Wonder Woman 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
Summary: Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine (the “Star Trek” films), Robin Wright (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Netflix’s “House of Cards”), Danny Huston (“Clash of the Titans,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), David Thewlis (the “Harry Potter” films, “The Theory of Everything”), Connie Nielsen (Fox’s “The Following,” “Gladiator”), Elena Anaya (“The Skin I Live In”), Ewen Bremner (“Exodus: Gods and Kings,” “Snowpiercer”), Lucy Davis (“Shaun of the Dead,” FX’s “Better Things”), Lisa Loven Kongsli (upcoming “Ashes in the Snow”), Eugene Brave Rock (AMC’s “Hell on Wheels”) and Saïd Taghmaoui (“American Hustle”).
Movie Review: After a rather painful start to the DC comic universe, they managed to get everything right with Wonder Woman. The character and backstory development are well done, with even flashback expository scenes done well through the guise of a bedtime story.
Gal Godot does a wonderful job as Wonder Woman. She captures her naivete when she encounters things she’s never seen before, like a baby or a man, but also makes her a strong, powerful lead character. She doesn’t have much of a sense of humor or a playful manner, but that is the focus that her character shows.
Watching the film a second time, having already seen it in the theater, it remains just as engrossing and offers plenty of rewatch ability. Hopefully, WB can keep this up with the Justice League film and other DC titles to come.
Technical Review: Wonder Woman was shot mostly on 35mm film, with some scenes on an Alexa 65 and everything was finished on a 2K DI. We don’t know which scenes were shot on the Alexa, but many of the scenes in the film suffer from excess noise. If you look at right around the 1:53:30 mark you’ll notice lots of noise in the sky, and this occurs in many other scenes as well. It is most noticeable in the bright scenes but is there on dark ones as well.
I can’t be certain the root cause of this, but it is likely from using the 2K film scan and then scaling it up to 4K for this disc release. As we’ve seen on titles with native 4K digital intermediates, both film and Alexa 65 sourced, you can have a clean image without this prevalent noise.
Putting the noise aside, the image is quite good. Some people might complain that the middle section in London and Belgium is too dark, but it feels exactly like what they wanted. When they bring in HDR the results are fantastic. Sitting around a campfire, the bright, flickering fire caused shadows to light up in my dark theater room because of how bright it is. Small objects provide a glint that lights up otherwise dim scenes, but the showstopping scene is the final battle. Here your HDR display will get a workout. Since WB masters titles at 4000 nits, at CEDIA Sony showed this scene on the Sony A1E (my display) next to a Sony Z9D and a Sony $30,000 OLED BVM. The BVM definitely shows more color depth in highlights compared to the consumer OLED, and the Z9D can get even brighter. I can see areas of the image where I’m certain the Sony is clipping the top of the signal, so this image will only improve as displays get better.
As great as certain scenes in the film are, the overall distraction of the noise brings the grade down.
The soundtrack is just reference class all the way around. When bombs go off on the battlefield, you hear a bomb going off in your theater. When Wonder Woman lunges at a soldier and knocks him through a wall, you feel like the wall was broken right in front of you. Dialogue is easy to understand, but it is the battle scenes you will go back to for their combination of Atmos and HDR.
- Epilogue: Etta’s Mission – Etta Candy gets the boys back together for a secret mission that could impact humanity’s future.
- Crafting the Wonder – Wonder Woman finally comes to life in her first, breathtaking solo film. Explore the journey to create an adventure worthy of DC’s greatest warrior.
- A Director’s Vision: Themyscira: The Hidden Island
- A Director’s Vision: Beach Battle
- A Director’s Vision: A Photograph Through Time
- A Director’s Vision: Diana in the Modern World
- A Director’s Vision: Wonder Woman at War
- Join director Patty Jenkins as she takes you on an exclusive journey through “Wonder Woman’s” most pivotal and exciting moments
- Warriors of Wonder Woman – Witness the creation of the Amazon army as the women of “Wonder Woman” transform emotionally and physically into the world’s most powerful and heroic warriors.
- The Trinity – Filmmakers and comic book creators explore the legend of Wonder Woman and how she stands shoulder to shoulder with Superman and Batman to create the pillars of the DC Universe.
- The Wonder Behind the Camera – Meet the women behind the wonder as they welcome a group of aspiring filmmakers on set for an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- Finding the Wonder Woman Within – Feel the power of Wonder Woman as award-winning poets and inspiring public figures reveal the impact and importance of DC’s greatest heroine.
- Extended Scenes
- Blooper Reel
Fantastic movie, reference quality audio, and an image that takes great advantage of HDR to create realistic on-screen images.
The use of a 2K digital intermediate causes on-screen noise that distracts during the film.
Had Wonder Woman been given a true 4K transfer, it would be a reference quality disc all around. As it is, it's still a fantastic film with an amazing soundtrack and an image that is typically fantastic. You'll probably find yourself enjoying the film enough that you won't notice the video issues.