Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

VINE VOICEon 18 May 2016
This second film version of H G Well’s The Time Machine stars Guy Pearce as the grief stricken time traveler.

From what I have read this was a very troubled production and from what I saw last night you can tell. The first 30 minutes or so are rather good, the production is very handsome, there doesn’t appear to have been a lack of money or talent involved and Guy Pearce, although miscast, does a good enough job as the absent minded and then obsessed protagonist. Simon Wells (H G Wells grandson) was perhaps just a little to close to his subject, directs with competency but exhibits little if any real flair or imagination. However at about 35 minutes it all seems to fall apart and turn into a cheesy Doug McClure film, you know the ones from the seventies when he goes to another strange world with Peter Cushing in tow and meets a cleavage enhanced and curvy female local, who speaks English, and with her help defeats the bad guys. Others have also mentioned that the time line doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense and I agree, after a while I gave up and watched without really understanding it all. I get the feeling the film was put together hastily in the editing room with what footage was available after the studio pulled the plug on the money.

This film may have worked better as a “reeboot” or “reimagining” rather than fairly simple remake. If It had been set in modern times, rather than remaining a period piece it would have cost less and may have been more interesting to a modern audience. As it turned out it remains a rather insipid remake of George Pals rather good effort from the sixties.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 October 2002
What a dissapointment. I was expecting it to be so and I was sadly right.
Once again, a classic tale has been spoilt by the need to satisfy the mass American market. Instead of using modern effects to produce a film closer to the original story, effects are used to jazz it up into something quite different.
The 1960 version at least maintained names and locations but not even these are acceptable to mass America, who appear to insist on making everything their own.
The Eloi are now cliffhanging, bi-lingual tribes people (from New York) with a grasp of their own destiny and welfare and a well defined, caring society. Why could we have not had the simple, diminuative, responsibility free, childlike people of the book? This would have been almost impossible to do in 1960, but absolutely acheivable today. The Morlocks are now a complex, multi-layered society employing hunting specialists instead of the hideous, subterranean Eloi farmers, who are themselves victims of their own subterranean culture. H.G. Wells created both peoples for a specific purpose - to show the extreme diversity of Earths inhabitants. This key theme was carelessly discarded. Day-time is as unsafe as night now and the film has hunt scenes that could have been lifted directly from Planet of the Apes. As for the fiancee rescue attempts - what on earth were they thinking of? It verged on comedy.
Don't get me wrong, this is a good film in it's own right. It goes at a fair pace, has its tensions and added violence that all films must have now. But so much of this film is not part of the original story that it should have had the last vestiges of the H.G. Wells story removed and been made as an original film - oh! of course they did that - they have made Planet Of The Apes.
33 Comments| 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 11 March 2010
I love the original Rod Taylor/George Pal film and when I heard they were doing a remake I was looking forward to what they would do with the story, given the leaps and bounds made in movie technology since the 1960s when the original was made. I meant to go and watch this at the cinema but never got around to it, so when it came on dvd I just decided to buy it on the strength of the story. I remember being bitterly disappointed when I first watched it, and after recently ordering the orginal TIME MACHINE from Amazon and watching that superb version, I watched this modern take again and was even more disappointed than the first time! It has none of the charm, look, or even the special effects of the original. There's no sense of wonder and no logic to the story. For example, there are 2 castes, the land dwelling Eloi and the underground dwelling Morlocks. The point is the Morlocks live underground because they can't abide the light! Yet in this version the Morlocks come out in broad daylight to attack and capture the Eloi and don't even blink! The Morlocks make-up might be more impressive than 1960 but they don't look anywhere near as menacing because there is no build up to seeing them. The Director has no sense of suspence. Also in the original the Eloi were portrayed as living with no sense of purpose or progress, which frustrates Rod Taylor's character until he gets them to rise up and fight the Morlocks! Here they have built vast structures on the cliffs (great architects!), live in an idyllic world and seem to have real purpose to their lives which misses the point altogether.

