“What I do is not up to you.”
One of the biggest movies of 2017 is Wonder Woman, which Warner Brothers released on DVD & Blu-Ray last week. The first female-centered superhero film was a worldwide smash and a favorite of critics. Director Patty Jenkins and her team bring to life a cinematic world based around Diana (Gal Gadot), the powerful daughter of Themyscira.
The story melds the modern-day Diana, who works at the Louvre, with the young woman raised on an island of warrior women and thrust into the first World War after an American spy for the Brits (Chris Pine) crashes into their private world. Gal Gadot imbues the lead character with a fierce strength alongside an astonishment at her new setting, especially the babies, women’s confining fashion, ice cream, and a snowfall.
Jenkins’s Wonder Woman captures the overwhelming nature of battle, whether on the island of the Amazons or in the Belgian trenches. Much has been written about Matthew Jensen’s incredible cinematography, especially in the No Man’s Land sequence. The slow assurance with which Diana walks up the ladder out of the trench and onto the ravaged field never fails to stir my emotions. A bluish smoke (we find out in one of the special features this coloration was extremely purposeful) surrounds the character as metallic sparks of gunfire fly off her shield and armor.
The script, from Shondaland alum Allan Heinberg, provides moments of goofy humor to balance out the strife and terror that Diana must face. Rupert Gregson-Williams’ musical scoring pumps energy and immediacy throughout. The third act is the weakest section, overloaded with visual effects and a fight scene that seems overlong… but it’s not enough to take away from the overall strength of the rest of the work. There are endless details and quotes in Wonder Woman to appreciate upon further viewing(s).
The new Blu-Ray package is bursting with special features! Included are:
- an Etta Candy epilogue
- a short about visual effects and influences on the film
- “A Director’s Vision”: Patty Jenkins speaks about significant points in the film
- “Warriors of Wonder Woman”: takes the viewer behind the scenes with the Amazons
- “The Trinity”: about the DC trio of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman
- “The Wonder Behind the Camera”: a group of adolescent filmmakers visits the set and meets with the women of the crew
- “Finding the Wonder Woman Within”: a short film with poets reading works inspired by the film, interspersed with thoughts from public figures and more about gender and other themes in Wonder Woman
- also extended scenes, an alternative scene, and a blooper reel