A WRINKLE IN TIME – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange

 
A WRINKLE IN TIME – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange
 
Sometimes a film comes along that you are almost afraid to go see because the book was so important to you.  This film, A Wrinkle in Time, was one of those for me.  Listening to this story as a young grade school boy my mind exploded with the images my imagination presented me with.  It began a love of science fiction that is still strong in me to this day some 55 years later!
 
A Wrinkle in Time is the story of young Meg Murry (Storm Reid), the brilliant daughter of two brilliant people (Chris Pine and Gugu Mbatha-Raw).  In their research into the fabric of the universe they are trying to figure out how to get from point "A" to point "B" without having to plod along across the distance between those points.  Their theory is that you can move by making a fold in space, to tesseract, to bring two points together so that you can simply step from one point to the other.
 
This story is all of that but the true heart of the story is one of light vs. dark, good vs. evil.  When Mr. Murry is lost during his experimentation, Meg's world comes crashing down.  For this brilliant young middle school student, the reason to strive and achieve, yes, her light, has been lost.  She has never given up on the fact that her dad is still alive but without him, her days have no light; she has no reason to keep achieving successes.
 
Until, that is, the day that her equally (or perhaps even more) brilliant adopted brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), introduces her to his friend, Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling).  This begins a quest to rescue her father from the clutches of evil, from the dark.  To help them, they recruit a boy from Meg's class, Calvin (Levi Miller).  The three are led by three soldiers of light, three unimaginably old but awesome beings.  Mrs. Who whom we have already met plus the (for them) young Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and their leader, Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).
 
The journey is easily traveled but fraught with subtle peril as they approach the lair of the dark, the Pit.  Director Ava DuVernay's vision of Madeleine L'Engle's story is wonderfully visual and closer to my vision of the story than I ever imagined anyone could take it.  The worlds she and her crew created are breathtaking.  Shot on locations in New Zealand and Los Angeles, they were able to create worlds that soundstages could not replicate. 
 
And the sets they built on the soundstages for places like the Happy Medium's home were beyond my expectations!  The casting of Zach Galifianakis as the Happy Medium was wonderful.  As they discuss in the director's commentary of the film (ALWAYS watch the film a second time with the commentary track turned on, you learn so much!), Zach is one of those comedic actors who have proven that they can switch to drama and nail the performance every time.
 
Speaking of the extras, this film might be a tad light on them numerically but those included are really good.  I love watching the deleted scenes to see what the director had to change or modify to tweak the film into its final form.  The bloopers are sometimes hilarious and sometimes simply a nice rest between the other extras.  This time it was the second of these options.
 
The commentary track had a huge group of people rather than the usual director and perhaps one person.  In the case of this film, Ava DuVernay chose to have many of the primary people responsible for the way the film was made present.  This allowed them to have a nice discussion of the how's and why's of the scenes as we watched them unfold.  Very well done commentary.  Though to be honest, it was a tad slow for the first bit of the film before they warmed up and got deeper into the swing of the decisions for casting and scene crafting.  It became… brilliant.
 
I don't normally sing but these songs had me singing away with them.  I have watched DJ Khaled and Demi Lavato and the video for "I Believe" multiple times now.  "Warrior”, performed by Chloe x Halle is excellent.  The video really brings their song to life.  
 
But the crown jewel of the bonuses has to be featurette called "A Journey Through Time".  The filmmakers take us along with them on the journey of making the film.  From the fields in New Zealand to the playground in Los Angeles to the soundstages, we are given a view of the journey to make this film.  Even more than the commentary, this really gives you a great view of the film's trek to the big screen.
 
This is a film for the family to watch together.  And my hope is that watching the movie will inspire kids to read not only the book upon which the film was based but the others in the series.  I hope it inspires them as it did me.  This film met and exceeded my hopes and desires.  It is brilliant.
 
 
Directed By:
 
  • Ava DuVernay
 
Cast:
 
  • Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Peña, André Holland, Rowan Blanchard, Bellamy Young, David Oyelowo, Conrad Roberts
 
Extras:
BLU-RAY & DIGITAL HD:
  • A Journey Through Time – Take an up-close look at the making of this magnificent movie with Director Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, and the cast and crew.
  • Deleted Scenes (with optional director audio commentary)
    • Ant on a String
    • Aunt Beast
    • Meg Learns About Calvin’s Dad
    • Papergirl
  • Audio Commentary
    • Director Ava DuVernay
    • Producer Jim Whitaker
    • Co-Screenwriter Jennifer Lee
    • Production designer Naomi Shohan
    • First assistant director Michael Moore
    • Editor Spencer Averick
    • VFX supervisor Rich McBride
  • Bloopers
  • Original Songs/Music Videos
Specifications:
 
Runtime:
 
  • 109 Minutes
 
Studio:
 
  • Buena Vista Home Entertainment
 
Release Date:
 
  • 05/29/2018 (Digital HD)
  • 06/05/2018 (Blu-ray/DVD)
 
Region:
 
  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)
 
Website:
 
 
MPAA Rating:
 
  • PG (for thematic elements and some peril)
 
Selig Rating:
 
  • BRAND NEW
 
Selig Rating Scale:
 
BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost
SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale
SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used
RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning
COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks
PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target
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