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The Time Machine (2002)

Guy Pearce , Jeremy Irons , Simon Wells  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (341 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Guy Pearce, Jeremy Irons, Doug Jones, Phyllida Law, Lenny Loftin
  • Directors: Simon Wells
  • Format: 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: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (341 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JKLZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,302 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Time Machine" on IMDb

Special Features

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but empty June 5, 2002
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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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun but forgettable July 27, 2002
"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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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glitzier Does Not Mean Better 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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
First there was H.G. Wells' classic novel. Then there was the classic film of 1960 by George Pal. Since the 2002 version of "The Time Machine" is based on these two works (much more on Pal then on Herbert George), some comparision between them is unavoidable.

The first 20 minutes of the new "Time Machine" are its best. Ironically, this is the only portion of the film which isn't based on either Pal or H.G. Wells... Instead, it gives us a completely new and original background story for the time traveller: In this film, it is a personal tragedy which compells the hero to build a time machine and try to change the past.

After the time traveller (named "Alexander" in this film) fails to manipulate his personal past, he embarks on a journey into the future to search for the reason he failed. Once he touches that lever which sends the machine to the future, the film follows the same plot as the 1960 version of "The Time Machine". This point, about 25 minutes into the film, marks the end of "The Time Machine 2002 - a decent sci-fi film" and the beginning of "The Time Machine 2002 - the lame remake".

Why lame? Because the "remake" portion of the film is far worse then original 1960 version in almost every aspect. There are a few exceptions which are noted below:

1. The time machine itself. As much as the original 1960 machine was neat, it really can't compare with the incredible design work Dreamworks did for the 2002 version: The new time machine is an absolute beauty.

2. Orlando Jones as the Digital Librarian in the future, Vox. He provides both a comic relief and a couple of touching scenes near the end of the film.

3. The time travel sequences.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie.
Published 28 days ago by Aviletron
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 29 days ago by Michael William Vaughan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I have always only watched this movie in parts. It's a great movie with great effects. I would recommend it.
Published 1 month ago by Steve A. Cuevas
5.0 out of 5 stars The Time Machine: a homerun!
A great movie about human nature and the need to hang on to those things that work for us, making us happy and content in life. Every character was well played. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paul Baker
3.0 out of 5 stars good movie
This is a good movie that had a lot suprises around every corner. I am happy I added it to my collection
Published 2 months ago by bsfirebird0503
5.0 out of 5 stars Where are we headed?
H.G. Well's time machine landed in fascinating possible futures. It may not have been the original cautionary tale, but this rendition was done brilliantly. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mike Scully
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful production. Really presents a beautiful tale, granted, not...
This is a movie of Hope. It expresses a simpler society. A society with all their needs met through cooperation. Read more
Published 2 months ago by tatermusic
5.0 out of 5 stars Where is Bluray version/Digital HD/Ultraviolet?!
Some years ago, I went to the movie theater at the shopping mall and watched that movie. That was very good movie comparing with old movie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sword7
4.0 out of 5 stars Time Machine 2
Being as one's opinion of a movie is largely subjective, I have been rating the DVDs on their quality rather than their content. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jack Orion
5.0 out of 5 stars Texan point of view;
Wonderful love story. Husband and I really enjoy this version of the story. Highly recommend it for time traveler movie seekers.
Published 3 months ago by anita
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