Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,


You may remember I brought up this movie several weeks ago, wondering why I'd never noticed it had come out. Well, I got it from Netflix and finally got around to watching it tonight. It was fun! Worth watching. Though probably just once, so I'm glad I didn't buy the thing.

"Timeline" is based (well, OK, pretty loosely based) on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name. There aren't really any stars in it, but several good actors some of whose faces you'd recognize. The one I recognized instantly was Neal McDonough, who plays the overly intense head of the "Medical Investigation" team. (Or, plays him overly intensely.) He had some similar intensity here, and it seemed excessive here, too. Was he that bad in "Boomtown"? I don't recall. The one I didn't recognize, but will when I see him on screen again in a few weeks? Gerard Butler, who's playing the Phantom!

I love time-travel stories that put the protagonists in the distant past, so I was predisposed to like this. 1357 France was a fun milieu to explore this way. Honestly, the production quality was probably on par with "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," or maybe a little better. The sets and costumes were only just plausible, and certainly wouldn't have won anyone any awards. But I liked the general idea of the story (even hugely simplified as it was for the silver screen) and thought the cast pulled it off.

All I'd have asked for was a brief plot point addressing the fact that 1357 French and English would bear sufficiently little resemblance to our versions that our friends would have needed help. Easier to ignore, I know, but what fun is that for a linguist?! I'll have to go back to the book and see how Crichton dealt with it.

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