Sunday, January 15, 2006

The New Version of the Time Machine

I just watched the new version of The Time Machine, based on the 19th century novel by the brilliant HG Wells. There have been several versions of this movie made throughout the years, including one that I think was called "Time After Time" with Malcolm McDowell that was really wonderful. But most versions take great liberties with the storyline, so much so that you almost don't recognize it.
This new version does take some liberties because of the technological advances of the last several decades, so that when he arrives in the future, it's believable. I thoroughly enjoyed Orlando Jones' character, the librarian database that knows all of the past and the future, and is saddened by what has happened to humankind. Guy Pierce is wonderful as the time-traveling professor, and Jeremy Irons is suitably menacing as the evil overlord of the Morelocks. The Eloi village is gorgeous, and the people look rather like a mix of polynesian and African than anything, which is a fascinating extrapolation on what people will look like thousands of years in the future; mainly, they will revert to what we originally were when civilization began, a brown-skinned people.
I was somewhat disapointed with the movie "Too Much" with Antonio Banderas, if only because it was so blatantly obvious where the movie would end up. Banderas is such a dish, though, its hard not to watch his every movement, especially when he's in seduction mode. Darryl Hannah basically phones in her performance, and Melanie Griffith plays a dumb blonde whose ex-husband Danny Aiello won't let her move on with her life. Joan Cusak plays the inevitable sidekick in a rather broad, almost vaudvillian fashion, and the man who plays Banderas' father, whose name I think is Eli somethingorother, does a fine job of being a forgetful old dude.
I read the first of a series of books written as mysteries starring Beatrix Potter, she of the famed children's books, at the turn of the century in England. The writing style was a bit too intricate and fluffy for me, but it fit well with the style of writing that might have been in vogue decades ago, so I suppose it was appropriate, if boring.
Possession was interesting, if not well cast in terms of Americans (British actors are always wonderful...I have no idea why. They seem to be better trained at the very least).
I thought there wasn't any real chemistry between Paltrow and the male lead, who looked like an underwear model for Calvin Klein. There was plenty of chemistry between the British leads, and I liked the fact that they went back and forth between the eras to find out what happened to the poet and his love.
I have six more movies on hold at the library, so I shall have to post my reviews about those eventually.

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