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The Best And Worst Time Travelers To Time Travel With (Other Than The Doctor)

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companionsDoctor Who returned for its eighth modern season, with Peter Capaldi’s Twelve enjoying a Victorian adventure with his latest companion, Clara Oswin Oswald (Jenna Coleman). And that’s a big part of the appeal of Doctor Who, isn’t it? The idea of getting a guided tour of all of time and space. If the TARDIS suddenly materialized in your living room and the Doctor invited you in, who wouldn’t be tempted to sign on for as long as he’d have you? But if you’re going to travel through time, you want to have good company and you want it to not be an enormous pain in the ass. As you’ll see in this article, that’s not always guaranteed. Sometimes you get a sweet-ass DeLorean, sure…but sometimes you get Ashton Kutcher.

Just in case you’re in the market for a vacation into last week, you’ll definitely want to consider your options. Thankfully we did the legwork for you. Here are our picks for which time travelers would be worth your time, and which ones you’ll want to avoid at all costs.

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Donnie Darko Wakes Up Inside A Video Game Tangent Universe

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I’ve been living in a mad world for quite a while now, made that way by the sheer non-existence of an 8-bit version of Richard Kelly’s angsty cult classic Donnie Darko. But look at this! A giant rabbit whose name escapes me at the moment—Usagi Yojimbo?—just dragged me out of bed to show me that the masterminds at CineFix have indeed given Donnie’s time-looping tragedy the video game treatment, and it is fabulous. Now how did I end up on this mini-golf course?

Okay, so admittedly this clip isn’t solely made up of 8-bit graphics, as it looks like this could easily be played on a Super Nintendo, preferably while wearing an INXS t-shirt. But the only bits we’re sticklers about are the Smurfs, and we want to know just how deep into things Smurfette is. Sadly, there is no Smurf talk in the video, nor is there the depressingly accurate quote, “Every living creature on Earth dies alone.” But other than that, this video is nearly as good as Kelly’s film as far as storytelling goes, and streamlines all the points that actually make sense when taken out of context.

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Total Recall Plastic Surgery And Other Faux Sci-Fi Businesses

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total recallMost of our favorite characters in sci-fi have distinct jobs that are almost as important as the characters themselves. Dr. Peter Venkman was a Ghostbuster. Rick Grimes was a cop. Malcolm Reynolds was a badass ship captain. But there’s an entire labor industry embedded Hollywood films that you may have never noticed before. And design studio Invasione Creativa has scoured the cinematic landscape to create faux business cards. I don’t see any business cards for whoever would actually be selling these things though, as they’re definitely welcome to fill up my wallet since there’s no money in there to keep them company or anything.

Speaking of companies, I’m not quite sure that it’s the greatest idea for a successful plastic surgery practice to offer the world triple boob surgeries. As inspired by Total Recall, this strange end of the medical spectrum would be off-putting to some, but I bet a large enough client base would form that might keep them in business for a while, especially those of who were adolescent boys in 1990.

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Donnie Darko, Predator, And The Road Warrior Reimagined As Children’s Books

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donnie darko childrens bookWhen most people have conversations about revisionism — whoever “most people” are — it’s usually attached to an historical context. But I’d be willing to start a convention based solely on turning modern fiction into children’s books, as it’s a seemingly endless exercise in lighthearted creativity. Perhaps it has something to do with my childhood fixation on the grade-school editions of literary classics, but I completely adore the mash-up stylings of artist and Pixar animator Josh Cooley, who has taken dozens of cinematic classics and pulled out one iconic (and generally mature) moment from each to live on in the form of an illustration and text suitable for the younger readers and film lovers. In this case, he has given us images from Donnie Darko, Predator, and The Road Warrior. It’s certainly a lot cooler than turning a scene from a children’s film into an image-free page of densely worded text.

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The Matrix, Donnie Darko, And More Get Classy With Fake Criterion Covers

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CriterionIf you’re not a die-hard cinephile, you might know know what “the Criterion Collection” is. The high-end Blu-ray and DVD publisher releases “important classic and contemporary films.” A quick survey of their new and coming soon listings include titles like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, and Richard Linklater’s Slacker. Being a high-falutin’ line as they are, they don’t have nearly as many science fiction films represented as they should. Artist Peter Stults decided to remedy that.

Okay, so he can’t actually make Criterion give fancy-schmancy new releases to flicks like The Matrix and Starship Troopers…but he can ape the visual style of Criterion’s cover art to show what those hypothetical Blu-rays might look like. For instance, check out this classy image that could adorn a Donnie Darko Criterion version. Like many Criterion releases, it’s evocative and symbolic, latching on to important visual elements from the film, in this case the pages from Roberta Sparrow’s The Philosophy of Time Travel.

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Five Sci-Fi Movies With Halloween Hearts

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SpiralCinematically speaking, this time of year is ruled by horror films. That’s a no-brainer. It’s fall, the days are shorter, the nights are darker, and then there’s that whole Halloween thing going on. This is the perfect time for the creepys and crawlys and mass murderys to figure into your movie-watching regime. Horror and science fiction, however, have always been close bedfellows. Not only are they largely relegated to the periphery, snubbed by academia, and looked down as “genre” (just ask any writer that has spent any time anywhere near a literature department what the smartypants folks think of sci-fi), but thematically and subject wise there has always been shared DNA. Depending on who you ask, Alien is either a perfect sci-fi movie with horror elements, or a perfect horror movie with sci-fi elements.

Going back to Orson Welles’ broadcast of War of the Worlds in 1938, Halloween has been used to mask sci-fi-based incursions into our world. What better chance do aliens, creatures from beyond our solar system, and monsters of all shapes and sizes have to blend into our world and walk around unnoticed, like nothing is out of the ordinary? In that spirit, here is a list of five science fiction movies that, at least in part, use All Hallow’s Eve as a backdrop.