Rent Time After Time (1979)

3.5 of 5 from 76 ratings
1h 52min
Rent Time After Time Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
London 1893 is home to a killer with a macabre nickname...and also to a visionary genius who would write 'The Time Machine'. But what if H.G. Wells' invention wasn't fiction? And what if Jack the Ripper escaped capture, fleeing his own time to take refuge in ours - with Wells himself in pursuit? From writer/director Nicholas Meyer, 'Time After Time' is a marvelous entertainment of shivery suspense and sly social comment. In modern-day San Francisco, the Ripper (David Warner) finds our violent age to his liking. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) dislikes the brave new world of fast food and television, far from the utopia he envisioned.
But he is cheered by the emancipation of women, particularly one irresistible banker (Mary Steenburgen). For mystery, romance and excitement, 'Time After Time' is time well spent.
Actors:
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Directors:
Producers:
Herb Jaffe
Writers:
Karl Alexander, Nicholas Meyer, Steve Hayes
Studio:
7art pictures
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
24/09/2018
Run Time:
112 minutes
Languages:
Castilian Spanish, Dubbed, English
Subtitles:
None
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
24/09/2018
Run Time:
112 minutes
Languages:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Feature-Length Commentary by Malcolm McDowell and Writer/Director Nicholas Meyer
  • Theatrical Trailer

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Reviews (1) of Time After Time

All the ingredients of a cult classic but fails to deliver - Time After Time review by RJ

Spoiler Alert
03/03/2020

The high-concept premise of this film sounds irresistible - H.G. Wells uses his time machine to pursue Jack the Ripper from Victorian London to 1970s San Francisco - but it turns out to be less fun than you might imagine.

It starts promisingly enough, with a satisfyingly unconvincing evocation of the streets of Victorian London, during a prologue in which the Ripper is unmasked before making his escape via Wells' homemade time machine. Luckily, as he does not have the "non-return key" (yes, really), the machine automatically returns to its starting point and Wells considers himself duty bound to pursue the escaped murderer.

Sadly this early promise is not sustained for long. Once the characters have arrived in the contemporary setting, the filmmakers seem unsure what kind of tone to adopt and how seriously they intend the material to be taken. There are a few half-hearted bits of fish-out-of-water comedy, one or two desultory attempts at social commentary, and also what seems to be a genuine attempt to make a tense, exciting thriller. Overall, it isn't directed with the zest and energy required for such a self-evidently bonkers plot.

This lethargy is largely reflected in the acting as well. David Warner and Malcolm McDowell are both good actors, but they seem oddly subdued here. Warner's Ripper is tame and bloodless so there is no real sense of menace, whilst McDowell's Wells is a dull hero. Mary Steenburgen is better as Wells' love interest, but unfortunately her character, initially quite interesting, gradually diminishes to that of damsel in distress.

The final nail in the coffin - the curse of most, if not all, time travel narratives - is that it keeps tripping up on its own logic. To accept the sense of jeopardy that the narrative attempts to create, you have to ignore the fact that Wells could just use his machine to go back in time over and over again, in the manner of Groundhog Day or Source Code, until he achieved the required outcome.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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