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Wonder Woman 1984 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Wonder Woman 1984 had the unfortunate fate of constantly pushing back its release date. Even prior to a few pandemic related moves, the film had already shuffled a couple of times.  After so much moving and shaking, enough had been enough and Warner Bros made the bold move of releasing it in theaters and on HBO MAX parallel to one another on Christmas Day. A move that kick started their notion to release all theatrical films on HBO MAX for 1 month for 2021. And, sigh of relief, it has been given a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray home video release. Hitting stores last week on March 30, it was complete with a nice slew of bonus features and a Dolby Atmos track. A nice follow to the HBO MAX release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League to keep the DC movie hype train going. You can order it now, and you do have the option to use the paid Amazon Associates link following the review if you so choose to do.

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Film

Diana Prince lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s — an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile by curating ancient artifacts, and only performing heroic acts incognito. But soon, Diana will have to muster all of her strength, wisdom and courage as she finds herself squaring off against Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.

Wonder Woman’s second solo venture is quite an ambitious adventure that sets its sights on aiming for something fresh in the super hero genre. While it doesn’t quite pull it off in a very clean fashion and somewhat gets caught up in enjoying its first movie too much, it does manage to stay the course. Its a “fine” film, nothing bad, nothing great, but people in today’s audience of “greatest ever” and “worst ever” decision needed ASAP culture, this is one they don’t fully know how to handle much of the time. I’m not saying you can’t not like it and I’m not saying you can’t find it great. But come down the middle of the road and you either get tossed in with either crowd. Its all quite silly where we’ve come.

Patty Jenkin’s big film is a bit overstuffed and overlong. And I really don’t mind just following Diana Prince in a power suit seeking clues and solving mysteries. I’m not one who needs my superhero in costume every 5 minutes. There’s one clear place where much could be trimmed and improve the movie. While we all love Chris Pine as Steve and we love he and Gal Gadot’s chemistry in the first film, that’s where it needed to stay. There is a lot of this movie spent reminding you of the previous movie. And its not that it doesn’t work, but its that its wholly unnecessary and keeps the wheels from spinning and getting place to place faster.

I do appreciate Jenkins’ 1984 as she shows some restraint. I’m aware the film features a list of historical inaccuracies, but I still appreciate the way Jenkins handles where its set. No, we don’t have to have a Duran Duran or Cyndi Lauper or top 40 hit from 1984 play every 5 minutes or show us a screen with a popular show/commercial/actor of the time on it to remind us where we are or to affirm to those who would recognize it. She leaves all that in the fashion and gives you a fill in the shopping mall sequence that introduces Wonder Woman. She also carries ideals and a vibe that feels in step with 80s cinematic pop culture as well, which is harder than just a hairstyle. We know a big reason this is set in the past is to distance it from her appearance in Batman v Superman, but it does well with it.

She also makes this movie with the feel and being informed by the super hero movies of that era. She embraces much of that goofiness and the freeness to let it be and feel like a comic book movie at times while also utilizing modern technological advances. Many poked fun about the decision to put Kristen Wiig in curls and big glasses as had been done many times in the past (Especially with DC films) as if Jenkins was a moron or something, but I honestly see it as her embracing the films of the era with which her films were set. There are many other things I’ve seen docked as problems that I feel were intentional and keeping true with when the film was set. But, when people don’t like things, they’ll make a list, when they do enjoy them it’ll get overlooked, excused or hidden away.

The first Wonder Woman was such a landmark film, I get coming down from that with a rather decent one can be a bit of shift. Wonder Woman 1984 does have some goofiness to it and weird dialogue needed to get its mission to the finish line, but its admirable in staying the course. I find it funny, too, that a magic stone that grants wishes is considered absurd, yet a glowing lasso that forces people to tell the truth is normal and fine. We are also in a world with Aquaman’s Atlantis and everything that comes with that. So forgive me if a magic stone seems rather at home. Ah, well. I thought the film was fine on Christmas Day and a second viewing for this review didn’t budge me one way or the other.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1, 1.90:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail: Wonder Woman 1984 is a native 4K title and does it ever look spectacular! This is a film ripe for the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray presentation. This has a great saturation of color, crisp image and is loaded with great details. There are many different terrains that engulf the screen and really showcase a nice scale in many of the big scenes. This is an absolutely excellent title, made ever so ready to demo your home theater for people.

