The Time Traveler’s Wife appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. While the picture had some positives, it was more erratic than I’d like.
Sharpness was inconsistent. Close-ups and two-shots looked fine, but anything wider tended to be rough and ill-defined. Some of the issues stemmed from digital artifacts; I noticed mild edge enhancement along with somewhat mosquito noise. The movie came across as rather blocky on occasion, and I noticed light shimmering and jagged edges at times. No source flaws appeared, however.
Colors were decent. The flick went with a fairly stylized palette that favored golds and heavy hues. These could be somewhat too thick, but they were usually fine. Blacks were reasonably dark and tight, while shadows looked moderately dense; they lacked much detail. I liked enough of the transfer to merit a “C-”, but much of it didn’t work very well.
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-“.
Only one extra shows up here: a featurette entitled The Time Traveler’s Wife: Love Beyond Words. In this 21-minute, four-second piece, we hear 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.
A few ads open the disc. We get promos for Where the Wild Things Are, Valentine’s Day, Sherlock Holmes, The Blind Side, Gone with the Wind and Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove. No trailer for Wife appears here.
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 DVD gives us flawed picture, decent audio and one good featurette. Wife had the potential to turn into a romantic drama that also would satisfy the male audience, but it sputters in all areas.