Official Movie Poster
|Directed by||Rich Christiano|
|Produced by||Rich Christiano|
|Written by||Rich Christiano|
|Starring||D. David Morin
|Distributed by||Five & Two Pictures|
|Release date(s)||October 25, 2002|
|Running time||95 minutes|
Time Changer is an independent Comedy-drama science fiction Christian film directed by Rich Christiano and released by Five & Two Pictures in 2002. In the movie, Dr. Norris Anderson (Gavin MacLeod) uses his late father's time machine to send his colleague, Bible professor Russell Carlisle (D. David Morin), from 1890 into the early 21st century. The film had a limited nationwide release, and was one of the very first offered through Sky Angel's "Video On Demand" service.
At the beginning of the film, Bible professor Russell Carlisle (D. David Morin) confronts a boy who stole marbles from his neighbors, calling his action unjust.
The year is 1890 and Carlisle has written a new manuscript entitled The Changing Times. His book is about to receive a unanimous endorsement from the board members of the Grace Bible Seminary until his colleague Dr. Norris Anderson (Gavin MacLeod) raises an objection. Without the unanimous endorsement, his book might not do so well. Carlisle and another professor seek to have the unanimous endorsement rule changed, but the dean insists Carlisle talk to Anderson privately to resolve their disagreement.
Dr. Anderson believes that what Carlisle has written could greatly affect the future of coming generations, vehemently arguing that teaching good moral values without mentioning Christ is wrong. Using a secret time machine, Anderson sends Carlisle over 100 years into the future, offering him a glimpse of where his beliefs will lead.
Arriving in the early 21st Century, Carlisle is shocked to find that half of all marriages end in divorce (instead of the 5% in 1890), teenagers talk openly about deceiving their parents, movies contain blasphemous words and people who go to church are so bored by the sermons that they need extra activities. He tries to convince a laundromat worker, Eddie Martinez (Paul Rodriguez), that he needs to go to church and read the Bible.
A couple of churchgoing men grow suspicious of Carlisle, who acts as if he's seeing everything for the first time. They confront Carlisle just as he's about to be transported back to the past. As the sky begins to grow thunderous, Carlisle seems delirious as he talks about how the second coming of Christ is drawing near. Carlisle vanishes. The men look at where he vanished and one of the men says with dread, "I think we just missed the Rapture."
He reappears back in 1890, and excitedly tells Anderson he will revise his book. He also gives the thieving boy his own set of marbles and explains that it is Jesus Christ who demands honesty. The movie ends with Anderson trying to find out when will the world come to an end, by means of sending a Bible to the future. The machine wouldn't work with sending it to 2100, so he tries with subsequent earlier years. (2090, 2080 and 2070 are explicitly shown on the dials of the machine; he further makes at least two more failed attempts, presumably aiming for 2060 and 2050. The implication seems to be that only the Lord knows when the End comes, or that the End will come before the mid-21st century.)
In the Charlotte Observer, Lawrence Toppman praised the acting work, but had questions about plot holes and how some of the film's premises would be accepted by Christian viewers. Toppman wrote, "technically, the film can stand with most releases", and gave it 2.5 stars out of four. Variety reviewer Scott Foundas described the film as "goofy fantasy hokum" with a message, one scene as "subpar", and some monologues as "distinctly uncinematic", but other scenes as "surprisingly enjoyable." Foundas found the film "hard to read" - often having "its tongue planted firmly in its cheek", but at other times "sweetly naive". Joe Baltake of The Sacramento Bee gave 1.5 stars (of 4) to the "whimsical if predictable" film "marred by a willful single-mindedness." He found the film's beginning "interminable", and overall, "very strange".
As of 18 July 2009[update], the film holds a 22% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 2 out of 9 critics giving it a positive review with an average rating of 3.9/10. As of 14 January 2010[update], the film holds a 5 out of 10 star user rating on the Internet Movie Database after 973 votes.
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