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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Patty Jenkins
Cast:
Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal
Writing Credits:
Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, Dave Callaham

Synopsis:
Diana must contend with a work colleague and businessman, whose desire for extreme wealth sends the world down a path of destruction, after an ancient artifact that grants wishes goes missing.

Box Office:
Budget
$200 million.
Opening Weekend
$16,700,000 on 2013 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$45,560,000.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.90:1/2.39:1 (Varying)
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 151 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 3/30/2021

Bonus:
• “Expanding the Wonder” Featurette
• “Friends Forever” Featurette
• “Small But Mighty” Featurette
• “The Open Road” Featurette
• “The Mall” Featurette
• “Gal and Krissy Having Fun” Featurette
• “Meet the Amazons” Featurette
• “Black Gold” Infomercial
• Gag Reel
• “Retro Remix”
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Wonder Woman 1984 [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 25, 2021)

Back in 2017, Wonder Woman became the biggest hit from the “DC Extended Universe” to that point – well, sort of. 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made a bit more money, but it also cost a whole lot more, and Wonder Woman’s strong reviews and female protagonist helped it become much more of a cultural sensation.

About three and a half years later, 2020’s Wonder Woman 1984 continues the franchise. As implied by the title, this one moves the era from the first film’s World War I period to smack dab in the Reagan 1980s.

During the day, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) works as an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution, but on her free time, she fights crime as the super-powered Wonder Woman. These jobs cross paths when some antiquities pilfered during a theft Diana halted wind up under inspection at the Smithsonian.

Called the “Dreamstone”, one of these items allows its bearer to enjoy one wish. For mousy, awkward Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), this aspiration revolves around Diana, as Barbara wants to be just like her beautiful, composed co-worker.

Sputtering businessman Maxwell "Max Lord" Lorenzano (Pedro Pascal) comes with even grander wishes, as he hopes to use the Dreamstone for world domination. Eventually both Barbara and Max develop into threats that Wonder Woman needs to combat.

WW84 intended to hit screens well before its Christmas 2020 release, but only some of those came from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially planned for December 2019, Warner actually moved up the date to November 2019 but then reconsidered and shifted to June 2020.

The pandemic put the kibosh on that, so WW84 shifted to August 2020… and then to October 2020… and finally Christmas Day 2020. That one stuck – for better or for worse.

Given the fact so many theaters remained closed at that time, WW84 never had a chance to approach the ticket sales of the 2017 movie. Indeed, Warner hedged their bets and debuted the movie on their HBO Max streaming service simultaneous with its theatrical debut.

Did that harm WW84 at the box office? Probably, but I suspect it might’ve enjoyed a better fate if viewers actually liked the movie more.

After both audiences and critics loved the 2017 film, WW84 encountered a much less sunny reception. With a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes from reviews and 74% from audiences, the movie didn’t suffer a massive backlash, but after the prior flick earned 93% and 83%, respectively, these reactions became a pretty steep drop.

Actually, I feel surprised WW84 got that high a rating from viewers, as I saw an awful lot of brutal word of mouth online. Suffice it to say that the movie came as a disappointment to most and it may’ve caused real damage to the franchise.

As for me, I fell somewhere in the middle, perhaps because I liked but didn’t love the 2017 movie. Since I never fully embraced that flick, WW84 could only let me down so much.

Honestly, I can’t claim to view WW84 as a bad movie as much as it offers a messy movie. Bloated and unfocused, the film kicks to life at times but it comes with more than a few problems.

The movie’s 151-minute running time turns into a primary culprit, though this seems like an odd claim to make since WW84 spans only about 10 minutes more than its 2017 predecessor. However, one can more easily forgive an extended length when a film involves an origin story, as those tales need to set up so much character and narrative information that they naturally go long.

With WW84, we find a bit more exposition than typical for a sequel, mainly because it takes place so many decades after the first movie. We need some updates on Diana and an attempt to ground us in the new era and settings.

Nonetheless, WW84 doesn’t come with the same expository needs as the 2017 movie. Its 151-minute length seems at least 30 minutes too long, and the movie packs in too much unnecessary material.

The main issue stems from the presence of two villains, which feels like one too many. In particular, the vaguely Trump-like Max seems superfluous.

Or Max could be superfluous, by which I mean a potentially superior version of WW84 would lose him. For the plot told here, he becomes crucial, but I think a movie that solely focused on Barbara as a new super-villain might prove more satisfactory.

Granted, it feels like modern superhero films can’t work on a semi-small scale. They need world-changing consequences like those that the megalomaniacal Max brings, so a WW84 in which Diana simply faces off against a more “local” foe such as Barbara might seem too unambitious, especially in the post-Endgame universe.

Still, I think that version of WW84 would probably work better, as this one tries too hard to be Big and Meaningful. Max never develops into an especially interesting character, and each moment with him takes from the more interesting Barbara.

Though again, I should classify her as the potentially more interesting Barbara, as her diminished screentime leaves this role underdeveloped. Barbara borrows heavily from characters in two earlier DC movies: 1992’s Batman Returns and 1995’s Batman Forever.

In regard to the former, the movie’s depiction of Barbara as mousy and ignored by all around her echoes that flick’s Selina Kyle pre-transformation into Catwoman. As for the latter, Barbara’s ambitions to be just like Diana seem awfully reminiscent of Edward Nygma’s wishes to turn into Bruce Wayne.

If WW84 managed to give Barbara more breathing room, she might overcome these traps, but instead, she tends to feel underdone. Wiig adds some spark to the role, but there’s only so much she can do.

Gadot seems charming and heroic as ever, at least. She remains a solid choice as our lead, and even though she gets a bit lost in the messy narrative at times, she helps bring heart to the tale.

WW84 also does reasonably well for itself when it pursues action, though even there, we run into a problem. The film starts with a bang but then goes without heroics for an extended period, much too long for a project of this sort.

At least the movie rebounds during its third act, as the action comes to the fore. This doesn’t redeem the sluggishness of the prior hour or so, but it makes the flick more effective in the long run.

I want to like WW84, and I think the movie brings enough pizzazz to merit a look. However, I can’t deny that its flaws make it less satisfying than it should be.

Footnote: a brief – and delightful – cameo pops up early in the end credits. Nothing appears after that, so don’t expect a Marvel-style post-credits tag.


The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus C+

Wonder Woman 1984 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.90:1 and 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Ala many Chris Nolan movies, WW84 included some footage shot with IMAX cameras – albeit the 1.90:1 digital IMAX, not the 1.44:1 65mm IMAX Nolan prefers.

In any case, WW84 gives us the same kind of alternating ratio presentation found on discs like Dark Knight Rises and Tenet. WW84 joins fellow DCEU effort Aquaman in the “alternating ratio club”, and I’m glad to see it, even if WW84 uses the IMAX ratio less often than I might hope.

I’m also pleased with picture quality, as WW84 consistently looked great. Finished at 4K, the image held up nicely.

Overall sharpness seemed strong. Nary a hint of softness impacted the image, so it remained tight and concise. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.

Like every other modern action movie, WW84 opted for an orange and teal orientation. Occasionally the image threw out other hues as well, and the Blu-ray depicted them in an appropriate manner. Given the 1980s setting, a bolder, more period-appropriate palette would’ve been nice, though.

Blacks showed good depth, and shadows offered appealing clarity and smoothness. In the end, the movie provided pleasing visuals.

In addition, WW84 brought us a stellar Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the soundscape opened up best when it indulged in its many battle sequences.

These used the various channels in a vivid, immersive manner that placed the elements in logical spots and meshed together well. The track gave us a strong sense of place and action.

Audio quality also pleased. Speech remained natural and distinctive, while music was full and rich.

Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with tight low-end. I liked this mix quite a lot.

A mix of video pieces materialize here, and we open with Expanding the Wonder, a 36-minute, 23-second show that offers notes from writer/director Patty Jenkins, producer Chuck Roven, co-writers Dave Callaham and Geoff Johns, production designer Aline Bonetto, set decorator Anna Lynch-Robinson, costume designer Lindy Hemming, stunt coordinator Rob Inch, and actors Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Chris Pine, and Lynda Carter.

“Expanding” covers story and character areas, comic book influences, cast and performances, production design, locations and the 1980s setting, costumes, stunts and action. Though laden with too much happy talk and praise, we learn enough about the production to make this a moderately effective piece.

Friends Forever runs five minutes, 10 seconds and involves Gadot, Wiig, Johns, Jenkins, and Inch. We get some notes about the Barbara/Cheetah character as well as how much Wiig and Gadot love each other in this passable but fairly superficial segment.

Next comes Small But Mighty, a 10-minute, 44-second show that includes comments from Gadot, Jenkins, Roven, Inch, horsemaster Camilla Naprous, and actors Lilly Aspell, Jessie Graff, Jade Lewis, and Connie Nielsen.

“Small” looks at the work done by Aspell as young Diana. Expect another mildly informative but fluffy reel.

Under Scene Study, we find two segments: “The Open Road” (6:11) and “The Mall” (5:03). In these, we hear from Jenkins, Gadot, Inch, Roven, Bonetto, location manager Tobin Hughes, and special effects supervisor Mark Holt.

These two pieces look at the specifics of the scenes in question. Both offer some good information, and I especially like “The Mall” since they shot at the now-defunct Landmark Mall in Virginia, a place I visited dozens of times over the years – even if the production took liberties and didn’t literally recreate Landmark circa 1984.

Gal & Krissy Having Fun goes for one minute, 12 seconds and shows the impromptu song Gadot and Wiig did on the set. We see some of this in “Friends” but it’s fun to view the clip on its own.

After this comes Meet the Amazons, a 21-minute, 28-second piece that offers a virtual panel with Jenkins, Graff, Aspell, Inch, Hemming, Bonetto, trainer Jenny Pacey and actors Bronte Lavine, Dayna Grant, Moe Sasegbon, Gwendolyn Smith, Miranda Chambers, Jade Johnson and Briony Scarlett.

As implied by the title, we learn about some of the cast who played Amazons in the film’s prologue and their experiences as well as stunts/action and related elements. This becomes another sporadically informative but often puffy piece.

Black Gold Infomercial lasts one minute, 38-second and lets us get a full glimpse of Max Lord’s TV promo. It becomes a fun addition.

A Gag Reel fills six minutes, 26 seconds with the usual goofs and giggles. Actually, Gadot’s extended struggle with some props during one sequence amuses more than typical, but most of the rest feels ordinary.

Finally, Retro Remix takes up one minute, 40 seconds and attempts to give the movie an 80s TV sheen. It’s cute.

The disc opens with ads for The Batman and The Suicide Squad. No trailer for WW84 appears here.

After the success of the first movie, Wonder Woman 1984 turns into a moderate disappointment. While the film enjoys some good moments, it drags too much and turns into a bit of a mess. The Blu-ray offers terrific picture and audio as well as a decent allotment of bonus materials. Hopefully the third Wonder Woman flick will offer a return to form.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main