' and 'Eastbound and Down' with a great comedic performance, my favourite moment of his is when he raps to the crowds and works in a couple of modern classics. However the two real stars of the film are Clark Duke as Jacob a kid who many would say is the next 'Jonah Hill' a slightly overweight geeky kid with a line in fast remarks and comedic timing, he is a stand out alongside the excellent Rob Corddry who plays Lou, the ultimate loser, his performance is low rent and seedy and utterly compelling, he makes himself utterly dislikeable but with a chance of redemption.
The film has some excellent set pieces as well as some great music and acting, it is a slow burner and has some laugh out loud moments, it is gross and there is nudity but underlying this is a smart script, shrewd direction and some killer acting which really sets it apart from other films of this genre, Crispin Glover deserves a special shout out for a quality performance, the latest in a long line of quirky performances. If you like films about hot tubs, films about time machines, or films with fruity language that would make your nan blush this is for you, if not, then I think American Pie are making episode 26 sometime soon.
Please be aware this is a film only review and some of the language and scenes are absolutely for over 18's only.
Lou: It's called male bonding okay. Haven't you even seen 'Wild Hogs'?
Nick: It must be some kind of hot tub time machine... (As he makes a deadpan face into camera)
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Adam, Nick and Lou are all old school friends and now they are men they are all suffering from problematic and boring lives. Lou has an accident and ends up in hospital where the doctors think he tried to kill himself and as a result his friends have to step in to help him.
The trio along with Adam's nephew Jacob head off on holiday to a resort they last visited in 1986 and try to relive some of the memories. They make use of the hot tub which the suit has but things go wrong and they end up going back in time to 1986. They soon learnt hat they must try and make sure they do things exactly the same way as they did before or they face changing the course of history.
Can the men try and relive the past or will they alter their futures and what will it mean for Jacob who is not yet even born?
To be perfectly honest this film never really appealed to me but hubby quite fancied it so I decided to give it a watch. I was actually quite surprised by the film and found some of the parts quite funny. The story was good but nothing very new and original. I think it was helped along with the humour and some good acting. I think I would have liked a little more from the story though because as it stood I did find it was very predictable and I had worked out the ending from half way through the film. This may be a good thing for some as it means you don't have to concentrate fully on what is going on but for me I would have liked another twist or big event to have happened at the end of the film.
The acting was pretty good. John Cusack played the lead role of Adam and I felt he did a good job. He came across in a good way and was easy to get to know. I liked his way of living and felt he handled the whole time travelling very well. He seemed at ease with his lines and even the humour and he did give me a good few chuckles. The role of Nick was also a strong one, played by Craig Robinson, he came across as quite weak at times with what was happening in his life but he acted this way very well and I did at times feel sorry for him. I like how he was also able to take the serious nature away from his problems with his comedy timing. There was the role of Jacob which I did enjoy too, he was played by Clark Dude and he seemed the only sensible one in the film. He was strong and I loved how he would be shocked by some of the antics which went on. I though he handled the comedy timing with ease and think he has a bright acting future ahead of him.
There was one role which I really did not like in the film and that was Lou, he was played by Rob Corddry. He was always drunk and full of self pity. I hated him right from the start of the film and could not warm to him at all. I think they played too much to his weaknesses and maybe if he was made slightly stronger and more caring I would have got to like him. He did also have some very good support actors in the film and I felt they were good and gave a little depth to the story.
The film was set in the present day at the start but we soon moved back to 1986 and I did enjoy this aspect of the film. The clothes were hilarious and the appearance of the men was also very funny. I loved how the old fashioned ways were shown and how there was very limited technology. I felt they were able to bring a lot of laughs from the year of this film and don't think it would have worked as well had this been set in a different year. I felt the props, sets and costumes were all very fitting and worked very well indeed. I have to say that due to the year of this film we got an excellent soundtrack. I felt the modern songs were all good and lively and then when we moved to the older soundtrack I had to ask hubby to stop toe tapping and singing along, this was his era, as it was quite annoying. I did enjoy all of the tracks used and feel this would be a very good soundtrack for all fans of the 80's music.
I did find the humour a little mixed. We had a lot of spoken gags which all had perfect timing and the actors were able to bounce of each other with ease and this all worked. Then we moved to the visual gags and some of them did not work. I felt the majority were good and fitting for the film but one or two, the ones which involved the character of Lou were a little out of place and not needed. I felt they made the film go towards a teen comedy film and they were a let down. The projectile vomiting scenes really was not needed and it did actually make me feel sick rather than make me laugh.
This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 101 minutes and I felt this was more than long enough. The rate is a 15 and I do agree with this as there is a lot of swearing right from the start, nudity and sex also feature a lot in this film so it is certainly not suitable for the younger audience. The DVD can be widely bought and is priced at around £7. The film is currently being shown on Sky Premier and Anytime TV so try to catch it there is you can.
I am happy to recommend this film and give it 4 stars. I enjoyed the story and had a few good laughs. I did however feel some of the gags were not fitting for the film and there was one weak character. The ending is good but very predictable. Overall this is a good film which deserves a watch but try to get the best possible price or catch it on sky for free.