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timelinks

video review system

clocks to set your vcr by...
The clock tells you what we at Aetherco think of the vid, straight up. And we can be mighty harsh. These are general guidelines– o'clocks for each vid get set lower or higher whenever a vid's plot is excellent but the time travel is absurd, or visa versa...

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Premise Premise vs. Plot - The Premise badge is placed next to the titles of vids that make time travel the center of their story.

The issue of "premise vs. plot" mainly appears in describing TV series– is an entire series' premise based on time travel, or is it just the occasional episode's plot? Series whose entire premises are about time travel are rated as a whole; those which have individual episodes are rated by episode. The issue is well-addressed at Andy's Anachronisms: timetravelreviews.com.
...However, we find this dichotomy can extended to movies and vids in general.

For instance, the Back to the Future and Timecop franchises are all about the time travel– it constantly motivates, challenges and constrains the characters. In comparison, Star Trek and Planet of the Apes frequently visit upon time travel themes, but the main premises of these franchises are varying takes on alien contact and adventure.

Vids without the Premise badge either use time travel as a detour or a bracket for a story they wish to tell (such as the romance Kate and Leopold) or use it briefly, or in passing (like the penultimate climax of Galaxy Quest).
 

NR Not Yet Reviewed ...or "NR" means we haven't passed Judgement Day upon the vid yet. It may mean we haven't seen it, but we might have– if so, it doesn't mean we don't like it; we're still mulling over our opinion is all.

11 O'Clock ...is a vid more vile, incompetent and pathetic than has ever been made, to the best of our knowledge. We have never given out a 1 o'clock, for if we ever do so, Ed Wood will no longer be the worst director of all time. A 1 o'clock would have to be something on the order of someone running Un Chien Andalou backwards with a soundtrack of random noises, claiming it to be entirely original, and advertising it as a time travel romance– only far, far worse. People would be committing suicide upon hearing of such a film. A video that would earn a 1 o'clock is something Mankind Is Not Meant To Know.

22 O'Clock ...is as bad as it gets in the real world. No redeeming features of plot, writing, direction, acting or cinematography exist herein– indeed, most 2 o'clocks will resonate with badness in the viewers mind for the rest of their lives. Any time travel in a 2 o'clock is there for convenience, or mangled so horrifically, you want to shoot the vid creators' grandfathers while they are still small children.

33 O'Clock ...is offensive because anyone could see a million ways to make the vid better. And yet it is just that balance of stupid and pointless that stubbornly refuses to lie down in the mud as one of the worst pictures of its generation. It isn't even worthy to be so unworthy. The time travel, and the production values, are likely cobbled, plagarized and painful to bear.

44 O'Clock ...is one of those vids that goes through most of the motions of being an actual entertainment, but turns out to fall short and disappoint at every turn. There may be the occasional clever moment. But there is nothing really new in a 4 o'clock. Regarding time travel, the vid has no true surprises; nothing to add and nothing to say.

55 O'Clock ...is a vid that is not without its moments. A few good lines, a worthwhile scene. Perhaps a take on time travel that even works, a little. But that something is probably all that's keeping the vid from tipping into darkness. Some 5 o'clocks are just confusing or mediocre throughout, but leave no hangover or cloying aftertaste.

66 O'Clock ...is what is called a "good effort"– some care was taken to entertain and not confuse the viewers with time travel, and/or moviemaking skills are notably in evidence. One's socks are not knocked away, cults are (hopefully) not formed to celebrate the work– but very... "watchable".

77 O'Clock ...is where vids really start getting "good"– either it's sure to entertain, or it's got an excellent take on time travel. Probably not both, or it'd be an even higher o'clock. Fans of time travel should see this vid, and likely already have.

88 O'Clock ...is what a vid should be: A great entertainment, and a well-remembered experience. The time travel is spot on, or at the very least pursues its what-if with insight and vigor.
 

99 O'Clock ...is a brilliant time travel vid. Cinematic execution, especially editing, is perfect. The time travel ideas and the way they are presented are so original that it is hard to imagine the precedents that went into planning this diadem of moving pictures.

1010 O'Clock ...is a masterpiece, in the original and unadulterated meaning of the term. The writers, directors, editors, actors, and all involved have crafted a cornerstone of time travel video storytelling.

1111 O'Clock ...almost never occurs, perhaps once in a generation. This is a vid that cannot be surpassed in any mortal way, given the knowledge, talent and technology available to its creators.

1212 O'Clock ...means only one thing. Someone has actually travelled time, and brought back documentary footage. Say, shots of ancient Babylon, or of our space outposts around the Local Group. You'll notice the 12 o'clock image is missing, at left. We figure as soon as we actually need it... it'll just be there.
Any vid meriting the 12 o'clock badge has, essentially, won the game.

Updated 2003.07.03