Combustible Celluloid
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With: Paul Walker, Frances O'Connor, Gerard Butler, Billy Connolly, David Thewlis, Anna Friel
Written by: George Nolfi, Jeff Maguire, based on a novel by Michael Crichton
Directed by: Richard Donner
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense battle sequences and brief language
Running Time: 116
Date: 11/19/2003

Timeline (2003)

3 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Richard Donner's films (Superman, The Goonies, Lethal Weapon) may not have much of a personal touch, but he imbues them all with a sense of childlike play, an open-minded embracing of the ridiculous. Because of this clear-eyed innocence, they tend to stand up to many viewings. Based on Michael Crichton's novel, Timeline has a group of archeologists traveling back to the 16th century to rescue a professor, but their lives are at stake when they emerge during a major French-English battle. The second-tier cast (Paul Walker, Frances O'Connor, Billy Connolly) is friendly if not exactly memorable, and Donner allows them breathing room among the charmingly old-fashioned special effects. The film leaves many scientific questions unanswered, but it's very easy to get lost in this silly, fun adventure tale.

DVD Details: This fun DVD comes with lots of featurettes, two English-language audio tracks (5.1 Surround and Dolby Surround) and a French language track, plus optional English subtitles. A cool "hidden" extra: if you click on the circular symbol in the center of the menu, you can "time-travel" back and forth between a 14th century-style menu and a 21st century-style menu.

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