Posts Tagged ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’


hot-tub-time-machine“Hot Tub Time Machine” has a Frank Capra life is wonderful feel. The story of three old friends who try and relive the wildest weekend of their lives, and literally jump back in time all the way to the Regan years, is Capra-esque… if Capra swore like a sailor and infused his movies with sexual humor and vomit gags.

Following the attempted suicide of Lou (Rob Corddry) his only two friends Adam (John Cusack) and Nick (Craig Robinson), try and cheer him with a trip to the scene of their greatest party weekend ever—the Kodiack Valley Lodge. The place has seen better days, but through a magical combination of a hot tub and some illegal Russian Red Bull they are transported back in time to a sea of fluorescent coloured ski suits, Walk men and oversized Ray Bans—a.k.a. the Regan years. To a soundtrack of 80s hits like “Kick Start My Heart” and “Safety Dance” the guys and Adam’s nephew (Clark Duke) grapple with the mysteries of the space and time continuum. By exactly recreating the Winter Fest 86 weekend they hope to find a crack in time and get back to present day. Of course, the only thing more complicated than a fissure in time is three middle aged guys with a case stuffed with cocaine and booze.

I’m sure director Steve Pink (and producer Cusack) are likely hoping to emulate the success of that other recent buddy comedy of bad manners “The Hangover.” They have a good chance—it’s the only comedy opening this weekend—but its sense of absurdity and disjointed feel may dampen audience enthusiasm a tad.

Having said that, the movie aims to please audiences who would pay to see a movie called “Hot Tub Time Machine;” the nudity—both male and female—you’d expect from a whirlpool movie is in place, although just enough to keep it on this side of a PG rating. There’s also loads of Apatow style toilet jokes, barfing and off colour jokes, but what good time audiences may not be as prepared for the sentimentality that follows the Cusack character. Luckily that and the “will it be their chance to start over” dilemma is dispensed with fairly quickly and only briefly throws the movie off balance.

Comedy wise “Hot Tub Time Machine” belongs to the lesser known members of the cast. Corddry, best remembered as the manic second banana in movies like “Blades of Glory” and “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” is off the hook as the volatile Lou. Rather than worry about the consequences of tampering with time, he looks at the upside of a slightly altered world—a future where Miley Cyrus doesn’t exist and “Manimal” is still on the air. Finally someone has figured out how to put Corddry`s unhinged energy to good use.

Craig Robison, seen every week on “The Office” and, recently, as the best thing in lame movies like “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard,” and “Miss March,” brings a great deadpan to the mix and owns several of the film’s funniest moments.

“Hot Tub Time Machine” could have been the comedy equivalent of “Snakes on a Plane,“ a great title and not much else, but despite a couple of dead spots and jokes that may not mean much to anyone born after 1976—will they get the Cold War jokes?—it aims to please and is loud, overbearing and fun—kind of like the decade it pokes fun at.

Go back in movie history with these time-travelling vehicles In Focus by Richard Crouse FOR METRO CANADA March 26, 2010

Craig-Robinson-Rob-Corddr-001Movies are like time machines. No, they don’t physically transport viewers to another time and place but, like dreams and memories, they can take the audience back to ancient Rome or forward in time to a planet populated by giant blue people. I guess that’s why stories about time travel have been so popular on the big screen.

This weekend John Cusack stars in the latest time travel tale, the self-explanatory Hot Tub Time Machine. For Cusack, the idea of getting stuck in the 1980s doesn’t require a time machine. A star for thirty years, he says all he has to do is turn on the TV to be taken back: “Every time I flip through the cable, I have flashbacks.”

In the movie, Cusack and his buddies head back to the ’80s, a decade that one of the more famous time travel movies used as a starting point.

Everyone remembers the time-travelling DeLorean from Back to the Future — chosen because its sleek futuristic look resembled a spaceship — but it wasn’t until the third draft of the script that the filmmakers decided on the famous gull-winged car. Originally the time travel device was a laser, but that concept was rejected because it wasn’t exciting enough. Then, director Robert Zemeckis considered housing the machine in a refrigerator, but nixed the idea over concerns that the movie could inspire kids to crawl into iceboxes and get trapped.

In the original script for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, in which the titular characters bring historical figures back from history to help them with a school project, the time machine was a 1969 Chevy Van; afraid of inadvertently plagiarizing Back to the Future, the filmmakers went with a phone booth instead.

Probably the most famous time-shifting story is H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine. In the 1960 movie version, director George Pal fashioned the look of the time machine on a sled (a idea borrowed years later for the hardware in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Timecop), so, he said, it could slide into the future. Paying tribute to the story’s author, he affixed a plaque on the time machine that reads “Manufactured by H. George Wells.”

In 1971, when MGM sold off a warehouse of old props (including Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers), the sled time machine was purchased by a collector who used it as part of a yearly Halloween display at his Burbank, Calif., home.