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The Time Machine

413 customer reviews

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(Jul 23, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

The classic science fiction novel by H.G. Wells becomes this big-budget adventure directed by the author's great-grandson Simon Wells. Guy Pearce stars as Alexander Hartdegen, a scientist, professor, and inventor in 1895 New York City who believes that time travel is possible. The sudden and unexpected death of his fianc‚e spurs Alexander to build a time machine, which he hopes to use in an effort to change the past. When he is unable to change the past, Alexander hurls himself more than 800,000 years into the future, seeking answers about the nature of time, but instead encountering a dystopian world where humanity has divided up into two races, the peaceful Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks. Befriending the beautiful Eloi woman Mara (pop singer Samantha Mumba), Alexander must set out to save her from the underground world of the Morlocks when she is captured by them. Along the way, he is aided by Vox (Orlando Jones), a bio-mechanical being from the 21st century. Ultimately, Alexander makes a shocking discovery about the true nature of the Eloi and Morlocks and decides that the only way to change the future is to alter the present. Due to exhaustion, director Wells was briefly replaced during the last few weeks of production by Gore Verbinski, director of The Mexican (2001). The Time Machine co-stars Jeremy Irons and Mark Addy.

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • Making of Morlocks
  • Making of The Time Machine

Product Details

  • Actors: Guy Pearce, Jeremy Irons, Doug Jones, Phyllida Law, Lenny Loftin
  • Directors: Simon Wells
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Dreamworks Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 23, 2002
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (413 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JKLZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,424 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Time Machine" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Steven Reynolds on June 5, 2002
Format: DVD
Once again, Hollywood underestimates the intelligence of its audience by torturing a socially-conscious novel into an over-hyped, under-cooked, popcorn movie. Do the guys at Dreamworks seriously believe we are so unintelligent that we cannot cope with a decent adaptation? Would we all run screaming from the cinema, demanding our money back because there weren't enough romantic scenes, chase sequences, plot holes, or cortex-splintering special effects? Or maybe their reasoning is more sinister: perhaps a dystopian fantasy about an effete leisure class living off the misery of a race of underlings is simply too close to the actual relationship between Hollywood executives and the audience. But hey, it wasn't all bad, I guess. The time machine itself was beautiful, and the initial trip to 2030 was superbly done. The music wasn't bad, either. And Guy Pearce did a fine job, given what he had to work with. I just wish Hollywood would leave sci-fi novels alone - or have the guts to do them properly. If you want to tell your own time travel story, fine. Go do it. But don't call it 'The Time Machine' and try to trade on the success of novel you clearly don't respect.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By F. J. Harvey on October 20, 2003
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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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Horner on July 27, 2002
Format: DVD
"The Time Machine" is loosely based on H.G. Wells' sci-fi masterpiece, written in 1897. The book was also made into a movie forty years ago [available on DVD at]. Back then, the major studios had decided to cash in on the craze created by independent, low-budget sci-fi and horror films. MGM, for example, produced "The Time Machine" as well as "Forbidden Planet". These pictures - sleeker and glossier than anything the independents could make - used what were, at the time, state-of-the-art special effects. Today's version of the Wells classic utilizes the same tools. While the results are at times spectacular, it lacks a key ingredient - a dash of intelligence - that made the earlier version more memorable.
The time is the very end of the 19th Century. The place is New York. Alexander Hartegen [Guy Pearce] is a brilliant, absent-minded professor of science who is madly in love. When his fiancée dies tragically, he feels somehow responsible. Sequestering himself in his laboratory for four years, he builds a time machine. His plan is to go back, change the past and prevent his lover's death. When this fails, he realizes that any answer lies in the future. He travels to the New York of the mid-21st Century where he finds the planet in the midst of a catastrophe. The moon is breaking apart, and chunks of it are plummeting to Earth. In this melee he is knocked unconscious and awakens 800,000 years in the future. There he finds that the moon's destruction has caused mankind to split into two different species - one beautiful, innocent and benign, the other hideous and very dangerous.
As a fast-paced, mindless adventure, "The Time Machine" frequently succeeds. To truly enjoy it, you simply have to leave your sense of logic behind.
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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Martin Asiner on August 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
It may be unfair, but a remake of a hit movie must always be compared to the original. The 1960 original of THE TIME MACHINE was a deserved hit. The 2002 version may be a treat for the eyes, but unfortunately, not for the brain. Part of the problem is that Simon Wells, the great-grandson of H. G. Wells, directed the movie as if he were more entranced with dazzling special effects (and dazzling they are) than with bringing out a believable, fully fleshed series of characters. In 1960, director George Pal wisely kept the focus squarely on the hero's adventures and why he helped the human Eloi. In 2002, Simon Wells clearly loved the image of leaping, loping half-humans that he had seen in previous sci-fi movies. The supporting cast in the age of the time traveler (David Pearce) did not do very much to point out his character. His girlfiend Emma (Sienna Guillory) was in the film only to motivate him to build a time machine to alter the past to avoid her death. One would think that such a clumsy device would not be sufficient by itself to galvanize the time traveller. In the original, Rod Taylor's scientific curiosity with time was quite sufficient a motivation.
The real hero of the movie is the special effects co-ordinator. The images of one day melding into the next are memorable. Further, the appearance of the Morlocks as a cross between man and fish stuns the senses. Jeremy Irons disappoints as the Morlocks leader. As Irons pontificates on the split between Eloi and Morlocks, the viewer can see under the pasty-white makeup and hear the Irons from DIE HARD III lecturing Bruce Willis on similar such claptrap. Further, the ending, which I shall not divulge here, is an incomprehensible mess of weird logic unconnected to resulting effect.
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This ever going to hit Blu-Ray?
Yes, the 2002 "The Time Machine" needs to be in Blu-ray. The 1960 Time Machine is in Blu-ray and it sit time that the 2002 Time Machine be release on Blu-ray too! Both are great films, and both deserve a Blu-ray release (and whatever format follows Blu-ray).

Plus, once you move up to... Read More
Mar 30, 2015 by John |  See all 3 posts
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