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Timeline (Widescreen Edition)

395 customer reviews

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Timeline (2003)
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Editorial Reviews

3 students working on an archeological dig must travel back to 14th century France to rescue their professor, trapped in his favorite era. Based on the Michael Crichton novel.

Special Features

  • Journey Through Timeline (3-Part Documentary)
  • Setting Time
  • The Night Of La Roque
  • Making Their Own History
  • "The Textures of Timeline"
  • Trailers

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: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: 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: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: April 13, 2004
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (395 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I55OC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,312 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Timeline (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 5, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This film is based upon Michael Crichton's marvelous best selling book of the same name. When I first heard that a film was in the making, I was really looking forward to viewing it, as I absolutely loved the book. That it was in the theatres for just about the blink of an eye, however, gave me the idea something might be wrong with it. Having viewed it, I now fully understand why its sojourn in theatres was relatively brief.
Unfortunately, the film bears little resemblance to the author's finely crafted time travel tale. Jeff Maguire, having written a screenplay that seeks the lowest common denominator, just about destroys the author's work, reducing it to an almost incomprehensible piece of drivel. The screenplay takes a five star book and turns into a film that barely rates three stars.
Here, a young group of archaeologists and historians are excavating the ruins of a fourteenth century feudal town in France, which excavation is funded by the International Technology Corp (ITC), a well-heeled, corporate giant. Some of the archeological finds are puzzling, as they seem to be anomalous to the time period. Moreover, the leader of the archaeological dig, Professor Johnson (Billy Connelly), has suddenly headed back to the states to ITC headquarters, and they are unable to get in touch with him. They are then all summoned to ITC headquarters by Robert Doniger (David Thewlis), the head of ITC.
At ITC, they are told that the Professor has been transported by ITC back to fourteenth century France through a worm hole that ITC has inadvertently discovered. Unfortunately, the professor has not returned, and ITC wishes to send them back in time through the wormhole to help with the rescue of the Professor.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Mr Man on April 10, 2004
Format: DVD
While it has been a while since I have read the book, "Timeline" was just one of those stories I truly enjoyed. The movie, while omitting some parts of the novel, actually follows the general plot of the book. A few changes are made to the beginning and end, but overall the actual storyline is similar to the novel. Many of the parts cut out of the book are actually parts that, given the cast, are better left out. The majority of these scenes involved the character Chris, played by Paul Walker. Luckily, the movie does not make him the main character like he was in the book. The less screen time of Paul is definately better. My favourite character in the book, Andre Marek, is excellently portrayed by Gerard Butler and he saves the film from being completely worthless. Anna Friel as Lady Claire as well as other supporting characters are also great performances.
I understand why many would not like the movie since there are many others in a similar genre. For me, I have never really been into these kind of movies and while I am an avid Crichton reader, I did not read this book when it came out due to it's subject matter. When I finally decided to read the book on a flight, it became my second favourite next to "Jurassic Park". This was the first film I really saw about medieval times, and even though the movie could have been better, I enjoyed it. I think this was because I love the story so much and the movie was not a total detour from this story.
A few points to make that many people seem to nit-pick about:
1. The fact that they changed Chris' character to be the son of the professor instead of his student is not a big deal. Also, I don't see why it isn't plausable that he could not be the son of a Scottish professor just because he is American.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Billy Stewart VINE VOICE on April 29, 2007
Format: DVD
This is actually 2 reviews blended as one; the first, the movie as a standalone film (disregarding the book), and the second, as an adaptation of the book.

THE MOVIE:
The movie was not very good. It moves quickly and is filled with action but suddenly dies half way through and grinds to a slow finish. They don't really take time to explain much, rather they press forward with the story and unsuccessfully try to allow the characters to explain important points as the film runs it's course.

The story is creative and could be exciting. Archaeologists go back in time to the place they had been excavating. The man who is sponsoring the archaeological dig is a bad guy, someone seeking to make money off of the scientific find of the ages, time travel, even if it costs a few lives.
The acting is OK, the direction is OK, the editing OK, the screenplay is horrible, and the costumes, landscapes, sets and period pieces are somewhat authentic although stylistic and cliche. The battle scenes are poorly choreographed and not exciting. The only thing of note that was accurate would be the siege engines. That was done well.

All-in-all, the movie is poor. It is an OK escape, a film that may be worth watching but which does little to add to the genre of action/adventure films. A below average outing.

THE MOVIE AS AN ADAPTATION OF THE BOOK:
This is where the movie really falls flat.

If you read the book, don't expect much from the movie. Everything is changed. Characters, their motivations and fears, reasoning and abilities, strengths and weaknesses, relationships and interactions with each other, are all changed from the minute the film begins.
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