The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Galecki
Written & Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Music by: Craig Armstrong
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 31, 2012
"It takes time to make time"
In the future, time has become the ultimate currency and genetic alteration has allowed people to stop aging at 25 years old. Upon reaching 25, the countdown begins and in order to stay alive everyone must work to buy themselves more time or die within a year. The rich can buy their way out of the situation, while the rest are left to negotiate for immortality. When a struggling young man, Will Salas (Timberlake), comes in contact with a “millionaire,” he is gifted more time than he can imagine. Falsely accused of murder, Will is a fugitive on the run and becomes determined to bring down the entire system by any means possible.
In a not so distant future scientists stumble upon a way to switch off the aging gene which leads to overpopulation and the potential for anarchy. As a means of control people are genetically engineered to stop aging at 25 years old. After that they will live only one more year unless they earn/get more time. In that future time has become the new currency. Those who are “rich” can become immortal while those who aren’t, struggle living month to month, week to week, day to day, hour to hour. In the ghetto time zone of Dayton life’s pace is quick as time is of the essence. In the upscale time zone of New Grenich the pace is lethargic by comparison as the wealthy have no sense of urgency while enjoying the luxuries of their privileged lifestyle. In a system designed to benefit the rich and keep the poor short of time one man is given a gift which enables him to see the societal imbalance and the will and means to do something about it.
The trailer for In time didn’t strike me as something that required a trip to the theater but the premise piqued my interest enough that I looked forward to checking it out when it came to Blu-ray. The synopsis pretty much hit’s the highlights and conceptually speaking there is potential but there are some issues, starting with the premise. The storyline is a sort of Bonnie and Clyde/Robin hood theme set in the sci-fi, thriller, action genre. The idea of genetic engineering for population control is one thing but the ability to live longer by the transference of more time especially when it can be done as simply as by touch makes little sense in a world that is trying to avoid anarchy. There are some obscure plot points that raise questions which are never answered and some of the action is more than a little over the top in the probability department. I can live with that except when it is contradictory within the construct of the storyline. Character development is pretty poor which doesn’t help although I would say that coincides with the remaining aspects of the script. The underlying message about the rich getting richer etc. is overtly emphatic which depending on your point of view smacks of an agenda. Did I dislike In time? Not really. Could it have been a better film? Most definitely. I liked the vintage “futuristic" vehicles used and there is a slickness to the production. The cast is generally fine considering the depth required to portray these roles. I must object to Olivia Wilde’s miniscule part. I had serious doubts about how good this film was going to be after learning who her character was (really?). I like Amanda Seyfried but didn’t find her especially convincing here. My feeling is that her part should have gone to Olivia (much better). I like Justin Timberlake but like Amanda I am not so sure that he was a good fit. There is little to no romantic connection between their characters (although it is intended) which in a film like this negatively effects the perception of chemistry. We won’t even discuss Alex Pettyfer’s hammy performance as the leader of the ghetto thugs. Cillian Murphy as the timekeeper in pursuit of Will and Sylvia steals the show which is a good thing. Based on the potentially interesting allegory inherent in the film’s premise and the appearance of what seems a decent sized budget I think that In time is a swing and a miss that with better execution could have hit it out of the park.
The rating is violence, some sexuality, and brief strong language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
In time comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.
Fox has been consistent in the quality of their new releases titles on Blu-ray and this is no exception. This is an excellent high definition presentation that features quantifiable high level detail that manifests itself in the form of crisply defined images with subtle degrees of texture which give the video appreciable depth. Colors are bright and well saturated, with natural rendering and subtle refinement. Dark scenes have appreciable dimension, deep blacks and discernible shadow detail. Contrast and brightness strike a good balance so that bright and dark sequences appear dynamic without discernible loss of detail. I saw no indications of video related anomalies associated with the encoding as the presentation as a whole was whistle clean.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has extended dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, plays an intricate role in this sometimes involving surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment are discerning. Low frequency effects can be intense as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the low level bass and dynamic impact during action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I thought the presentation was quite good and as a whole enhanced the enjoyment of the film.
- (HD) The minutes - 16 minute faux documentary/back story
- (HD) 10 deleted/extended scenes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- D-Box Motion Code enabled
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
Based on a decent premise and fitted with a fairly good cast In time gets lost in an underdeveloped script and an overtly preachy message which results in a middling genre film that could have been more. On a positive note its high definition presentation from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment looks and sounds terrific. If you’re a fan this is worth picking up otherwise give it a rent first.
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