Last night, my nine year old son, asked me a simple yet baffling question: If you could time travel and had to choose between going back in time and going into the future, what would you choose?
Simple question with enormous consequences of your choice.
For starters, let’s establish some ground rules of the time travel based on the solid scientific knowledge drawn from the top 50 time travel movie hits. My picks include only the movies I’ve seen, sorted by likeness. Also, the assumption is that you could come back after your time jump.
Groundhog Day (1993) – my all time favorite movie with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell based on the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The movie was actually filmed not far from Chicago, in Woodstock, Illinios. The bed and breakfast manor was actually for sale couple of years ago.
Rules: there are no rules or consequences
The rosiest, make-you-feel-good time travel trilogy with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd:
Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Back to the Future Part II (1990)
Rules are simple: you need a DeLorean with flux capacitor, any change will affect the future.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) – first movie of the Austin Powers trilogy starring Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Elizabeth Hurley, Seth Green, and Mini-Me, Verne Troyer.
Rules: you can travel into the future in cryonic state, you keep your mojo
Planet of the Apes (1968) – this one is a classic with the great Charlton Heston and awesome special effects.
Rules: you need a spacecraft with hibernation technology, respect the monkey.
The Butterfly Effect (2004) – without a doubt, this movie makes you think about the consequences of your actions, heavy flick but Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart are great in it.
Rules: to change the future, you must change the past, your actions affect lives of people you love.
12 Monkeys (1995) – who doesn’t like Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt in this disturbing hit? The movie brings a lot of questions regarding our actions that destroy the future.
Rules: you can’t bring any technology with you to the past or the future, unreliable time travel, hit or miss destinations
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) – the best movie when it comes to fixing your present time. Your knowledge of the history, technology, and music can pay off nicely.
Rules: you need a magic hot tub with Russian energy drink, steal any idea from the future
Timecop (1994) – he’s no Bueller, but Jean-Claude Van Damme fights for his true love played by Mia Sara.
Rules: you need a high-tech delivery system and, apparently, your own power plant. Change your future with no regrets.
Deja Vu (2006) – Denzel Washington is just good. Even when it comes to time travel.
Rules: you can only affect the past four days, limited travel
Looper (2012) – Bruce Willis just likes time travel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt figures our the paradox, and I just like Emily Blunt.
Rules: you need friends at Triad to access the time travel capsule, you can take technology and metal with you.
The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) – movie is based on the actual US Navy experiments during WWII.
Rules: you need a giant destroyer
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1988) – besides Keanu Reeves, how come Alex Winter and George Carlin didn’t get the Matrix roles?
Rules: you need a phone booth and you can bring/take anything/anyone from the past
Finally, the Terminator saga started by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.
The Terminator (1984)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
Rules: you can only travel to the past, you can’t take any weapons, I guess you would need to be a mighty hacker to actually change anything related to Skynet.
It looks to me that travel to the past is a more efficient way of changing your future, meaning present time. So, I will go with traveling to the past. Of course, I would choose the time travel technology that would allow me to take a laptop or some almanac to play the stock market or build a web search engine UberNoogle. The possibilities are endless and your imagination could run wild.
As for my son, Aleksander, remember: all you need to change your future, is to make smart choices in your life and the good things will happen. I know you will. Tata.
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