The Time Machine
dir. Simon Wells
Now playing at various theaters.

Now that spring is arriving, we should all brace ourselves for the coming onslaught of Hollywood blockbuster trash, the first warning shot of which appears to be DreamWorks' new remake of The Time Machine.

As a film, The Time Machine is little more than what you would expect--big, expensive, and inept. A lumbering blunder of celluloid, it barely manages to pass the... er, time, and is certainly not worth the $5.50 or so that matinees now cost.

That said, it's sure to make a pile of cash. In fact, you may have seen it already, in which case you are probably feeling the exact way I am, which is to say annoyed, unfilled, and dunderheaded (though, unlike you, I had a reason to go see it--what's your excuse?).

Why is The Time Machine so bad? Because it's so goddamn condescending. Its makers--including H. G. Wells' grandson, inexplicably (Oh, how the old man must be spinning right now!)--believe that in place of a decent, well-structured story, solid acting, and strong direction, they can merely assault us with spectacular special effects, charge us at the door, and sit back for the two weeks it takes the film to rake in $100 million.

This, of course, is nothing new--Hollywood has been doing it since Jaws first overtook America (though, at least Jaws is a great film)--and, to be honest, there's no reason for them to stop. Crap is easier to produce than quality, after all.

Still, it would be nice if they'd at least pretend to make an effort. Bright shiny objects may be distracting, but you don't really remember them once they stop shining. It would be nice to remember once in a while.

And if The Time Machine is any indication, this summer is going to suck.