Movie Review

TIME CHANGER

MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements

Reviewed by: Dr. WJ Kimble
STAFF WRITER

Excellent!
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
10 to Adult
Genre:
Dramam / Christian Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Length:
1 hr. 39 min.

Starring: D. David Morin, Gavin MacLeod, Hal Linden, Jennifer O'Neill, Richard Riehle, Paul Rodriguez | Directed by: Rich Christiano | Produced by: Rich Christiano, Kevin Downes | Written by: Rich Christiano | Distributor: Five and Two Pictures

As a young man, I would listen to the enchanting voice, of Rod Serling, as he would say, “The place is here and now; and the journey into the shadows that we are about to watch could be your journey.” And for a short period of time it was so, as each of us prepared to enter the outer reaches known as the “Twilight Zone.” But what if we could go beyond the “here and now”? What if time could be breached and we could travel, not only back in time but forward, into the future? What would we find? What new things would we discover?

D. David Morin (top) as Russell Carlisle and Gavin McLeod (bottom) as Dr. Norris Anderson in “Time Changer”Suppose for a moment that we could experience, first hand, the results of our actions? Would we be satisfied? Or terrified? Would it even matter? Let’s be honest, every one of us has done something that we wished we could undo. Some wrong that we wish could right.

Russell Carlisle (D. David Morin), a professor at Grace Bible Seminary, gets his chance, in the new sci-fi movie, “Time Changer”. Having just completed his new manuscript, “The Changing Times,” professor Carlisle is vehemently confronted by Dr. Norris Anderson (Gavin McLeod, “The Love Boat” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”), who believes that this new manuscript could seriously alter the future. Having done all he could, to convince the professor of the seriousness of his teachings, Dr. Anderson (with the help of his secret time machine) transports professor Carlisle more than a hundred years into the future.

Jennifer O'Neill (top) as Michelle Bain and Paul Rodriguez (bottom) as Eddie Martinez and in “Time Changer”Finding a newspaper laying nearby, professor Carlisle notices that the date is October 21, 2000. Through a series of minor mishaps, he quickly discovers that the times have changed considerably since 1890. Lost, confused, and overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of these new surroundings, he makes his way to the local library, where he meets Michelle Bain (Jennifer O'Neill—Summer of ’42), who (with great patience and understanding) meticulously helps him to understand the changes in society and its norms.

Hoping that he could find someone that he could relate to, professor Carlisle searches out a local church. Seeing a local laundromat, he meets Eddie Martinez (Paul Rodriquez, “Blood Work”), the owner, and asks him where the nearest church is. Of course, anyone who knows Paul Rodriqez’s work realizes that this is going to be a funny scenario.

Through it all, professor Carlisle realizes that his writings have had such a great impact on society that it created a generation that is obsessed with selfish interests and greed. Since he regrets having ever written his manuscript, he returns (presumably) to undo the wrongs that he had begun to set into motion.

Professor Carlisle’s naivete brings some of the more delightful moments to the picture. For instance, when he bows his head to pray for the food he is about to eat, a little girl steals his hot dog. In another scene, he enters the Signature Stadium 10 (a local movie theater) to watch his first movie and goes berserk as he vividly expresses his concerns about the language that was used. And everyone in the theater laughed when he entered a local department store and saw a mannequin dressed in women’s lingerie.

Click here to download promotional materials for “Time Changer”
Printable Promotional Materials (in pdf form). Print it out to share at work, church, school, etc.
[ Click Here ]

Also read: Death by Silence: What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen to Christian film?

In true Hollywood style, Rich Christiano, the director and screenwriter, brought out the best in all his cast members. Philip Hurn, cinematographer, captures the very essence of the 1890 setting with a stunning portrayal of the twenty-first century. Hal Linden’s (Barney Miller) portrayal of the dean of the college, who desperately tries to get the differences between professor Carlisle and Dr. Anderson resolved, is astounding. “Time Changers” is a refreshingly, delightful movie that is both relevant for our times and thought provoking. It is a truly remarkable movie!

“Time Changer” is a MUST see movie. (For showtimes during its limited theatrical release, see TimeChangerMovie.com.) Bring your family, friends, even your grandchildren. You will not be ashamed! It is clean, wholesome and delightfully funny! There is no swearing or nudity (in any form—not even the manniquin wearing lingerie is seen). There is nothing present that would cause you to be ashamed (unless you are a wishy-washy Christian).

The primary audience is teen to adult only because some of the message is beyond a younger person’s ability to understand. But, having said that, even the children will understand the major theme of this movie!

