Ralph Potts reviews this drama/biopic that tells the true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist and inventor Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic, feminist superhero, Wonder Woman.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Sony Pictures - 2017
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
English, English SDH
Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, JJ Field, Oliver Platt, Connie Britton
Written & Directed by:
January 30, 2018
"Based on the True Story"
If behind every great man there is a great woman, Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans) had the good fortunate to have two: his wife Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall) and their mutual lover Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). In addition to helping him perfect the lie detector test, the women in Marston’s life aided him in his forward-thinking human research studies and inspired him to create the feminist superhero, Wonder Woman, a barrier breaking, iconoclastic heroine, beloved by millions for the past eight decades.
According to writer/director Angela Robinson, Dr. William Marston’s life is the story of “three unlikely rebels who dared not only to love each other, but form a family together, and how their collective experience led to the creation of Wonder Woman, one of the most enduring feminist icons of all time.” But, there was a price to pay for the Marston’s family’s unconventional ideas. Professor Marston, and his wife Elizabeth, were banished from academia, financially hobbling their research, and compromising their economic livelihood. In spite of these problems, the family persevered and Elizabeth and Olive’s defiance and courage in the face of adversity moved the Professor to create his dream woman, the first comic book superhero Wonder Woman, a phenomenon, as well as a lightning rod for the censors. Like most individuals born ahead of their time, Marston and his wonder women are a testament to survival against the dark undercurrents of repression that continue to plague society to this day.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
is a tale of invention, perseverance, and courage against the forces of oppression. Approaching life with an outlook was about a far away from convention as you were going to get, from a social acceptance perspective, in the mid 1920’s, Marston, Elizabeth, and Olive, were constantly battling the tide. I have to say that I had no idea about any of this, beginning with their hand in creating what would become the polygraph/lie detector, as well as the creation of the icon Wonder Woman, AND what inspired her design. The narrative has some issues with thematic focus, but certainly presents an interesting look at a complicated man, his motivations, and the unconventional, but true love that defined the trio. I also found the early depictions of Wonder Woman, as written by Marston, in the comics to be eye opening. The film touches upon this, but, merely in support of other contexts in the story. I will say that learning what inspired the details about her proved thought provoking. Needless to say, many of the things that existed about the character during Marston’s day, have long since been changed. I thought the performances by Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, and Bella Heathcote were simply excellent.
Generally speaking, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
is a solid character study, with an enriching element of human interest, romance and drama. I didn’t love it, but liked it enough to find it recommendation worthy, especially to genre fans that enjoy a good story, and are familiar with Wonder Woman.
The rating is for strong sexual content including brief graphic images, and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This is a pleasing high definition presentation that exhibits video quality that is consistent with a newer release film on Blu-ray. This film is adorned by a sepia toned aesthetic that combines with its use of autumn colors, mainly browns, beiges, and reds, to set the thematic tone intended by the filmmakers. It rarely makes for eye catching imagery but the results are pleasing. Fleshtones tend to look a little balmy but otherwise fall in line with the film’s visual elements. Contrast is spot on and blacks are fairly delineated and deep. Images are crisp and resolute with defining sharpness that provides appreciable dimension. The video is whistle clean and shows no obvious signs of video related anomalies.
The front heavy lossless surround mix features dialog that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. Detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and off camera cues are rendered with appreciable clarity and depth. There is little call for surround activity and extended dynamics however there are a few instances that provide a discernable level of spatial envelopment and appropriate low frequency support.
- • The Secret Identity of Charles Moulton Motion Comic
• A Dynamic Trio: Birth of a Feminist Icon
• A Crucial Point of View: Directing – Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
• Deleted Scenes
- Digital HD Copy
Based on the true story, and written/directed by Angela Robinson, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
is an interesting, and fairly compelling film, that proves enlightening, presenting a backstory and social themes that resonate. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound, and a middling supplemental set. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
is worthwhile viewing and deserves a spot near the top of your Blu-ray rental queue.
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