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Thursday, May 06, 2021
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

The only way to time travel

Over the years, there have been some strange forms of time machines, including phone booths and DeLoreans. But there is yet to have been a time machine that is a hot tub.
Although Hot Tub Time Machine is cursed with a strange and blatantly obvious title, the actors are quick to extol the hidden virtues of director Steve Pink's (Speechless) latest work.
"[Hot Tub Time Machine] is deliberately irreverent. I think people will be surprised," said Clark Duke (Sex Drive) "I'm not going to say it's a brainiac comedy, but how smart it is and sharp it is and clever. With the title Hot Tub Time Machine, it kind of tells you, you should go in there and not think at all. But there's some good jokes in there."
Duke, along with Craig Robinson (Father of Invention), John Cusack (2012), and Rob Corddry (Taking Chances) takes a vacation to escape their personal problems. Yet, the foursome is given a chance to change their lives as they are thrown back into the '80s by a time machine in the guise of an innocent hot tub.
However, this isn't a reimagining of the Back to the Future variety. Physics are tossed out the window and comedy takes the driver seat in this improve heavy film.
"Steve Pink, the director, was very encouraging and wanting us improve and mix and match and develop these characters more, so a lot of what you see isn't on the actual page," Robinson said.
After holding a majority of standup and television jobs, the transition to the big screen did include some changes for the Duke and Robinson.
"[I had to take] what I learned doing comedy on stage into film and television and that was something I had to learn how to do and that was not easy because sometimes you got to be subtle with the acting and you got to know when to be big," Robinson said.
Following in the massive wake made by last year's The Hangover, Hot Tub Time Machine has a high standard to meet. They're not worried though.
"They are the target to hit, to pass. They are reigning king right now. All do respect to The Hangover, we've got a pretty funny movie and were going to give it a shot," Robinson said.
Aside from Cusack, and the brief appearance of Chevy Chase, most of the leads have only had small time roles. Given the chance to step up, the group didn't want to disappoint.
"Everybody delivers. It's funny to see. People get laughs, even characters who just appear once in the movie. I think what's going to ensure the happiness in Rob Corddry's performance," Robinson said. "He kind of gets away with stealing the movie, his character has no rules and no limits and he just rode it all the way to the bank. We all had fun but Rob Corddry killed it."
The children of the '90s don't need to worry though. Even as the '80s slowly slip farther into obscurity, the typical stereotypes prevail.
"Your going to enjoy it as much as somebody who lived through the '80s and you'll be familiar with some of the songs and you'll get to pretty much take a trip back and see how things were going on and see the ridiculousness of hairstyles and colorful outfits," said Robinson
Duke agreed with Robinson and assured that audiences wouldn't be bogged down and confused in the '80s nostalgia.
"It's not like a Ken Burns documentary about the '80s or anything, you're going to be able to keep up, I promise," said Duke.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the world will really be interested in a movie about a bunch of dudes messing with time from the comfort of a hot tub. Yet Duke is optimistic.
"There's a lot of pent up public demand for a hot tub themed film right now. This film is almost a public service. You're welcome, America," said Duke.
So for that section of the populace who is craving hot tub based movies, or if their just looking for comedy, Hot Tub Time Machine opens nationwide on Friday.

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com


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