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Donnie Darko

The Time Machine

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Source Code

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Tomorrowland



Time travel is a common theme in science fiction and fantasy, and it has been depicted in a variety of media from prose fiction to television and other advertisements. It can be the central theme of the plot, or merely a plot device to set the story in motion.

Whereas hard science fiction may examine the causes and effects of time travel paradoxes, soft science fiction and science fantasy may ignore negative aspects and focus on fantastic wonders and adventures.

Time travel themes can include: Changing the past; Alternate future, history, timelines, and dimensions; Butterfly effect; Communication from the future; Precognition; Time loop; Time paradox; Time slip; and Time war.



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Planet of the Apes - 1968


The Terminator - 1984 to 2009


Back to the Future - 1985


12 Monkeys - 1998


Donnie Darko - 2001


The Time Machine - 2002


Déjà Vu - 2006


Stargate: Continuum - 2008


Source Code - 2011


Looper - 2012


Tomorrowland - 2015


Brief Highlights on other Time Travel Sci-Fi Film






The Time Machine - 1960


On January 5, 1900, four friends arrive for a dinner at the house of H. George Wells (Rod Taylor), who staggers in to describe his strange experiences. Earlier, Wells had described time as "the fourth dimension" to David Filby (Alan Young) and Dr. Philip Hillyer (Sebastian Cabot). He showed them a small machine that he claimed can travel in time. The friends are dismissive, saying that it is preposterous, despite the model transporting a cigar through time.


Wells uses a larger time machine to travel 17 years into the future, where he meets Filby's son James and learns of Filby's death in the Great War. Wells then travels to June 19, 1940, into the midst of "a new war", stopping briefly when his machine is buffeted from side to side. He stops in August 19, 1966, in a futuristic metropolis. He is puzzled to see people hurrying into a fallout shelter amid the blare of air raid sirens. An elderly James Filby tells him to get into the shelter. James is surprised that Wells has not aged.


A nuclear explosion causes a volcano to erupt. Civilization is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. Wells restarts the machine just in time to avoid being incinerated, but lava covers the machine, then cools and hardens, forcing him to travel far into the future until it erodes away. He stops the machine in the year 802,701, next to a low building with a large sphinx on top. He spots a woman drowning while others are indifferent. Wells rescues her, but is surprised by her lack of gratitude. She calls herself Weena (Yvette Mimieux) and her people the Eloi.


Wells questions the Eloi about their civilization and finds they have no books. He discovers that the time machine has been locked inside the sphinx building. Weena follows Wells and insists they go back, for fear of "Morlocks" at night. A Morlock jumps out of the bushes and tries to drag Weena off, but Wells rescues her. The next day, Weena shows Wells what appear to be domed well-like air-shafts in the ground. She then takes him to an ancient museum, where "talking rings" tell of a centuries-long nuclear war.

One group of survivors remained underground in the shelters and evolved into the Morlocks, while the other group returned to the surface and became the Eloi. Wells climbs down a shaft, but turns back when a siren blares from atop the sphinx building. Weena and the rest of the Eloi enter a trance-like state, and complacently file through the now-open doors of the building. When the siren stops, the doors close, trapping Weena and others inside. To rescue Weena, Wells climbs down a shaft and enters the subterranean caverns.


He is horrified to discover that the Eloi are little more than free range livestock to the Morlocks. He fights the Morlocks, aided by the Eloi, who prove not to be completely helpless. Before escaping with the Eloi up the shaft, he starts a fire that spreads through the cavern. Under his direction, the Eloi drop dry tree branches into the shafts to feed the fire.

The entire area caves in, crushing and suffocating most of the Morlocks below. The next morning, Wells finds the sphinx building in charred ruins and the doors open again, with his time machine sitting just inside the entrance. He enters to retrieve the machine, but the doors close behind him and he is attacked by the remaining Morlocks.


He uses the time machine to escape, returning to January 5, 1900, in time to meet his old friends for dinner and tell them about his adventure. Wells's friends scoff at his story, but he finds Weena's flower in his coat pocket, convincing Filby. Wells leaves again in the time machine back to the future. Filby notices tracks where Wells dragged the machine back to its original location before leaving so that he would be outside the sphinx building when he returns to the future. Filby and Wells's housekeeper notice three books are missing from Wells's library.





