The Time Traveler’s Wife appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not stellar, the movie exhibited consistently good visuals.
Sharpness always appeared positive. Even in the widest shots, the flick remained tight and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to appear, as the movie was always clean and fresh.
The flick went with a fairly stylized palette that favored golden tones. These looked well-developed, as the transfer delivered full hues. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows were decent; I thought they could be a little heavy at times, but they weren’t a real negative. Overall, I felt very pleased with this satisfying presentation.
As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Wife, it provided modest pleasures. Like most romances, this one went with a pretty restrained soundfield. A few scenes – subways, fireworks, the accident at the film’s start – boasted a reasonable amount of life, but they were infrequent. The surrounds offered mild reinforcement and not much more. Given the film’s nature, I didn’t expect a broad soundscape, and the film delivered the expected auditory perspective.
Audio quality satisfied. Speech was consistently crisp and tight, without edginess or other issues. Music fared best, as the score and songs provided nice vivacity and punch. Effects didn’t have much to do, but they seemed acceptably accurate and full. Nothing here impressed, but I thought the track deserved a “B-“.
When I compared this release to the DVD version, I thought the Blu-ray offered both auditory and visual improvements. Granted, the two soundtracks remained pretty similar. The flick remained restrained in both mixes, so don’t expect anything noticeably superior here.
On the other hand, the Blu-ray looked a whole lot better than the DVD. The latter offered mediocre visuals, so the transfer got an upgrade here. The Blu-ray lacked the artifacts of the DVD and looked clearer and better defined across the board. The Blu-ray was a noticeable improvement over the lackluster DVD.
The Blu-ray includes the DVD’s sole extra plus a new component. Also found on the DVD, The Time Traveler’s Wife: Love Beyond Words runs 21 minutes, four seconds and offers notes from screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, producers Dede Gardner and Nick Wechsler, director Robert Schwentke, and actors Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, and Robert Livingston. The show looks at the script/story and the adaptation of the novel, characters and performances, visual design, and some themes.
I expected a fluff piece here, but “Words” actually offers a good dissection of the film’s narrative. In particular, we get a nice examination of the changes made to bring the source book to the screen. The show digs into the various areas well.
For the new component, we find the 25-minute, 55-second Unconventional Love Story. It includes statements from Schwentke, Wechsler, Gardner, McAdams, Bana, Rubin, Livingston, production designer John Hutman, location manager Don Cornelius, prop master Vic Rigler, music composer Mychael Danna, visual effects supervisor Jamie Hallett and actors Alex Ferris and Michelle Nolden. The piece includes more thoughts about the story and its structure, but it also digs into production design and locations, characters and performances, music, and a few other elements. “Unconventional” provides a more standard “making of” program than “Words”, but that doesn’t make it boring. Like its predecessor, the featurette offers plenty of useful insights and helps detail the production well.
A second disc offers a Digital Copy of the movie. This allows you to transfer the film to a computer or portable gadget. Yippie!
With its combination of sci-fi elements and romantic chick flick underpinnings, The Time Traveler’s Wife boasted the potential to offer a neat change of pace. While I like the basic premise, the movie fails to explore its themes and possibilities in a satisfying manner. The Blu-ray gives us positive picture, decent audio and a few interesting supplements. Wife had the potential to turn into a romantic drama that also would satisfy the male audience, but it sputters in all areas.
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