Time Changer, Part III
The next day, shit officially begins to get real. The cop parishioner calls the businessman (?) parishioner with some interesting news: there used to be a seminary where Carlisle said there was, but it moved to another part of the state in the 1950’s. (Damn! I enjoyed snickering at the thought of Carlisle’s seminary going bye-bye for reals). Also, some dude named Russell Carlisle used to teach there (gasp!) but he died in 1936 (gasp! gasp!).
(Incidentally, Carlisle never does give in to temptation and find out his own fate. So only we know that he will live to be an old man, and will witness such godless horrors as flappers and Rudolph Valentino movies. Also a world war, though I doubt Carlisle would give a crap.)
As the guys (I have decided that they are the true heroes of the movie) decide to Scooby-Doo this bitch, Carlisle is speaking to the “science and chemistry” class for the one guy’s wife. It’s about as boring and pointless a talk as you might imagine: Carlisle lies-without-lying-really again, telling the kids that he is involved in an experiment, but it’s not done so he can’t say anything.
I know, thrilling.
Yanno, even if we’re going to call this little time travel trip an experiment, it’s not like Carlisle is the scientist in the scenario. He’s the lab rat.
“Remember, students, if any scientific record contradicts the Sciptures, it is the scientific finding that is in error. The Scriptures are never wrong–”
“Mr. Carlisle–” [The teacher tries to cut him off]
“God’s holy word is so trustworthy, it is amazing how it is recorded scientific fact hundred of years before scientists ever discovered them, and has proven accurate one hundred percent of the time” [sic]
“The Holy Scripture, students, is always your most reliable science [mumble].”
[big innocent eyes] “Yes?”
What a jerk.
The teacher hurries Carlisle out of the room, impatiently explaining that maybe he shouldn’t be discussing how much better the Bible is than science in a public school. This, more than pants-wearing women and a multi-racial society and cars and airplanes and motion pictures, completely throws Carlisle for a loop, so much so that he has to find Marian the RTC Librarian again so he can pour out his broken heart to her.
Meanwhile, Our Heroes have broken into Carlisle’s motel room…
Hey! NOT COOL, guys! WTF?
…and they find Carlisle’s Bible, which he decided to leave in the room, when every other day he has carried it around with him everywhere he goes. The Bible has a dedication: to Russell from his parents, 1865. The guys are miffed, though my assumption would have simply been that Carlisle was named for his grandfather, and carries around his Bible.
Meanwhile meanwhile, Carlisle has cornered the librarian into a conversation about modern morality. This conversation is fascinating because VERY NEARLY EVERY SENTENCE IS A LIE.
“And I just simply mentioned the Bible; I meant no harm by it.”
Lie. He did not “simply mention the Bible,” as you can see above.
“And the teacher informed me that she could lose her job over the matter.”
True, in that the teacher did say that.
“Well, our nation is no longer built on the biblical principles set forth by our forefathers.” [answers RTC Librarian]
“We haven’t been able to study the Bible in public school for years.”
Ahem. (From the Anti-Defamation League)
“We’ve lost prayer in school since the Supreme Court decision in…what?…1962.”
“Children not allowed to pray in school? How unthinkable.” [Carlisle responds]
Yanno, it’s funny how the movie forgets Carlisle’s sympathy towards people “offended by the Church or brought up in another religion.” Guess his sympathy extends exactly as far as his own happiness in his privilege.
“Well, we’re part of a society that, for the most part, lives without Christ and his word.”
Liar. Also, try living without exposure to Christianity even if you aren’t Christian, lady. Pretty well impossible.
“And what’s worse, people are beginning to rely on their own goodness to achieve salvation…”
“…as if they could earn their way to Heaven when it’s a free gift from God through Christ.”
And is sorta goes on from there: standard-fare Christians preaching at each other.
Carlisle goes on to tell RTC Librarian about the absolutely horrible, utterly soul-destroying sight and sound of an actor swearing onscreen, and RTC Librarian isn’t at all shocked that Carlisle is shocked. She seems to think it perfectly natural that a man could make it to the age of fifty without once seeing a movie or television show that contains a naughty word. Exactly how dense is this librarian supposed to be, anyway?
But no, she just explains that that’s The Way Things Are, whaddaya gonna do? This boringly segues into RTC Librarian’s conversion story: you see, she had “always believed in God” but “didn’t have a clue who Christ was” (JESUS? WHO’S THAT???), and like all non-Christians, she was “miserable” and “empty.” Then she became a Christian, and now she can share lies about modern society with everyone she meets!
“I believe secular entertainment is one of the biggest tools Satan uses to mislead people.”
I’m sorry, I just don’t have anything to say to that except…
RTC Librarian brings it all back around to our theme, by decrying the lack of Jesus and his “absolute authority” in the movies.
Yeah, ’cause that’s how I want to spend my free time, watching movies about Jesus and his authori…
I can only assume that Carlisle sits around, gobsmacked, until that evening, when he goes to the visitation thingie at the church, which I’ve heard is this thing where people, like, see an infomercial for the church and Want To Learn More, so people from the church go to their houses and talk about the church or something.
Yeah. As you may be able to tell, I’ve never actually belonged to any church.
Carlisle is all upset because there are only about six people doing visitation, but that really seems to be all they need, so what’s he on about? He and Some Guy go to a house and talk up a couple, while the couple’s son watches TV.
The kid is watching a show that looks more like a soap opera than anything else, and a young man and woman slowly move in for what looks like it will be quite a chaste little kiss. (We’ll never know, because Christian movies don’t show kissing.) We’ll also never know because Carlisle reacts as though the actors spontaneously got naked and began sexing each other while simultaneously mainlining heroin and punching a baby.
“Oh, my. Oh, my, my, my…what is this couple doing?”
