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The Time Machine (Widescreen)

Guy Pearce , Yancey Arias , Simon Wells    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
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While the 1960 version of The Time Machine remains a science fiction classic, this adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel benefits from a dazzling CGI facelift. Digital wizardry shows us the awesome splendor of eons passing in an eye blink, while Wells's heroic time traveler--played with appealing conviction by Memento's Guy Pearce--is given a stronger motivation for piloting his time machine 800,000 years into the future. Long after New York City has crumbled and the moon shattered by a nuclear accident, Pearce finds a new home with the peacefully primitive Eloi, after confronting the subterranean Morlocks (courtesy of Stan Winson's monster shop) and their evil overlord (Jeremy Irons in wicked, pigmentless makeup). Trading Wells's social commentary for pure adventure, director Simon Wells (the author's great-grandson) maintains the story's legacy of wonder, despite a few hokey embellishments. Catering to a younger audience, this Time Machine is fun without being particularly distinguished--a treat for the eyes, if not the brain. --Jeff Shannon

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No time like the present... Jan. 31 2006
I must confess that I march to a different drummer when it comes to this film. I enjoyed it for the most part, and find it very clever in many aspects. The major drawback comes from the plot - it is far too simplistic for the elaborate care that went into both the visual aspect of the film as well as the nice touches at almost every turn.
The plot is rather simple - Alexander Hartdegen, a mechanical physics professor in turn-of-the-century New York (turn of the nineteenth-into-the-twentieth century, that is), has his head in his equations, apart from one thing, his love for Emma. When she is killed in a botched mugging (yes, New York at that time even had muggings in Central Park), Hartdegen drops everything to invent the time machine he'd theorised, in order to prevent Emma's death. He soon makes the discovery that it isn't possible to undo the past (at least not that aspect of the past), but becomes obsessed with finding the reason why. He speculates this is more likely to be answered in the future than in the past or present, and thus goes forward in time. He makes a few stops along the way before arriving at a far-distant future (nearly a million years in the future), in which the human race has evolved into two distinct species - one on the surface, and one below the earth.
So far, so good - departure from H.G. Wells' original classic (a great piece of literature) and from the earlier film, but not beyond the pale. The effects here are truly stunning in many respects - the time machine itself is a marvel (the DVD has a feature on the making of the machine), and the time transformation scenes are very inspiring, up to and including the zoom-away shot from the machine into the air all the way to the city on the moon. The Eloi city along the river is also a remarkable scene.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too far from the book May 21 2005
By A Customer
The director could have stayed closer to the book (on which the movie was based). I read it and must say that the original sticks a lot more to the book, although some small changes had to be made (Weena and the rest of the Eloi are child-like people, while they were adults in the movie). But on the other hand, if he had stayed closer to the book, it would have been just a copy (new and improved) of the original movie. So I'd say the movie was LOOSELY based on the book (the idea, at least, if anything else...)
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but is it really Welles? June 14 2004
This is watchable action/adventure, with competent acting and effects. It just never rises past the ordinary, though. Also, though I haven't read Welles' original in some time, I have doubts about its faithfulness to the original.
The plot is simple enough. Brilliant but obsessed scientist suffers a terrible loss, then creates the time machine to go back and recover what was lost. When that doesn't work, he skips forward through time, and an accident lands him in the distant futre. Mankind has split into two subspecies, the peaceful, pastoral Eloi and the vicious (and a little more technologically oriented) Morlocks. Our hero saves the world and lives happily every after. [Vague, I know, but I prefer to avoid spoilers.]
The steam-punk look of the time machine is well done. The look of the Eloi village is distinctive, but very reminiscent of the Myst games. There was interesting continuity of the traveler's steps into the future, including the one character that reappears in different eons.
A few things left me confused, though. The Morlocks use blowguns with some vile mix in the darts. As near as I can tell, though, the only effect of a dart is to leave a black stain - I never did see toxic effects in the people hit by them. Also, a relatively small nuclear blast was enough to break up the moon. Huh? You don't need to be a physicist here. Some of those lunar craters came from meteor impacts that released the energy of nuclear blasts, big ones, and the moon held up just fine. Breaking up the moon would mean overcoming the gravitational attraction that holds all the pieces together. No human bomb is anywhere near that energy range.
It's a decent enough way to kill an evening. Just be sure you want it dead.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice film in it's own right March 23 2004
If you watch this film to compare it to the George Pal version or to the book, you will be disappointed. To literally tranlate Wells onto film won't work. he's too dated And to Pal fans it is heresy to say someone can do as well. I, personally, never thought much of the Pal version. Okay for it's time but not all that spectacular.
But this is a film only based on Well's story. Not limited to it. Just like the movie War of the Worlds was only based on Wells
This film has charm all it's own. The musical score is interesting enough to buy the cd. And the CGI effects are understated so they don't overwhelm the story. I would have fleshed out the story more. Perhaps a half hour more. If there is a valid complaint , it might be that Well's social commentary doesn't come through very well. But by creating the charactor of the "uberMorlock" (played interestingly enough by Jeremy Irons) the director gets to slip a bit of his own social commentary about the world changing and how we deal with it. Watch for the typical American reaction to change. That which offends us, we blow up. I will have to say that Samantha Mumba makes a refreshing change from Yvette Minieux who I have never liked in any part. Guy Pierce also plays the Time Traveler not as a ruff & tumble he-man (ala Rod Taylor)but as a frustrated academic.
A nice film if you leave your comparisons and prejudices aside.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est parfait
very good
Published 1 month ago by sonia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Oh past or future I wish I travel on time machine ha
Published 2 months ago by darrell feit
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I simply loved this movie. I recommend this for all Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans. The story line is amazing and the movie is full of surprises.
Published 14 months ago by John Battye
5.0 out of 5 stars Blueray version!
Where is the blueray extended version ??? Let's do it..Such memorable special effects. Great shots in filming. Suberb acting for this classical Wells story.
Published 15 months ago by Douglas
1.0 out of 5 stars Time Machine DVD
The DVD was damaged from being rattled around the case during shipping. As a result, chapters 12 to 15 could not be viewed. This was not the fault of the movie but of the shipping. Read more
Published on March 17 2011 by Ming W. Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars A really nice story.
I absolutely loved this version of The Time Machine. The temporal paradox thrown into the tale makes the story all that much better and the special effects were beautifully done. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2011 by Neil Roy
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Remake
I was impressed with the special effects and the changes to the screenplay from the original movie. The original is a sci-fi classic and in my opinion so is this 2002 version. Read more
Published on June 9 2008 by screenpd
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Remake.
I was impressed with the special effects and the changes to the screenplay from the original movie. The original is a sci-fi classic and in my opinion so is this 2002 version. Read more
Published on June 9 2008 by screenpd
5.0 out of 5 stars Time machine. Excellent
Très bon film qui me rappelle ma jeunesse lorsque je l'ai vu pour la prenière fois
Published on Nov. 27 2007 by Paul Kling
5.0 out of 5 stars better than harry potter and the chamber of secrets
yup this movie is better than harry potter and the chambers of secrets. since that movie didn't have great acting the quiddich game was not appealing.
Published on June 30 2004 by The Afterparty Pt 5
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