The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Romance / Science Fiction
New Line || PG13 - 107 minutes - $35.99 || February 9, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-01-30


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer(s): Audrey Niffenegger (novel); Bruce Joel Rubin (screenplay)
Cast: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston


Theatrical Release Date: August 14, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

What would the cinema, and the world, be without the tearjerker romance-drama? In 2004 gave us the sentimental Notebook based on the bestselling novel and starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams who I guess it cornering the market.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is the latest romantic drama starring McAdams and Eric Bana as time-crossed lovers. Bana plays Henry DeTamble a man with a genetic anomaly that involuntarily sends him back and forth in time, at different places he knows apparently in his subconscious, or something along those lines.

The movie begins when his mother is killed in a car crash but he manages to escape and meets his older self who gives him advice. Meanwhile, he also meets a young girl, Clare, on this girl’s family’s estate (a meadow) and although he knows who she is and begins a strange sort of bond, she doesn’t know that in the future, she will be married to him. Yes, admittedly the idea of an older man (I think in his 30s) meeting a girl in the middle of a field is very strange and it can be creepy especially since when he travels through time, he loses all his clothes...

Luckily, I think the casting of someone like Eric Bana makes it a little less creepy and they take care with the situation by keeping him hidden and then making plans that the girl would leave her father’s clothes for the next time he returns. Ok, I take that back. It’s still creepy even with Bana in the role.

Taking the meeting and creepy semi-courtship – and yes, that’s what it is as it plants her crush on him and thus she falls in love and marries him later on, though at the appropriate age – aside, the scenes with McAdams and Bana in their relationship was the catalyst that kept what is an otherwise strange plot together. The two have nice chemistry together and along with Ron Livingston in a small supporting role, I found myself more involved with the story than I had been when it began.

The next big issue, behind the plot and semi-creepy situations, is the direction by Robert Schwentke (Flightplan). I don’t think he really knew how to present such a strange plot that probably read better in novel form and doesn’t necessarily translate well in live action. As the movie began I didn’t sense any sort of compelling drama or some sort of driving force that would make me care about any of these characters; and if it weren’t for Bana and McAdams, this would’ve been a complete waste of time.

Overall, The Time Traveler’s Wife doesn’t quite gel together as I had hoped and although there is a nice emotional element in there, it never seemed to hit its stride. The ending wasn’t nearly satisfying and I’m not talking about a sad or happy ending satisfaction but one that makes you feel like the journey, warts and all, was worth it and this one just did not do it. For those who want to admit to loving and crying over The Notebook (not me, of course...), you might be a little disappointed.

I didn’t hate this movie and in fact enjoyed some of it, but at the same time it should’ve been so much more and could’ve been much more perhaps if it were in better hands. However, both Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, along with Ron Livingston in that small supporting role, do well enough despite the script’s deficiencies so it might be worth renting just to see them at work, otherwise wait for this to debut on HBO.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

An Unconventional Love Story (25:56) – Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana explore the defining moments in their characters’ relationship. This featurette takes a look at the story aspect of the movie from the members of the cast and crew and what drew them to it and how the sci-fi aspect sets it apart from other films. While this isn’t some great featurette, it was more extensive than what I had expected. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

The Time Traveler’s Wife: Love Beyond Words (21:26) – Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, Director Robert Schwentke and Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin recount this popular tale’s journey. This is another good and fairly lengthy featurette covering the same kind of ground but more in general terms than the specific story. There’s more interview sound-bites and more behind-the-scenes footage. And if you thought some of the scenes in the movie were odd, they compare the book with the film and what is in the book is certainly riskier and much weirder.

The second disc contains a digital copy (** Blu-ray Exclusive **), compatible with iTunes and WMV.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is presented with a 2.35 aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition. The picture looks for the most part fairly clear but I did notice that in some spots it was a little soft (especially background elements) there is also some natural noise present. The black levels are also good and the color palette is surprisingly nice especially during the meetings on Clare’s estate.

The Blu-ray comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that does an effective job, just nothing noteworthy. The majority of the film is dialogue heavy with the front and side channels getting used for ambient noises and Mychael Danna’s score.



.::OVERALL::.

I am a sap when it comes to these romance-dramas tragedies and am not ashamed to admit that I liked The Notebook mainly because it was the movie that introduced me to the beauty and talent that is Rachel McAdams (and showed Ryan Gosling’s depth), but from the very beginning I felt there was something ‘off’ about The Time Traveler’s Wife. It wasn’t the performances because the main three (McAdams, Bana, Livingston) all do respectable work, yet the story never gelled well enough to make the journey, as it were, worthwhile. I do like the time travel twist to a tried and true genre, but the execution could’ve been better.