Wonder Boys

Wonder Boys

4.8 6
Director: Curtis Hanson, Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand

Cast: Curtis Hanson, Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand


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Like most contemporary releases on DVD, Wonder Boys features a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital soundtrack that are flawless. It's worth noting, though, that the film has been edited from its original theatrical version. The family of a star named in the original version as a celebrity suicide was unhappy with the inclusion, so the filmmakers


Like most contemporary releases on DVD, Wonder Boys features a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital soundtrack that are flawless. It's worth noting, though, that the film has been edited from its original theatrical version. The family of a star named in the original version as a celebrity suicide was unhappy with the inclusion, so the filmmakers overdubbed a different name for the video release. The edit is noticeable, but does not really affect the overall film. The "Cast & Crew Interviews" section listed on the package and in the special features menu is really a short, "making of" featurette that covers the basics of the film's production. A more creative inclusion is an "interactive map tour" of the Pittsburgh area with a short history and explanation for each location. The most insightful is the segment on the bridges, revealing an entire motif that adds depth to the film. Similarly, a menu of the film's music is also provided, with a short commentary by director Curtis Hanson for each selected song. The most time in this feature is devoted to Bob Dylan, who contributed an original song, the Oscar-nominated "Things Have Changed." The music video and a trailer are included as well. Wonder Boys had a lackluster performance at the box office, but hopefully the ingenuity of the supplements and the quality of the film itself will help it find an audience on DVD.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Michael Douglas hits a career high with his quietly hilarious star turn in Wonder Boys, a wry, understated comedy puckishly directed by Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential). Douglas plays a once-promising middle-aged novelist, now hopelessly blocked and teaching at a small northeastern college while trying to jump-start both his personal and professional lives. The solution to his problems -- in both arenas -- just might be eccentric but talented student Tobey Maguire, whose promising work Douglas is tempted to appropriate and represent as his own. The supporting players include Robert Downey Jr. as Douglas's predatory editor, Frances McDormand as his adulterous lover, and Katie Holmes as a level-headed student. Ingenious scripting keeps Wonder Boys from lapsing into predictability, and the film benefits additionally from Hanson's convincing replication of the academic milieu and his sharp character delineation. Released early in 2000 to largely favorable reviews but short-lived in the theaters, Wonder Boys seems destined to find a loyal and loving audience on video. It's the kind of comedy that sneaks up on viewers and gets better with every screening. The DVD includes interviews with Hanson, Douglas, McDormand, and Macguire; an interactive location map of Pittsburgh, where Wonder Boys was shot; and best of all, the music video for Bob Dylan's smashing title song, "Things Have Changed."
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
Following the triumph that was L.A. Confidential, director Curtis Hanson proves that film was no mere fluke with this beautifully written, expertly acted comedy that recalls the looseness and offbeat sensibilities of the best cinema of the 1970s. Michael Douglas wonderfully casts aside his typical onscreen persona to create a shaggy, likable lead character who looks and sounds like an actual human being. The performers surrounding him are equally impressive, especially Tobey Maguire, whose man-in-the-moon visage and natural coolness are put to perfect use in a touching portrayal. Steve Kloves' script is filled with remarkable insights, but is also perfectly modulated, never forgetting that the chief concern of a movie is to entertain and enlighten, and the movie duly prevails on both fronts. In a rare act of faith, Paramount Pictures decided to re-release this gem after an unsuccessful early 2000 run, blaming a poor marketing plan and lack of focus on its luminous supporting cast; the film was also re-released to remind Academy voters of its quality when they were filling out their year-end ballots, who responded only by acknowledging Kloves' adaptation and Bob Dylan's original song with nominations.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital Surround]

Special Features

Exclusive cast and crew interviews; Pittsburgh interactive location map with commentary by Curtis Hanson; Songs of Wonder Boys with commentary by Curtis Hanson; "Things Have Changed" Bob Dylan music video; Theatrical trailer; Widescreen version enhanced for 16x9 TVs; Dolby Digital: English 5.0 Surround; French Dolby Surround; English subtitles; Interactive menus; Scene selection

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Douglas Grady Tripp
Tobey Maguire James Leer
Frances McDormand Sara Gaskell
Robert Downey Terry Crabtree
Katie Holmes Hannah Green
Richard Thomas Walter Gaskell
Rip Torn Q
Philip Bosco Hank Winters
Jane Adams Oola
Richard Knox Vernon Hardapple
Michael Cavadias Antonia Sloviak
Alan Tudyk Sam Traxler

Technical Credits
Curtis Hanson Director,Producer
Christopher Young Score Composer
Dede Allen Editor
Ned Dowd Executive Producer
Mali Finn Casting
Steve Kloves Screenwriter
Doug Metzger Asst. Director
Jeannine Oppewall Production Designer
Beatrix Aruna Pasztor Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Rudin Producer
Dante Spinotti Cinematographer
Don Woodruff Art Director
Kirk A. Francis Sound/Sound Designer
Jay R. Hart Set Decoration/Design
Adam Schroeder Executive Producer
Dennis Drummond Sound Editor
David Giammarco Sound Editor
Carol Fenelon Musical Direction/Supervision
Lisa Grundy Associate Producer
Michael Chabon Source Author

Scene Index

Scene Selection
1. Constructive Criticism. [:07]
2. Lucky Guess. [2:00]
3. "It's Colder In There." [2:38]
4. Hollywood history. [4:15]
5. "That's a big trunk." [2:07]
6. Field trip. [5:24]
7. The long way home. [:06]
8. Bad fiction. [5:20]
9. Kinship. [1:23]
10. "I'm not a Holiday Inn." [8:32]
11. James Leer's lair. [7:00]
12. Not dark yet. [1:08]
13. The hoodjumper. [:10]
14. The love parade. [4:53]
15. End credits. [5:40]


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Wonder Boys 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
''Wonder Boys'' is a fun movie that may seem set for those who are intellectual or into writing, but that assumption is incorrect. The storyline kept me in suspense, and the final plot is simply genius. The story is slightly comical, and the perfect character of 'the teacher' is delightful in his manner and thought. I highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Wonder Boys proves that a movie can be supremely entertaining without being unbelievable or outlandish. You've probably met people just like the characters in this movie. As a college faculty member for many years I can tell you that these characters are pretty believable. The plight of each of the characters is also believable. None of them do anything that is beyond the abilities or proclivities of real people in those situations. Even though nothing in this movie is over-the-top it is one of my favorite movies. I love a movie about believable people in in believable situations doing believable things in interesting ways. Ok, I admit it, these characters might be, on average, a little wittier and smarter than most people you might meet. That's part of what makes this movie a joy to watch. That and the fact that it is, at turns, hilarious, touching, and shows that people can be understanding and empathetic while having a good time. I wish that the soundtrack, which is over-the-top good, was still in print.
Aglaia More than 1 year ago
This is such a great film. I didn`t know what to expect (luckily) when I sat in. It is about the rivalry between the great magicians, who have a personal account to settle with each other and this rides them into semi-madness and a relentless battle and race as to who can stage the better, the more amazing, the perfect prestige, while at the same time their lives slowly crumble into pieces. There are quite a few twists and surprises. It definitely makes you think, and it is, in many ways, a disturbing, clever, dark movie. Casting is superbly done, Christian Bale is amazing, I love Hugh Jackman anyway, and Michael Caine is well, he is Michael Caine. Highly recommended.
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