Timecop - 1994

When the ability to travel through time is perfected, a new type of law enforcement agency is formed. It's called Time Enforcement Commission or TEC. A cop, Max Walker, is assigned to the group. On the day he was chosen, some men attack him and kill his wife. Ten years later Max is still grieving but has become a good agent for the TEC. He tracks down a former co-worker who went into the past to make money. Max brings him back for sentencing but not after telling Max that Senator McComb, the man in charge of TEC, sent him. Max has his eye on McComb.





Frequency - 2000

A rare atmospheric phenomenon allows a New York City firefighter to communicate with his son 30 years in the future via short-wave radio. The son uses this opportunity to warn the father of his impending death in a warehouse fire, and manages to save his life. However, what he does not realize is that changing history has triggered a new set of tragic events, including the murder of his mother. The two men must now work together, 30 years apart, to find the murderer before he strikes so that they can change history--again.





Timeline - 2003

In the heart of the historically rich Dordogne Valley of France, a team of archeology students and their professor diligently work to uncover the ruins of a 14th-century castle. Professor Edward Johnston has made major strides in unearthing not only La Roque Castle but also a monastery and structures from the surrounding village of Castlegard. But things are about to go haywire. Suspicious of the dig's benefactor, International Technology Corporation (ITC) and the man who runs it, Robert Doniger, Professor Johnston heads to ITC headquarters in New Mexico to get some answers.


While he's away, his students discover a chamber that has been sealed for more than 600 years. Although he meant for Doniger's new invention -- a machine that can actually transmit three-dimensional objects through space to revolutionize shipping, Doniger inadvertently opened a wormhole that leads directly to the 14th century, and Professor Johnston, who had insisted on experiencing the discovery himself, is now trapped in a vicious French vs. English feudal war.





Primer - 2004

At night and on weekends, four men in a suburban garage have built a cottage industry of error-checking devices. But, they know that there is something more. There is some idea, some mechanism, some accidental side effect that is standing between them and a pure leap of innovation. And so, through trial and error they are building the device that is missing most.


Although the device seems to work as planned, it has a side effect: a timepiece left in the device shows the watch has experienced about 1300 times the amount of time the device was activated for. Abe reasons that they have created a time machine. However, two of these men find the device and immediately realize that it is too valuable to market. The limit of their trust in each other is strained when they are faced with the question, If you always want what you can't have, what do you want when you can have anything?





The Butterfly Effect - 2004

Evan Treborn grows up in a small town with his single, working mother and his friends. He suffers from memory blackouts where he suddenly finds himself somewhere else, confused. Evan's friends and mother hardly believe him, thinking he makes it up just to get out of trouble. As Evan grows up he has fewer of these blackouts until he seems to have recovered. Since the age of seven he has written a diary of his blackout moments so he can remember what happens. One day at college he starts to read one of his old diaries, and suddenly a flashback hits him like a brick!





The Jacket - 2005

In 1991, in Iraq, the military Jack Starks is shot in the head and presumed dead. When he blinks his eyes in the morgue, the doctor is called. One year later, after being discharged from the army, while hitchhiking in a road in Vermont having amnesia problem, he helps a drunken woman, Jean Price, and her daughter, Jackie Price, fixing their car. Later, he gets a lift, but the driver is stopped by the police and kills the policeman with three shots.


Jack is also shot in the head and incriminated by the real killer, who leaves his gun close to the fainted Jack. He goes to court and is sentenced to the mental institution Alpine Grove for insane criminals. Jack becomes the experiment of Dr. Thomas Becker, who drugs and dresses him with a jacket and lock him in a drawer for corpses in the morgue. While locked, Jack travels to 2007, where he meets a grown-up Jackie Price and they fall in love for each other. Jack envisions that the only exit from the institution is though the jacket.





The Time Traveler's Wife - 2009

In Chicago, the special collections librarian Henry DeTamble has a genetic anomaly that allows him to travel in time; however, he is not able to control the moment or the destiny of his voyages. When the stranger Clare Abshire meets him in the library, she invites him to have dinner with her in his favorite restaurant Beau Thai where she confesses that she has been in love with him since she was six years old. Henry leans that he had visited her many times in the real state of her parents and he falls in love with her. Sooner they get married, but the life of Clare becomes troubled with the successive unexpected travels of her beloved husband.



Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com



Time Travel Main

12 Monkeys

Donnie Darko

The Time Machine

Déjà Vu

Source Code

Looper

Tomorrowland



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