Did you hear there’s a language across the universe called “color?” Apparently, as a scarlet-haired Reese Witherspoon taught me recently while she spoke to living flower critters. Nope! I don’t think so, miss “give me a paycheck and send me home!” I’ll demonstrate how it’s done:
A black hole of an experience, despite its hard attempts to look indigo fresh, all hope loses its way in A Wrinkle in Time’s milky world dyed by the residue of Lucky Charms marshmallows. Thru each overly long scene, the dreadful dialogue literally spills down excessive messages, even letting the radio hand out plot information. Believe me, you’d rather be marooned on an island of tan sand than suffer through such awful sound editing throw in dialogue at random, as is done here.
Like similar kid/teen movies, a romantic side plot attempts to glitter up a bond between the protagonist, Meg, with a guy she just met that day, Calvin. It may top Twilight in its love story, yet still falls way short beneath Timothée Chalamet doing you-know-what inside a peach in Call Me by Your Name. Worse, Meg’s treatment may turn any parent hot-red, because she somehow sees a new boyfriend she knows nothing about as a symbol of success, completely contradicting the independent woman image Disney intended.
Now, its core message does give a decent moral takeaway: generosity delivers greater rewards than material rewards, since the grass may not always be greener. However, in scene one, Meg receives from her father a decorated origami representing love’s eternal omnipresence, which could’ve been a powerful image, yet it never appears again. This could’ve helped kids differentiate between symbolic light and darkness, but the writers used zero grey matter to keep anyone older than twelve from boredom. In further speculation, Meg’s father also left their sepia-tone family photo to follow his own desires after the universe’s secrets, eliminating any sympathy in such a selfish man, no matter what the script wants you to feel about him.
Some Blacks might find some empowerment by seeing a young Black girl achieve scientific explorations, although its focus misses the mark. When Meg slumps around school on the four-year anniversary of her father’s disappearance, some popular White girls write on her locker “If only you’d disappear to.” Why? Where did those girls’ cruel motivation originate? Race? Popularity? Brown-nosing? WHAT?! Little details like this throughout the film are rarely, if ever explained for clarity.
Book fans may particularly feel quite blue from the careless spectacle-over-purpose adaptation process. To its credit, art director Naomi Shohan (American Beauty, The Lovely Bones) does achieve to create a destructive, infinite environment that towers above the heroes in an amber crystal cavern, then she counteracts that with a blanketing hallway coded in fresh hues of magenta and orange, which reflect back to some key shots in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. Though everything still looks cheap, such as Meg, Calvin, and Meg’s brother, Charles Wallace’s flight on Mrs. Whatsit above the emerald and sapphire CGI landscape. Some wind kicks them up, so they appear to fly themselves… beneath an obvious sight of digitally removed copper wires… in front of a green screen that blurs out their outlines.
Other left out details in the book include:
- Mrs. Who doesn’t turn invisible.
- Instead of a winged horse, Mrs. Whatsit turns into a giant jade artichoke behemoth.
- Aunt Beast is left out.
- Instead of a brain, the “It” takes the form of a colorless alternate dimension.
But the disloyalty to the source material isn’t the worst part—it’s the performances free of any silver lining. This casting disaster’s nonexistent pacing moves slower than a periwinkle at full speed, impossible to soothe by a lavender scented candle. The cringeworthy kid actors are the worst; Levi Miller’s (Calvin) screen presence has perhaps gotten worse since he starred in the overly saturated flop Pan, but no worse than the bothersome Deric McCabe (Charles Wallace), a perfect example of an unfunny overactor.
The three audience-bait women pain your purple veins to watch too—worst one being Reese Witherspoon; just… UGH!!!! She puts on her own show for a bronze metal by shouting her lines too fast against the momentum of her exaggerated hand motions that bulge out her eyes. Plus, Zach Galifianakis (Birdman, The Hangover) plays the Happy Medium without a hint of a golden sunshine smile.
See? To speak color, all you need is some clever writing, an imagination, and a furious vigor against an atrocity which failed in the things I just listed.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
“New Disney movie A Wrinkle in Time came to frag.” Digital image. Postkolik. CODELAB, 21 Nov 2017. Web. <http://www.postkolik.com/haber/my-dead-ex-sevgililer-gunu-tadinda-bir-zombi-dizisi>.
A Wrinkle in Time. Disney. Web. <http://movies.disney.com/a-wrinkle-in-time>.