Year of Release—2002

Viewer Comments
Positive—My husband and I just previewed the movie, “Time Changers”, before we plan to let our children see it tomorrow evening. Wow! We were so blessed! This is THE BEST movie we have ever seen. Honestly. The Gospel is CLEARLY presented; believers are challenged to wake up, and do not be ashamed to live for Jesus Christ, and make Him known all day long, everywhere we go; and the acting and making of the film is outstanding! We intend to buy ten copies to give away, and then more as we can afford to do so. Blessings to Christiano films!!!…
—Rachel, age 45
Positive—“…the greatest strength of the entire production, is the convicting message of how our generation has drifted from the fear of God and settled into the lap of comfort and compromise. Rich Christiano has pieced together just about every dark area of our generation and society, and made us look at ourselves through the eyes of Christ. The central message of this film is aimed at the church of today and our need for revival and repentance. But this film also keeps the unchurched in mind, by including a simple plan of salvation that does not come across offensively or aggressive…
—Scott Green, One Way Films
Positive—This movie is a great wake-up call for church-goers! I provokes self-examination, and awareness of a right relationship with our Lord. The gospel was so clearly spelled out, that nobody could miss it. The story was exciting and had good comedy relief. It was very intelligent, and well presented. My husband and I loved it!
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Gia, age 38
Positive—I admit I was a skeptic about the new “Christian Movie” called “Time Changer,” after all, a great deal of “Christian Movies” (Seems like an oxymoron really) I’ve seen try so hard to pattern themselves after their worldly counterparts, and somehow you just don’t get a good feeling watching them. This movie was not like that at all, it exalted and proclaimed Jesus Christ from beginning to end, and there was no trying to bring almighty God down to man’s level!! Take as many people as you can with you to see it, and you will be blessed, challenged, and awakened to the times in which we live. For those who live in Massachusetts to my knowledge it is only playing in one cinema (what a shame and sham) the South Lawrence Showcase cinema’s. For those in all other places in (USA) I believe it is playing everywhere starting today. I applaud the Christiano’s for this film. My wife and 2 daughters have seen it twice and took two people with us the second time.
My Ratings: [Good / 3]
—Rob Anglin, age 38
Positive—I took my family to see Time Changer on Halloween night, as an alternative. What a pleasant surprise!! Absolutely the best Christian film I’ve seen. The dialogue, the acting, the convincibility, everything about this film was fantastic. My children ages 11, 14, and 16 could not stop talking about it until they went to bed. My oldest son said that he never wants to play video games again that include murder and extreme violence. All because of this film. I pastor a church and will recommend it highly!
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Tim Wiebe, age 39
Positive—I just returned with my husband from viewing Time Changer. I also read the positive and negative comments just before writing this review. Frankly, I don’t understand the negative comments. There was one section of the film where the words being played didn’t match the speaker’s lips, but that might have been the theater. And at times, the lead character seemed a little too formal—but considering how people did actually talk in the 1890’s, the portrayal was probably close to accurate in showing us the common, everyday speech of that day. THE MOVIE WAS TERRIFIC!! It tells us (the church) plainly that we are living in the last days where men and women will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. I believe that if someone were seeking an answer for his emptiness, that God can and will use this movie to save unbelievers before the rapture. But most importantly, those who attend church on Sundays should see this movie. The church of today needs to wake up to the fear of the Lord and the power of His Word and the authority of His Name; this movie can encourage the church to do just that. I believe without a doubt that this movie was sanctioned by God for God and for God’s people who live in the last days. Please, if you haven’t seen this movie—go and see it. You won’t forget it.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Carol Kay, age 50
Positive—I loved the movie and so did my family. Frankly, it was the best film I’ve seen in 50 years.
—John Dulaney
Neutral—I do think that Christians should go and see this movie. It does have a very good message, and if we want to see more movies with positive messages we must support the few that come out. In Time Changer, there were many corney lines that just made me roll my eyes. It also seemed that the main character in this movie was the worst actor of the entire cast. The way he spoke and the expressions on his face were like the acting quality of an actor in a fourth grade school play. Still, The movie is worth seeing and supporting, especially if we want more Christian movies to come out.…
