Wonder Boys (2000)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Curtis Hanson (Director)
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Pittsburg Interactive Location Map (with Dir Comm)
Featurette-Singer/Songwriters of Wonder Boys
Music Video-Things Have Changed-Bob Dylan
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (85:28)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Curtis Hanson|
Magna Home Entertainment
Robert Downey, Jr.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.30:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The movie was marketed very poorly by Paramount and as a consequence did not do well at the box office. I have no recollection of any publicity surrounding this film when it was released in Australia - a pity, as I think this film could have been very successful if marketed correctly.
Wonder Boys covers a series of events that occur over a single weekend and revolve around University Professor Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas). Grady's wife has just left him. He is having an affair with the university chancellor (Frances McDormand). One of his young students (Katie Holmes), has a crush on him. He is trying to finish a book for his editor (Robert Downey, Jr.), and one of his students (Tobey Maguire) will change his life.
This disc features a high quality transfer and an excellent selection of extra material that has been licensed from Paramount. Magna Pacific should be congratulated on this production and hopefully we will see this level of quality in future releases from them. I was, however, not overly enamoured of the case that the disc came in, which featured an unusual "winged" locking mechanism. Luckily, the slick and disc can be transferred to an Amaray case without any problem.
The transfer is consistently sharp and provides excellent levels of detail at all times. During a few scenes, some very minimal edge enhancement seems to have been used but this is not distracting to the viewer. During the numerous darkly-lit scenes, excellent levels of shadow detail can be seen. At no stage was any low level noise detected.
The colour palette used in this film is slightly muted, with an emphases on greys and whites. This colour choice is intentional and works extremely well with the rain and snow-filled environment.
At no stage were any MPEG artefacts detected during the feature.
Aliasing does pose a number of problems for this transfer, with numerous occurrences throughout the film. Some examples of aliasing can be seen at 8:12, 26:21, 31:28, 58:20 and 101:10. While none of the aliasing seen in the movie is extremely severe, its frequent occurrence is slightly disruptive to the viewer.
Throughout the transfer minor film artefacts can be seen. Each of these artefacts are quite minor and non-disruptive to the viewer. Examples of these artefacts may be seen at 4:34, 11:40, 17:12, 28:35, 45:46 and 61:47. Some film grain is also visible during a small number of short dimly-lit scenes.
The layer change occurs at the start of Chapter 13 (85:28) and is only slightly disruptive to the viewer.
The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times during the movie.
During a single scene in a bar at the start of Chapter 6 there is an obvious sync problem with the dialogue. Listening to the mix of the scene it would appear that this sync problem is due to ADR work and is not a fault of the transfer. At no stage in the mix were any audio drop-outs detected.
The soundtrack includes the original Bob Dylan work 'Things Have Changed' that was written for this film and won both a Golden Globe and Academy Award. In addition to this song, numerous other Bob Dylan tracks are used during the film. This soundtrack works extremely well with the on-screen action and the reasons for the choices made are outlined by director Curtis Hansen in the supplements.
This film relies heavily upon dialogue, and understandably the sound mix is focused across the front three channels. The surround channels are used effectively to create an enveloping sound stage during the party and auditorium scenes and to provide support to the soundtrack and score. The sub channel is used minimally to support the soundtrack and receives very little use outside of this role.
|Surround Channel Use|
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;
As the Region 4 version contains the full 5.1 mix this would be the version of choice.
|DVD||Toshiba 1200, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Front left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)|
|Speakers||Front left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259|