The Time Machine

release year: 2002
genre: action/sci-fi
viewing setting: home DVD, 1/12/03

synopsis: An inventor builds a machine that allows him to travel back and forth in time, and so he goes and has some adventures.

impressions: The above synopsis was designed to not spoil any plot points. While this movie might not have been supremely faithful to the book, it was lively and entertaining. The plot was straightforward and didn't waste much time. The time-travel effects, and seeing what happened at different points in the future, were top-notch.

   Alexander: Eccentric inventor and scientist, builds a time machine
   the Eloi: peaceful river/cliff dwellers from 800,000 years in the future, they meekly accept the attacks of the Morlocks
   Mara: hot Eloi woman who takes a liking to Alexander, likes to walk around in see-through gowns
   Kalen: Mara's kid brother, isn't afraid to help Alexander find the Morlock lair
   Vox: lonely holographic historian who seems to have survived in all the time periods that Alexander visits, proves useful for providing data
   Philby: Alexander's fellow professor from 1895, tries to talk ihs friend out of his outlandish ideas
   Mrs. Watchit: Alexander's housekeeper from 1895, runs a very strict household
   Emma: Alexander's fiancee from 1895, gets killed and thus causes Alexander to start his time travels
   the Morlocks: big, ugly brutes from 800,000 years in the future, they totally prey on the Eloi
   Uber-Morlock: pale, super-intelligent, telepathic leader of the Morlocks, reveals secrets to Alexander

things to watch for: Any of the views from the cockpit as Alexander goes forward in time.

acting: Guy Pearce does a good job as eccentric inventor/professor Alexander. Samantha Mumba (who, as it turns out, is a very successful singer from Ireland) does a good job as the simple yet alluring woman that Alexander encounters in one of the future times. Orlando Jones contributes some clever humor as a holographic librarian. The supporting roles (lost love, professor, housekeeper, Mara's brother, Morlock leader) were effective too.

final word: Pretty good low-key sci-fi yarn, worth seeing.

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