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 2]
—Ben Williams, age 21
Positive—An excellent job at showing how we have strayed from the authority and fear of Jesus Christ that the Bible teaches. My husband and I enjoyed the movie and were so pleased with it that we went twice in the same day to see it. The second time we brought some friends and their children (2 and 5) and they enjoyed it also! Both children sat through the whole movie the entire time. What I don’t like is the PG rating… I feel it should be rated G. I find some Disney movies offensive and couldn’t find one thing offensive about Time Changers. For example, Disney movies use words such as “stupid.” Time Changers has no such words. The language is very clean and there is nothing on the film you need to cover your children’s eyes for. I give this movie 5 stars and plan on purchasing it and seeing it again in the theater.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Shannon Woodruff, age 31
Positive—The ONLY movie I can remember giving credit to Christ. An absolute must see in order to be sharpened, for witness, or so as to be supportive of Christian entertainment! Very good for those doubting and scoffing. The generational decline is readily seen even by the most sceptical or intellectual. Read Romans chapter 2.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Turner, age 43
Neutral—I applaud the effort that so many people went through to make this movie, but I have to wonder if any unbelievers will go to see it once word gets around that it’s a Christian film. On the other hand, a friend of mine suggested that people who go to church may be the ones who need to see it most… **Editor’s Note: Yes, it IS for the churched people that this film was created for primarily.**
My Ratings: [Good / 1]
—Tommy Stuck, age 48
Positive—My wife and two children (ages 5 and 6) went to a recent showing of “Time Changers.” We were hesitant to go at first, since the show was rated PG, but after researching found that it should be a safe movie for viewing. The movie was EXCELLENT, and we all extremely enjoyed the film. However, because of the PG rating, several VERY OFFENSIVE movie trailers were shown before the movie began. My wife and I had to shield our children’s eyes, and engage them in conversation during the scripts. We almost had to leave the theater before viewing the film! This would have been very unfortunate since the movie was so wonderful. We very much disagree with the PG rating of “Time Travelers” and are very discouraged that this rating permitted the theaters to show very offensive material before the main showing! I believe a G rating would have been more appropriate for the film, and perhaps would have stopped the theater from showing the objectionable material.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Michael Tigges, age 44
Positive—I went not expecting much, but was greatly delighted with the message. Cannot imagine that any sincere professing Bible believing Christ honoring believer would be anything but delighted. This message needs to be heard by all inside the church community as well as those on the outside. Very timely and thought provoking.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—John P. Wheeler, age 57
Positive—I expected another science fiction movie when I bought my ticket, I had no idea this was a Christian film when I went in to kill some time. I feel this movie gives the basic Christian belief necessary for salvation in a no holds barred, non-politically correct way without saying “I’m sorry.” This film is not a substitute for reading the Bible. However, it is a tool to introduce non-believers to the basic Christian beliefs that Jesus is God, God’s Word is truth and accepting Jesus’ atonement for our sin is the only way to salvation. This may be the only pieces from Word Of God that some people will allow themselves to see or hear. “Time Changer” lays the basic facts of salvation on the line in simple terms and encourages church attendance. Many Americans only know what the popular media says about Christians. As a result, many do not know the truth of salvation. A special thank you and a “God Bless” to Kerasotes theaters in Indianapolis for showing “Time Changer.”
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 4½]
—Keith Wolfe Sr., age 44
Positive—Last night at 5:45 pm my children and I attended one of the World’s Temple’s multi-moral worship services! Driving into the parking lot of the World’s Temple was just the beginning. Simply viewing the Colossal structure, itself, was a resonating experience—sounds of Minor-chords playing on an organ came to mind. As we walked towards this amplitudinous youth hostel (majority of the attendance is youth!), everyone (including us) in their own state of felicity was clasping the pre-determined mandated “tithe” required upon entry. Walking under the covered area we felt as if a leviathan (like Jonah’s whale) had engulfed us! Once inside, our senses were instantly and actively engaged in the immediate surroundings! Whew! Now on to the “worship service”! Many “worship services” were available. We chose the evangelical “service.”

