Two films with a central theme in common - time travel.
I re-read H G Wells' novel The Time Machine only last year (see review list on the left) and vaguely recall watching the 1960 film version, so when the 2002 film appeared on TV I naturally had to watch it. My first reaction was one of puzzlement; not only was the setting changed from London to New York (par for the course for Hollywood, which seems to find it hard to imagine that anything of interest could ever happen outside the USA) but the first quarter of an hour or so is entirely new, concerning a doomed love affair. It transpires that this is what drives the central character (a physics professor) to develop a time machine, and after some more diversions the story duly arrives 800,000 years in the future, into the world of the Eloi and the Morlocks. Sadly, the devolution of humanity is glossed over, the Eloi shown as normally intelligent rather than stupid, with the cause of humanity's lost civilisation being put down to a man-made physical disaster (the break-up of the Moon) rather than natural evolutionary forces. Also the evocative final section of the book, in which the time traveller visits a dying Earth from which humanity has disappeared, is omitted, to be replaced by a tacked-on and totally nonsensical destroy-the-bad-guys-and-live-happily-ever-after ending. A dumbed-down sketch of a classic novel; Hollywood doing its worst.
I had never heard of Michael Crichton's 1999 novel Timeline and didn't realise that the 2003 film I had just watched was based on this until the credits rolled. So I can't comment on how faithful (or otherwise) the film was to the book. This is probably just as well, otherwise I might have found far more fault with it. As it was, I enjoyed the tale of the team of modern archaeologists using a time-travel machine to visit medieval France at a crucial point in history, in order to rescue one of their colleagues. Much scheming and fighting result as the archaeologists desperately try to return to the present day. Far from serious, but enjoyably entertaining.
If there's one lesson to learn from these two films, it's this: if at all possible, try to see the film before you read the book. You are then more likely to enjoy the film.