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|Index||444 reviews in total|
Based on some of the other comments I was expecting to hate this movie. I
didn't, but I see why the reviews seem so negative. There are so many
things to pick at, and no real bright spots to talk up.
It really wasn't that bad. It wasn't great, but it's worth a rental. I'm not sure I would have felt I got my money's worth in the theater.
I'm sure it was a tough chore to convert the original story to a 2-hour movie script. They had to take several liberties and condense quite a bit to do so. Unfortunately, that affected the flow and the movie ends up being a little choppy. How and why they go back in time is pretty well cut out of the movie and without any detail the believability is nil. The story boils down to a pretty standard chase and explosion thriller set in the middle ages.
Definitely treat yourself to a read of the book the movie is based on. Like any book, the depth of characterization is so much more rich and interesting than what comes through in the movie. Once you get past the introductory technical jargon to set up the story it is a real page turner.
I truly enjoyed this movie. It really isn't as bad as most of the reviews I've read make it out to be. It was not horrible or a waste of time. I rented it first and liked it so much I bought it. I'd recommend it for anyone who enjoys Sci-Fi movies for their entertainment value. I haven't read the book, so I can't make any comparisons. I think the whole story came together smoothly. Overall the acting was good, however Paul Walker would probably benefit from a few more classes. Gerard Butler was awesome in his role as Marek. I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot him in the future (no pun intended). I loved the beginning, the end, and everything in between. I give it a strong 8.
TimeLine the book is probably one of my most favourite books. I have read it
countless times and have enjoyed it every single time. So I was very happy
when I saw a preview a long while back that there was going to be a movie
about the book.
I wish that when people decided to make a movie out of a book they would make the movie just like the book. Don't change the plot, don't change the characters or their relationships, just leave it intact. They never do. I have been disappointed every time a book that I enjoy has been brought to the screen. I really don't know why I keep getting excited.
Ok, I understand somewhat that you can't re-create everything from a book. It just wouldn't be feasible. But they changed entire genders of people, removed some more interesting moments, changed character relationships slightly, and totally bombed at all the stuff dealing with the ITC, time travel and the vileness of both bad guys.
If you have read the book and seen the movie, you know what I am talking about. Some of the more exciting parts of the book were just not in the movie, like the struggle between the crazed man at the chapel, the fight at the mill and the entire tournament.
I mean I was confused with the whole thing. One of Donnigers right hand men is supposed to be a woman, Chris is NOT the professors son (in the book he is father figure), the French guy that gets killed in the movie does not exist in the book, Marek is supposed to be fluent in all aspects of time period including the languages.
I could go on about all the differences between the book and the movie, but there is no point. I would have to use up an entire screen just to point them out. It was a interesting movie if you had NOT read the book. However, if you have read the book and enjoyed it, a lot of great stuff was left out or warped into something different. I would say that the movie is very loosely based on the book, VERY loosely.
Overall I say I was disappointed. I did enjoy Gerard Butler as Marek, Ethan Embry as David Stern and Paul Walker as Chris. The females leads (Frances O'Connor as Kate and Anna Friel as Lady Claire) could have been better. And I suppose Billy Connoly did an ok job as the professor, although I just didn't quite believe that he was a professor for some reason.
I think I'll go re-read the book.
There's a reason why time travel has remained a staple of science-fiction
for more than a century - human beings will always be curious about the
past as well as the future. To be able to fix past mistakes with the
advantage of hindsight or to know what to expect in the years to come are
basic human desires common to everyone.
The producers of "Timeline" may have benefited from owning a time machine. If they had taken a ride in Marty McFly's DeLorean they might have been able to prevent the mistakes in casting and scripting and made something that lives up to the idea's potential.
An archeological team led by Professor Edward Johnston (Billy Connolly) is excavating the ruins of Castlegard, site of a medieval battle between the French and the British during the Hundred Year War. Johnston's son Chris (Paul Walker) is visiting, a man not interested in the past but in getting closer to his father's assistant Kate Erikson (Frances O'Connor).
