Director – David Twohy (Pitch Black, Below)
Starring – Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber, Arachnophobia), Ariana Richards (Jurassic Park, Tremors), and Emilia Crow (Scarface, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Release Date – 1991
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 3/5
I was born in the mid-80s and lived through the video store age. I didn’t have a Blockbuster or Hollywood Video near me but I did have two ma and pop video stores. The first and more prominent video rental store was Dewey’s Video and I spent so much fucking time there especially on Fridays after school. I would browse the game section for a few minutes until something caught my eye and then it was on to the movies where I would usually snag four or five tapes to watch over the weekend. The other video rental store was housed in a single wide trailer parked in the middle of town and focused more on games than films.
I spent a lot of time at both of these places and I am the person I am because these stores were such a big part of my childhood. A few weeks ago MVD sent over the film The Grand Tour as part of their Unearthed Classics line. This film stars Jeff Daniels and looked oddly familiar. I did a little looking online and realized that this was one I had seen before a long time ago under the title Timescape. I didn’t remember anything about this one and couldn’t wait to revisit it. I want to thank MVD and Unearthed for sending this one over!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a single father and his daughter who buy an inn in a small town to renovate. He lost his wife sometime ago in a winter accident when their car slid into a horse and buggy. Before they finish renovating they find themselves playing host to a group of “tourists” who are behaving oddly. When one of them drops their passport after an accident he deducts that they are time travelers that visit different historical disasters and something must be happening to their small town soon. During this he also has to deal with his father in law, the judge, who believes he is responsible for his daughter’s death and uses his power as judge to take temporary custody of his daughter. After not one, but two, disasters he is forced to use the tourists time traveling technology to save his daughter and suffer the repercussions for changing history. **Spoiler Alert**
The Grand Tour, Timescape, or The Grand Tour: Disaster in Time is a film that I was not expecting Unearthed Films to release but I’m fucking glad they did because I loved this one. I have no idea why I never obsessed over it when I was a kid but I’ve watched this blu release twice now and I’m still not tiring of it. It’s a fun drama with some sci-fi elements that holds your attention regardless of how many times you watch it. Honestly, this may be my favorite release from Unearthed Films barely beating Invitation Only out of that spot.
The acting in this one is superb. It’s top notch from the top down. Jeff Daniels delivers what is easily my favorite performance of his. He shows so much range here that most fans may forget that he has thanks to Dumb and Dumber. He is fantastic and I think his performance here is most of the reason I can rewatch the film so easily. The supporting cast is just as fantastic but the characters are nowhere near as enjoyable as Daniels’ character.
The story for this one is not what I would call predictable. Instead, it gives you all the clues you need to see where the film is going, all it asks for is that you pay attention to see them. I love the story and how it’s still a small town film with a sci-fi film. It doesn’t over do it and keeps that early 90s drama style. It has smooth pacing and works on most levels regardless if you are into early 90s sci-fi dramas.
Finally, the film doesn’t really have and visuals or practical effects. We get a few moments nearing the end of the film using classic camera tricks and angles but that is the extent of it. If you are looking for a visual effects heavy sci-fi film then you will be very disappointed. Overall, The Grand Tour is not something I expect most viewers of the site to appreciate but those of us that lived through the video store era will really love what Unearthed brought to their Classics line. Please check this release out!
Timescape Title Sequence
Lost To Time: Cannes Promo
Poster Mockup & Artwork Gallery