Time-Travel Sex

I read A. O. Scott’s review of The Jacket with particular interest because my dissertation was on time-travel films, and I’m currently making strides towards reshaping that material into a book. The film sounds awful, as many time-travel films are. Adrien Brody as a Gulf War vet, sent to a gothic mental hospital after being convicted of a murder he did not commit, who manages to travel in time after having a bizarre form of punishment inflicted upon him by a sadistic doctor. It sounds like Jacob’s Ladder minus Vietnam plus Butterfly Effect minus Ashton Kutcher plus La jetee minus Chris Marker (or something like that). Then again, Kris Kristofferson plays the doctor, so that’s got to be worth something.

But what I found most enticing about A. O. Scott’s review was the MPAA ratings blurb at the very end. The film gets an R-rating for, among other things, “time-travel sex.” The metaphysical possibilities here abound. Is Adrien Brody in one moment in time while Kiera Knightley is in another? Are they copulating while time traveling? Because it’s time travel, I’ll (somewhat reluctantly) see this film and find out, but the MPAA descriptions here are probably more exciting than the images themselves.


  1. Anjali Said,

    March 4, 2005 @ 10:32 am

    wow, time-travel sex! :> That’s reason enough to see the movie. the possibilities are endless…

    But i agree, it probably sounds neater from the mpaa rating than what it would look like in the movie…

  2. Jimbo Said,

    March 4, 2005 @ 8:22 pm

    It sounds like Jacob’s Ladder minus Vietnam plus Butterfly Effect minus Ashton Kutcher plus La jetee minus Chris Marker (or something like that)

    Man, I’d have loved to have heard the pitch for this one. 🙂


  3. Chuck Said,

    March 4, 2005 @ 8:41 pm

    Anjali, I’ll be watching the film in a couple of hours, so I’ll know soon, but I imagine it’s far less enticing than the MPAA description suggests.

    Jimbo, whenever I read about (or watch) a film like this one, I imagine the opening seen of The Player, with all of the high-concept film pitches, and yes, I bet the pitch for The Jacket would have been fun to watch.

  4. Jonathan Said,

    March 4, 2005 @ 11:00 pm

    Was Adrien Brody the guy who played Val Kilmer’s fellow-student antagonist (blond nerd) in Real Genius? If not, why not?

  5. Chuck Said,

    March 5, 2005 @ 12:20 am

    Jonathan, I’m not sure that Adrien Brody was alive back then.

    To answer the big question, apparently time-travel sex is no different than real sex other than the fact that it involves someone who has travelled in time. Nothing metaphysical about it. Of course it is pretty creepy to see Adrien Brody’s character interacting with a young girl in 1993 when the character knows he’ll have sleep with her (as an adult) in 2007.

  6. Caleb Said,

    March 5, 2005 @ 9:39 am

    I always thought the ratings blurbs at the end of NYT reviews were the reviewer’s witty interpretation of the MPAA descriptions. Are they actually what the MPAA releases? Either way, the idea of time-travel sex does sound pretty creepy.

  7. Chuck Said,

    March 5, 2005 @ 9:55 am

    You may be right, Caleb, but yes it is a little creepy, even creepier in ways than John Connor choosing his own father in The Terminator.

  8. Rusty Said,

    March 6, 2005 @ 2:45 pm

    Kris Kristofferson: the only reason Blade 2 wasn’t a total wash.

  9. Chuck Said,

    March 6, 2005 @ 3:24 pm

    Rusty, I haven’t seen Blade 2, but Kris Kristofferson is a good reason to see almost any film. I still won’t see Blade 2, but that’s another story altogether.

    Caleb, I went to the MPAA website, and it looks like you’re right. No mention of time travel sex there. Somebody at the New York Times was just being smart.

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