Trouble arises when Professor Johnston goes to his benefactor, the International Technology Corporation, to get more funds and information about why they are so interested in Castlegard. When he does not return Chris, accompanied with Kate, historian and medieval weapons expert Andre Marek (Gerard Butler), physics expert Dave Stern (Ethan Embry) and Francois (Rossif Sutherland) head to the company headquarters to figure out where Johnston has gone.
It seems ITC, lead by Robert Doniger (David Thewlis), has stumbled onto a worm hole that leads back to 1357 while trying to perfect teleportation. Professor Johnston went back to see the era first-hand but got stuck there, and now his students must go back to rescue him. However, there's a catch, the group must collect him in six hours, otherwise they'll be stuck in the 14th century forever.
The movie could have been great had the filmmakers taken more time to examine its premise, but as it stands the plot is just mechanical. Once in the past the group just goes from one incident to another in a single-minded goal of rescuing Johnston.
There is no moment of wonder at the medieval world or any insights that looking into the past might reveal to 21st century travelers throughout the film. The visitors' knowledge of the area and upcoming battle do indeed come in handy, but they use this information only to survive and not to learn anything worthwhile.
The movie certainly looks good, with some fine attention to period details. The clothing and buildings look authentic, though the people inhabiting them are a bit cleaner then they would have been. The siege on the castle is also well filmed with trebuchets and catapults launching flaming bombs at Castlegard.
However, for a movie about survival and battle, everything is handled apathetically. The characters seem to be going through the motions when delivering their lines and there isn't much tension in the fight scenes. It adds up to a boring action movie, and boring is one thing an action movie should never be.
It's also funny to see a film so selective about being authentic, such as making it a point that modern people should not carry modern equipment with them to influence history, but having medieval characters speak modern versions of English and French. It's also a strange that the movie takes sides, portraying the English as evil tyrannts and the French as noble defenders of their home. In reality, both sides were ruthless during that era.
As an actor, Walker comes off as a poor man's Keanu Reeves. You read that right - Walker makes Reeves look like a nuanced performer by comparison. He shouts lines with little conviction and acts like a dork through most of the film.
In fact, with the exception or Butler's Marek, it seems like amateur night in the acting department. A scene where O'Connors' Kate breaks down crying will have people laughing. Even Embry, normally an okay actor, gives an unmoving performance. His character stays behind in the present and comes off as the "self-righteous scientist" who squares off against Thewlis' heartless business man, a typical feature of this movie type.
Director Richard Donner once made great movies like "Superman" and "Lethal Weapon" but can't rescue this mess. It's been five years since he's done a movie, and he seems rusty. The camerawork and set design are both excellent though, and belong in a better movie.
Like most stories by Michael Crichton, "Timeline" makes scientists into noble humanitarians and corporate heads into greedy slime to create artificial drama, and it comes off as exploitive pabulum that detracts from where the attention should be, on the action.
Since the action isn't good, what's left is a story where the heroes cry, complain and act selfishly while the movie tries to convince us that they're intriguing characters we should care about. "Timeline" is a wholly forgettable experience, and memories of the movie will be teleported out of the minds of the audience not long after leaving the theater.
Five out of ten stars. Just stick to the "Lethal Weapon" series Mr. Donner, and Mr. Crichton, please exhibit caution before letting another one of your novels be ruined with a horrible on screen versions (but then, you haven't had a good reputation of doing that).
So many important plot elements were left out, that the phrase 'sort of
based on an idea by Michael Crichton' is the closest you can get to a
relationship to the novel. The most glaring omission is the lack of the
radio 'transceivers', which, if you've read the book, were involved in a
major plot twist.
And, they could have at least made SOME attempt to have the characters
in 14th century (sounding) languages and used subtitles to give it a more
On a positive note, the acting and casting were reasonably good. The
action/fighting sequences were done well.
Overall, the movie gave me the feeling that, as so often happens, the producers used the phrase "no one will notice" way too often during meetings.
