WOMAN BLU-RAY (2009)
Wonder Woman [Blu-ray] (2009)
Actors: Keri Russell
Format: Animated, NTSC
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009
Run Time: 74 minutes
- Two in-depth
- Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream
- Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth (Historical Amazon Lore and its
Evolution into the Modern-Day Wonder Woman Character)
- Commentary by the
Film's Creative Team
- Bruce Timm Presents 4
- Exclusive First Look
at DC Universe's Upcoming Green Lantern Animated Movie and More
we've never counted ourselves as Wonder Woman fans, we didn't really expect
too much of a full-length animated Wonder Woman movie even though all
the previous Warner Bros. Animation efforts were of a consistently high
To be honest our preadolescent longings were more, ahem, inspired
by the likes of Thundra (late-'Seventies
Fantastic Four) and Power
Girl (Superman's wonderfully pneumatic Earth 2 cousin).
Because animation is so much cheaper and really frees up the action, this
Wonder Woman takes as its source material the comics instead of the
kitschy 1970s show. (It even has the
invisible jet! Just how does she find that thing in a parking lot?) But the problem is that
we've always found the print comics to be wordy and over-serious.
Thus we were quite surprised by this latest Bruce Timm-produced
effort. Enough to almost make new converts out of us! This Wonder Woman
flick is a truly fun, witty and exciting outing. The movie kicks off on the
over-serious side of things as Amazon women warriors battle Aries, the God
of War in ancient times. On the verge of victory the ancient Greek gods
themselves interfere in true dues ex machina style and spare Aries' life.
Instead of being beheaded, Aries will be held prisoner as an ordinary mortal
for all time by the Amazons, who will now live in safety and seclusion from
the outside world on a tropical island called, well, Paradise Island.
You get no points for guessing that Aries will of course
escape and Wonder Woman must then stop him. But things really kick off when
following an aerial dogfight, fighter pilot Steve Trevor (voiced by the
irascible Nathan Fillion) crash-lands on the island and brings some
unexpected humor to the proceedings. "Oh boy," Rogers remarks when he wakes
up surrounded by scantily-dressed women in ancient robes. "I haven't had
this dream since I was thirteen!" Fillion who played the roguish spaceship
captain in Firefly is probably the most
underutilized actor in Hollywood and would have played Steve Rogers just
well in any live action movie. Give this man some more work, Hollywood!
The banter and the camaraderie interplay between Rogers
and Wonder Woman (Keri Russell) work rather well and so does the occasional
humorous touches. Even though it is fast-paced and action-packed, Wonder
Woman works because of the clever dialogue and excellent voice talent
involved. Oh, and the animation is pretty decent as well.
DISC: Is BLU-RAY the future? Should you invest in the new format now?
Hard to tell. It might just remain a niche product forever sidelined like
the Laserdisc was. Also, if you're of an older generation then I'm sure that
some of format exhaustion has probably set in by now. After having bought
Blade Runner on both VHS and
DVD, the idea of buying it again on BLU-RAY isn't particularly appealing!
The good news is however that your old DVDs can still play on your new BLU-RAY
disc player. But some issues still niggle: the long loading times of discs;
how Hollywood is still enforcing the pathetic regional coding standards
(luckily this disc will play on all players, but some discs - the recent
Planet of the Apes BLU-RAY for
example - doesn't); how it doesn't represent the same clear upgrade path as
DVD did over VHS, etc.
Still, the format is getting cheaper by the day and if you
have already invested in an HD TV and a BLU-RAY player (or a Sony
Playstation 3) there is no reason why you should choose the two-disc special
edition of Wonder Woman on DVD over the BLU-RAY disc. After all, the BLU-RAY
disc is only one dollar more than the DVD version! One lousy dollar!
For that you not only get the same set of special features, but you also get
some extra ones not found on the DVD edition as well as a spectacular 1080p
high definition transfer of the main feature. Sure, the additional extras
are extraneous promos for previous DC Universe flicks such as Justice League ? New
Frontier and Batman Gotham
Knight, but you get four extra Justice League
TV episodes featuring Wonder Woman instead of just the two found on the
DVD. This alone is worth the extra buck you have to spend on the BLU-RAY
edition. By the way, you also get a bonus digital copy supplied on an extra
Also included is
a pair of documentaries about Wonder Woman - covering her origins in ancient
myth and her official development in the comic books. Both documentaries on
these projects are solid and informative covering Wonder Woman's pedigree
from Gloria Steinem's famous endorsement to creator William Moulton
Marston's combination of forward-thinking women's empowerment and genuine
WORTH IT? Yes! After years in development hell Joss
Weldon's live action Wonder Woman project has finally bit the dust.
And the next DC superhero to be made into a live action movie will instead
be Green Lantern (a
late 2009 release date has already been set). However this animated offering
more than makes up for all that.
RECOMMENDATION: We're not the ones to suggest that
you buy expensive BLU-RAY players and HD televisions during an economic
recession, but with prices dropping daily the BLU-RAY format is becoming
increasingly viable. If you're the type of movie buff who buys the two-disc
special edition version instead of the vanilla one-disc editions, I'd
seriously consider taking the plunge.
NOTE: Parents should heed the PG-13 rating. It will
most likely upset small children and you'll also have to explain some of the
more suggestive dialogue.