Who doesn’t love a good time travel movie? I know I do. The problem is they are so hard to find. George Moise gives it a shot in Artsploitations Counter Clockwise. How does it hold up?
I won’t go too far into detail on the story as, my colleague Rich has covered the ground here already. So to keep it brief: Ethan is a scientist with a beautiful wife and is working on a teleportation device. After experimenting he discovers that the teleportation machine is actually a time machine. So what does he do? Like any good scientist, he haphazardly jumps in it and uses it. Finding himself 6 months in the future and wanted for the murder of his wife and sister who were both still alive until shortly after he guinea pigged himself. So now he must solve the mystery of their murder.
What unfolds is a mixture of dark comedy and thriller. Ethan is constantly moving to save himself from being captured. As he digs into the murder, he finds that it goes much deeper and more tangled than he would have ever imagined. The chases, while low budget are still fun. The best is the interaction between the characters and the interesting scenarios set up. While not A-list actors, they carry themselves fairly well and keep it funny and entertaining. Michael Kopelow, who you might remember from his younger roles in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead or Stoned Age, plays Ethan. He gave a pretty enjoyable performance and carried the role rather unassumingly yet quite well. Certainly I would sign on to view another movie with him in the lead.
I do enjoy time travel movies as a concept. However, I frequently have frustrations with the rules they set up and then fail to be consistent with. Either be serious about the logic of it, or play it fast and lose. The strength of some time travel movies is that they just use the concept to set up interesting scenarios and actions. This is where Counter Clockwise succeeds for me. Towards the end of the movie, we see our lead set up events through time travel that then pay off in the present moment. It can fall apart when scrutinized, but the movie doesn’t take it so seriously that that is merited. That is its strength. That is part of how it is fun when mixed with the characters.
And that is really what it is. Counter Clockwise doesn’t take itself too seriously and that is to its benefit. It is sometimes humorous, sometimes chase filled, and overall just fun. It isn’t great, but it is fun and it is worth a watch.
Special Features and Packaging: 3/5
The Making of Counter Clockwise: A nice look at some of the behind the scenes creation and planning of the film. Everyone involved in front and behind the camera seems to have a real excitement for the movie.
Deleted Scenes: A handful of extra scenes that wouldn’t have done much for the movie. A little extra story, but I think the movie runs a bit better without them.
The packaging is pretty decent here. I like that there is interior artwork for us to enjoy. Decent package for a new indie release. Likewise, the special features are pretty decent.
Overall, I was really torn on this rating. I personally want to rate it a bit higher because I think it deserves to be seen. I also think you should get the Blu-ray instead of the DVD. However, I think it is totally worth it for a price of $10-15. At the time of this review, Best Buy has it listed for $11.99. Worth it for that price, I would say. I do think any sci-fi fan should give it a watch. The special features and packaging are decent for an indie DVD release. In the end, I urge viewers to see it. And if you see the DVD or Blu-ray for a good price, definitely snag it. I don’t think you’ll leave disappointed.