REVIEW: THE TIME MACHINE (2002)

The Time Machine (2002)

CAST

Guy Pearce (Prometheus)
Samantha Mumba (Boy Eats Girl)
Mark Addy (A Knights Tale)
Phyllida Law (The Winter Guest)
Sienna Guillory (Love Actually)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow TV)
Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman)
Alan Young (Beverly Hills Cop III)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Michael Chaturantabut (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)

 

In the year 1899, Dr. Alexander Hartdegen (Guy Pearce) is a moderately young inventor teaching at Columbia University in New York City. Unlike his conservative friend David Philby (Mark Addy), Alexander would rather do pure research than work in the world of business. After a mugger kills his fiancée, Emma, he devotes himself to building a time machine that will allow him to travel back in time and save her. When he completes the machine four years later, he travels back to 1899 and prevents her murder, only to see her killed by a horse and buggy.

Alexander goes to 2030 to find out whether Emma’s life can be saved. At the New York Public Library, a holographic librarian called Vox 114 insists that time travel is impossible, so Alexander continues into the future until 2037, when the accidental destruction of the moon by space colonists renders the Earth virtually uninhabitable. When he restarts the time machine to avoid falling debris, he is knocked unconscious and travels to the year 802,701, at which point he regains consciousness and stops the machine.

By now, the human race has reverted to a primitive lifestyle. Some survivors, called “Eloi”, live on the sides of cliffs of what was once Manhattan. Alexander is nursed back to health by a woman named Mara, one of the few Eloi who speak English. One night, Alexander and Mara’s young brother, Kalen, dream of a frightening, jagged-toothed face. The next day, the Eloi are attacked and Mara is dragged underground by ape-like monsters. The creatures are called “Morlocks” and they hunt the Eloi for food. In order to rescue her, Kalen leads Alexander to Vox 114, which is still functioning after 800,000 years. After learning from Vox how to find the Morlocks, Alexander enters their underground lair through an opening that resembles the face in his nightmare. He is almost immediately captured and thrown into an area where Mara sits in a cage. There he meets an intelligent, humanoid Morlock, who explains that Morlocks are the evolutionary descendants of the humans who went underground after the Moon broke apart, while the Eloi are evolved from those who remained on the surface. The humanoid Morlocks are a caste of telepaths who rule the other Morlocks.

The Morlock explains that Alexander cannot alter Emma’s fate because her death is what drove him to build the time machine in the first place: saving her would create a temporal paradox. He then reveals that the Morlocks have brought the time machine underground, and tells Alexander to get into it and return home. Alexander gets into the machine but also pulls the Morlock in with him, carrying them into the future as they fight. The Morlock dies by rapidly aging when Alexander pushes him outside of the machine’s temporal bubble. Alexander then stops millions of years in the future in the year 635,427,810, revealing a harsh, rust-colored sky over a wasteland of Morlock caves. Finally accepting that he cannot save Emma, Alexander travels back to rescue Mara. After freeing her, he starts the time machine and jams its gears, creating a violent distortion in time. Though pursued by the Morlocks, Alexander and Mara escape to the surface as the time distortion explodes, killing the Morlocks and destroying their caves along with the time machine. Alexander begins a new life with Mara and the Eloi in 802,701.

While Alexander shows Mara and Kalen a clearing that was once the location of his laboratory, back in 1899, in the same spot, Philby and Alexander’s housekeeper, Mrs. Watchit, are in the laboratory and sadly discuss his absence. Philby tells Mrs. Watchit he is glad that Alexander has gone to a place where he can find peace, then tells her that he would like to hire her as a housekeeper, which she accepts until Alexander returns. Mrs. Watchit bids Alexander farewell and Philby leaves, looking toward the laboratory affectionately, then throws his bowler hat away in tribute to Alexander’s distaste for conformity.

this is a good film in it’s own right. It goes at a fair pace, has its tensions and added violence that all films must have now. But so much of this film is not part of the original story that it should have had the last vestiges of the H.G. Wells story removed and been made as an original film.

 

REVIEW: ERAGON

CAST

Ed Speleers (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman)
Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil: Retribution)
Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe)
John Malkovich (Red)
Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy)
Alun Armstrong (The Mummy Returns)
Christopher Egan (Dominion)
Gary Lewis (Gangs of New York)
Djimon Hounsou (Stargate)
Rachel Weisz (The Shape of Things)
Tamsin Egerton (Camelot)

Arya, an elf and princess of Ellesméra, runs for her life with a “stone” stolen from the evil king, Galbatorix. She is surrounded by a ring of fire created by a Shade (dark sorcerer) called Durza, and to protect the stone from him she uses her magic to send it to a distant forest, where Eragon (Ed Speleers), a 15-year-old farm boy from the small village of Carvahall in the country of Alagaësia, is hunting for food. When the stone magically appears before him, he takes it to his hometown in hopes of trading it for food. After he brings it home, he realizes it is an egg, as a blue dragon hatches from it. As he reaches to touch the dragon, a magical mark is burned into his palm, magic that is felt all across the land by those who have a connection to legend of the dragon, mainly Arya, a former dragon rider named Brom, and Galbatorix himself. Eragon tries to keep the dragon and take care of it until Galbatorix sends his monstrous minions, the Ra’zac, to capture Eragon and the dragon. Eragon sends the dragon into the sky so she may learn to fly, which she succeeds before she returns to him fully grown due to her magic. She reveals herself to him that her name is Saphira, and that they are able to hear each other’s thoughts. After seeing the Ra’zac in town, Eragon hurries home to protect his uncle, but Saphira picks him up and tells him that the Ra’zac are after him. When he gets home, Eragon finds his uncle dead and blaming Saphira, he sends her away. As he mourns over his uncle’s body, Brom arrives, and asks Eragon to call his Saphira. After a brief scuffle, Brom implores Eragon to leave town, which they do after Brom sets fire to his uncle’s barn, burning his remains.

On the way to see the rebel freedom fighters devoted to destroying Galbatorix called the Varden, Eragon learns that he and Saphira have a special attachment like other dragon riders, and that if he dies, she will die as well. Brom also tells him that he is not fully ready to face the Ra’zac or Durza, and starts training him in sword-fighting and magic. On the way they take shelter in a small village, where a fortune-teller tells Eragon that a woman is calling her name so that he can save her and that his path is full of deadly obstacles. Soon they are attacked by Galbatorix’s servants, the Urgals, but Eragon unintentionally produces magic that wipes them out, but the strain of doing this causes him to fall unconscious. Eragon soon learns how to produce small scale magic and to bond his powers with Saphira.

After seeing Ra’zacs fall, Durza uses his black magic on Arya, setting a trap to lure Eragon. Even after Brom’s warning, Eragon arrives to rescue Arya, but is confronted by Durza. During their battle, Durza magically hurls a spear at Eragon, but Brom throws himself in its path and is mortally wounded. Eragon shoots an arrow into Durza’s head, causing him to disappear. The trio escapes, and Brom dies of his wounds while flying on the wings of a dragon one last time.

Following the way to find the Varden, Eragon takes oath so that he may fulfill Brom’s destiny: to overthrow the tyrannical empire of the evil king, Galbatorix. As Arya goes weak from Durza’s poison, Eragon confronts a hooded figure that has been following him. He reveals himself to be Murtagh, who offers to take them to the Varden. Once there, the Varden welcome the new rider, but expose Murtagh for what he really is, the son of the traitorous Morzan, who betrayed the dragon riders. Eragon, Saphira, Arya, and the Varden prepare for war as Durza and his men surround the rebel camp. The Varden fight Galbatorix’s forces as Eragon and Saphira duel in the skies with Durza, flying on a shadowy beast of dark magic. Eragon and Saphira kill Durza, but not before Saphira is mortally wounded in the battle. Eragon uses his magic to heal her wounds and once again passes out from the strain.

The following morning, Eragon awakes with Murtagh at his side. He calls for Saphira, fearing she might have died from the battle, but she appears fully healed. They fly off together to catch up with Arya, who is on her way to Ellesméra to help lead the elves against Galbatorix in the coming war. She calls Eragon “Shadeslayer” and bids him goodbye. Meanwhile, in Galbatorix’s castle, angered that his men were defeated by a mere boy, the King rips off a curtain, revealing his pitch black dragon, Shruikan, who breathes fire.

The special effects, created by LORD OF THE RINGS’ Digital Magic and STAR WARS’ Industrial Light and Magic, more than live up to the precedent set by those films, while the dragon is film’s true star

REVIEW: RABBIT FEVER

CAST

Lisa Barbuscia (Highlander: Endgame)
Julian Rhind-Tutt (Lucy)
Tara Summers (Mercy Street)
Flora Montgomery (Basic Instinct 2)
Emma Buckley (Venus)
Sienna Guillory (Eragon)
Stefanie Powers (Hart To Hart)

A superb comedy! How refreshing to see a movie that’s original , inventive on every level and one that builds on the subtleties of cinematic humour – particularly when it comes to dealing with the delicate subject of sex toys. There were many moments of side-splitting hilarity that, because they’re delivered with such comedic tenacity, leave you wanting more.

The writer hits the nail on the head. The fact that it’s his first movie and was independently made on a tight budget can only give us faith. Again, how refreshing for the British movie industry.

The acting throws up some wonderful performances – from the new faces to a collection of cameo appearances. Of the cameos, I don’t spoil it by saying Germaine Greer, Tom Conti, Stefanie Powers and Sir Richard Branson inject a superb originality into proceedings that makes you sit up and wonder if you’re actually watching a real-life documentary. Branson’s role is particularly convincing. Of the new faces, my particular favourites were Sharon Gavin as the girlfriend of the Chelsea FC fanatic and the foppish Julian Rhind-Tutt as Rupert.  Every performance delivers though and the fact that you are watching a truly eclectic cast makes the experience yet more memorable.