The script is pretty dire, full of cliches, and the story has been messed with to incorporate the fact that the time traveller's fiance has been murdered and he's invented the Time Machine to go back and prevent it. All this does is succeed in bogging the story down! Some of the acting is appalling, most notably from Samantha Mumba as the female love interest. She should stick to singing! Even Guy Pearce, who is a fine actor, seems to be wandering like someone lost through this film. The only saving grace is Jeremy Irons as the Lord of the Morlocks, a genuinely good character who is effective but out of place with the rest of the film. No explanation why he's the only one who can talk, or where the rest of his kind have gone to. It seems almost like they added his character as an afterthought so Guy Pearce would have someone to spar with at the climax of the film. Even the eponymous TIME MACHINE itself is a big let-down. It has none of the style or grace of the original. It's a shame really because this could have been ripe for a remake, but as it stands stick to the original because it is still head and shoulders above this travesty!
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 June 2016
This review is just of the film itself as I would never consider watching it again on any format. I saw it on the cinema and it is an applling remake full of cliches, especially the daft "race against time" ending that must have had HG Wells revolving in his grave at near light-speed velocity. Apart from a couple of interesting scenes this has nothing that the 60's film didn't have. Sadly, nobody has ever made a film that is true to the book so if you like the idea of this film I suggest you read the book first. Maybe one day someone will do justice to HG Wells' classic but we may need a time machine to go and see it.
11 Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 December 2005
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. The movie rightly won awards, including the Academy Award, for these effects. Unfortunately, effects do not a movie make. This is where the plot failure comes into play.
Hartdegen seems to give up far too early in trying to change the past, and his relationships (such as we get to see them) in the future are very stilted. Jeremy Irons (himself an Academy Award winner) has precious little screen time, to deliver what is perhaps the most anticlimactic resolutions I've seen in a long time. The overarching question should be 'why?', but seems to transformed into 'what if?' in an unclear way (the deleted introductory scene, available on the DVD, helps to more firmly establish the question, but, alas, it was deleted). Hartdegen remains in the future (like Wells' and the earlier film's scientists, albeit in a different way), perhaps to help transform the future, but we'll never know (a sequel is not likely).
Despite the thin plot, what I found most enjoyable (apart from the special effects) were the clever touches here and there, far too numerous to mention. When Hartdegen arrives in 2030 (prompted by an advertisement proclaiming 'the future is now'), he encounters a user-friendly library computer (personified by Orlando Bloom) with a real sense of humour and humanity. When Hartdegen asks about time travel, the library computer even incorporates Star Trek gestures and sound effects into its discussion (as well as the yet-unwritten musical version of 'The Time Machine', by Andrew Lloyd Weber). One woman in the distant future speaks English (now called the stone language, for the stone engravings that remain from store fronts and the like), but speaks without accent (strange enough, but even stranger that New Yorker Hartdegen sounds more British, as does the Morlock leader Jeremy Irons).
Indeed, there are so many little pieces here is seems that the writers spent more time trying to incorporate bits of cleverness throughout the script than making sure the script as a whole had thorough soundness.
Another piece I really liked was the music. The sombre brass tones, the triumphant orchestral arrangements, the folk/modern synthesis for the Eloi, and the dramatic scoring really enhanced this film beyond measure. The DVD has bits of the score that replay on a loop sequence during menu screens, and I've sometimes left these on to hear the pieces over and over again.
The DVD has one of the better menu sequence set-ups I've seen, simulating the machine effects in visuals and sound, as well as incorporating score elements and special effects. DVD extras include the delete scene, commentaries by many of the crew, several pieces on the special effects (including one on the time machine itself),
This is a fairly good film, despite its flaws. Overall I would award it three-and-a-half stars, but will round up to four in honour of the effects, the music, and clever pieces.
11 Comment| 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 25 January 2013
DVD arrived from Amazon on the due date at my local click and collect collection centre in mint A1 condition. Great innovation Amazon, keep up the good work! This is an interesting film which grows on you after time. This 2002 version is more faithful to the spirit of the original H.G. Wells text than the 1960 film of the same name which stared Rod Taylor. Further, the 2002 film was directed by Simon Wells the great grandson of H.G. Wells! All the actors in the 2002 film acquit themselves rather well, in particular; Guy Pearce (the time traveller), Jeremy Irons (the Uber scary Chief Morlock), Mark Addy (the time traveller's close friend, David Philby) and even Samantha Mumba and her little brother. Sienna Guillory provides "the love interest". The 2002 film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup but lost out to Frida. The special effects are very impressive and convincing. It is not a film for young children (there are a number of adult themes). It would be fine for any child over 12 - 13 years old. It is rated PG. A note to you anoraks out there. It is a fantasy film and should be viewed as such in that context. It is not meant to be a true story or a scientific explanation of time travel. Just switch off your brain for a couple of hours and enjoy the story!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 October 2016
In many aspects, The Time Machine (2002) improves on the original 1960's film.

