MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
In Time” is one of those movies that when seen in the first run theaters, it’s not terribly impressive. But watching it on home video, it seems so much cooler. It’s that kind of forgettable speculative sci-fi that I’d end up watching again a decade or two in the future at an all-night movie marathon and loving the hell out of it.
The story takes place in the not-too-distant future when people are genetically engineered to not age past 25. Then they get one more year on their clock, which is conveniently placed on their arm, and those minutes are used as currency. The poor literally live day-to-day while the wealthy store thousands of years for their own personal benefit. After facing a family tragedy, one man from the ghetto is given a century from a mysterious stranger, and he then decides to enter high society to eve the time score.
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol, who did other neat speculative pieces like “Gattaca” and “The Truman Show,” “In Time” tries to handle issues that seem greater than the film itself. It benefited in its release by coinciding with the Occupy Movement, making an obvious hero out of the futuristic Robin Hood. Unfortunately, a lot of these greater themes get cobbled by really bad time puns, stilted dialogue and predictable plot points.
Still, there’s a lot to like in this film. Timberlake, whom I’ve always thought was a good actor, has decent chemistry with co-star Amanda Seyfreid. The production design is slick, emulating the same feel we had from “Gattaca.” Taken as late-night weekend viewing, it’s still a lot of fun, and it’d be a great companion piece for other dystopian societal pieces like “Repo Men” or “Surrogates.”
The Blu-ray is really pretty slim on bonus content. Aside from coming with a DVD of the film and Digital Copy (which is pretty much standard for most first-run releases), there’s some deleted and extended scenes (featuring more time puns and Justin Timberlake dancing) as well as a 15-minute mockumentary called “The Minutes.” This featurette has the cast ad-libbing their way through interviews about their characters and society. Interesting, yes, but a little drawn out, relying on the actors to write the script. Finally, there’s some BD-Live access and Live Lookup by IMDb.