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Review

Harry clocks in with a Fantastic Fest look at the world premiere of TIME CRIMES - a brilliant debut film by Nacho Vigalondo!!!

The first new film, for me, to see at FANTASTIC FEST was of a film that Tim League programmed at the festival. The movie was literally finished and put on 35mm... last week, somewhere in Spain. The director is Nacho Vigalondo - the oscar nominated director in 2005 for his short film, 7:35 DE LA MANANA. There is no reason that you should know his name, as we never do get to see those Oscar nominated Live Action shorts... but the nomination gained him just enough notoriaty in Spain to get his first feature produced... and folks - it's absolutely fantastic. The movie I'd draw a parallel to is CEMETERY MAN. What CEMETERY MAN was to Italian Zombies, TIME CRIMES is to Spanish Time Travel. Both films have a dark comedic backbone, yet are tragic, soulful and thoroughly entertaining. The movie begins with Hector and his wife... actually, it begins before that. Hector is driving up into the lot of his house with items spilling out of the back of his car. We get it, this guy's a bit of a clumsy fella. Hector is played by one of my favorite Spanish actors, Karra Elejalde - whom, if you remember Alex De La Iglesia's ACCION MUTANTE - you know Karra. Here he is playing a loving husband, who seems to be trying to relax in his backyard when he observes a beautiful young girl stripping. When she disappears from view and his wife drives off... he decides to try to move in to re-establish his view. Let me tell you right now. No good can come from being a peeping tom. You should be happy with whatever momentary glimpse you caught - because getting closer, just isn't going to be good. I'll skip the next bits, but soon he finds himself running from a bandaged face man, who apparently has been bleeding and who has stabbed Hector in the arm with a PAIR OF SCISSORS... evil. The wound... ouch. In short order - he finds himself in a complex - a scientific complex in the woods - and one thing leads to another and he's time traveled a half day back. Now there are two Hectors - two clumsy oafs, two adoring curious husbands - and things get more complicated. Things get tragic. Things get very serious. This is a film with laughs, smiles and cries. It is the very best Time Travel film in quite some time. It's small, tight and brilliant with no real loose ends - and in the end, you have to ask yourself if Hector is evil or simply complacent - and if in that complacency has he been especially evil. I love this film. It is the best of what I love about Spain's genre films. Elegant, smart and most of all HUMAN. HECTOR is a flawed hero in a perfect film. We will see a great deal of great things from the director named Nacho. And I can't wait for each and every serving.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 21, 2007, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Cool

    by TattooedBillionaire

    Time travel = I'm there

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 2:20 p.m. CST

    I saw this awhile back...

    by -guyinthebackrow

    It was slow, poorly thought out, and every single "surprise" is telegraphed far in advance. It brings nothing new to the sub-genre of TIME TRAVEL movies. And... is really just a boring, wasted 90 minutes.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 3:01 p.m. CST

    This film was fairly entertaining...

    by Abin Sur

    Although it pales in comparison to the work done by his younger brother, Chimichanga.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Mr. Monkey

    by Fatty Magee

    That was gold. Well done.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 3:12 p.m. CST

    I've had Nacho Vigalondo before.

    by Vim Fuego

    MMMN; that's good eating.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 3:43 p.m. CST

    UMMMMMMM, nacho.......

    by the_man_from_Rio

    sounds cool. i like the idea of him only traveling a half day back, and there are 2 of them through the movie, not pretensious bullshit like going back in time and killing a moth will make our reality ruled by canines who dig bone-thugz-n-harmony.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Wow, always thought Cemetary Man was Italian

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Me am dum. Can't wait for this to get a release date; not to many smart fantasy films for adults are getting made imo.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Nachoooooooooooooooo

    by polyh3dron

    Is that his real name? If so, that is AWESOME and I will fully support this man's films.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Hey, I'm fasting here!

    by brokentusk

    Lets not talk about nachos, please. Yom Kippur, 'tis a bitch.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 4:38 p.m. CST

    This review is piss funny! here's why

    by FILMFUNK

    . was of a film<P>.The movie I'd draw a parallel to is CEMETARY MAN(???)<P>.Hector is played by one of my favorite Spanish actors<P>.I'll skip the next bits(!?)<P>.PAIR OF SCISSORS... evil. The wound... ouch.<P>.We will see a great deal of great things from the director named Nacho! <P>!<P>?<P>WHAT THE FUCK!!!???<P>Is this a piss-take review of a piss-take film!? I'm Pissed and this whole thing seems like a weird joke! and sorry but whatever fucking parents called their Kid NACHO need gutpunching!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 6:18 p.m. CST

    NACHO = IGNACIO

    by Bodenland Unbound

    WELL, TWO THINGS: 1) Have you ever heard about diminutives? And 2) "Cemetery Man" (aka "Dellamorte Dellamore") isn't a Spanish language movie. You really need to learn something about the world outside USA!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 6:34 p.m. CST

    CEMETERY MAN!!!

    by MaleSheep

    I love it.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Worst... Review... Ever

    by Transmetropolitan

    I really thought Harry's reviews could not possibly get any worse.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 2:04 a.m. CST

    MaleSheep is Right

    by Zadrock

    Cemetary man is brilliant!!! Count me in Harry.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Nacho Nacho Man

    by ev1ldead

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fssV413ZJ80

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 8:29 a.m. CST

    So Harry, what you're saying is...

    by LilJimmyNorton

    ...This is Nacho average debut film?

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Is the bandaged man the other Hector?

    by Kubla_Khan

    By any chance?

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 1:01 p.m. CST

    NACHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    by MrMysteryGuest

    Jack Black oughta play him! ;)

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Paradox?

    by red_weed

    I have issues with time travel films, because i see some that try and do it in what i believe is the best way, where everything is fixed, and some just take the cheap option of being able to go back and forward changing things causing rippling effects in time and many paradoxes. I really don't like that kind of timetravel ala back to the future as it seems to be a really lazy way of getting around problems. The best i've probably seen it done was a japanese film called summer time machine blues. That think rocked. I think 12 monkies did it well too. But things like deja vu and the lake house that establish rules and then break them at the end in order to have a happy ending really shit me. Premonition was a shit film but at least they didn't back out just to have a happy ending. I can't wait to see another time travel film though I hope whatever rules of timetravel they use they stick to it.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Primer did this better probably

    by Hadouken

    Sounds like it's not offering too much new in time travel genre - Primer was the last movie I saw that actually tried something different than the typical cliched stuff.

  • Sept. 27, 2007, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Barbara Goenaga

    by CuervoJones

    I love her

  • Sept. 27, 2007, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Nacho = Ignacio

    by CuervoJones

    It´s a very common diminutive here in Spain.