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The Time Machine (Widescreen)

3.3 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 40.94
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Product Details

  • Actors: Guy Pearce, Yancey Arias, Mark Addy, Phyllida Law, Sienna Guillory
  • Directors: Simon Wells
  • Writers: John Logan, David Duncan, H.G. Wells
  • Producers: Arnold Leibovit, David V. Lester, David Valdes, John Logan
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Universal Music Group
  • Release Date: July 23 2002
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005JKLZ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,864 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

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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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: VHS Tape
This film is a very much enriched adaptation of the book by H.G. Wells. First it contains a romantic beginning and a voyage in the past to correct the death of the girlfriend of the hero. Unluckily you cannot change the past, you can only change the circumstances of events. But the main bulk of the film is of course going to the distant future, to see what the earth and humanity will be. It projects the tale in the book into thefinal episode of the book : the disappearance of the hero with his time machine. The film also changes the philosophical meaning of the book. In the book, humanity in the future is divided in two species, one living underground and working, the descendents of the working class, and one living on the surface on the luxuriant nature without having to work, the descendents of the bourgeoisie. In other words H.G. Wells invests darwinism into the schematic vision of the first industrial revolution and its class struggle. Unluckily in the future the working species hunts the non-working species who are their meat. In the film the same evolution is caused by a natural catastrophe : the disintegration of the moon and its falling onto the earth. We can note that the surface species has regressed to a primitive state and the underground species has become some kind of devilish industrial species that works to produce nothing, the slaves of their own underground pointless industry, some modern representation of the devil or hell. One point is common : this world has lost all connection with god, all religious dimension, and this future world is the result of some darwinistic evolution. It is the future of humanity after the death of God, though less clearly in the film than in the book. The rest you have to see by yourself.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie takes an unconscionable amount of time to get going and we are well into the movie before we get to the book's most famous creations -the Eloi and the Morlocks .
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.
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