Plot: What’s it about?
Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) is a young writer and this night will prove to be very special for him. In addition to this being opening night for his first play, he will also meet someone who will change his life forever. This person is a very old woman, who hands him an antique watch and bids him to return with her somewhere. He is confused, but he simply cannot stop thinking about the incident and so he begins to research who she is. He soon learns that her name is Elise (Jane Seymour) and she was a popular stage performer in the early 1900s. His thoughts don’t end with this information either, as he can’t seem to push the woman out of his thoughts in the least. Although the odds are against him, he decides to use self hypnosis to venture into the past, where he can meet this woman and learn more about her. His plan works in the end, as he is able to meet her and soon enough, the two have fallen in love. But can this love overcome the odds and even if it can, will Richard be able to remain in this time, even though he doesn’t belong there?
I had not seen this movie since I was very young, so I was curious as to well it would hold up. I remember back then it seemed overly sappy to me, but perhaps some age on my part would change my perspective on the film. In the end, I still think this is an overly sappy love story and though I won’t revisit the film in the near future, I can see why so many folks love this film. Somewhere In Time is an old fashioned love story in all respects and though it seems dull and too predictable to me, this is why so many people have fallen in love with the movie. I do like the costumes, locations, basic premise, and the work here of Jane Seymour, but the whole thing never comes together to well for me. I think the time travel to find love idea is cool, but this seems so overly dramatic and old fashioned, it leaves me bored stiff. If you need a good romantic movie and you don’t like more risque, brisk films, then perhaps Somewhere In Time is just what you need. Universal has included some cool supplements on this disc. I think this flick is a rental at best, but if you love the movie, this is as good as it gets.
I guess I just didn’t like Superman enough or something, as the collective work of Christopher Reeve is very weak to me. I admit he was a good choice to take on the role of Clark Kent, but aside from that role, I have seen very little from him that has impressed me. This role proves to be no exception as Reeve gives his usual decent enough turn, but in truth any college drama major could muster this level of performance. This role needs to be filled with passion, but Reeve seems to be off in space half of the time and the films suffers because of this casting mistake. Some roles can be played with this decent level of acting, but I don’t think this was one of them. If you want to peruse more of his work, check out Superman, Village of the Damned, The Remains of the Day, Gray Lady Down, and Deathtrap. On the other end of the spectrum here is Jane Seymour (Oh Heavenly Dog!, Live and Let Die), who is warm and enticing as the love interest. Had Reeve been able to keep up with her work, perhaps this film would have turned out much better. The cast also includes William H. Macy (Fargo), Teresa Wright (The Rainmaker), and Christopher Plummer (The Insider).
Video: How’s it look?
This title was literally one of the worst-looking transfers when it hit standard DVD back in the early 2000’s (I can’t remember when it originally came out). The picture was non-anamorphic, contrast was off, grain dominated the screen – essentially anything and everything that could be wrong with an image on DVD was present here. Well nearly fifteen years have passed and we’re now treated to this on Blu-ray. The back of the box reads “Remastered in High Definition for your HDTV.” So…the moment has arrived – how does it look? First off the good: the 1.85:1 AVC HD image does look much better than the previous DVD (also included in this Blu-ray set), colors seem a bit better, the picture is formatted for HDTV’s, contrast is improved and detail is much better. Still, even with all of the “enhancements” it does still pale to other catalog titles. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very solid-looking image and it’s a much needed improvement, but there’s still a bit to be desired.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Sporting a DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 mono mix, Somewhere in Time isn’t the most robust when it comes to audio. I will say that John Barry’s amazing score does sound pretty good here. It was nominated for an Oscar, but sadly lost out to The Stunt Man. Vocals seem rather sharp and crisp, never feeling brittle or “dated”, but with the limited range of a mono mix, there’s only so much that this new mix can provide. It’s not quite the upgrade that the video is, but I doubt that this will garner too many complaints.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The previously-released DVD was part of Universal’s “Collector’s Edition” series and all of the same features are now present on this Blu-ray, minus the very dated production notes and cast bios.
- Back to Somewhere in Time – Though a bit dated now (and I suppose on the regular DVD as well) this hour long documentary is pretty robust when it comes to the production of the film. Interviews with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and loads of information about the film are included.
- Audio Commentary – Jeannot Szwarc, the Director, gives a nice commentary which entails many behind the scenes comments, though a few too many silent spaces can be heard for my tastes.
- The Somewhere in Time Fan Club – A brief look at this fan club. I’m not sure if it’s still in existence, though I have to assume if it was around 2000, it probably still is.
- Production Photographs – A photo gallery.
- Theatrical Trailer – Watch this is you want to see how improved the transfer is on this Blu-ray.
- DVD/UltraViolet Copy