In Time Blu-ray Review
In Time comes to Region A-locked US Blu-ray with a stunning 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. The alternate future reality is wonderfully brought to life in the movie and the transfer picks up every last bit of detail, rendering the colours and tones perfectly and providing rich and solid blacks. In short: it’s perfect. Fine object detail is stunning, with clarity on everything from the facial close-ups (revealing the distinctive strands of hair on Olivia Wilde’s head, or the fine near-shaven head of Timberlake) to the longer, effects-dominated landscape shots, which, apart from one terrible CG car chase sequence, generally stand up amidst the live action elements. There’s no sign of any digital defects; no edge enhancement; no unruly DNR usage; no noise or grain issues. The colours, notwithstanding the slightly yellow-dominant style, look excellent, from the radioactive green of the ticking arm-clocks to the realistic skin tones; with strong black levels evident both in the darker night sequences, the Timekeepers’ outfits and the black suits that the richer individuals showcase. Overall a stunning video presentation that gets full marks and is easily reference quality.
Although it does not have quite as much to showcase in terms of material, the accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track still does a stellar job of presenting the movie, from the high-impact chase sequences to the quieter more atmospheric moments, and will likely provide more than enough atmosphere for this piece to make you feel thoroughly absorbed in the proceedings. Dialogue comes at you front and centre, clearly and coherently defined throughout; largely dominating the frontal array. Effects range from the mechanical noises at the factories to the more refined background hubbub at the mansion party and in the various bars, with car noises boasting both an electronic whirr and a rumbling growl (depending on the engines). Gunshots and car crashes pepper the track with more distinctive surround attacks, whilst the distinctive ticking of the arm-clocks becoming a regular element of the proceedings. The generic score, whilst nothing particularly memorable, certainly suits the content, and is presented well across the array, often in prime position during some of the more noteworthy setpieces. The LFE channel gets a fair amount of usage too, rumbling in the background and providing a wonderful undercurrent to the rest of the mix. Overall it’s an impressive offering that is certainly demo quality.
Disappointingly this release boasts only a few extras, with only a couple of the Deleted Scenes standing out as hidden gems in this underwhelming selection.
The Minutes is a 17 minute Featurette done in a mock-documentary style, with a purportedly 200-year old scientist on hand to discuss the fictional theories about immortality that led to the events depicted in the movie.
Ten Deleted/Extended Scenes (totalling 13 minutes of extra footage) add beats here and there to the film’s story; you can see why almost all of them were cut and, indeed, the shorter ones were barely worth including. Effects are not quite finalised in most of these (what’s most apparent is the lack of glowing arms, with instead effects markers in place) and you’ll probably find it hard sitting through all 13 minutes, but there are a couple of worthy moments. The first is the additional flashback which shows explicitly the lead Timekeeper’s involvement with Will’s father (it was only vaguely implied in the film itself and this would have been a nice addition, if only to make this one part of the conclusion more effective), and the second is an enjoyable but unnecessary detour where Will stops at a street dance to lose the Timekeeper. Aside from a) being ridiculous because Timberlake puts on his trademark “Timberlake Hat” and b) not going anywhere, it would have been a nice little touch, if only because Cillian Murphy gets quite a good line: “Nobody with three minutes left on their clock wastes time on a dance!”
The disc is rounded off by a number of trailers including ones for the spy rom-com actioner This Means War (which looks like another failed attempt at the sub-genre after Cruise’s Knight and Day), the style-over-substance Immortals, the disconcerting Martha Marcy May Marlene and the excellent little indie action-thriller Haywire which I reviewed earlier this month.
This is a great sci-fi idea, delivered in a fairly flawed, underdeveloped way. From the writer/director of Gattaca we get another superb premise – here it is a future where time literally is money – which makes for an intriguing alternate sci-fi setting. Throw in some nods towards the current economic crisis, an underlying Robin Hood theme of redistributing wealth and several effective running-out-of-time chase sequences and you have a halfway decent movie. With more character development, slightly better performances, a better script and a more focussed central story, this could have been up there with Gattaca. Unfortunately it falls short, but that does not mean that it isn’t still entertaining and worth checking out.
On Region A-locked US Blu-ray we get simply perfect video quality and near-perfect audio. The limited selection of extras doesn’t ruin things too much and, for fans, this is a must-have purchase. Newcomers who like the sci-fi premise and enjoyed the director’s previous films should certainly consider checking it out. If you’re prepared to accept an abundance of plot-holes and inconsistencies then there is plenty to enjoy in this alternate-future sci-fi flick.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.79
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