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The Time Machine (Widescreen)
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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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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.Read more ›
The early part of the movie sets about establishing a motive for the time travelling-and the movie discards the notion prevalent in the Wells book that intellectual curiousity is at the root of the desire and instead gives Guy Pearce a personal motive ,that of trying to prevent the death of his fiancee .In my view this is both a departure from and a cheapening of the novel which also seriously undermines Wells' philosophy by abandoning the authors explanation for the Eloi and Morlock -they are descendants of the effete aristocracy and the working class respectively-and substitutes an extra terrestrial basis for the divergence. .
Presumably the movie makers did not have confidence in the ability of the juvenile audience at whom they are aiming being able to grasp even rudimentary pollitical theories!
However we are talking about a movie not a book and judged as a simple minded piece of eye chewing gum this is OK once you get past the slow start and things pick up once the Morlocks put in an appearance and terrorise the rather insipid Eloi into whose midst the time traveller has fallen .They are striking creations and it is easy to see where the budget of the movie went.Scenes of them hunting the Eloi are stromgly reminiscent of scenes in Planet of the Apes and I suspect it was that movie rather than the Wells novel that was the inspiration for the movie.
I did not find the movie at all well acted ,Pearce was a tad insipid for my taste and the aupporting cast ,with the exception of Phyllida Law as the housekeeper ,was barely competent.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Came unbroken, without a scratch. Played great. Just as I remembered. Would buy it in "bluesy" if I had too. But the picture is clear as is the sound.Published 5 months ago by Denise McBain
Bought it for a member of the family. They seemed to enjoy it.Published 13 months ago by James Polese
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 on Aug. 26 2013 by John Battye
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 on July 7 2013 by Douglas