music friday: 1997
creature feature: the day of the triffids (steve sekely and freddie francis, 1963)

what i watched

The Time Machine (George Pal, 1960). An entertaining version of the H.G. Wells story, with Oscar-winning special effects that don't look too bad in 2018. The recreation of turn of the century London is fun, with an entertaining group of That Guys (Alan "Mr. Ed" Young, Sebastian "Mr. French" Cabot, Tom "Vertigo" Helmore, and the ever-present Whit Bissell, who  also appeared in a 1978 TV-movie version, as well as the TV series The Time Tunnel) and Rod Taylor in the lead. The scene of Taylor traveling forward in time is well-done ... he ends up in the year 802,701! There he meets up with an age-inappropriate Yvette Mimieux (she was 17 when filming began, Taylor was 30), and romance ensues. Life in the future is split between the Eloi, who wander around in a daze, and the Morlocks, who eat the Eloi. Once the Morlocks make their appearance, things fall apart a bit ... the costumes are a bit too much in the spirit of man-as-ape, albeit after radiation. There's what passes for a happy ending. The Time Machine isn't quite worth hunting down, but it's enjoyable if you come across it. It's better than the 2002 remake.

Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi, 2016). A standard biopic that does decent justice to the characters. Most of the changes to the real story are minor and forgivable. The film occasionally falls into White Savior mode, but not enough to ruin the movie. The three stars (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe) are all good, and since biopics stand or fall on the performances, they make an OK movie into something special. Of course it's inspirational, if that's your cup of tea. Nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, it lost to Moonlight, which is more than appropriate, Moonlight being a much better film. (Both of those films feature Mahershala Ali, who won an Oscar for Moonlight.) Hidden Figures will satisfy people who like biopics, and isn't too bad for the rest of us, either.


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