Everybody's a critic; This week - The Time Machine'

Friday, March 15, 2002

HHH

You need to be warned of my bias: I am a science fiction fan -- have been ever since I can remember. I enjoyed "The Time Machine." The basic formula is familiar -- guy loses girl, guy finds girl, guy saves a civilization. What makes it so fun are the questions it raises, the worlds created, the acting and the sincere and successful nod to the 1960 classic film by George Pal.

The Time Traveller, as he is referred to in the book by H.G. Wells, is Dr. Alexander Handegen (Guy Pearce, "Memento") a renaissance man of the late 1890s. When a tragedy befalls his fiancee, he strives to find a means to change the past. He ends up 800,000 years into the future to the world of the Eloi and Morlocks. As the Time Machine travels in the fourth dimension of time, not space, the Time Traveller never moves -- but the world change around him does. This is where a real nod to the 1960 film shows up --a dress shop changes hemlines with the passing years -- the Time Machine itself is similar to Pal's. He stops in 2030 and meets Vox, a visual "compendium of all human knowledge." When Vox frustrates him, he continues his journey. Vox almost steals the show later.

At the beginning of his quest, a friend, David Philby (Mark Addy, "The Full Monty") asks Alex if "we can't go too far." Alex says of course not. The question is certainly relevant today. This is, to me, the crux of the movie. It is fun and entertaining, but also asks some thoughtful questions of us as an audience and a society.

Enjoy the show, then ponder the questions.

-- Roberta Beach, nurse

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