Monday, November 24, 2014

Primer (2004)

Aaron, Abe, Robert, and Phillip are engineers who use Aaron's garage to work on their own projects after being at the job all day. Aaron and Abe disagree with the other two on what actions they should take, and start working on their own project in which they accidentally discover time travel.

Building a machine - essentially a box - that is large enough for a person, Abe rents a storage space to test his theories. Later when he meets up with Aaron, Abe give him binoculars and directs him to look across a field - where Aaron sees a man who appears to be Abe walking into the storage facility with an oxygen tank.

The two start experimenting with time travel, and put it to use playing the stock market.  But as they keep going back in time, strange things start happening. And now that they both know how to use the machines, there is the possibility that one or both of them from other days are also going back in time, meaning there would be multiple versions of them in the same time.

This is an interesting, yet confusing movie. It's like Algebra - if you miss one of the main components or don't get it, then you're lost later on.  The movie doesn't dumb down the tech speak, trying to be realistic, and it's impressive that it was reportedly made for only $7000.  It's obviously not a big budget movie, but it doesn't look like it was so cheaply made either.

There's multiple time traveling which overlaps, and gets extremely confusing.  Also unlike many time travel movies where you just punch in a time and date, and voila!, you're in the past.  Here the traveler must spend the same amount of time in the box that you go back in time. So if you got back in time five hours, you've got to be in the box for five hours. Argh, getting confused again.   Someone actually made a chart which explains each time line, which is also confusing.

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