The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

Genre(s): Drama / Romance / Science Fiction
New Line || PG13 - 107 minutes - $28.98 || 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

.:: 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:
  • Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, 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 Travelerís 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 girlís familyís estate (a meadow) and although he knows who she is and begins a strange sort of bond, she doesnít 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 fatherís clothes for the next time he returns. Ok, I take that back. Itís still creepy even with Bana in the role.

Taking the meeting and creepy semi-courtship Ė and yes, thatís 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 Ė 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 donít think he really knew how to present such a strange plot that probably read better in novel form and doesnít necessarily translate well in live action. As the movie began I didnít 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 werenít for Bana and McAdams, this wouldíve been a complete waste of time.

Overall, The Time Travelerís Wife doesnít 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 wasnít nearly satisfying and Iím 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 didnít hate this movie and in fact enjoyed some of it, but at the same time it shouldíve been so much more and couldíve 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 scriptís deficiencies so it might be worth renting just to see them at work, otherwise wait for this to debut on HBO.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The Time Travelerís Wife: Love Beyond Words (21:26) Ė Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, Director Robert Schwentke and Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin recount this popular taleís journey. This is another good and fairly lengthy featurette covering the same kind of ground but more in general terms than the specific story. Thereís 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.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The Time Travelerís Wife is presented with a 2.35 aspect ratio and as Iíve seen in many other Warner DVD releases, the picture is littered with pixilation throughout. Colors are alright, however, but I expect a little better from a recent release.

At least the Dolby Digital 5.1 track fairs a little better as you get good levels coming from each channel, primarily the center one as the movie is dialogue heavy with Mychael Dannaís score pretty much comprising the rest.



.::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 Goslingís depth), but from the very beginning I felt there was something Ďoffí about The Time Travelerís Wife. It wasnít 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 couldíve been better.