Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time isn't smooth sailing through the universe

Movie Title:    

Grade:   C+

Rating: PG, 1 hour 49 minutes

In a Nutshell: Despite its best intentions, A Wrinkle in Time is disappointing as a film, although kids will probably still like it.

Based on the very popular book A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet) by Madeleine L'Engle , it doesn't quite deliver the magic I hoped for, especially since screenwriter Jennifer Lee had done such great work with Disney's Frozen , Zootopia (DVD) Wreck-It Ralph and even Frozen Fever


Tips for Parents:
  • LOTS of moral lessons kids and parents can feel good about.
  • Kids in peril
  • Mrs. Whatsit uses the word “prodigious.”  In case your kids ask you what it means, you can tell them “remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree.”  Your kids will be so impressed that you know. 
  • Bullying
  • No profanity.  Thank you!
  • Multi-racial family


Uplifting theme: 
  • The only way to defeat the darkness is to become the light.
  • Love rescues
  • “Be a warrior.” – Mrs. Which  (Oprah)
  • Center yourself.  Become one with the universe and yourself.
  • “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” – Mrs. Who

Things I liked:
  • Chris Pine!  I love him in anything.
  • Storm Reid is adorable and did a pretty good job, although a bit straight-faced during most of the movie.  Her best scene, by far, was with Chris Pine towards the end.
  • It's a colorful ride.  The gossiping flower scene was the best part of the film.
  • Fun hairstyles on the Mrs.'s.
  • Zach Galifinakus was pretty funny and did a lot with the very small role he was given.
  • I think frequencies and energy are so interesting. If you're fascinated by science, check out A Wrinkle in Time Book of Fun, Facts, and Science  Energy is everything.
  • Some of the scenes were shot in gorgeous New Zealand.

Things I didn’t like:
  • While director DuVernay was very enthusiastic and creative, her vision was probably overly ambitious, resulting in a choppy mess.
  • A lot of the green screens look fake with some special effects that don't really work. 
  • Some weird moments with missing details.  Sometimes I really wish directors would let me see their movies before they released them so that I could point out some of the mistakes that could be quickly fixed.
  • Deric McCabe as Charles Wallace is super cute, but sometimes it was hard to understand what he was saying.
  • I couldn’t understand a word Storm Reid was saying during the tornado scene in the woods.
  • Cliched scene where someone says, “Do you trust me?”
  • Mindy Kaling looked so awkward trying to run in her ridiculous dress.  What was her character's purpose?  She didn’t actually do anything to help.  
  • Over-the-top make-up.  The costumes were creative, but they looked like costumes.The “Mrs’s” looked more fake than magical. 
  • You don’t need to pay extra money to see this in IMAX.  It's fine on the regular screen.  Better yet, watch it when it comes out on Netflix.
  • The dialogue may sound good in the book, but it's awkward in the movie.
  • Lots of close-ups that don't really work.
  • A scene in the second trailer was completely cut out of the movie.
  • I actually looked at the clock on my cell phone.  That's never a good sign.
  • There's no real villain.  There's only a wispy, menacing "it." 
  • Kids who haven't read the book might think that Oprah's character's name is Mrs. Witch.  While Oprah really is bigger than life (I laughed when Mrs. Which was gigantic), her acting is not good.  I heard her speak to a room full  of 10,000 a number of years ago at the California Governor's Conference for Women and she was mesmerizing.
  • Surprisingly, some of the acting was not good by quite a few of the other actors too.  It felt forced and contrived.

Interesting lines:
  • “You can do this.  You’re choosing not to.” – Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis)
  • “It’s ok to fear the answers, Meg, but you have to face them.” – Happy Medium
  • “What if we are not just in the universe, but the universe is in us?” – Mr. Murry (Chris Pine)
  • “You just have to find the right frequency and have faith in who you are.” – Mrs. Which (Oprah)
  • “We can’t take credit for our talents.  It’s how we use them that counts.” - Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon)
  • “Your house is so warm.  You’ve done a good job keeping the darkness out.” – Mrs. Whatsit
  • “Love is always there, even if you don’t feel it.  It’s always there for you.” – Mr. Murry
  • “Don’t give up hope.” - Mrs. Murry (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) 


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