The Time Traveller's Wife (2009)

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Released 15-Mar-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romance Featurette-Making Of
Theatrical Trailer
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 103:04
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (79:57) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robert Schwentke
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Eric Bana
Rachel McAdams
Alex Ferris
Arliss Howard
Katherine Trowell
Bart Bedford
Esther Jun
Matt Birman
Craig Snoyer
Case ?
RPI ? Music Mychael Danna


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

There have been quite a few romantic dramas hitting DVD over the last few years such as No Reservations, Australia or The Notebook and even a few in the sub-genre of time travelling romantic dramas such as The Lake House and even at a stretch The Fountain. Into this well served market comes the latest offering in the time travelling romantic drama sub-genre, The Time Traveler's Wife which pretty much defines itself into the sub-genre with its title. So does this stand out as a film or even in its genre? Well, no, not really. That doesn't mean it is a bad film but it certainly isn't an overly good one either. The film starts and ends with its vaguely silly premise which probably worked better as a book, however it is saved by polished performances by Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams in the titular roles (Time Traveller & Wife respectively).

The premise of the film is that Henry DeTamble (Bana) hits his head during a car accident as a young boy, thus activating a 'genetic anomaly' which causes him to time travel against his will. Unlike many other time travel films and shows, he seems to constantly travel to the same places (in fact, only one area of the US) and there is no problem with him seeing other versions of himself. The time travel seems to be exacerbated if he drinks alcohol and it would seem that 'It's like gravity, big events pull you in'. During one of his trips to the past he meets a young girl, Clare Abshire (played as an adult by McAdams), who he is already married to in the future. She is eight and playing in the grounds of her family's large estate. He visits her repeatedly up to her 18th birthday and she falls in love with him (which is just a little creepy). A few years later she runs into the younger Henry at his job as a librarian. He does not know her at this point so he requires some convincing that she is not crazy. Despite their love, their relationship will be difficult due to his disappearances. Can they find happiness or will life get in the way?

I can imagine how this book (which I haven't read) would be hard to turn into a film and the main extra explains some of the plot points which were left out in favour of an easy to follow story. Despite, or because of, this attempt at simplification the film feels quite choppy at times with too many changes to what Henry is involved in or what timeframe we are in. Sci-fi fans will probably not be satisfied with the explanations of the time travel but this is not really a film for sci-fi buffs, the time travel is merely a device for telling an old fashioned love story with challenges forcing the people apart and/or keeping them together. Romance fans will certainly get something from this film due to the emotional telling of the story and the fine performances however it will probably not be counted amongst their all time favourites. One aspect of the romance which is not terribly well told is how it developed which is probably due to the non-linear story. The audience does not really get a good understanding of why they fell in love in the first place.

Fans of the book or romantic dramas should probably take a look at this film but it is not generally recommendable as a 'must see' DVD.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video quality is good but somewhat disappointing for a recent major release.

The feature is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen. This is the original aspect ratio.

The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout although not with the level of clarity of the best SD transfers. Shadow detail was nothing special.

The colour was quite good although this film uses a restrained colour palette.

I noticed some minor MPEG compression artefacts here and there but nothing alarming. There was also some background grain and some edge enhancement to be seen.

There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. They are clear and easy to read.

The layer change was not noticeable during playback but occurs at 79:57.


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The audio is very good but hardly a test for your home theatre.

This DVD contains two audio tracks, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448Kb/s and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand. I think any issues were driven by the original material rather than some issue with the transfer.

The sombre piano and light orchestral score by Mychael Danna sounds good without setting the world alight.

The surround speakers were used for music and some minor directional effects.

The subwoofer was not used in any overly noticeable way.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

The menu is still and silent.

The Time Traveler's Wife : Love Beyond Words (21:09)

The only real extra is surprisingly interesting as it discusses how the book was adapted to the screenplay and then onto the screen. It includes interview material with the main cast and crew members. There is also some technical discussion about the use of colour and about some of the feedback received from test audiences, especially regarding the sci-fi elements.

Theatrical Trailer (2:18)

Quality trailer.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version adds French & Spanish subtitles however does not have the 2.0 soundtrack option or the trailer. Draw.

Summary

    A decent but unspectacular romantic drama.

    The video quality is good but somewhat disappointing for such a recent film.

    The audio is very good.

    The only real extra is certainly worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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