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Wonder Woman - Blu-ray Review

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Wonder Woman - Movie Review

4 stars

Well, that’s more like it.

Warner Bros. entry into a shared universe of super heroes on film has been a lot more miss than hit. I, admittedly a lifelong DC Comics’ reader, have grown tired of the comparisons made between Marvel’s output and everyone else’s. But there is no denying the sheer brilliance and quality Marvel has accomplished throughout the better part of the last decade with their many entries into the superhero genre. Warner Bros. in theory have had the strongest chance to equal or better that record. They have arguably some of the longest lasting and revered costumed heroes ever conceived. But when Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman finally graced the silver screen last year, it was… underwhelming for the most part. To this reviewer, the last two DC films suffered from the same flaw: far too much crammed into the one film. It was all visuals and very little substance.

With Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman that element in this, the fourth entry into the DC shared universe, is finally jettison. This is a straight out origin film, and for this reviewer the chance to come out strong and build the character is never better than in that framework. One is given time to learn who Princess Diana is and watch her grow both in age but also in perception.

Wonder Woman opens in present day and briskly creates a moment for Diana to reminisce about how she came to be in the world of man. She is, after all, a demi-god, the daughter of Zeus. It is this reminiscence that takes the lion’s share of the running time. Beginning in her childhood on the island of Themyscira, a bold and wilful child quickly grows into a powerful woman raised by other powerful women, all warriors. When a World War 1 pilot crash lands near the island, and brings Diana’s first knowledge of how bad the outside world has gotten, she feels compelled to go and fight. Believing this to be sign of her destiny from stories her not-too-impressed mother told her growing up, Diana accompanies the pilot back to the world of man to save it.

It’s a fairly straight forward plot, but the complexities Jenkin’s balances, creating a time period piece that relates, and infusing that with the rather outlandish elements of this character’s world is not for the faint of heart, and she does it impeccably. She is especially good at using character based humour to endear the audience as well as inform the plot.

Gal Gadot is a beautiful woman in anyone’s book, but her resume thus far has not indicated what she demonstrates here. In ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ her debut, to this reviewer, she wasn’t allowed enough time to be anything more than an impressive visual. In Wonder Woman, Gadot shows quickly how layered she can and does make this character. She shows such appealing empathy and kindness, as well as the powerful warrior. Especially good are her scenes demonstrating Diana’s complete naiveté to the world of man. And her scenes with Pine evoked echoes of Richard Donner’s Superman.  She’s as talented as she is beautiful in the role, she is charismatic and commands the screen—a true star making turn.

Bad guys unfortunately do not impress as much, and quickly fall into clichéd one note wonders that are, frankly, forgettable. I found the Themyscira scenes and the allies Diana fights with far more entertaining, and grew tired fast when the story shifted to the antagonists.

The effects are inconsistent, with some pumping one’s blood and others seeming like a bad video game. Production design is very impressive, especially establishing early 20th Century London. The score by Rupert Gregson-Williams was a true highlight (how many modern films, Marvel included, have memorable themes?); it was evocative, at times moving, in others thrilling.

There is no attempt (thankfully) to tie this movie in with the previous ones. This is what all the DC characters needed: their own space to introduce their personalities to the film going audience; to rise, to stumble, to hurt, to relate. Looking impressive isn’t enough. In Wonder Woman they have unequivocally accomplished this. It isn’t a flawless win for Warner Bros. in this reviewer’s estimation, but it gets so much right I look forward to seeing it again. Wonder Woman is a strong movie, setting itself apart from many with its hopeful charismatic lead character and strong sense of self. It owes nothing to the previous films, and stands head and shoulders above them because of it. Well done.

Wonder Woman - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content.
Runtime:
141 mins
Director
: Patty Jenkins
Writer:
Allan Heinberg
Cast:
Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright
Genre
: Action | Adventure
Tagline: Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.
.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Where we come from, that's called slavery."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site: http://wonderwomanfilm.com/
Release Date:
June 2, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 19, 2017.
Synopsis: Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

 

 

Wonder Woman - Blu-ray Review

 

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray - September 19, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Warner Bros 1080p treatment of Wonder Woman is superb and – especially the beginning in which the painting of Zeus and Aires becomes animated – is a masterful transfer. Details are explicit. Amazonia looks fantastically crisp. And the flesh tones are warm. Blues are heavenly. Greens are leafy in their crisp goodness. Black levels are solid. The film is stylistically colored and the hues – from battlefront to city to island – are adequately handled by an impressive MPEG-4 AVC encode. The release – a Blu-Ray/DVD Combo pack also features an impressive Dolby Atmos soundtrack that has been remixed for the home theater experience.  

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

The Blu-Ray/DVD combo from Warner Bros features behind the scenes looks at the making of the movie with an extended series of Director’s Vision supplements. We get detailed looks at the island, the beach battle, the modern world (of the movie), the Amazonian army, and a look at how Wonder Woman got her film. There’s also a bonus scene in which Etta Candy gets the gang back together for a super special mission. Bloopers and extended scenes are also included.

  • Epilogue: Etta's Mission
  • Crafting the Wonder
  • A Director's Vision: Themyscira: The Hidden Island
  • A Director's Vision: Beach Battle
  • A Director's Vision: A Photograph Through Time
  • A Director's Vision: Diana in the Modern World
  • A Director's Vision: Wonder Woman at War
  • Warriors of Wonder Woman
  • The Trinity
  • The Wonder Behind the Camera
  • Finding the Wonder Woman Within
  • Extended Scenes
  • Blooper Reel

 

Wonder Woman - Blu-ray Review

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