A Wrinkle in Time Adventure

‘A Wrinkle in Time’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review: A Magical Coming-of-Age Tale Over Five Decades in the Making

June 5, 2018Ben MK

The powerful trio of Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey may headline director Ava DuVernay's big screen adaptation of author Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 classic, A Wrinkle in Time, but it's relative newcomer Storm Reid who steals the show.

As Meg Murry, Reid is an awkward 13-year-old who doesn't fit in at school, finds herself the target of bullies and, as a result, shuts other people out. It's been exactly four years since her father, NASA scientist Alex Murry (Chris Pine), mysteriously vanished, and not a day goes by that Meg doesn't think about him or long to see him again. Despite the love shown to her by her younger, adopted brother, articulate child genius Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), and her mom, Kate (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who's also a NASA scientist, Meg can't seem to fill that void in her heart.

Enter the enigmatic Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon), who Charles Wallace already appears to be on friendly terms with when she pays an unannounced visit to the Murry family home one night. Things get even stranger, however, once Mrs. Whatsit reveals the startling reason for her sudden appearance. For you see, not only is Alex alive, he's trapped somewhere on the other side of the universe, and Mrs. Whatsit and her compatriots, Mrs. Who (Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Winfrey), are here to take Meg and Charles Wallace to find him and bring him back.

What follows is a magical journey to planets billions of light years away. But despite the fantasy aspects, A Wrinkle in Time manages to feel remarkably grounded, with DuVernay and screenwriter Jennifer Lee doing an amazing job balancing the film's need for exposition with its emotional core. Made in large part by women, the result represents an empowering step forward for gender equality and diversity in Hollywood, and what better way to take that step than with a new family classic that will be celebrated for years to come.

A Wrinkle in Time makes its 4K debut with a gorgeous and razor-sharp 2160p encode and a vivid HDR-enhanced color palette, which is not only a testament to the filmmakers' efforts to bring L'Engle's novel to the big screen, but is also perfect for admiring the film's sumptuous visuals, from the ornate costumes worn by the three Mrs., to the otherworldly visual effects of planets like Uriel and Camazotz. Not to be outdone, the accompanying Dolby Atmos sound mix is equally enthralling, from the musical rhythms of artists like Sia, Sade and Chloe x Halle, to the chittering of talking flowers and a ferocious storm capable of uprooting an entire forest in an instant.

Disney's two-disc 4K release includes an iTunes digital copy and a Blu-ray copy of the film. There are no special features on the 4K disc, but the following extras can be found on the Blu-ray:

  • A Journey Through Time (30:28) - A look at director Ava DuVernay's vision for the film, the diverse casting, the costume and makeup design, the production and set design, and shooting on-location in New Zealand.
  • Deleted Scenes (9:36) - Four scenes with optional commentary by DuVernay ("Ant on a String," "Aunt Beast," "Meg Learns About Calvin's Dad" and "Paper Girl").
  • Audio Commentary - DuVernay, Producer Jim Whitaker, Co-Writer Jennifer Lee, Production Designer Naomi Shohan, 1st AD Michael Moore, Editor Spencer Averick and VFX Supervisor Rich McBride chat about the characters and their relationships, the alterations to the original novel, the cinematography, the production and costume design, the cast and their performances, the music and much more.
  • Original Songs Music Videos (7:48) - Two music videos ("'I Believe' Performed by DJ Khaled Featuring Demi Lovato" and "'Warrior' Performed by Chloe x Halle").
  • Bloopers (1:36)

A Wrinkle in Time is available from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment as of June 5th, 2018. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray features English 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos, English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 55 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on March 7th, 2018.

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