Ralph Potts reviews this fantasy, based on the novel by Madeline L'Engle, that tells the story of an ordinary girl’s extraordinary adventure through time and space.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

91
Details:

Studio and Year: Disney - 2018
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 115 minutes
Genre: Fantasy

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, English DTS-HD 7.1 Master audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Pena, Zach Galifinakis, Levi Miller, Andre Holland, Storm Reid
Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Music by: Ramin Djawadi
Written by: Jennifer Lee, Jeff Stockwell Based on the novel by Madeline L’Engle
Region Code: A,B,C


Release Date: June 5, 2018
"Be a Warrior"
My Take:

Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who is desperate to fit in. As the daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg's younger brother Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Compounding the situation is the baffling disappearance of their father, which torments Meg and has left her mother to pick up the pieces.

Charles Wallace is equally bright and unique, and introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial guides-Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who, who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they set off on their formidable quest. Traveling through time and space via a process called tessering, they are soon transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil, known as the “It”. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must look deep within herself and embrace her flaws to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness closing in on them.

Based on the novel by Madeline L’Engle A Wrinkle in Time is an over ambitious fantasy film that feels just a bit too much like a children’s book. The overuse of imaginary visuals, positive reinforcement and underlying themes water down the real crux of the story, which is about a young girl’s quest to not only find her father but, to discover herself. Man, I could have done without the three celestial guides played by Oprah, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon, who put way too much zest into her portrayal.

The bombardment of CGI didn’t help matters and felt like a necessary addition in order to propel the elementary story along. There were things I liked about A Wrinkle in Time but, they were too few and far between. I enjoyed the performances by the young actors and wished that they had been given a stronger script to work with. I do think that this film will find wider appeal with young audiences but, the best parts of its story will be wasted on them. When all was said and done A Wrinkle in Time failed to engage me and left me checking my watch to see how much longer I had until it was finished.


Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic elements and some peril.


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.**


UHD Presentation: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



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Dolby Atmos Rating: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



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A Wrinkle in Time comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Disney featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD A Wrinkle in Time was rendered from a 3.4K source and finished on a 2K DI. This is a fantasy-based film that is essentially boldly colorful throughout, and this Ultra HD rendering makes the most of its elements. With a discernible increase in detail and emboldened chromatic highlights the image appears sharper and vibrant when compared to the 1080p version. Primary colors are pleasingly rich while whites appear gradational and punchy. The spectrum of secondary colors literally pop off of the screen. The opening sequences provides a glimpse of what it to come, but it’s the arrival on ethereal worlds that offers the bonus that the presentation’s wide color gamut has to offer. The combination of rich color, sepia, and gradational gray tones look stunning.

I also enjoyed the implementation of HDR. The added dimension in blacks, and shadows during the low-level scenes is immediately noticeable. Where called for the cinematography makes use of shadows, streaming light and a mix of light/dark elements. It’s application here is used very well, drawing upon HDR’s ability to create stark contrast between the two. The blend of shadow detail/depth of field offset by the presence of light at varying levels, looked very natural, and when applied, brilliant light caused me to blink/squint in reaction to it.

The film has a variety of sequences that make use of close up camera angles that show off the superb rendering of detail. The exterior sequences and CGI featured in the film have appreciable depth which has an enriching, and eye-catching aesthetic. The difference between viewing A Wrinkle in Time in high definition and Ultra HD isn't vast but, there is no question that it benefitted from the increase in resolution, emboldened color and high dynamic range treatment.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that makes steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics and discrete sound effects. This is done very well and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The mix effectively places effects/sounds within the soundstage which place you within the scene, in turn, adding an enriching element that heightens the intended feeling like something is falling from above, moving through the room, or emanating from a specific location. While this is not what I would regard as an aggressive Atmos mix, it is an active one, that complimented the source material and made for an entertaining listening experience.


For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:


Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



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Audio: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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A Wrinkle in Time comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

Colors are effectively used in this film to help set the tone based upon the mood of the scene. The chroma range is broad and hues can vary from being sullen and inanimate to warm and inviting. Skin tones are beautifully rendered with natural highlights and descriptive variation. Images onscreen are exquisitely detailed and sharp with superb depth of field and visible texture during wide angle shots. Contrast is spot on and blacks are deep with revealing delineation that provides excellent perceptibility during scenes shot at night or in lower lighting. The video has a pristine quality that is free of video related artifacts.

The 7.1 Dolby TrueHD (Atmos core – UHD version) and the DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack (on the Blu-ray) makes effective use of the surround platform and offers detail rich sonic clarity, and crystalline dialog reproduction. This mix doesn’t bombard you with aggressive surround sound. It applies it when appropriate and combines discretely placed directional cues with supporting ambience that fills the listening area nicely. The front and rear sound field never collide but work in unison to render the soundtrack’s elements. Dynamic range and bass response is appropriate, adding thematic emphasis and resonating punch when called upon. This is a solid audio presentation that mates well with the source material. Unlike some of the recent lossless soundtracks from Disney I didn’t have issues with dynamic range or the overall volume of the mix.


Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: A Wrinkle in Time Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: A Wrinkle in Time Blu-ray
    • 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)
    o Ant on a String
    o Aunt Beast
    o Meg Learns About Calvin’s Dad
    o Papergirl
    • Audio Commentary
    o Director Ava DuVernay
    o Producer Jim Whitaker
    o Co-Screenwriter Jennifer Lee
    o Production designer Naomi Shohan
    o First assistant director Michael Moore
    o Editor Spencer Averick
    o VFX supervisor Rich McBride
    • Bloopers
    • Original Songs/Music Videos
    o “I Believe” performed by DJ Khaled featuring Demi Lovato
    o “Warrior” performed by Chloe x Halle
  • Digital Code
Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel by Madeline L’Engle A Wrinkle in Time is a middling adaptation that reaches for the stars but, ultimately comes up short. It comes to Blu-ray in the Ultra HD Combo Pack from Disney featuring top notch Ultra HD video, engaging lossless surround sound, including a solid Dolby Atmos immersive listening experience and a fair supplemental package. A Wrinkle in Time only qualifies as a purchase for fans. Otherwise, I would strongly recommend a rental first.
 
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems