Ali Hugo is an indie musician. From what I've heard watching the "Time Machine Rockumentary," he's a damn good one. With a definite cutting edge nineties sound - perhaps even eighties influences, I was definitely brought back a few decades. And yes, since I am an older musician myself - the nostalgia was hard to ignore.
At times I've wondered how such a sound would play out in today's world. You get the occasional familiar licks now and then on the radio but even then, you'll hear it on a classic rock station. Mostly, today's youth are interested in drivel I don't even call music... probably much the same way my parents felt about my beloved mix tapes. Time marches on. Things change. But what if... ladies and gents... what if?
With all that said, you may be wondering about my slightly under average review of this film? An indie film scoring a two stars is not unusual. However, with all the positive praises I've written above, and the definite talent of Hugo himself - what gives? The answer is both simple and complex - yet can be adequately summed by saying this. I don't consider the "Time Machine Rockumentary" to be an actual film at all. Let me explain.
Even my favorite biographical movies contain stories. Be they reconstructions or slightly dramatized events. Documentaries serve as a history lesson about someone. Usually regarding their trials and tribulations, early life, etc. This is where it gets complicated... You see reader, Ali Hugo's film does contain some of the elements above. Enough of them to really make me think about what to do with this film. But in the end, it really isn't a film at all. More like a commercial.
"Time Machine" is more like an infomercial than a film. It's the visual equivalent of a demo tape or, in film terms, a show reel. I'm not talking about a slight lean - over to the side of promotional material. I'm talking about a sledge hammer. All this comes complete with numerous testimonials on Hugo's music, loads of various hosts playing - and talking about Hugo's music - and not a lot else.
We do get a little history on Ali, from Ali. We even get a segment that almost feels like a software tutorial. But everything here is pushing for one thing. Go listen to me. Check me out. Even when talking about sounds from the era, it still comes back to Hugo. As I wrote... this isn't a film at all. What's more? Almost everything is stock footage or pictures, seemingly straight from your favorite slide show viewer. We don't even get to see Hugo at all, just hear his narration and tracks. Again, this is not a film. It's a promotion. A self serving infomercial.
The truth is this. I can't argue Ali Hugo isn't good. He is. As I wrote above, the tracks I heard in the video - and when snooping around online - definitely brought me back. They also definitely had that special something we all listen for when judging music. Talent isn't the issue. The issue is that for me, this isn't a movie at all.
This video is free to watch for anyone - so why not check it out for yourself and weigh in? I'm the first to admit that everyone has their own opinion. A dime a dozen. So after watching yourself - why not weigh in? Links are below.