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Lauren Montgomery
Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson
Writing Credits:
Michael Jelenic

A modern man's trespass of the island of the Amazons enables an imprisoned war god to escape and Princess Diana wins the responsibility to recapture him.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 76 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 5/16/2017

• Audio Commentary with Senior DC Creative Affairs Vice President Gregory Noveck, Producer Bruce Timm, Director Lauren Montgomery, and Writer Michael Jelenic
• Sneak Peek at Batman and Harley Quinn
• “What Makes a Wonder Woman” Featurette
&bull: “A Subversive Dream” Featurette
• “Daughter of Myth” Featurette
• Trailer
• Previews
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 22, 2017)

As the character prepares to become the focus of her own big-screen adventure, this seems like a good time to re-examine 2009’s animated Wonder Woman. During a prologue, we see how Amazons beat war god Ares (voiced by Alfred Molina) and Zeus (David McCallum) forces them to keep him prisoner on a hidden island.

Millennia later, USAF pilot Colonel Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion) crash-lands on this island, and the hubbub around his arrival allows Ares to escape. Princess Diana (Keri Russell) gets the assignment to both escort Trevor home and to recapture Ares. Along the way, she develops a persona as the superhero “Wonder Woman”.

That’s what we like to call an “origin story”, and in that vein, Wonder Woman offers something unusual in terms of DC’s animated “original movies”. A few others – like Green Lantern: First Flight - gave us formal introductions to their lead characters, but most pick up their participants somewhere later along the way.

Given that the character’s last major public fame prior to 2009 came via the 1970s Lynda Carter TV series, I guess the folks at DC felt Wonder Woman needed a formal reintroduction, and the film does this in a competent manner. It gives us her background as well as related elements in a serviceable way that sets up elements efficiently enough.

That said, the “origin” aspects of the movie tend to leave me a little cold, but not because of overfamiliarity. Like many people, I dread the prospect of another version of the Batman or Spider-Man origin tales because those got done to death. Wonder Woman’s backstory lacks the same level of public knowledge, so this material becomes useful.

Wonder Woman simply doesn’t explore Diana and the Amazons in a particularly interesting manner, and Ares makes for a dull villain. Even with the talented Alfred Molina as his voice, the character seems hammy and trite, like many roles we’ve seen elsewhere.

This means that Wonder Woman tends to drag when it concentrates on its main plot. The Ares side of things lacks much intrigue – the action climax comes with some excitement, but I still don’t much care for this part of the film.

Wonder Woman fares best when it concentrates on the Diana/Steve dynamic and her adventures in the “real world”. These also tend to follow predictable paths, and we get some heavy-handed feminist moralizing, but the movie manages verve and fun during these moments anyway.

It helps that Russell and Fillion add flavor to their parts. I doubt they recorded together, but they show chemistry nonetheless and create the most entertaining aspects of the film.

Wonder Woman loses some points due to iffy animation. While I don’t expect any of these DC direct-to-video projects to rival Pixar’s best, I think they’ve improved in the eight years since this film’s creation, as newer flicks offer better work.

That doesn’t help Wonder Woman, though, and the animation seems cheap. We get bad mouth synch and choppy movement, all of which harm the project’s impact.

Ultimately, even with this mix of criticisms, Wonder Woman delivers some entertainment value. Parts of it fizzle, but the fun moments keep us with it.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Wonder Woman appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No problems emerged during this strong presentation.

Across the board, sharpness looked strong. The movie boasted consistently terrific delineation and never suffered from any obvious soft spots. Issues with jagged edges or moiré effects failed to materialize, and the image lacked edge haloes. In addition, no signs of source defects appeared.

Wonder Woman boasted solid colors. The film used a palette that favored some blues and oranges but still came with some variety, and all the hues appeared vivid. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows showed nice clarity. I found nothing about which to complain in this terrific transfer.

I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Wonder Woman opened up the comic book material well. This wasn’t a particularly ambitious piece, but it added pizzazz to the program.

The forward channels brought out the majority of the material. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.

The surrounds also contributed good information. For the most part, these reinforced the forward channels, but they also contributed a fair amount of unique material.

These instances mainly occurred during bigger action scenes. The back speakers brought out a nice sense of space and environment.

Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. All of this led to a positive presentation that deserved a “B”.

When we look at extras, these open with an audio commentary from Senior DC Creative Affairs Vice President Gregory Noveck, producer Bruce Timm, director Lauren Montgomery, and writer Michael Jelenic. All of them sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of their telling of the origin myth, story/characters, design and animation, cast and performances, and connected domains.

Despite occasional gaps, the commentary covers the material fairly well. I like the emphasis on story and character domains, and the track moves pretty smoothly. Overall, the track gives us good information.

Next we get some featurettes. New to this 2017 “Commemorative Edition”, What Makes A Wonder Woman runs 10 minutes, six seconds and offers notes from Montgomery, Jelenic, Wonder Woman (2017) director Patty Jenkins, Essential Wonder Woman Encyclopedia co-author Phil Jimenez, DC Entertainment president/CCO Geoff Johns, Secret History of Wonder Woman author Jill Lepore, media literacy educator Andrea Quijada, artist Cliff Chiang, creator’s son Pete Marston and actor Gal Gadot. They discuss various aspects of the Wonder Woman character. Some insights emerge, but most of the feature seems general and without much substance.

Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream fills 25 minutes, 36 seconds with info from Noveck, Our Gods Wear Spandex author Christopher Knowles, comic book historians Trina Robbins and Michael Uslan, comic book enthusiast Andy Mangels, former DC Comics editor/writer Dennis O’Neil, Once and Future Myths author Phil Cousineau, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, DC Comics Senior VP/Executive Editor Dan DiDio, Ink Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors author Jennifer K. Stuller, story consultant Christopher Vogler.

We get info about creator William Marston and the origins/development of “Wonder Woman” as well as the character’s growth over the years. Though we find some useful notes about Marston, “Dream” fails to convey a ton of depth, so it seems inconsistent.

Finally, Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth last 25 minutes, 40 seconds and includes Mangels, Uslan, Knowles, Noveck, Stuller, Cousineau, O’Neil, Vogler, Robbins, Don’t Know Much About Mythology author Kenneth C. Davis, UCLA Professor of Comparative Literature Katherine King, and Getty Villa museum educator Eidelriz Senga. “Daughter” relays historical and mythological influences on Wonder Woman. Like “Dream”, “Daughter” offers a mixed bag that only occasionally succeeds.

A Sneak Peek at Batman and Harley Quinn lasts nine minutes, eight seconds and brings us comments from DC Entertainment Animation Creative Director Mike Carlin, Conroy, executive producer Bruce Timm, voice director Wes Gleason, co-writer Jim Krieg, and actors Melissa Rauch, Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester. They give us notes about what to expect from the upcoming animated movie. It’s a promo piece but it sets the table well.

The disc opens with ads for Wonder Woman (2017) and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. We also find a trailer for DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Wonder Woman. It includes the Quinn sneak peek, “Makes” and “Subversive” but lacks the other extras.

As an origin story, Wonder Woman gives us a competent overview. Though inconsistent, the movie comes with reasonable entertainment value as a whole. The Blu-ray brings us excellent visuals as well as pretty good audio and some informative bonus materials. The movie suffers some problems but it acts as a decent intro to the character.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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