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Timeline [DVD] [2003]

Paul Walker , Gerard Butler , Richard Donner    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
Price: 3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Timeline [DVD] [2003] + The Death And Life Of Bobby Z [DVD] [2007] + Running Scared [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Walker, Gerard Butler, Billy Connolly, Frances O'Connor, David Thewlis
  • Directors: Richard Donner
  • Writers: George Nolfi, Jeff Maguire, Michael Crichton
  • Producers: Brian Read, Derek Hoffman, Don Granger, Gary Levinsohn
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 26 April 2004
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001B3XX4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,943 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Just enough of Michael Crichton's novel survives in Timeline to make it a passable popcorn thriller. It's likely that Crichton fans will lament the shallowness of director Richard Donner's film, and its gee-whiz style of acting lays waste to any scientific credibility that Crichton's scenario might have retained. Still, the Crichton formula is a sturdy one, following the model of Westworld and Jurassic Park by involving a small band of adventurers in a fantastical realm of danger and death. In this case, a group of archaeologists and combat experts (led by Paul Walker and Frances O'Connor) use a "3-D fax machine" (so much for technobabble) to time-travel back to France in 1357, in hope of retrieving Walker's father (Billy Connolly) and returning safely to the present. No such luck. Fending for themselves against marauding hordes of medieval French warriors at war with the invading British, these semi-intrepid travellers find their body count rising, and the deadline for their return home is rapidly approaching. All well and good, so far, and the castles-and-crossbows action reaches a fever pitch, but it's obvious that Donner is too lazy to make the much better film that this could and should have been. Despite its enjoyable highlights, Timeline is perfunctory entertainment. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Paul Walker Timeline

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Archaeology is FUN! 20 Sep 2004
This has an interesting and unusual idea as a basis (from a book by Michael Crichton) but sadly seems to lose it's way at times.
Basically a space/time 'wormhole' is discovered enables people to travel back in time- but only to medieval France. A group of archaeologists are coerced into going back to save one of their number stranded there.
There's a clash of cultures between the Scientists/Military/MoneyMen versus the History-loving Archaeologists. There's a lot of inconsistencies glossed over (presumably explained in the book) but hey- it's an action film first and foremost.
It has an abrupt start and I thought 'Great! That means there's so much to fit into the rest of the film that they've glossed over character building and scene setting!'.
I was wrong. It meanders once it gets going and seems to think it has to justify how History can be 'F.U.N'
Having said that there's a dependable and credible (if odd) cast, and Richard Donner is a veritable stalwart of cinema direction.
The locations are beautiful- shot mainly in Quebec (which is in line with it's French connection!). Some of the sets are impressive too and the stunts pretty good.
So all-in-all a bit formulaic but not a bad film.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special, but enjoyable fun 8 Aug 2004
Having not read the book, my general opinion of this film is certainly higher than many of the other reviews here. I personally found it was very well paced, had very nice and well choreographed action sequences, and had a decent (if simplistic) story. It's based on a book by the same author who wrote Jurassic Park, and in fact the composition of this film seemed to be very similar to that one (substitute dinosaurs for medieval knights, genetic manipulation with time travel, and there you go).

Unfortunately, just like Jurassic Park, the characters are fairly one-dimensional and the plot is very straightforward. One failing of this film that Jurassic Park didn't have is the science (or lack thereof). The word 'wormhole' is mentioned a couple of times, but that's about it. I can understand a director/producer not wanting to confuse the audience with unnecessary jargon, but in this case where the scientific theory underpins the whole focus of the plot (e.g. getting there, and getting back), more time should have been taken explaining the machine and how (and why) it does what it does.

The acting was fairly decent for the most part, with Connolly, O'Connor and Friel giving the best performances (as you might expect). Unfortunately, I thought the main lead (Walker) was less convincing, but this is probably more to do with the weak characterisation than the actor's talent. The 'bad guys' as a whole could have been played considerably more menacing; I think Hollywood has finally past the point where just having an English accent is enough for the audience to tell that a character is supposed to be evil!

