*** Official "THE TIME MACHINE" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Randy B A, Mar 7, 2002.

  1. Randy B A

    Randy B A Supporting Actor

    Feb 11, 2002
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    Just got back from seeing this in the theater, special sneak preview on 3-7-02.

    It had some cool effects and was a decent film, but i think i liked the origional time machine much better for the actual story telling.

    Oh those morlocks were dam scary!!!
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    Real Name:
    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for The Time Machine. Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
    If you need to discuss those type of issues, please post your discussion comments in the Official Discussion Thread for this film which can be found here.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
  3. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Jul 4, 1997
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    Just got back. I'll probably lengthen this review because it's late.

    The film had good moments; and bad moments.. but one definitive bad moment that really overall degraded the quality of the film was Jeremy Iron's menacing bad guy.. very uh.. not needed. In fact, it made the film seem to play poorly.

    The problem with a lot of these films is that while they have tons of special effects, there really isn't that "ooh" "ahh" type feeling that I get when I watch the older 1960s film, where the effect really seemed "neat" and I think part of that is that in the 1960s version, when he did the transition, you could see his facial response and his pondering what happened; here it seemed way "too real" and all of the focus was on the surroundings.

    All in all, a ** 1/2 out of ****
  4. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    The Time Machine - [​IMG][​IMG] (out of [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] )
    Recipe for a guaranteed mindless blockbuster: Take one classic novel (preferably science fiction), make sure that the source material has already had one cinematic adaptation, and it helps if the movie version is widely accepted as a sci-fi classic. Take liberal doses of ‘name recognition’, a somnambulant leading man, a wild-looking female with large breasts, and a plot that can invariably be described as “just like the original movie, only really dumb”. The last ingredient is by far the most important – and the most expensive; find yourself about 45 minutes worth of loud, flashy computer graphics and insert them at random throughout the production. This helps distract the people from the fact that they’re watching a piece of junk.
    Eventually every Hollywood trend begins to devour itself, and one can only hope that the current “remake renaissance” is on its last legs. For no good reason (other than sheer lack of creativity), audiences have in recent years been subjected to an unending strong of remakes that vary in quality from mildly diverting (Planet of the Apes) to pointlessly familiar (Psycho) to downright wretched (Rollerball). While this most recent revisitation ranks somewhere in the middle, it’s just tough to imagine what the filmmakers had in mind redoing The Time Machine. The original ranks among the most beloved science fiction films of all time, so logically another version would have some pretty big shoes to fill. The new film doesn’t even come close.
    But enough about the older version. Every movie deserves to be judged on its own merits, but even by those standards The Time Machine is a muddled and generally uninteresting affair. Things start off quite promisingly, as we are introduced to the gadget-obsessed Alexander Hardtegan, a brilliant yet befuddled young scientist. After his beautiful fiancée Emma is tragically murdered, Alexander devotes the next four years of his life to creating a time machine. His goal is to jump back in time just far enough to thwart his sweetheart's demise and pop back to the present and see how things have worked (will work?) out. Although his time machine works like a charm, Alex seems unable to prevent the past from repeating itself, as Emma once again meets a gruesome end. Dismayed by time’s rigid plan, Alexander decides to journey into the future in to discover how he can defeat his love’s inescapable destiny.
    It’s at about this point that the wheels completely fall off the movie. While the first 40 minutes or so feature some clever ideas and breathtaking special effects, The Time Machine stalls dead for its second hour. Alexander's first few leaps forward in time are rather entertaining, particularly some fun scenes with Orlando Jones (Double Take) as the world’s friendliest encyclopedia and a subplot involving the tragic abuse of Earth’s moon. The adventurer’s final leap forward brings him 800,000 years into the future, and the movie promptly turns into a half-hearted remake of last year’s half-hearted remake of Planet of the Apes. No longer all that concerned with resurrecting his beloved dead girlfriend, Alexander shacks up with a family of futuristic cliff people called the Eloi, one of whom is a) very pretty and b) speaks perfect English. The rest of the film (about 50 minutes worth) is nothing more than people running through forests while screaming at the inane-looking Morlocks, which are creatures comprised of computer graphics and dirt.
    The most frustrating thing about The Time Machine is the tiresome and familiar plot is preceded by some truly fascinating ideas. Any ONE of the concepts explored early in the film would make for an entertaining tale, but screenwriter John Logan knows full well what people remember from the earlier flick: Morlocks. So it’s off to the future we go, and all the promise built up by the time-travel premise is quickly dropped in favor of the old “join me and rise up against your oppressors” plot device before ending up with the inevitable “I gotta go rescue the screaming damsel from the head villain.” The final CGI explosion involving the Morlocks and the titular vehicle is never suitably explained, making the big finale an empty cheat of a scene.
    Guy Pearce – who have a great performance in last year’s Memento and an over-the-top enjoyable turn in this year’s Count of Monte Cristo – is really quite out of his element here. In the early scenes, Pearce comes off like a very nerdish Jason Lee, and he acquits himself no better later on when he’s supposed to shift into Indiana Jones mode. Guy Pearce is a very good actor, but you wouldn’t know it from watching this one. The other characters are performed as lazily as they are written. Irish pop-star Samantha Mumba - as the feral sexy gal – offers dialogue in both English and gibberish, neither of which come off convincingly at all. Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune) shows up in one rambling scene at the end, playing an evil albino who needs a good smack.
    Not only is the second half of this film painfully slow, but it also looks as if it were edited with a food processor. It’s rare to see a movie that takes such a speedy swan dive from “promising” to “interesting” to “familiar” before landing squarely on “stupid”. It’s as if all the imagination and wonder of the original film were surgically extracted and then replaced with bad acting and fancy effects. Given the choice between black-and-white brilliance or computer-enhanced stupidity, I’d take the former every time.
  5. Ash Williams