*he darts in front of the TV to block the kid’s view*
“Hey! What’re you doin’, mister?”
“I cannot fathom that this young married couple would kiss in front of a child! What is becoming of them? [sic]”
“They’re not married. They’re just actors in a show.” [The kid logically responds]
“C’mon, mister, get outta the way!”
“Everything alright, Carlisle?” [asks his buddy]
*cut to Carlisle’s face, gobsmacked and morally scandalized*
Back in his motel room, Carlisle uses the remote to watch TV for the first time. (And thus, I suppose, becomes the first man in history to hog the remote, gorammit.)
(I have to admit, at least they set this up properly—Carlisle has been in the 21st century for several days by now, and has seen people use remote controls several times.)
He is (and I’m sure you’ll be shocked by this) gobsmacked and morally scandalized by what he sees.
Not that the movie is going to show us what he’s watching, mind you.
Yeah, I had the same look on my face when Anya won Project Runway.
Whatever it is, it’s shocking enough that Carlisle has to hit his knees immediately and beg God to wipe the filthy images from his mind. So it was probably Jersey Shore or Teletubbies or something.
The next day, we find out that Our Heroes have arranged with the pastor to have Carlisle speak at the service that night (Um, on a Wednesday??? Okay, I guess.). They say it’s so they can understand what the guy is up to, though it seems to me that there must be easier ways.
Carlisle goes to the library and finds out that he can LOOK UP STUFF, but does the Christian (?) thing and leaves his own fate a mystery to himself. (Man, I would not be able to resist, but I guess that’s yet another reason I’m not a Christian.)
That evening, back at the church, Our Heroes corner Carlisle and ask him he knows the names of Professor Captain Stubing and Dean Barney Fife. Carlisle just brushes them off without answering, like a good Christian should, and gives his talk.
It’s really boring. Really…really…bor…
It is soooo just the standard stump speech of any Christian movie—all this sin TOTALLY means we are officially living in the End Times, just like all those other times we thought the world was coming to an end except this time, FER REALS. Our culture is horrific and movies and TV are so dirty and you’d better just submit to God and be ready so that you don’t go to Hell, which sucks.
Russell beats cheeks out of the church right after his boring little talk, because it’s almost time for Professor Captain Stubing to zap him back to the past.
But he makes a quick stop at Eddie’s laundromat. (I had almost forgotten that Eddie was part of this film!) He gives Eddie the gift of a Bible in Spanish (forgive me for thinking that Carlisle wouldn’t have become that sensitive and culturally astute over the course of four days), and also the gift of the You Must Say The Magic Words speech. Eddie, who has been to church many times, actually has the gall to pull the “Wow, no one’s ever explained being saved so clearly to me!” bit.
Sigh. Are we quite done yet?
Nope! Because Our Heroes are tailing Carlisle, and it’s a pretty tense game of cat-and-mouse, as you can see.
The farmers’ market is the most exciting thing in this movie. I want to go!
In the alley, Our Heroes confront Carlisle. He begs them to leave, but they want the truth, even though it’s doubtful that they can handle it.
Before things can progress to actual arresting and/or punching and/or running away like a wuss, Carlisle is zapped away in a swirl of light.
AND NEVER SAY I DON’T GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE
Our Heroes look at each other, appropriately terrified and shocked. And the cop utters a priceless line:
“I think we just missed the Rapture.”
10/10 on the Awesome Scale
Stubing is not surprised by Carlisle’s gasping reaction to all he has seen and heard. A worldwide communications network! Cures and treatments for countless diseases! Clean(er) air and water and food! Women voting! People walking on the moon and under the ocean!
“Sin abounds! The Lord is not feared! Morals have replaced Christ, and with liberal teachings! Families are in disarray, no authority, no respect! The world lives without Jesus while the church seems to be filled with professing Christians who do not follow the Lord they claim to believe!”
Oh. Never mind.
Carlisle apologizes to Stubing for ever doubting him about being able to teach morals without Jesus, who made them all up. So sorry is Carlisle that he REWRITES HIS ENTIRE BOOK OVERNIGHT.
I’m not impressed by what he does next—he finds Roger, the marble-stealer from the beginning of the film, gives him a gift of a bag of marbles, and uses the gift-giving to hold Roger captive for a Jesus hardsell. (Roger, of course, JESUS WHO’S THAT???)
But the movie ends on a note of foreboding and stuff. You see, Stubing has another problem on his hands. He’s been thinking about the End Times, just like Carlisle, just like all Good Christians should. And he wonders how much longer the world has. His solution to this is to place a honking huge Bible on his anal-probing time machine, and try to send it waaaaay into the future.
Why he wouldn’t just try to send himself (yanno, LIKE HE DID BEFORE) is anyone’s guess. I didn’t even realize that the time machine could send inanimate objects to the future.
So, he sets the machine for the year 2100. It zaps a bit, but fizzles out, and the huge-ass Bible stays put. Stubing tries again: 2090. Nada.
Okay, Stubing, I think you’re doing it wrong.
LET ME DO IT, GEEZ! IT’LL WORK IF I DO IT
Not to be confused with actual science.
2070. Bible ain’t movin’.
And so we fade out, as Captain Stubing keeps getting closer and closer to OUR TIME…
Wait a sec…
I GET IT
Carlisle’s revised book changed the future, and now WE DON’T EXIST.
No. That can’t be right.
ROGER WAS THE ANTICHRIST ALL ALONG. CARLISLE TELLING HIM ABOUT JESUS CHANGED HISTORY.
CARLISLE IS NOW HIS OWN GRANDFATHER.
Or maybe not.
Hell, I dunno.
Whatever the answer, that’s Time Changer, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being patient with me on this review—life has been busy lately.
Next time, on to more of The Secret on Ararat. Our next movie: The Penniless Princess!