8:00 PM, 13th September, 2002
Strap in. Keep your hands and feet in the car. Be careful not to change anything in the past. And above all, do not speak above a whisper after we pass the 800,000 mark. All right. We're now then. In short, Mr. Hartdegen (Pearce) invents a time machine and, desperate to prevent his fianc((eacute))e's untimely demise, uses it to visit the past. As everyone knows, you can't do that. So he travels 'back to the future', but way too far: to 802,701, when our descendants, the Morlocks, eat our other descendants, the Eloi.
This re-make is surprisingly good at keeping the best of the original movie. It has updated things well: trading a nuclear war en route for a meteor shower; and the Eloi and Morlocks are far more interesting. The Eloi's energy makes one wonder why they put up with being hunted and eaten! Mumba has successfully made the singer-actress transition, playing the Eloi's unofficial leader, though only time - again - will tell whether she manages larger roles as well. Irons is surprisingly good, though maybe superfluous, and Pearce shows us an action man we never suspected. The sets are imaginative, and the effects are more than special: they're mind-blowing. Don't miss this ride. Hey, no, don't press that-
10:00 PM, 13th September, 2002
Sometime in the late nineteenth century, H. G. Wells invents his own time machine (makes sense, how could such a fantastic novel be fictitious?!). But before he gets a chance to test it, a friend steals the machine to escape the clutches of the law. Why? Well, that would be because he's Jack the Ripper. Naturally. Wells rushes after him, only to find himself battling the Ripper in late 1970s San Francisco.
The premise may spund silly, but this is a fun, and rather intelligent, flick with a very original twist. McDowell, for once the good guy, is endearing and believable as the Victorian fuss-bucket Wells. Warner is suitably showy and EVIL. Steenbergen plays the mildly ditzy 70s woman who gets involved with Wells and is threatened by the Ripper with a nice sense of off-centeredness, not quite sure whether this is really happening or if it's a result of something she did in Haight-Ashbury a few years ago. If you can live through the dated-although-cool-at-the-time special effects and the odd glaring plot hole, this is thoroughly enjoyable. It poses some good questions about changes in society between the two time periods, but doesn't labour the points it raises. Anyone, particularly fans of McDowell or time travel stories, will find something here.
Adam Gould and Simon Tolhurst