Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann

Here is something that I find sort of funny. The Monkees were designed to be American television’s answer to the Beatles. Over time the Monkees and the Beatles became friends and the Beatles viewed the Monkees as equals as much as they did the Beach Boys. While the Beach Boys stayed together for quite awhile the Beatles and the Monkees both broke up. George Harrison of the Beatles stayed with music but dabbled in producing movies and had a hit with the film Time Bandits. Mike Nesmith of the Monkees did the same but had better luck with music. His movies and television series were critical success but failed to capture the attention of the movie going public. His best chance was with Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann. It was written by William Dear and Mike Nesmith. Directed by William Dear and the music composed by Mike Nesmith. The cast was quite impressive as it starred Fred Ward as Lyle Swann, Belinda Bauer, Peter Coyote, L Q Jones, Ed Lauter, Richard Masur and Tracy Walter. There is even a cameo by Michael Nesmith at the beginning of the film.
Lyle Swan is a champion off road motorcycle racer. While in a race in the desert he rides into an area where a time machine is being tested. Without realizing it he is sent back 100 years into the past. He tries to use his roadmap to guide him but since he doesn’t know he is in the 1800’s the map doesn’t match the area anymore and Lyle can’t figure out why he is lost. Bandits see this strange man on the strange wheel machine (his motorcycle) and try to steal it. Lyle can’t figure out why these weird guys want his motorcycle. I couldn’t figure out why Lyle never had to stop to refuel the motorcycle. He got unbelievable gas mileage out of it. Lyle also meets a beautiful woman and of course he succumbs to her desires. By then end of the film the scientist who made the time machine send a helicopter back in time to get Lyle and take him to the future and the motorcycle is destroyed. Now comes the really weird part. By this time Lyle realizes that somehow he went back in time. As Lyle is leaving on the helicopter the beautiful woman he met grabs the chain that he wears around his neck and yanks it off of him. The chain was a family heirloom that has been past down to each generation. Lyle realizes that he slept with his own great grandma. YUCK! It was a pretty good movie except for that weird sick ending. Like Ishtar it proved an ending can make or break a movie. Posted by Picasa

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