Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time 4K Ultra HD Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
From visionary director, Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time. Based on the timeless classic, and filled with spectacle, warmth, and heart, this celebrated film follows and ordinary girl’s epic adventure and brave journey home, with the ultimate triumph of love. Featuring an all-star cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Chris Pine, and eye-popping action – it’s fun for the whole family!

Film (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
A Wrinkle in Time is a book that I had read as a child, but hadn’t read since. It had been at least 25 years since I read it, and when it was chosen for my book club last summer, I dove in ready to remember the magic, the science, and the adventures of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin. When I heard Disney was adapting the book into a movie to star Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and others, I was looking forward to seeing how the House of Mouse could bring this classic book to life.

Meg Murry and her brother, Charles Wallace, lost their astrophysicist father, Alex, a few years ago when he disappeared from his home lab while working on a space/time fold, known as a tesseract. Due to Alex’s disappearance, Meg has become quiet and withdrawn, and is convinced her father is out there somewhere. One evening, the Murry family is visited by a strange woman who calls herself Mrs. Whatsit. She informs the family that Alex succeeded in folding time, and is out in the universe.

Soon after, Meg, Charles Wallace, and Meg’s friend, Calvin, are walking the dog, when Charles Wallace runs into the old, abandoned neighborhood house. Meg and Calvin follow him in only to find that the house isn’t abandoned, it’s occupied by Mrs. Who, who only speaks in quotations, and seems to know Charles Wallace. Late, in the Murry’s backyard, the three are visited once again by Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who, but this time, they are joined by Mrs. Which, who appears to the children as a giant. The three (?) reveal themselves to Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin as travelers who can take them to find Alex. The children use the tesseract created by the to travel to Uriel, another planet where Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin encounter the IT, while flying with Mrs. Whatsit.

The IT is a being that is working to take over the universe by absorbing all the good and enhancing all the bad. In order to combat the IT, the children travel to the Happy Medium, a being who can provide more information about the IT and about Alex. The children continue on to the IT’s planet, Camazotz, where Alex is trapped. The are unable to stay on Camozotz with the children, so they leave them with helpful gifts, and tell the children they will see them soon. Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin arrive on a sandy beach, where they meet a man called Red. Med and Calvin realize something is wrong when Charles Wallace says all the food tastes like sand and becomes hypnotized by Red. As Meg and Calvin fight to save Charles Wallace, Meg finds Alex, who opens a tesser in order to return home. Meg refuses to leave without Charles Wallace and confronts the IT who has taken over her brother. 

I really enjoyed watching A Wrinkle in Time. I thought that Ava DuVernay did a fabulous job directing this classic story. She took the best parts of the story and brought them to life through gorgeous color, great music, and good acting. I loved seeing Oprah as Mrs. Which, and thought the Reese Witherspoon was great as Mrs. Whatsit. I’m not normally a fan of Mindy Kaling, but I thought she also did a good job as Mrs. Who. The children who played Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin did a great job in their roles. They were believable and I enjoyed watching them. 
Video (5 out of 5 stars)
The 4K presentation was just gorgeous. The colors were bright and sharp and every scene was edited together perfectly. Skin tones were natural, and the whole color palette was well-chosen. The picture as a whole was smooth, and each scene transitioned with no issues. 
Audio (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
A Wrinkle in Time’s audio was almost perfect. There were only a couple parts where to me, the volume was a little uneven, but it didn’t affect the overall viewing that much. Presented in English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, the dialogue was easily heard, and the background sounds and music mostly blended well. Disney does a great job on its soundtracks, and this was no different. 
Extras (3 out of 5 stars)
I’ve got to say, I was a bit disappointed in the special features on the Blu-ray. I was hoping for more, but what we got was okay. The best one was the behind-the-scenes look at the movie. 
  • A Journey Through Time (30:28) – An in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie, with interviews and comments from the cast and the crew.
  • Deleted Scenes (9:36) – Four deleted scenes from the movie, available individually or in a play all with or without commentary by director Ava DuVernay.
  • Audio Commentary with Director Ava DuVernay, Producer Jim Whitaker, Co-writer Jennifer Lee, Production Designer Naomi Shohan, First Assistant Director Michael Moore, Editor Spencer Averkick and VFX Supervisor Rich McBride
  • Original Songs Music Videos – “I Believe” performed by DJ Khaled Featuring Demi Lovato, and “Warrior” performed by Chloe X Halle
  • Bloopers (1:36) – Funny bloopers and outtakes from filming. I wish this had been longer. Bloopers are always my favorite feature.”
Summary (4 out of 5 stars)
Ava DuVernay’s direction of A Wrinkle in Time is sure to be a classic. With gorgeous scenery, a wonderful soundtrack, and stellar acting, the movie brings to life a beloved classic. I look forward to repeated viewings of the movie and, of course, to re-reading this book many times. As it is the first of a series, I do hope Disney will bring back the cast, and DuVernay for subsequent adaptations.

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