One thing missing from the film is a sense of humour.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice tale 13 May 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is nice tale about time.I do not know why is it rated so low in Rotten Tomatoes.There is everything in this move what you can expect in tale.adventure,history,love friendship,loyality...whatever you want.
Just sit down,relax and enjoy.
And,be sure,Gerard Butler is a cherry on the top.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good book ruined 20 Aug 2010
How could they ruin such a good book? Completely miss cast. Half of it missing. Gone from being another Crichton blockbuster, like Jurassic park, to just another B-Movie. The book even reads like a movie! Avoid at all cost.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ' Timeline ' a Good Effort 15 Sep 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Rather than repeating the plot line I will pass general comments.

It was only after watching ' Timeline ' was I aware that it was Directed by ' Richard Donner ' { think Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut }

Timeline's has a Claimed budget of $ 80,000,000 although this may be widely inaccurate.

You really have to watch it twice as it grows on you and it does have some very interesting extras.

The Trebuchet Scenes make up for any plot holes . { and ' Night Arrows ' is a very interesting concept }

By the way there was a substance that was called 'Greek fire' which may have been a 'thermite-like' reaction, possibly involving a quicklime or similar compound.

Its the only DVD I know where I ended up supporting the French against the English.

All in all its a enjoyable dvd.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slick adaptation of the original novel 10 Dec 2008
Virtually Maria (Virtual Trilogy)

As a great fan of the sadly lamented Micheal Crichton, who has written a trilogy of time travel books of my own, I would recommend this DVD as a slick and entertaining adaptation of the original novel.

OK - there isn't the attention to detail and the intricately woven technical explanation that made Crichton's novel so believable that you felt you could go out and build a time machine of your own out of a fax machine and a laser pointer. But hey, this is Hollywood!

The techno-babble is plausible enough, the battle scenes are fantastic, the bad guys are wonderful and the extras on the DVD - particularly the documentary narrated by Richard Donner on how the movie was made - are extremely good and well worth the money.

It's not quite Jurassic Park, but it's a good movie and a great way to spend an evening with a cold beer and a hot pizza.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Akin to Kingdom of Heaven, only shorter
This movie is one of those guilty pleasures, the fall back movie. The film you can pretty much watch any time, any where and know where your at. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Picknmix
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not a great movie at all. I'm a Paul Walker and Gerard Butler fan but not good...........
Published 20 days ago by marie
5.0 out of 5 stars billy connelly
at a archealogical dig the professor goes missing ,his son finds an ol parchment (letter) dated from the 1390s with a message in the corner asking for help and seesits his father... Read more
Published 1 month ago by davidhattermann
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak rubbish
A remarkably good caste drown in this odd piece. This is certainly the worst performance I have ever seen from Frances O'Conner. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Exiled warrior
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
So sad that Paul Walker died when he did. This is one of his earlier films and is very good. He had such geirgoys blue eyes.
Published 2 months ago by michelle
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeline (2003)
I enjoyed watching this film from one end to the other.
Highly entertaining with great characters and dialogue.
Viewing is a must..
Published 2 months ago by giandougl
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Walker film
Timeline - going back in time to locate his father, the late Paul Walker, Gerad Butler and others go back to 1300 and are stuck between two warring factions. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Meerkat 1
4.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers but brilliant
You might need to know where I'm coming from. I like adventure films and still enjoy the old Doug McClure "At the Earths Core" and "Warlords of Atlantis" features. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. S. Storey
2.0 out of 5 stars A pretty poor effort
Michael Crichton's book, upon which this movie is based, is a jolly good read which deserved better this B-movie effort. Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. Rice
5.0 out of 5 stars old film but great
Seen this a dozen times and i like good, down to earth film .Some of my favourite actors and never get bored watching this
Published 5 months ago by sam wright
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