While neither film follows the social constructs evolution as seen in the novel, the 2002 film has a more plausible plot device as to why the descendants of modern day Humans became the Eloi and the Morlocks.
That is the destruction of the moon which forced humanity into underground shelters etc, until the future humans were split into those that returned and remained on the surface and those who tried to return to the surface but could not and thus remained underground.

To modern eyes, an Edwardian and Victorian class divide (novel) or a many centuries long nuclear war (1960 film) are outdated and unrealistic.
Also in the 2002 film the characters are more developed, better acted and we also get to hear and see more of their cultures than previously, the inclusion of the Uber-Morlock is an interesting feature. the time traveller is more developed in character design, acting and emotional impact, we feel and see his anguish, fascination and frustration at what he is witnessing.

So yes the 1960 movie is great, but this 2002 remake is better in both viewing and story-telling.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 26 October 2007
Okay, some of the ffects were good, but here endeth the praise.

Beyonce looked lovely but the interpretation of a classic story just didn't get there.
33 Comments| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 8 October 2002
Simon Wells takes the brave directors chair of his grand father's classic 'The Time Machine' and creates a film that does not live up to the original nor is it a good film in any form. So unfortunately for Simon Wells he does not share H.G. Wells writing or creative ability.
The film actually starts of quite well with scientist Alexander Hartdegen (Guy Pearce), learning that time travel does not stop fate and in fact can increase tragedy, Alexander soon finds himself wanting to learn and change fate by visiting the future, out of reason, curiosity, and his will to leave society that has inflicted so much tragedy upon him. In fact his reasons are quite unclear, though this is not the films downfall, as what follows is a sudden surge far into the future, it seems the character lacks any sense of caution and places us into yet another familiar science fiction setting.
What we expect from a film such as this are revelations, clever things about the future that perhaps we were unaware of, and there are a few moments but never anything that totally amazes the viewer. So once Alexander appears far into the future where the Morlocks and Eloi live we finally see where the lack of story comes from.
First of all Samantha Mumba is quite bland, and in front of a great performance by Guy Pearce she shouldn't have been in this movie. But the real problem are the Eloi themselves, they appear so Friends of the Earth and modern that any credibility of being a far future tribe enslaved are thrown out of the window. They speak English far too well, apparently learning the language from collected writings on walls, and which they perfectly interpret using correct pronounciation and grammar.
Other problems arise with the Morlocks, they look too friendly, the make up being toned down for family viewers. Jeremy Irons and that typically evil looking bad guy cliche does no favours, barely saving him from the flop that was 'Dungeons and Dragons.'
The film ends too quickly for any relationships to be made, and by the end of the film you feel that S.Wells was not brave enough, instead creating something that lives to everyone's expections, in other words predictable and safe.
I could tell everyone that the effects are great, which the are, but in the end effects alone cannot save movies, it's time for the public to see originality. A good time travel movie will be made I'm sure, but this is not it, so save your pennies and buy the 'Back to the Future' trilogy for Christmas, now there's a good time travel film.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 December 2003
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. The special effects are quite good and they really look natural. The suspense of the film is also very strong. But I will regret two things : some of the technical points are a lot fuzzier than in the book, hence we have to accept a lot more unrealistic questionable points and I do not think H.G. Wells envisaged the idea of teaching the surface species how to fight : they were absolutely non-working and for them fighting was not even a concept they could imagine, invent or learn. In fact, and here the film is short, to fight you need to believe in some higher and stronger force that gives you the objective and energy to fight. This is often some religious representation of the group that justifies, hence sustains fighting against other groups. But this shortcoming reveals a shortcoming in the book : any living species will have a survival instinct and hence fighting will be natural, not something you learn like in the film, not something you ignore like in the book, something you know because of your hormones.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse