THE TIME MACHINE (2002)
Considering the fact that this movie has a tendency to attract bad ratings, I'm probably going to get some raised eyebrows on this one. Full disclaimer: I haven't seen the 1960s Time Machine. I haven't read H.G. Wells' novel. And I definitely did not go into this one expecting some full-on, H.G. Wells intellectualism. I just wanted to see a good, sci-fi movie. And I got exactly what I came for. I'm aware that this movie was made in 2002, but to me, it still carries all the innocence and charm of a good, pre-2000s adventure movie. When adventure movies were full of adventure rather than dead cat skins filled with a CGI stuffing. The good guys are good. The bad guys are bad. And there's just something very genuine about the whole film, a certain kind of honest simply hasn't existed in the past decade or so.
Maybe the special effects weren't always all that great, but everything was much more organic. It was more believable because the actors were able to act with physical people wearing animatronic masks, rather than trying to respond to black dots on a green screen. Not to mention, there's a sense of wonder about it. Nowadays, characters have a tendency to stride onto another planet with a been there, done that attitude. But audiences remember the wonder they felt as they watched the beast of the Brachiosaurus lumber across the screen in Jurassic Park. They remember the awe of the prized artifacts Indiana Jones dug up from the dirt. Now, The Time Machine is in no way comparable to those two classics, but it carries with it that same, unpolished curiosity as we travel through time and get to experience flashes of the world at different times. And since I am a sap and apparently completely nostalgic for a good, solid adventure movie: four stars to you, Time Machine.
As for the content itself, it's just a fun movie. There isn't actually a whole heck of a lot of plot, more like a starting point, some random stuff in between and an ending point. That said, the acting is all on point. Guy Pearce plays a great, obsessed scientist. With a time machine. Orlando Jones is incredibly likable as a hologram librarian. Jeremy Irons is an crazy albino Legolas. Everyone was exactly what they needed to be and pulled together an engaging, creative movie.