Jules Verne's The Fabulous Journey to the Center of the Earth (1978) A.K.A. Where Time Began
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WHERE TIME BEGAN opens with a pre-credit discussion of the interior of the Earth by a group of geologists, with Professor Otto Lidenbrock (Kenneth More) commenting that the only way to prove any of the theories is through an actual descent. The credits follow, superimposed over a pleasant salute to the Vernian visual style of Georges Méliès, but marred by an inane song on the soundtrack.
The date of the story is shifted to 1898, to make it more contemporary for the audience, in both technology and social mores (such as the place of women). In Hamburg, an aged man tries to sell several old volumes at a book store; they are bought by Lidenbrock. Arriving home, he finds the soldier Axel accidentally kneeling before his niece Glauben, and assuming there has been a marriage proposal, gladly but offhandedly offers his consent. Glauben notices the small note that falls from the book, and together Lidenbrock, Axel, and Glauben, with the help of the cinematically referential device of a magic lantern, discover the key to Saknussemm's code.
Under the same necessity to add a feminine lead as other versions, WHERE TIME BEGAN follows a vastly simpler method. Glauben wants to go on the trip, and her practicality proves a valuable assistance to the absent-minded Lidenbrock and equally ill-prepared Axel.Read more ›
Initially, this movie doesn't even remotely closely follow the Verne classic. There is nothing even remotely familiar in here--Pat Boone playing an accordion all the way down was a closer rendition--and that's saying something. About the only thing that is similar to the classic novel is the fact that there is a journey to the center of the earth.
Second, the setting isn't really all that accurate. A matte painting is used for the "volcano," and it doesn't even look like a real volcano from any geology textbook I've read (and I was a geology major specializing in volcanic seismology...). Worse, the type of volcano illustrated doesn't even exist in Hawaii. The eruption indicated is a physical impossibility in the islands.
Thirdly, Atlantis. Really? Please. This is an insult to my intelligence. Verne MUST be rolling in his grave...
Fourth, the plot. It's as if the writer just grew tired of the story (or the film ran out of money) and it just STOPPED. Dead. No rising action. No falling action. No action.
SAVE YOUR MONEY! Do not buy this. Go to Cold Stone instead. You'll thank me for it. My copy has already been placed into the shredder. It doesn't even rate a viewing at my Sunday night heckle parties.
I bought this version knowing it was not WHERE TIME BEGAN. I wish it was WHERE TIME BEGAN because I love that film. I have never seen this 1988 version starring comedian EMO PHILLIPS but I have always wanted to.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
but this really pulled out the wang dang doodle and went down
Great family movie...my 7 year old boy loved it and I enjoyed watching it with him. Great kid adventure all around.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I'm seriously trying to figure that out right now, as I just finished watching by far, the most bizarre thing that I've ever seen MGM's name on. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cass G
History: this film was started as its own production by Golan-Globus, but as their production company shifted its focus, the work remained unfinished for years before finally being... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kei
Not a super grate movie & why that is. Is that it ended with more story to go. In a Big way it had no end to the movie.Published 9 months ago by Lawson Allen
this version of the Jules Verne classic is absolute crap. why anybody would want to be associated with the manure is beyond me. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Colin W.