A Wrinkle in Time
November 20, 2018
The Ninth Commercial Special
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown and the title sequence plays)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. There's just something about nostalgic fantasy books.
(A montage of posters for fantasy movies is shown, starting with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)
NC (vo): Whether they make good film adaptations...
(Next is the poster for Eragon)
NC (vo): ...or whatever Eragon was...
(The montage continues, showing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The NeverEnding Story)
NC (vo): ...there's always a part of us that has to see what the cinematic version of the most imaginative tales look like.
(The cover of the book "A Wrinkle in Time" is shown now)
NC (vo): And clearly, the best director for a trippy sci-fi mind warp about children traveling to different worlds would be one who specialized...
(Cut to another pair of movie posters, this one of films directed by Ava DuVernay, which include Selma and 13th)
NC (vo): ...in prejudice and race relations.
NC: Well, that...turned out exactly what we got!
(The title for the movie version of A Wrinkle in Time is shown, followed by clips of that movie)
NC (vo): Being admittedly an already difficult book to adapt, Wrinkle in Time tries to be that artsy kids film meant to open up your mind, but instead turns out to be that artsy kid (An image of a youth on a laptop computer appears in the upper-right corner) that tries to open up your mind with his ultimate interpretation of Donnie Darko.
NC: (frustrated) Yeah, you all know that asshole! They made a movie like him.
NC (vo): Based on the only kids fantasy book you remember being more Jesusy than Narnia, (The poster for Disney's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe adaptation is shown briefly) the adaptations for this novel have often been underwhelming, (The poster for the 2003 TV movie is shown) and this version is...well, not underwhelming, but...how do I put it? Remember that very pompous ending to American Beauty, where they say, "You don't understand our film, but don't worry: you will"?
NC: (smiles) Imagine that for two hours.
NC (vo): But is there anything about it that worked? I mean, without the use of a slowly becoming legal substance? Well, let's take a look in more detail.
NC: This is the unsurprisingly bizarre, but surprising in a way it's bizarre, Wrinkle in Time.
(The film starts with a little girl named Meg Murry making a picture using her thoughts, guided by her father, Alex, played by Chris Pine)
NC (vo): The film opens with Chris Pine in Mel Gibson's beard showing his daughter Meg the ABCs of pretentious speeches.
Alex: Love is always there. Even if you don't feel it, it's always there for you.
NC: (as Alex) I want you to remember that when you read the reviews for this movie.
(Meg's mother Kate (Gugu Mbata-Raw) shows her the paper octahedron that, when unfolded, shows a heart in its middle)
Kate: This is our love.
Alex: It's...it's not gone. It's just...it's just enfolded.
NC: Gee, I wonder if this speech about love means he's gonna disappear-
(The caption that NC says appears after the movie cuts forward, when Meg is 13 years old (now played by Storm Reid) and she also has a younger brother Charles, played by Deric McCabe)
NC (vo): One gone dad later...
News presenter: (on radio) Tomorrow marks the four-year anniversary of the disappearance of NASA scientist Dr. Alex Murry. There are still no leads in the case.
NC: But perhaps the biggest mystery: why can two kids who have screens in front of them (The Amazon Prime's main screen on TV is shown) literally through breathing listening to radio?
(Meg is shown in her school as the song "Let Me Live" by Kehala plays in the background. Some of her classmates are already waiting for her to come to her locker)
NC (vo): As a pop song indicates, Meg is sad and often made fun of by mean kids who say such terrible things as...
Veronica: Hi, Meg.
NC: (slams the table) Bitch, you did it!
NC (vo): You can call me every variation of the C word you like, but say hi to me? You better expect this in return!
Veronica: Hi, Meg.
(We're shown an obligatory clip from The Room)
Johnny: Oh, hi, Mark.
NC: Trust me, you'll be seeing few high marks in this.
(On Meg's locker, there's a note that says "Happy anniversary! If only you'd disappear, too" and a smile. Meg turns back and sees the person who must've wrote this)
NC (vo): Yeah.
NC: We made that on our way to make fun of...
(A clip of the bully Scott taunting Jess from Bridge to Terabithia is shown)
NC (vo): ...the Terabithia kid for losing his best friend.
NC: Our gang is called "The Plot Devices".
(Outside, on the basketball field, Meg hears Charles encouraging her)
NC (vo): Anyway, what do you make a fun of her for? This is the kid asking for it.
Charles: Did you hear that, Meg? You have more potential than anybody here! Mommy was awkward and funny-looking at your age, too! And look at her now. She's beautiful!
