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A Wrinkle In Time (Blu-ray Review)

Disney had high hopes for the big budget adaptation of the classic book A Wrinkle In Time. Making waves by hiring on acclaimed director Ava DuVernay to helm as well as exciting diverse casting announcements. Unfortunately, this didn’t really take off as they’d have liked and opened to poor reviews as it bombed at the box office back this spring. But, when you’re making Black Panther and Infinity War money, the studio can afford to try something like this out and keep trying something like this out. The film is coming to Blu-ray for those who missed it to check out, and maybe it’ll develop a following after its theatrical release. It comes with a nice package of supplemental features in addition to a digital copy and will be hitting shelves on June 5th.

Film 

Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg’s classmate Calvin O’Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe.

Its a bummer that A Wrinkle In Time just doesn’t quite work out. There is a load of ambition thrown into this film, but it never feels fully engaging.  The film is one that seems to tease us at some kind of deeper meaning to everything, but never really offers anything but surface level emotions and lessons. Its visually quite marvelous, but overall a bit empty and just never feels like much progressed even though a lot happens.

The film features a terrific main cast, but some of the ancillary players and scenes as written come off as really dopey or poor at times. There’s a moment Charles Wallace overhears a couple teachers talking and the acting, dialogue and execution feels right out of some right-wing religious film. Much of the film’s dialogue is a boat load of exposition and adages that do get plenty tired after a while. It also features this weird cadence between the characters when they converse.

I’ve been a little harsh here, as a I do think the movie can succeed quite well for kids as they will marvel at the world and things are pretty easy for them to follow. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one does catch on and becomes The NeverEnding Story for this modern generation of kids. Maybe that’s part of what’s not working for me is my age. A Wrinkle In Time is a film I was pretty eager to check out and I wanted to like a lot, but I found myself separated from it a lot and a little tired at times. Odd that I can speak the way I have about but still say its a solid recommend for a family movie night as something new and original.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: A Wrinkle In Time makes its Blu-ray debut with a very good image that features some strong detail and definition. There is a lot of fantastical stuff on display for a majority of this movie and it handles itself very well in the display. But, if you really want to knock your socks off, pop in the 4K Ultra-HD disc for this movie right after and see the difference.

Depth:  Good separation and pushback from foreground and background. Things feels spacious and able to wander freely. No real issues with rapid movements and jittering or blurring occurred.

Black Levels: Blacks are really deep here, and its a big difference from the 4K Ultra-HD counterpart. Much of the detail is hidden and scenes almost take on a different feel. No crushing witnessed during this viewing.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty solid here. They feel a hair restrained (Maybe I shouldn’t have watched the 4K Ultra-HD version first) a tad. There’s a good vivid palette on display. Whites and grays I actually found to be pretty impressive as well.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from scene to scene. Facial features like wrinkles, scars, stubble, make-up and lip texture come through fantastic in close ups and do a solid job in medium shots (and further).

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: A Wrinkle In Time’s standard Blu-ray edition carries a 7.1 mix (Leaving the Atmos for the 4K  only) that is really active and a fun presentation. It seems to be set at a solid volume, close enough to your defaults like. Balance is key here, as the score, effects and vocals are weave around each other, complimenting and having the ability to take center stage at the right points.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Energy bursts, big wing flaps, destruction and other things really bring a boom on the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: This track has a lot of fun with things coming from a back corner (for instance) and surprising. There’s a good realization of the story that is displayed.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras 

A Wrinkle In Time Blu-ray comes with the DVD edition and a digital copy of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • By Director Ava DuVernay, Producer Jim Whitaker, Co-Writer Jennifer Lee, Production Designer Naomi Shohan, 1st AD Michael Moore, Editor Spencer Averick & VFX Supervisor Rich McBride

A Journey Through Time (HD, 30:28) – A very solid making of that covers all aspects of the production from adapting, to casting, costuming, shooting, effects and diversity being a key player. Its full of interviews with all the cast a crew members.

Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary (HD, 9:36)

Original Songs Music Videos (HD, 7:48) – “I Believe” Performed By DJ Khaled featuring Demi Lovato, “Warrior” Performed by Chloe X Halle

Bloopers (HD, 1:36) 

Summary 

A Wrinkle In Time is a movie that doesn’t quite come together, but its ambition is enjoyed and makes for a solid fantasy film. This Blu-ray is as a pretty terrific release with a good image and fun 7.1 track. The extras provided are rather solid and compliment the film quite well. If you’re not 4K capable yet, then pick this one up, but you might as well opt for the 4K as it includes this release as a combo pack.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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