Depth:  Depth of field is quite excellent here, with a nice 3 dimensional looking touch to it. Character movements are smooth and natural with no issues regarding motion distortion. Pushback on foreground and background is quite terrific, especially on bigger more open rooms as well as smaller offices.

Black Levels:  Blacks are natural and quite impressive with many different shades and tint saturating the display. Nighttime sequences are quite impressive as everything is quite discernible and no details are lost in the shadows. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are absolutely a stunner here and they pop and produce a bold quality to them. There is a great saturation and contrast between big striking 80s color schemes against colorful, yet more rustic things like Wonder Woman’s armor. HDR produces a hell of a glow form things like the lasso (ESPECIALLY the damn lasso), neon signs, game displays, lights, fireworks (The invisible jet scene is great) and much more.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are quite apparent from any distance, giving you moles, lip texture, make-up lines, stubble, sweat, blood, veins and more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio, French, German Dolby Atmos, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: Wonder Woman 1984 has a pretty fantastic Atmos track to accompany the stellar video. This well mixed beast has some impactful hits and really sweeps you into everything. Its a nice loud concert of music and effects. As mentioned before, this is easily a demo worthy disc and it has plenty of big moments (options) for you to play around with.

Height: There are plenty of fun moments from above, like Diana swinging around, jets overhead, debris, birds and plenty more.

Low Frequency Extension: With my praises you can guess the subwoofer brings the thunder (literally) as it booms through explosions, crashes, gunfire, punches, engines, fire, forces and anything that needs extra oompf!

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a really well thought out and fun mix around the room. Everything on screen and off screen is well accounted for and travel is accurate and eventful. Ambiance filters very well throughout the room and livens every environment to well natured and natural degrees.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are clear and crisp and plenty audible no matter how gigantic the action or the store “Give me the stone!”

Extras

Wonder Woman 1984 comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code for the film.  All bonus features are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

The Making Of Wonder Woman 1984: Expanding The Wonder (HD, 36:23) – A nice, well rounded reflection on production as Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Chris Pine, Geoff Johns and others paint the picture of the end of the last film to coming up with this one and the things they wanted to bring from comic to screen.

Gal & Kristen: Friends Forever (HD, 5:10) – This piece showcases the character of Minerva, her relationship to Diana and the actors’ chemistry, work together and friendship they forged on set. Features plenty from Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig.

Small But Mighty (HD, 10:44) – It opens with Gal Gadot talking about being deeply touched by the film’s opening scene and then goes into a full focus on the Amazonian games and young Diana which is that opening scene.

Scene Study: The Open Road (HD, 6:11) – A featurette focusing on the road chase/action sequence from the middle of the film. Jenkins wanted to film something with actual car coverage and perspective on an open road. There are plenty of talking heads, footage and discussion on how this came to be along with the challenges.

Scene Study: The Mall (HD, 5:03) – This featurette is a swift look at Wonder Woman’s introduction in the film, complete with on set footage of the stunt work and Jenkins directing. They talk of the importance of utilizing a mall and what it meant to the 80s and how use it to relate with Wonder Woman at this time in the film.

Gal & Krissy Having Fun (HD, 1:12) – A little video montage of Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig goofing around on set together. It plays on an old TV and has a song they made about it playing over it.

Meet The Amazons (HD, 21:28) – From DC Fandome, a virtual panel that features Patty Jenkins to lead it in and the actors (And choreographers) who play the Amazons as they discuss the shooting and everything surrounding the Amazonian games.

Black Gold Informercial (HD, 1:38) – You can watch the Max Lord informercial in its entirety.

Gag Reel (HD, 6:26) 

Wonder Woman 1984 Retro Remix (HD, 1:40) – An opening titles sequence for Wonder Woman 1984 done in the style of the Lynda Carter 1970s series.

Summary

Wonder Woman 1984 is bloated, loose and wonky but I’m pretty fine with it overall. Which, I suppose is a controversial opinion, but these are the silly times we live in with the movie appreciation world. The video quality and audio presentation are absolute dynamite and top tier for presentation that you may want to show off an use as a demo. Bonus features are a nice long list, but many of them are super brief and a few quite superfluous. However, altogether, the 4K Ultra-HD debut for Wonder Woman 1984 is a complete, very satisfactory package for those looking to pick it up.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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