Sorry, the book had so much potential to be turned into an awesome
film. But this low-budget crap with pathetic screenplay, well, kinda
dishonored Crichton. All the book-to-film changes (Yes, all!) slowly
destroyed the film. Paul walker looks fine like Chris but he cannot
act; and Frances O'Connor is a fine actress but the role of Kate isn't
for her. Gerard Butler on the other hand might be one good thing in the
whole film. The multiverse-travel scene is a total disaster. The
character development of the lead people, and also Doniger, is left
behind which took away much taste from the story.
Reading the book is more recommended.
I rented this movie knowing that is it based on a Michael Crichton book. The Movie was somewhat entertaining if you could get past the acting. The sets and the costumes were done well and the battle scenes were plausible. However if you read the book there is so much more to explore with the characters and the action. This book was written so it could be a movie. Ten years down the road this should be remade for justice sake. A mini series on could be in order because of the additional scenes that would be needed. And no I am not naive, I know that in any adaptation sacrifices must be made but I feel that because they got a big name to play Chris the centered the movie around him when it is clearly better balanced in the book. I am not a book snob but I saw so much potential in this concept that I felt that the movie was unfinished. That is why I read the book. Judge for your self.
I've read time line twice and its amazing. i don't understand how the film could have such poor production,the effects and sets were terrible! on its own its a poor film but if you've read the book its Even worse. i don't think the people who made it had ever read the book as the story is not right, so much of the plot was left out or ignored. Also the character relationships are often wrong (for example between Chris and prof Johnston) and there are extra characters (who is Francois dontelle?). there are also two female characters in the book which are for some reason male in the film (Steven Kramer is meant to be Diane Kramer, jimmy Gomez is also a woman in the book! worst of all they changed the ending! i waited 6 months to see this film and it was terrible, if your not going do something properly don't do it!!!! Also id like to suggest the makers read the book!!! they may relies what a crap film they made.
This is the worst movie-from-book that I've ever seen! While they did a
pretty good job filming Jurassic Park, the seriously messed up with
Timeline (same author). So, I would suggest you watch this movie before
you read the book, otherwise the lack of "fanta-realism" and the
differences between book & movie will be too irritating.
Some people blame the fact that you have to put a 300 pages book into a 2 hour film, but Jurassic Park did fine and, thou the theme is totally different, the writing / plot style is pretty the same. It would be acceptable if the techniques used in the book would be taken seriously! I mean, replacing the whole quantum physics idea with a simple "wormhole that can only be found by accident"? Oh please! In the book they tested everything for a dozen times and they had like 3 versions of the machine! There even was a backup plan! So besides this lack of believable technology, you have the "history plot"... English soldiers that start chasing 5 peasants in a crowd of like 500 peasants with this reason "Hey, why aren't you packing yet?".
+ What's with the language? Everyone in the movie is capable of speaking both English and french... except the main characters! Somehow they only understand English. Even the "pure french people" seem to be able to understand English :p Why didn't they do some research (why research, it's all in the book) on the languages? Why didn't they at least try to simulate some kind of medieval scene? This one is definitely one for my "worst movies ever" list.
But, don't get me wrong! The books is extremely strong! Read it!
(sorry for bad English but my native language is dutch...)
This is a truly awful adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel Timeline.
The book itself is not as strong as Jurassic Park or Prey; it reads
like an overenthusiastic action thriller movie, which is a bit shallow
for a book, but should make a great basis for an overenthusiastic
action thriller movie.
The movie is rushed, shallow, poorly acted, almost totally dis-joined from the story of the book, and whereas the book stretches credibility at times, the movie totally crushes suspension of disbelief.
Crichton's book has well fleshed out, if somewhat annoying characters, more-or-less believable relationships, solid pseudo-physics, solid pseudo-history and at its core a good 'what-if?' story. There are enough extraneous bits to the story to allow it to be pared down to a good 2-hr movie without damaging the basic story or premise.
The movie plays like a high school theatresports troupe ad-libbing their way through Hamlet having read the play once. And the sets aren't much better. It completely misses many of Crichton's best points, and is thoroughly ham-fisted with the few plot elements it retains.
I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but this was painful.
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