It's summertime and the Sci-Fi Club is making the most out of it. They play baseball and completely believe they're good at it. They go to the public bath house to cool off. It's turning to be such an exciting summer until they ended up ruining the remote control for the A/C of Sci-Fi Club's room. Suddenly, they're irritable and all they can think of is finding some ways to fight off the hot weather. But things start to change when they discovered a time machine in the club room, and all they want to do is turn back time and nick the functional remote control from a day ago.
It has such a silly premise. A group of teens encounters a time machine and the only thing they can think of is fixing the remote control. But once they start to realize the implications of changing the past, their actions seem to weigh heavier than they think.
Overall, I enjoyed this movie. Though time travel is a concept that often baffles me and makes me ask way too many questions, Summer Time Machine Blues manages to simplify quite a technical idea. And if you know me, I'm all into things that try to popularize hard sciences. If a movie or novel or whatever manages to make a complicated matter seem simple, then I'm all for it. And this is enough reason for me to like this movie. Time travel can cause headaches and I had a little of that in this movie but it's tolerable enough. It takes time travel lightly at first but it manages to make it quite simple, without having to belittle its consequences.
The only thing I didn't like is the peculiarity of the actions of some characters. I sometimes wonder if it's a cultural thing but Komoto, Eita's character, isn't weird at all. It's just that some of the members of SF Club act in a very unrealistic manner. I know that they have to act like that for narrative purposes. Most of their peculiarity causes the story to move forward but their peculiarity is enough to irritate me. The way they react to some situations is something I don't see normal people doing. Or maybe I'm expecting too much realism from a movie that's dealing with science fiction! (This is highly probable.)
I know that they need to do the things they have to do in order for things to move forward and for the narrative of the movie, of course. But I wish they thought of some other things to make it better. I don't know.
I'm also irked off how they treat one of the characters, Soga. They bully him into being the first one to try the time machine. Even when they see that the first try is enough to terrify him, they still pressured him into doing it again. And again and again. Friends don't do that to friends. To tease a friend is okay, but to pick on him and pressure him into doing something he's terrified to do is just wrong. I know it all turns out well in the end but I just felt a tad too sorry for him. Obviously, this kind of reasoning is way too personal. I just don't think friends should subject friends to that type of peer pressure and bullying. We're talking about time travel here, and that's not a light matter!
Aside from this, I have nothing else to complain about. Japanese humor is something I'm still getting used to, but someday I swear I'll understand it. When I watch Japanese movies, I sometimes wonder if the scene is supposed to be funny or maybe it's not really supposed to be funny. I also don't know what I'm really trying to say.
The storyline is taut, and you just know that it's a movie that took its time to be planned out from beginning to end. For it to be coherent, it can't be written or directed on a whim. A lot of the time travel details rely on the story, so the writing must be pretty solid. But I must admit, it took me about 20 minutes into the story to fully get into the movie. It's all good from then on, though.
Anyway, another thing I like about this movie is the cinematography! It's just amazing. And though it's a sci-fi film, it tones down the special effects. I love the slow motion to signify the importance of some scenes. I love the hazy illusion to show how hot it is. I love the fisheye effect to focus on the characters. I just love how the film is executed. I also only noticed the green tones of the movie when I was making the screencap. I swear it wasn't intentional for the caps to be green-ish. I actually quite like it.
Also, I realized how I always easily fall for the lanky, awkward, torpe type of characters. Example:
|Not his best photo. Haha.|