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Timeline

The movie Timeline was based on the book Timeline.

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Movie details for Timeline

The movie was released in 2003. Timeline was produced by Paramount. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Gerard Butler, Billy Connolly, Paul Walker, Mike Chute, Matt Craven, Marton Csokas, Ethan Embry, Anna Friel, Steve Kahan, David La Haye, Neal McDonough, Jayson Merrill, Frances O'Connor (II), Patrick Sabongui, Michael Sheen, Rossif Sutherland, David Thewlis, Lambert Wilson and Richard Zeman.

 

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Just enough of Michael Crichton's novel survives in Timeline to make it a passable popcorn thriller. It's likely that Crichton fans will lament the shallowness of director Richard Donner's film, and its gee-whiz style of acting lays waste to any scientifi... Read More
Just enough of Michael Crichton's novel survives in Timeline to make it a passable popcorn thriller. It's likely that Crichton fans will lament the shallowness of director Richard Donner's film, and its gee-whiz style of acting lays waste to any scientific credibility that Crichton's scenario might have retained. Still, the Crichton formula is a sturdy one, following the model of Westworld and Jurassic Park by involving a small band of adventurers in a fantastical realm of danger and death. In this case, a group of archaeologists and combat experts (led by Paul Walker and Frances O'Connor) use a "3-D fax machine" (so much for technobabble!) to time-travel back to France in 1357, in hopes of retrieving Walker's father (Billy Connolly) and returning safely to the present. No such luck! Fending for themselves against marauding hordes of medieval French warriors at war with the invading British, these semi-intrepid travelers find their body count rising, and the deadline for their return home is rapidly approaching. All well and good, so far, and the castles-and-crossbows action reaches a fever pitch, but it's obvious that Donner's too lazy to make the much better film that this could and should have been. Despite its enjoyable highlights, Timeline is perfunctory entertainment. --Jeff Shannon

Book details for Timeline

Timeline was written by Michael Crichton. The book was published in 1999 by Ballantine Books. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

Michael Crichton also wrote Congo (1980), Sphere (1987), Eaters of the Dead (1988), Jurassic Park (1990), Rising Sun (1992), Disclosure (1993) and Lost World (1995).

 

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When you step into a time machine, fax yourself through a "quantum foam wormhole," and step out in feudal France circa 1357, be very, very afraid. If you aren't strapped back in precisely 37 hours after your visit begins, you'll miss the quantum bus bac... Read More
When you step into a time machine, fax yourself through a "quantum foam wormhole," and step out in feudal France circa 1357, be very, very afraid. If you aren't strapped back in precisely 37 hours after your visit begins, you'll miss the quantum bus back to 1999 and be stranded in a civil war, caught between crafty abbots, mad lords, and peasant bandits all eager to cut your throat. You'll also have to dodge catapults that hurl sizzling pitch over castle battlements. On the social front, you should avoid provoking "the butcher of Crecy" or Sir Oliver may lop your head off with a swoosh of his broadsword or cage and immerse you in "Milady's Bath," a brackish dungeon pit into which live rats are tossed now and then for prisoners to eat.

This is the plight of the heroes of Timeline, Michael Crichton's thriller. They're historians in 1999 employed by a tech billionaire-genius with more than a few of Bill Gates's most unlovable quirks. Like the entrepreneur in Crichton's Jurassic Park, Doniger plans a theme park featuring artifacts from a lost world revived via cutting-edge science. When the project's chief historian sends a distress call to 1999 from 1357, the boss man doesn't tell the younger historians the risks they'll face trying to save him. At first, the interplay between eras is clever, but Timeline swiftly becomes a swashbuckling old-fashioned adventure, with just a dash of science and time paradox in the mix. Most of the cool facts are about the Middle Ages, and Crichton marvelously brings the past to life without ever letting the pulse-pounding action slow down. At one point, a time-tripper tries to enter the Chapel of Green Death. Unfortunately, its custodian, a crazed giant with terrible teeth and a bad case of lice, soon has her head on a block. "She saw a shadow move across the grass as he raised his ax into the air." I dare you not to turn the page!

Through the narrative can be glimpsed the glowing bones of the movie that may be made from Timeline and the cutting-edge computer game that should hit the market in 2000. Expect many clashing swords and chase scenes through secret castle passages. But the book stands alone, tall and scary as a knight in armor shining with blood. --Tim Appelo