NC: (as Charles, smiling) And she never mixes my medications at all!
NC (vo): Also, I'm confused. Who's he talking about being awkward and funny-looking? Wait. Meg is supposed to be awkward and funny-looking? Pfft. Oh, God, yeah! By Disney standards, what a dog! (Four children magazines dedicated to the movie and Storm Reid are shown) I bet she is only on the cover of four magazines instead of five!
NC: (rests his cheek on a hand) When will everybody learn that beautiful people are beautiful people?
(Meg angrily knocks out Veronica with a basketball after she taunts her again, so she's sent to Principal Jenkins (Andre Holland))
NC (vo): She gets sent to the principal for introducing the bully to basketball...because that's a problem the principal would deal with...and he tries to give some advice.
Jenkins: You can't keep using your father's disappearance as an excuse to act out. Odds are...he's not coming back.
(Meg leaves Jenkins' office in tears)
NC: (as Jenkins) Oh, this is why I got the Most Emotionally Crippling Principal of the Year award.
(During the night, Meg wakes up after hearing something and discovers a lady in a white dress (Reese Witherspoon) rolling the globe in the living room)
NC (vo): Don't worry, things will make more sense when you get ho...oh, boy.
Mrs. Whatsit: Your house is so warm. You've done a wonderful job keeping the darkness out. (takes the magnifying glass and holds it close to her face) Call me Mrs. Whatsit.
NC: (weirded out) I will call you anything you like as long as you don't touch my bathing suit area.
Charles: Don't worry. She's my friend. I caught her stealing sheets. Guys, she's harmless. (As he says this, Whatsit touches his cheek with her index finger)
NC: Anybody who breaks into a house...
(This clip is replayed)
NC (vo): ...and touches kids like that is not harmless!
NC: She is on a list!
(Whatsit rests on a couch)
Charles: Have I ever been wrong?
Meg: One of these days, you might be, Charles Wallace.
Whatsit: Oh, I highly doubt that. He's one of the greatest minds in recent history.
NC: His personality is on par with (A shot of Dexter's Laboratory's...) Mandark, but still, a smart cookie.
NC (vo): I do hope you leave on a line more up your ass than your toilet paper coat.
(Whatsit makes her leave, covering herself as it rains)
Whatsit: Wild nights are my glory.
NC: (as Whatsit) I'm really confident in my weirdness, which means either escape from a place with bars on the window, or I'm really cool! (Beat) I'm not really cool.
(The next day, Meg and Charles are greeted by Calvin O'Keefe (Levi Miller), Meg's classmate)
NC (vo): Hi, random boy from school. Want to be a character?
Charles: (shakes Calvin's hand) I'm Charles Wallace, Meg's brother. You're Calvin, aren't you?
Calvin: That I am.
Meg: What are you doing here?
Calvin: I don't know.
NC: (as Calvin) I'm introduced 15 minutes in, I had no lines, and I add nothing to the story.
NC (vo; as Calvin): But I do give this punchable look of whimsy every five minutes.
Charles: So what do you say, Calvin? You wanna come with us?
Calvin: Why not?
(He gives a smile. NC, imitating Calvin, chuckles...or rather, exhales two times while smiling widely. The kids visit another lady (Mindy Kaling), whose house is full of books)
NC (vo; sighs): So, ever wonder if that crazy cat lady down the street was as insane as you thought she was?
Mrs. Who: Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit. (shakes Charles' hand) Gibran, Lebanese.
NC (vo): This is Mrs. Who, played by Mindy Kaling. Charles seems to have met her before and explains how she only speaks in obnoxious quotes.
Charles: She's just evolved past language, so when she needs to think, she cheats and uses other people's words.
NC: Oh, that's (air quotes) "evolving past language", huh? Because it kinda sounds you're just not smart enough...
NC (vo): ...to come up with your own words, (A calendar named "12 Months of Inspiring Words" is shown) so you use a "famous quotes" calendar to give the impression you're above everyone else.
Who: The wound is the place where the light enters you. Rumi, Persian.
NC: Hey, how about this quote?
(A clip from 2008 miniseries John Adams is shown)
Abigail Adams: You do not need to quote great men to show you are one.
NC: I realize the irony I'm using a quote to get that across, but I don't think she's smart enough to realize that.
(Who takes a nap in her chair)
Charles: Poor Mrs. Who. We tired her out.
Calvin: I guess she was really tired.
NC: (as Calvin) It's tough being that pretentious 24/7.