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Somewhere in Time

"Somewhere in Time" on DVD

Romantic Fantasy for the Ages

Christopher Reeve is young playwright Richard Collier, a man who throws away his present life for a chance at happiness in the past in Jeannot Szwarc's version of the Richard Matheson science fantasy novel.

While at college, Collier's given a pocket watch by a mysterious old woman who, after some research on Reeve's part, turns out to have been Elise McKenna, the Grand Dame of the American stage back in the early 1900's.

Collier discovers a picture of the actress as a young woman (not surprisingly, she looks surprisingly like Jane Seymour, who brings a lot of class to the role) and is positively smitten. This raises the Big Question: how to meet this woman of his dreams - a woman who, even if she weren't dead, would be some fifty or more years older than he.

He finds a way, of course, otherwise it would be a pretty short film. He learns that through the power of positive thinking he can project himself into the past and, so long as nothing from the present appears to spoil the illusion, live, breathe and live in that bygone era.

Reeve is fine as Collier, and Seymour is wonderful as his love interest. The only major supporting role is played by Christopher Plummer, as McKenna's agent and mentor, and he turns in his typically good performance.

"Somewhere in Time" is a slow-moving, gentle romantic fantasy with no real action or sci-fi special effects. That all works to help the movie, however, rather than detract from it. This is at heart a small and intimate film, and it works on those levels

The Collector's Edition DVD unfortunately suffers from a horrible oversight: it isn't truly in widescreen. The menus fill the 16x9 screen, but the movie itself reverts to being letterboxed inside a 4:3 window and you have to zoom it out to fill the screen (assuming your TV has such a feature), which adds a certain sense of pixilization to it. This is particularly annoying because the picture's grainy in many places (which we suspect is deliberate on the part of the filmmakers, who are giving the film an "old" look) and the extra grain makes this worse.

The audio, which is Dolby Digital 2.0 channel mono, is okay.

Extras include a liner essay, "Back to Somewhere in Time" (an original documentary on the film), a feature length commentary from the director, fan club info, Production photos and notes, the trailer, and cast/filmmaker info.

This is a good little movie, but the DVD is spoiled by its lack of true widescreen, which has the effect of penalizing those who've shelled out the bucks to help advance the state of the home theater art.

Somewhere in Time, from Universal Home Video
104 minutes, Widescreen (1.85:1) (not enhanced for widescreen TV's), Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer
Produced by Stephen Deutsch
Written by Richard Matheson, Directed by Jeannot Szwarc


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Updated May 13, 2006