    Ash Williams Second Unit

    Oct 16, 2000
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    I just got back from seeing it. I just couldn't seem to get into this one. I thought Guy Pearce was a little out of place in this role, he just didn't capture the feeling that Rod Taylor did. The special effects are awesome and rival that of any other Hollywood blockbuster, but the problem with The Time Machine is that I don't think it is going to bust any blocks. There were about 10 people at the 7:00 showing and even less at the 9:00, quite odd for a Saturday night. As for the story, well it wasn't all that spectacular and there is nothing that is going to surprise you if you had seen the original. The coolest thing in the whole movie is the machine itself. I'm sure they spent a lot of time on it's design. One thing that wasn't quite up to snuff though was the makeup effects. The Morlocks looked very fake and didn't have hardly any scare factor, a quality that seems necessary for an antagonist. Overall I thought it was a good flick, but nothing to write home about. If you saw the original and liked it, then I guess it couldn't hurt to see this one, but don't get your hopes up.
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator

    Mar 4, 2001
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    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I saw The Time Machine Friday night -- I thoroughly enjoyed it. Being a lousy reviewer [​IMG] I'll just say that it is comparable to Planet of the Apes (2001). If you didn't like the new version of POTA, then I'd suggest staying away from TTM.
    However, if like me, you're a sucker for a time-travel story, then go see this. The first 30 minutes were worth the price of admission (in fact, I could just watch two hours of time-travel).
    Of course, now I have to read the book and find the original movie...
  7. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

    Jan 6, 2002
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    I saw TTM yesterday and really enjoyed it. Good ol fashioned Popcorn flick. Guy Pearce was great of course and Jeremy Irons, for his small role, was fantastic. Great F/X and design.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2
  8. ChristopherS

    ChristopherS Second Unit

    May 28, 2000
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    My review is simple. If you liked Pearl Harbor and the remake of The Planet of the Apes you will probably also enjoy this movie.

  9. RogerB

    RogerB Second Unit

    Oct 8, 2001
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    Here's what Canadian SF author Robert Sawyer had to say about it:

    ...saw the new TIME MACHINE film last night. It's only

    semi-true to Wells, but is a much more intelligent film, in my humble opinion, than the old George Pal version, and I have to say that, despite what many newspaper reviewers said, it was terrific. I recommend it to one and all.
  10. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

    Jul 25, 2000
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    Real Name:
  11. Grant Degs

    Grant Degs Agent

    Apr 2, 2001
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    Saw this the other night and I have to agree with the

    earlier reviewer that it started promising but then

    turned bad. All the smarts left the movie about half

    way through and were replaced with action sequences.

    Was it just me or did they delete several plot lines

    from the initial story. It seemed like the story probably

    contained more plot but was cut down for time's sake.

    For instance:

    (1) The guy that escaped the Morlocks and then stayed with

    the "phonic guy" until he died. He was never mentioned

    again. Why was he mentioned? Not just so the phonic guy

    knew about the Morlock's. That seems like such a dead end.

    (2) The Jeremy Irons character all of a sudden having the

    time machine and mentioning that Guy Pierce's character

    is inter-twined with him in some special way.

    (3) The "phonic guy" mentioning Guy Pierce's character

    was a time travel scientist in the one early scene. How

    did the world know he was a time travel scientist if

    he just dissappeared before publishing his results?

    Here is my take on things. This is all just speculation

    but I kept waiting for these plot lines to unfold and they

    never did.

    Idea #1) The guy who escaped from the Morlocks was actually

    Pierce's character later in his life story (Back in time

    but after a few more time jumps)

    Idea #2) Pierce's character jumped back in time to the

    point when the Morlocks were first taking over the world

    because he wanted to stop them early on. He had glimpsed

    the future and wanted to change it early on.

    Idea #3) When he jumped back to stop the Morlocks something

    went wrong and he was separated from his time machine.

    He was defeated and had no way to defeat the Morlocks so

    he escaped from the jungle and lived out his final years

    with the "phonic guy" because he had nothing left to do

    with his life.

    Idea #4) Jeremy Irons character stole the time machine

    from Pierce when Pierce made the jump back. (right before

    he escaped from the jungle) The Main Morlock (Jeremy Irons

    character) then used the time machine to advance his

    reign over the rest of the Morlocks and Eloi (Maybe jumped

    to the future to learn about mind control, etc). Thus,

    he had the time machine in his cave. (It was the same

    machine just a few jumps ahead of the one sitting in the

    the field) This would also explain the Main Morlock's

    comment about how Pierce's character was inter-twined

    with his future and place in the world.

    Idea #5) The rest of the movie would have been how

    Pierce changed this bad time line of him being defeated,

    the time machine being used for the bad and the Eloi

    being imprisoned forever. Somewhere in there he would

    go back to his first time, publish his time travel stuff

    for some reason (to foil the bad future maybe) and then

    live happily ever after at some TIME.

    I know this was a lot and totally my imagination but

    it seemed so logical to me when I was watching the


    I know that all of this would not have been shown in

    the movie. But I do think that maybe the conversation

    between Pierce and the Main Morlock could have brought

    a lot of this information out.

    My ideas would also explain why the main morlock let

    Pierce go. Because he needed him to jump forward and

    then back again so he could steal the time machine

    at an earlier time. Kind of like a vicious cycle.

    This cycle would have been broken when Pierce grabbed

    the watch and pulled the main morlock along for the ride.

    What do some of you think? Any ideas?

    Maybe it will be explained in the DVD. Deleted scenes?

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