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Good Old Fashioned Time Travel
Member Name: LaptopAcidX
Date: 27/08/09, updated on 27/08/09 (30 review reads)
Advantages: IDEAS IDEAS IDEAS - Plot, execution, acting, script.
Disadvantages: None or the entire plot, but you'd have to watch it to understand.
Let's get the basics out of the way, it's Spanish, it was made in 2007 by Nacho Vigalondo who wrote, directed and plays a supporting role. The plot in it's simplest terms concerns Hector (Karra Elejalde)who accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back about an hour in time, setting off a series of seemingly minor mishaps with unforeseeable consequences as he attempts to put things right.
Los cronocrímenes is supremely intelligent, taking ideas from just about every time travel film ever and getting rid of all the unnecessary bits, it's so down to earth it's practically a kitchen sink sci-fi film. At times it's like a farce, it reminded me of The Simpsons Halloween Special time toaster segment and Hector is as moronic as Homer. You want to hit him except he gets battered at every turn and he's endearing as he learns from his (horrendous) mistakes, although the ending is ambiguous to say the least. It's apparently being remade by the Americans, but I don't know how they'll dumb it down enough to get it to make money.
There are possibly plot holes. I mean why isn't a time machine heavily guarded? It's in a house next door, with no one working on it at the weekends, but I say possibly because it's so ridiculous it's charming. Maybe it's just a cultural difference, because we live in the most surveilled country in the world I can't my head around the fact some Spanish guy has a time machine in his garage. I suppose it's possible, look at the DeLorean in Back To The Future (and Butterfly Effect, and Terminator) which Los cronocrímenes emulates on a much smaller and considerably more intelligent scale.
I've said this before, this thing about ideas, that's all a film needs, if the ideas are strong enough they'll gloss over all the cracks, not that there are many in Los cronocrímenes because depending on your point of view, one man's plot hole is another man's paradox. Technically it's reminiscent of Spielberg but plot wise it reminded me of classic sixties British sci-fi like Quatermass and Invasion and Timeslip, films that relied on ideas, films whose priority was to entertain rather than gouge cash.
In case you hadn't realised, I loved this film. It is low budget and high brow but not pretentious. It's tense, and engaging and efficient it's clever without being smug. There's no CGI, or shaky cam, yes a modern low budget sci-fi film where they could afford a tripod and a crane. Michael Bay should be forced to watch, to see how to make a film that entertains beyond the trailer. Afterward he would hopefully shoot himself in the head, knowing he could never come close to producing something like Los cronocrímenes because he has no imagination. Failing that, I could go back in time and shoot him myself.
Written for www.nefarious.co.uk
Summary: Awesome little time travel film, that probably eclipses any other.