Needle in a Timestack (2021)
October 15, 2021 8:23 PM - Subscribe

Nick (Leslie Odom) and Janine (Cynthia Erivo) live in marital bliss until Janine's ex-husband (Orlando Bloom) warps time to try to tear them apart. As Nick's memories disappear, he must decide what he's willing to sacrifice in order to hold onto - or let go of - everything he loves.

Directed by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). Available for digital rental in the US on Amazon Prime and Google Play.
posted by DirtyOldTown (17 comments total)
I hope the movie can elicit as strong an emotional response as seeing the trailer before knowing the name of the movie.
posted by jimw at 8:30 PM on October 15 [6 favorites]

I like sci-fi, I like melodrama, I like John Ridley, I like Leslie Odom, I like Cynthia Erivo.

Y'all can pound sand, this looks great.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:08 AM on October 15

Narrator Voice: It was not great. It was not great at all.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:18 PM on October 15 [33 favorites]

The pacing is leaden, the dialogue is always specifically and explicitly about exactly what is happening with zero nuance or depth, and there is something about the limited use of music and the editing that is just deadly.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:21 PM on October 15 [3 favorites]

That editing! What IS that thing called when a character is still talking, entire pages of dialog, but intermittently the character on the screen is doing other things far away from the conversation they're having in the audio track? It's used so often in this movie. Jarring.
posted by MiraK at 5:56 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]






1. So okay people can't remember alternate timelines about an hour into any new one. But why can't they remember THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THE NEW TIMELINE like the phone call Nick gets in the white car immediately after his big phase shift? Why does he just forget that? Why can't he write himself a note in those few moments when he does remember, and then use those notes to follow up on his memories after he forgets?

2. You know when Nick decides to make it work with Alex and there's a nice love montage with them both in the second act? That's when I thought, wait, this is interesting, I may have misjudged this movie! Maybe the second act is how it was supposed to be all along, and the first act was "wrong". And maybe someone else altogether (my bet was on Nick's sister) was the "bad guy" who fiddled with time to make the first act happen, possibly because she wanted to get with her girlfriend.

3. Why were they all reliving the same day after the phases/time waves happened? Why would someone else's time jaunt takes you back in time to relive the same day over and over? Nick's boss gives the same speech like three times in the movie.

4. It's absurd that "the law" apparently makes it illegal to mess with anyone else's timeline when there's no way to know your timeline has been meddled with because nobody remembers their old timeline anyway. However, the people at the memory bank seem to know perfectly well that Nick went through a phase shift/new timeline! Sounds like they know an illegal thing just happened to Nick. Why aren't they mandated reporters?? SHOULDN'T THEY HAVE TRIGGERED A LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTION AGAINST WHOEVER CAUSED NICK'S MEMORIES TO BE WIPED?
posted by MiraK at 6:09 AM on October 16 [3 favorites]

MiraK, don't worry about spoilers. FF threads are like book clubs. We're literally here to talk about the specifics of the thing. Anyone who shows up knows what they're in for.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:37 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]

I have not seen the movie, but I would like to read spoilers, please.
posted by skewed at 6:40 AM on October 16 [5 favorites]

This is the kind of movie where if a character is worried about the state of their marriage, they walk into a perfectly-lit, anonymously upscale kitchen and say, "I AM WORRIED ABOUT THE STATE OF OUR MARRIAGE!" and then they and their spouse have that conversation, including no other action, subtext, or layers with no musical cues or interesting camera work of any kind. The characters explain their differing positions and then the scene ends.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:12 AM on October 16 [6 favorites]

I would have liked it if the real timeline-altering villain was someone who just wanted the couples out so he could have that sweet apartment. You know, the nice one with the view.
posted by SPrintF at 10:03 AM on October 16 [5 favorites]

Oh this movie was so boring and bad. Whoever made that enticing trailer did spectacular work with the material they were given.

Sooooo many things about the time jaunting made no sense. Like if Nick was disoriented from the big time wave or whatever why wasn't Alex too? She similarly had a massive change take part in her life.

And how does the time jaunt company take payment? How do they know that the person involved will have the cash to pay them once they alter the timeline?

It's ridiculous that neither Nick nor his sister seem to know that memory banks are a thing even though it's a major part of the world they live in.
posted by roolya_boolya at 10:13 AM on October 16 [3 favorites]

Leslie Odom is such a multifaceted performer. How did they decide that this one, annoyed, anxious, agitated vibe was the only one he would use for 98% of the film?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:55 PM on October 16 [6 favorites]

If someone doesn't just let that man act I swear to god.
posted by bleep at 5:09 PM on October 16 [5 favorites]

I guess ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ was already taken.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:08 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]

Sooooo many things about the time jaunting made no sense.

Right?? Because why on earth would Orlando Bloom need to do ****4**** jaunts just to get his wife back? Why muck around taking their kids away and taking their dog away and making these random changes in their life on his first few jaunts... couldn't he just make it so he never throws that one party where Leslie Odom Jr. met her?

Also what is even the point of the memory banks in this movie? What did they add to the story? It's like if, in the middle of a whodunnit, the main detective character got sidetracked into seeking the services of a psychic to find out the identity of the murderer and the psychic straight up says, "I'm a quack, I can't find anybody for real," and the detective still pays the psychic, then yells at the psychic when they can't find the murderer.... and none of this is even characterization, like, it's not supposed to show that the detective is some kind of nonsensical, erratic whackjob; in fact you're just supposed to feel bad for how the psychic took advantage of the detective.
posted by MiraK at 5:25 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]

I'm so tempted to watch this nonsense now, but I suspect I'd regret it. Maybe I'll watch it then go back in time to prevent myself from watching it so I'll forget how bad it was, but then, what if I decided to watch it because I forgot that I had watched it before I hadn't?! I'll get trapped forever, like a needle in a timestack!
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:31 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]

I appreciate spoilers of terrible movies because then I can decide if they are worth watching only while high, or never.
posted by emjaybee at 5:00 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]

I felt like there was a good movie somewhere in here, but it got lost in the edit. A lot of the cinematography was actually pretty good, to the point that it could have conveyed loss and/or alienation with only inanimate objects in the scene.

It was really weird how it was pretty decent for a few minutes at a time and then what felt like thirty minutes of nothing. It couldn't have literally been thirty minutes each time because it went back and forth five or six times, but it sure felt like it.
posted by wierdo at 3:06 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]

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