Wonder Wheel

Featured In Issue 226, April 2018

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Thematic content including some sexuality, language, and smoking
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Woody Allen
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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"Wonder Wheel" tells the story of four characters whose lives intertwine amid the hustle and bustle of the Coney Island amusement park in the 1950s. Ginny (Winslet), a melancholy, emotionally volatile former actress now working as a waitress in a clam house; Humpty (Belushi), Ginny's rough-hewn carousel operator husband; Mickey (Timberlake); a handsome young lifeguard who dreams of becoming a playwright; and Carolina (Temple), Humpty's long-estranged daughter, who is now hiding out from gangsters at her father's apartment. The movie is a powerful dramatic tale of passion, violence, and betrayal that plays out against the picturesque tableau of 1950's Coney Island. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a making-of featurette (HD 03:11) and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.00:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally using the Sony CineAlta F65 and Sony CineAlta PMW-F55 camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture is striking and stylized with dramatic lighting and accentuated reds and oranges. The color palette is warmly hued throughout, which contributes to the creation of the dated Coney Island feel. Fleshtones are often affected, in that the reddish and orangish shading reflect on the actors' complexions. Under normal lighting, fleshtones appear perfectly natural. The look is very dramatic and engaging. Hues are stylistically engaging and mesmerizing. Contrast is well balanced with natural black levels, revealing shadow delineation, and bright lighting. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail revealed in every setting, especially in close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and textures of objects and structures. This is a visually engaging picture that has a warm, colorful filmic look that is wonderfully pleasing. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is typical Woody Allen, mostly monaural, with touches of a stereo soundstage, Surround is subtle throughout with mostly environmental ambiance. The music is 1940's style and again monaural in essence and dated fidelity. While the soundtrack never achieves strong envelopment, fidelity is excellent. Dialogue, which is the focus, is superbly clean and articulate with good spatial integration. As with other Woody Allen movies, the focus is always on the screen with the sonic emphasis on dialogue and, of course, acting. (Gary Reber)