However, we should have remained outside the “service” for approximately 10 minutes before entering. The “service” Previews were not pure, lovely, nor of a good report. Ah—the “worship service” was Edifying—instructing us in the admonition of the Lord! We yearn to hear this message incessantly within our minds; we strongly desire to apply the teachings of this message into our lives! Lord, grant us the strength—to not be ensnared by—to overcome the entanglements of the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life! All these issues were addressed in this “worship service”!

It is amazing that we do not hear this message in our Lord’s house, where Christians attend each Sunday! Yes, yes, we had to attend the World’s Temple, where multi-moral worship services are held, where a pre-determined mandated “tithe” is required upon entry, in order to Hear, See, and be Admonished to live our lives to the Glory and Honor of our Lord, Jesus Christ. To Jesus Christ, God’s Son, be the Glory! Many thank yous to the Christiano brothers and all those that were involved in The Time Changer being distributed through the Movie theaters!
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Beryl Hartwig, age 45
Positive—I thought this movie was outstanding and Christians in the US need to see this. I was so convicted tears were in my eyes. This movie shows the church were we stand from the past church’s perspective. I would encourage you to go and see this movie. My 89 year old grandmother, wife and 7 year old daughter all loved this movie (its for any age). The movie is rated PG for content which is a joke compared to any Disney movie. The content in ? is Jesus Christ. My brothers and sisters: see this movie.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Matthew, age 29
Negative—Good idea and thought-provoking question about separating the “good behavior” from its authority. Unfortunately, the script itself was heavy-handed and preachy. The dialogue was stilted and unrealistic. David Morin is way out of his league and should have never been cast in the lead. This would be great to show at a church function followed by discussion—unfortunately, this was offered to the whole world as an example of Christian art. Sacred art should be better than—or at least comparable—to secular art. “Mercy Streets” and even “A Walk To Remember” offer a better example of art that reflects a Christian worldview.
My Ratings: [Good / 1]
—Mark Webb, age 39
Negative—I was very disappointed with the quality of this film. One of the biggest problems in the “Christian” film industry is that Christians only make films for other Christians to go see. Most of the time there is no opportunity to witness because secular people won’t even go see the movie, simply because it is advertised as a “Christian” film. I suggest Christians take their non-Christian friends to secular movie which include themes of good triumphing over evil, which gives more of an opportunity to witness than “Time Changer” does.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 1½]
—Jay Grant, age 19
Positive—Wow! Sound biblical foundation. Excellent story line and much food for thought. It preaches the gospel many times throughout and is right on. A “wake up” message to the Church! We have compromised and G-d wants it to stop now! Take this movie to heart, the L-rd is speaking to us! Meditate on it, let it challenge you from your complacency. Bring your unsaved friends, relatives. Even my 5 year old granddaughter watched and asked many questions. This movie is for everyone!
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Linda Bejarano, age 49
Negative—This film was insulting to me as a loyal follower of Christ. Like many bad “Christian” films, it comes off as condescending. I went to see this movie based on the strength of this review, but was deeply disappointed. It was just a standard “man travels into the future” film with a Christian subtext. Don’t waste your time with this one. Stay home and read the Bible. It is the only true Word of God.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 1]
—Mike Jinene, age 37
Positive—Time Changer is a refreshing change of pace. With the still strong message for its purpose. It blends reality of most peoples views with a check on biblical truths.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Tammy, age 38
Positive—…let me be honest here… I’m jaded. I hear the words, “Christian film,” and I EXPECT to see something on the “B” side of the movie line. I had heard the buzz about “Time Changer” several months ago and visited their rather amateurish Web site. When the trailer went up at Apple’s movie trailers Web site, I wasn’t impressed. In my mind, I’m seeing the Love Boat’s Captain Stubing and detective Barney Miller in major roles; it looks like a TV has-beens convention. The trailer wasn’t “snappy” like most trailers you see and it couldn’t seem to decide if it was advertising a drama, a comedy or an adventure. In other words, I wasn’t expecting much. Boy, was I surprised! Sure, I’ve got some nit-picky complaints (I have those about every movie), but “Time Changer” is good. Recommendably good. The story moved along fairly well and very good performances were rendered by Gavin Macleod and Hal Linden. The lead actor playing Russell Carlisle was for the most part good, though in a number of scenes he seemed wooden and lacked emotion.

He made up for it as he preached in the church, though, and he portrayed the transformation from an arrogant, self-centered professor to a humbled time-traveller very well. The writing was decent, though the 1890s-era dialog seemed to be too modern in tone and delivery in some parts, particularly from actors in small parts. Hard to express exactly what this means… maybe I’ve seen too many British period dramas and expect something unreasonable. There are one or two scenes that just don’t work—they’re preachy and wordy. The scene I’m thinking of particularly is of Russell and the library lady talking as she rants about the movie industry. A history lesson on the decline of the film industry? Booorrrringggg!! They handled the same issue much better in the scene that appears in the trailer when he runs out of the theater …shocked by the blasphemy on the screen. Surprisingly, the really preachy scene, where he talks to the congregation works much better, maybe because it’s supposed to be preachy.

…There was a lot to like here, though much would be missed by a non-Christian viewer. Christian cultural in-jokes are funny to us Christians, but the unsaved won’t get why we’re laughing. I know Christiano has indicated that this film is primarily for Christian movie-goers, so that may be why he went that route. There were a number of funny scenes that played well; the guy in the pew next to him at church who avoids discussions of any depth by complimenting on Russell’s Bible was quite funny, as was the “going-back-to-the-past” scene, which I’m not going to describe as it was totally unexpected by any of us (and we all THOUGHT we knew what was going to happen). “Time Changer” isn’t going to win any Oscars, but it was a largely-enjoyable film with a good message, decent performances, and a story that was entertaining and thought-provoking. I wish there had been a better turn-out and it had done well. It deserved to.
—Jason
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie is probably the only CHRISTian movie out there today. When I first heard about the movie I didn’t really want to go, but when I did I was so blessed by it. It makes you realize that when you take the authority of Jesus Christ out of anything, the absolute Truth is gone. This movie is encouraging and convicting at the same time. It really shows how “normal” we view sin as. I recommend this movie to all Christians. It really is a movie parents should bring their children to.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Jaclyn, age 16