Thrill Seekers (1999 TV Movie)
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While the movie is relatively fast paced and manages to steer clear of too many cliches, it is unfortunately marred by a couple of gaping plot holes. However, it is nice to know that Casper Van Dien can actually act, and he manages to do a decent job on this one.
So, the final verdict: not too bad SF, and fairly good entertainment for two hours. 3.5/5
It's simple....just when you've seen just about every "back in time", "ahead into the future" film......along comes The Thrill Seekers with a unique angle....a man joy riding through disasters. Makes me think of what it would have been like to be on the Titanic, Hindenberg...even the World Trade Center. Don't particularly know the actors all that well. I was sold on just the story itself. It made me walk away wondering what it would be like to travel back to famous/infamous dates in time.
If you walk away and find yourself thinking about a movie's plot a year after seeing it....doesn't it deserve a 10?
Acting? Directing? Lighting? Script?
It was simply fun.
I agree with what he said too....haha I was not expecting much of this movie, because it was obviously made for TV. The summary in the TV guide made it sound interesting, although it was not exactly clear what the movie was about. I'm glad I didn't give it a miss, because it really was worth watching. I think it took me about 20 minutes to understand exactly what was going on, and that Caspar Van Dien's character was not going to be the one doing the time travelling, but once I realised that, I really began to enjoy the movie. It's not often nowadays that I sit through an entire movie, and am glued to the screen, but I was with this one and it wasn't entirely predictable either. I like a movie that makes you think about the situations it portrays, and time travel is a fascinating topic. The acting probably wasn't perfect, but I've seen much worse, and I put this movie on the same level as "Deep Impact" - it has substance.
Primarily, this is due to Casper Van Dien, who plays the starring role, which involves a lot of running around frantically, determined to explain what's going on to himself and others through various natural disasters.
Who should see this film:
-- Science fiction movie buffs
-- Action movie buffs comfortable with the science fiction genre and with nothing better to do
-- Time-travelers looking to waste a little time in-between stops
I'll give "The Time Shifters", which you can find in video rental, a 7 out of 10.
Every action you perform has an impact, not a sudden one but in a few years it changes the course that history would have taken. This is why you can find yourself sympathizing with the bad guys who arent really depicted as bad guys in this movie. Maybe it would be wise to let nature take its course and not interfere with history because it could have devastating effects in the future.
One question of logic though. If Merrick goes back into his original time line, the time guards would also be in there, but unaffected by what will happen later. In the film, they follow Merrick back from the future. The film does not explain this. But the question doesn't end there. If you go back to when you were 3 hours earlier, you would also not yet have any memories of what was going to happen those next 3 hours. Merrick and the time guards should not have had any knowledge of the disaster happening 3 hours in the future.
I also wonder how the title sequence relates to the film. I admit I wasn't paying a lot of attention, trying to figure out when Martin Sheen would be mentioned, but in retrospect I wonder if there wasn't any subtle message in the sequence?
Casper Van Dien plays Tom Merrick, an ex-TV-journalist trying to put his life back together after an accident cost his crew their lives and him his job. He goes to work as a reporter for a local tabloid, and while investigating disasters of the 20th century, he stumbles upon an incredible coincidence; pictures taken at 3 disasters several decades apart include what appears to be the same man. Catherine Bell plays Elizabeth Wintern, another worker at the tabloid who gets caught up in Merrick's quest to find out who this man is. Merrick and Wintern eventually learn that a company in the future is offering entertainment packages, allowing people to go back in time and witness history's greatest disasters... including some that haven't happened yet as far as Merrick and Wintern are concerned. Merrick takes it upon himself to stop these impending disasters, and finds himself pursued by both "temporal security agents" who are trying to keep their timeline intact, and by local police who think Merrick has planned these events himself.
Don't take my compliments at face value; the movie is far from perfect. There are several plot holes and gloss-overs. I found the writers' ideas on how time travel works to be inconsistent in places. Martin Sheen is completely wasted in his role, having all of maybe 5 minutes of screen time. Finally, in many places I began wondering who I should really root for. Merrick is supposed to be the hero of the movie, trying to keep these "future" disasters from occurring, but at the same time, I could sympathize with the people from the future trying to stop him, especially after I learned what Merrick's actions cause to the future population.
Pitfalls aside, this is an engaging, well-acted movie that will make you think about the morality of time travel. A very solid 6 out of 10.
What is really intriguing is the script, which does not rely on the typical B-movie thriller baddies. All characters really *are* characters, the supposed baddies actually have good reasons to hunt down the two main characters. There's even two juxtaposed dialogues spelling it out for the sake of the usual couch potato.
Even more surprising is the stand on Free Will the scrípt takes as Casper van Dien tells Catherine Bell that their hunters may try to safe their own past, but he has all his future in front of him. As long as we cannot predict the future in any meaningful way (lets say with 100% assurance) we have a contingency of decisions, which all influence the future.
In the hands of a more visionary director, with some changes to the cast and made for the big screen it could have been one of the best sci-fi thrillers for a long time - and much more interesting than *Blade Runner* or the second and third installment of *Matrix*.
The changing of the disasters in the present ends up changing the future, causing major problems there, leading Grifasi (played by Martin Sheen) to send two agents named Cortez and Miller into the past to stop the protagonist. Even so, the protagonist Tom Merrick (played by Casper Van Dien) does the right thing by saving lives, although he does let one of the time-traveling tourists die when he stops the train accident but he does stop a plane crash. He even travels back in time from the disaster at the colosseum to save his son, a researcher named Elizabeth Wintern (played by Catherine Bell) and thousands of others. Even so, the grotesque tourism of those from the future visiting disasters of the past continues onward in the film's closing moments, showing that little has changed in that regard.
In terms of technology and other aspects of the movie it is funny to see it now, with signs advertizing Zennith or early versions of portable phones, which we would utterly laugh at now. Additionally, the notebook that becomes a screen is a bit like the netbooks and tablets of the present. I'm not sure how one could communicate from the future to the present but it does make a good narrative device. The two agents chasing Merrick and Wintern do a pretty bad job to be honest...almost thinking he is dumber than he actually is.
If I got the chance I would watch this movie again.
This movie shows that really well.
I particularly liked the development of the character of FBI agent Stanton with his watch. I only wish the director had thought of giving the character more time on screen.