clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chris Hicks: Wonder Woman fans will want to lasso DVDs

Variety of other titles also make debut this week

The super-heroine with the invisible jet, the golden lasso and the bracelets that deflect bullets makes her DVD debut this week, along with a variety of other new titles.

"Wonder Woman: The Complete First Season" (Warner, 1976-77, not rated, $39.98, three double-sided discs). This collection includes the feature-length "Wonder Woman" pilot and the first 13 episodes, starring Lynda Carter, who seems perfectly cast in this campy comic-book adaptation set against World War II. (The "Wonder Woman" comic book debuted in 1941.) Lyle Waggoner co-stars as the pilot who is instrumental in bringing the Amazon to America from Paradise Island in the Bermuda Triangle.

The pilot movie, with the origins of the character, is fun, setting the tone for the series with comic book-style transitions and dialogue that is purposely arch. (No doubt inspired to some degree by the "Batman" TV series some years earlier.) Cloris Leachman plays Wonder Woman's mother (replaced by Carolyn Jones in the series), and Red Buttons, Kenneth Mars, Henry Gibson and Fannie Flagg also show up, with Stella Stevens as a Nazi spy.

Guest stars during the series include Utah native Keene Curtis, Roy Rogers, Lynda Day George, Anne Francis, John Saxon — and, in two episodes, Debra Winger, who provides comic relief as Wonder Woman's sister Wonder Girl! (And a sci-fi episode rips off "The Day the Earth Stood Still.")

Trivia: The 1974 TV movie "Wonder Woman" starring Cathy Lee Crosby is not included or even mentioned in the documentary.

Extras: Full frame, pilot "The New Original Wonder Woman," 13 episodes, audio commentary (on pilot by Carter and executive producer Douglas S. Cramer), making-of featurette, subtitle options (English, French, Spanish), chapters.

"Three Blind Mice" (Paramount, 2001, PG-13, $24.99). This routine made-for-TV mystery, based on an Ed McBain novel, earns some points for a unique setting: a Vietnamese community in South Florida. The story has burned-out lawyer Brian Dennehy reluctantly agreeing to defend a fellow veteran who has been accused of revenge-murders of three Vietnamese youths. But, of course, all is not as it seems.

World-weary Dennehy is always fun to watch, Glenn Plummer brings some life to the proceedings as Dennehy's cynical investigator, and Rosalind Chao is terrific in the film's most interesting character, a Vietnamese-American translator hired by Dennehy. But Mary Stuart Masterson, as a rookie prosecutor, has little to do, and Debrah Farentino, in a prominent role as the suspect's icy wife, proves once again that she's a model, not an actress.

Extras: Full frame, chapters.

"The World of Suzie Wong" (Paramount, 1960, not rated, $14.99). William Holden's character says at one point that he's "pushing 40," and is therefore too old for 20-year-old Suzie Wong (Nancy Kwan). Actually, Holden was in his 40s, but why quibble? Trouble is, he looks older — a bit too old to play an architect who has chucked his career to take a year off in Hong Kong and try his hand at painting oil portraits.

But that's nothing compared to the Asian stereotypes here. Suzie is the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold, and despite a penchant for lying, charms Holden and becomes his model/muse. She tries to become his subservient Asian woman, but she has a secret. That's the primary conflict in this glossy soap opera, which skims over all the dirty business and never quite convinces.

Still, there is a certain charm at work here (in an "Irma La Douce" kind of way), and Kwan is quite winning. Sadly, her career would never again reach the heights of this kick-off.

Extras: Widescreen, optional English subtitles, chapters.

"You Got Served: Take It to the Streets" (Columbia/TriStar, 2004, not rated, $19.95). This disc is a spinoff from the movie "You Got Served," with the creators of the film demonstrating hip-hop dance moves with Marques Houston and Omari Grandberry making guest appearances. Dance enthusiasts may enjoy learning moves from this instructional disc.

Extras: Widescreen, subtitle options (English, Portuguese, Spanish), chapters.

"Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster" (Warner, 2004, not rated, $24.98). Scoob, Shaggy, Daphne, Fred and Velma explore the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster when they find themselves in Scotland for the Highland Games. It seems the creature is upset that his nesting ground is being used for the games in this animated featurette.

Extras: Full frame, featurettes, bloopers, interactive games, subtitle options (English, French, Spanish), chapters.


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com