ALL’S NOT WELLS WITH THE TIME MACHINE: John Derbyshire reviews The Time Machine on National Review Online–and Derb is a huge Wells fan:
I therefore approached this new production of The Time Machine with a sort of open-minded resignation. The most I hoped for was to be given some glimpses of Wells’s original magic, and to be dazzled for a few minutes by some of those wonderful special effects movie-makers are capable of today. Alas, even these very modest expectations were left unfulfilled. The magic is almost entirely absent here, the special effects feeble.
As little as there is of the atmosphere of Wells’s creation, there is hardly any more of his story line. Grafted on to the front of the plot is a new motivation for the building of the time machine. The Time Traveler (he is given a name in the movie, but I have forgotten it) proposes to his sweetheart in New York’s Central Park one snowy winter’s night; but they are accosted by a robber, who shoots her dead. Inspired by grief, the Time Traveler builds his machine, and goes back the necessary few months to change the event. The intelligent viewer will wonder at this point how the Time Traveler avoids meeting himself… but his is not a movie for inquiring minds.