They blew it over 3 lousy seconds
Curtis G | OC, CA, USA | 03/07/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I give the movie 4 stars; the soundtrack 5 stars; and the DVD 2 stars. I wish I had read the Amazon reviews before I picked this DVD up last night--but then, why would I have expected that anything had changed? I've been a fan of TIMERIDER since its theatrical release, so I was very happy to have it on DVD finally, and pleased with the transfer, but the TV/airline-version ending completely BITES. "Okay, here comes the tail rotor...and I can hear Reese screaming...and all those squishy sound effects...but...but...YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!" (Good thing I was home alone.)
The original sequence was a brilliant and memorable piece of film-making that worked by suggestion: it showed everything it needed to without showing...well, everything. But most importantly, it was where the bad guy got his well-deserved comeuppance. How satisfying would the ending of "Die Hard" have been if John McClane had just left Hans Gruber cowering on the floor? Or if, after Luke Skywalker torpedoed the Death Star, the lights just flickered out?
Distributor Anchor Bay claims that the DVD was made from the "only usable negative available." Uh...sure. I find it impossible to believe that Michael "Mr. Video" Nesmith couldn't find a single viable source in his files for THREE WHOLE SECONDS of film. Laserdisc? How about digitally cleaning up a VHS tape? Unfreakinbelievable.*
Am I upset? You're darn tootin' I am. Sometimes "little" things matter A LOT.
UPDATE 7/16/09: I just purchased a copy of TIMERIDER on laserdisc, and guess what: the missing footage (no pun intended) is there. Granted, it's a washed-out pan-and-scan transfer, but the footage exists in digital form. Guess I'll have to restore it myself. (You can see it on that popular video website.)
*In retrospect, I realize that it likely wasn't up to Nesmith or director William Dear, but to the legal owners of the movie, who probably didn't care what version they released and/or didn't want to spend money to restore the original footage. I mean, who cares what the audience wants, right? From what I've read lately, that's pretty much the Anchor Bay attitude."
This video has been edited!!!
Lydia Dunton | South Central Valley, CA | 06/23/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Very disappointed! This video has been edited to qualify for a PG rating. I noticed at least 2 incidents of bad dubbing for language, plus a key sequence at the end was completely omitted. After watching this version, did you wonder why Peter Coyote's character quit shooting at the helicopter??? Well, that's because in the ORIGINAL version, he came to a bloody end. This version has that sequence edited out completely, leaving you wondering what happened to his character. I REALLY hate edited movies - Ted Turner, are you listening?"
Great movie, disappointing release....
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 07/08/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Interesting movie, but I was disappointed that a scene at the end got cut short. This is your basic fish out of water story with a motocross racer, Lyle Swan (played by Fred Ward) gets unknowingly caught in a time travel experiment and launched about 100 years in the past. The general reaction, due to his attire and motorized horse is that he is some kind of devil, but one person he comes across, Porter Reese, a criminal outlaw played by Peter Coyote, sees the potential in owning this amazing contraption for himself. All of this takes place in the southern California desert, and Lyle is unaware of what has happened to him. He thinks he just got lost during a race, and tries to find his way back home. I thought it was interesting that he never really gets clued into the fact that he is 100 years out of time. As I said in the beginning, and I think another reviewer mentions this, that a few critical seconds were cut out of a scene at the end. These few seconds of missing footage include a helicopter, its rear rotor blade, and the main antagonist. I think this part was edited out for a television release and never put back in for the DVD release, which is a real shame. You wouldn't think 3 to 5 seconds of footage could impact a movie as much as it does, but it does here. This is the reason why I am giving the release 3 stars instead of four. Other than that, this was a fun sci-fi/western/action movie."
Great Movie !!!
Christopher Amodeo | Long Island, N.Y., U.S.A. | 02/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've had the internet for almost 4 years and I've been searching for this movie on V.H.S. or D.V.D. and here it is, finally !!! Fred Ward is a good actor and I wish he was more known then he is. He plays the part of a dirt bike racer. On his racing circuit, he gets lost somewhere in the desert and accidentally gets transported back in time, to the late 1800's. A research group was conducting a time travel experiment and for reasons of safety and secrecy, they set up the time travel machine out in the middle of the desert, hundreds of miles from the nearest person. Not knowing what it is, Fred Ward goes over to it on his dirt bike and the moment he pulls up to it, the research group activates it and he gets thrown back in time, about 100 years. I won't tell you the rest, but it's pretty cool and there are some funny moments during the movie as well. Thank God it's being transferred to D.V.D. !!!"