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Wonder Blu-ray Review

February 09, 2018

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Wonder Blu-ray Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Feb 09, 2018
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Kidzworld has the new Blu-ray for the movie Wonder. This sweet film about a boy who is different due to a facial deformity was based on a popular novel. Are the extras interesting? Check our review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Wonder, 5th grader August “Auggie” Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) was born with facial deformities that make him look well, different. Otherwise, he’s just like any kid. He’s been homeschooled but now his parents (Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson) enroll him in a private school. For the first time, Auggie has to face kids daily and only a few are nice to him. Meanwhile, at home, his high-school age sister Via (Izabela Vidovic) has problems of her own. Do her parents even care or is it all about Auggie?

Auggie's mom (Julia Roberts) enrolls him in schoolAuggie's mom (Julia Roberts) enrolls him in schoolCourtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Miserable in Middle School

Auggie Pullman, used to wearing an astronaut helmet in public, has to take it off for his first day at “real” school. Kids are mostly rude and stare or make fun calling him “Darth Hideous” a take-off on the Star Wars dark lord. Only a boy named Jack Will (Noah Jupe) befriends him a bit. They have some hobbies and likes in common and start hanging out in and out of school.

Auggie in a happy moment with friends from classAuggie in a happy moment with friends from classCourtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Halloween and a New Friend?

It’s Auggie’s fave holiday, Halloween when he can cover his face with a mask and fit in. When his sick dog Daisy throws up on his Boba Fett costume, he wears an old Ghost Face (from the movie Scream) costume and can’t be recognized. All is well until he overhears Jack telling popular jerk Julian Albans (Bryce Gheisar) that he was only pretending to be friends with Auggie. Feeling betrayed, Auggie wants to quit the school but older sis Olivia talks him out of it. Cute student Summer (Millie Davis), sick of her fake friends at school, befriends Auggie who tells her about Jack’s betrayal. It finally dawns on Jack that Auggie must have overheard.

Jack Will (left) and Auggie (right) become BFFsJack Will (left) and Auggie (right) become BFFsCourtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Choosing Sides

When Jack gets Auggie as a lab partner, Julian wants Jack to be his partner rather than “that freak”. Jack refuses. When Julian continues to call Auggie names, Jack punches him and there is a fight. It’s Jack who gets suspended for two days. During winter break Jack and Auggie become friends again over a “Minecraft” video game and Jack apologizes to Auggie but Julian and friends continue to bully Auggie, leaving mean notes on his desk and photoshopping him out of the class picture. Finally, when the notes and picture are given to school principal Mr. Tushman (Mandy Patinkin), Julian and his parents are called in. The parents are just as evil as Julian. They are embarrassed that their perfect son has to go to school with a “freak”. Julian apologizes to Tushman behind his parents’ backs.

Kindly principal Mr. Tushman talks to AuggieKindly principal Mr. Tushman talks to Auggie

Meanwhile…

Via, sad that she is still basically left out by her parents in favor of Auggie, signs on for Drama Club after her BFF for years Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell) gets new pals and ignores her. She meets cutie Justin (Nadji Jeter), who gets the lead in the school’s production of “Our Town”. Via gets understudy to Miranda. Via and Justin become buddies and later a couple. When Via and Auggie’s parents find out that Via is in Drama Club and doing a play that she never told them about, they argue over her. Auggie is upset that Via evidently didn’t want him to attend her play.

Via and Justin grow closeVia and Justin grow closeCourtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Sick Doggie and the Play

While the family argues, they become aware that their elderly dog Daisy is very sick. The family re-bonds over the dog who is taken to the vet but doesn’t make it.  On opening night, Miranda, who has family problems of her own, misses her bond with Auggie and Via’s family and decides to play sick so that her understudy Via can play the lead. Via is just marvelous in the play and Miranda is back in as BFF.

Auggie and family with friend Miranda at ChristmasAuggie and family with friend Miranda at ChristmasCourtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

School Trip

During a school trip to a nature reserve, Auggie and Jack are threatened by three big seventh graders from another school who want to beat them up. One of mean kid Julian's homies and his friends decide to come to their aid. Will Auggie finally be accepted by everybody at school for the cool guy he is? 

Auggie's mom tries to comfort Auggie (Joseph Tremblay)Auggie's mom tries to comfort Auggie (Joseph Tremblay)Courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Special Extra Features

  • Summer of Fun: Multi-part Documentary covers turning the book into a movie with the original author contributing a lot. Casting the parts is discussed with actors talking about why they love the book and their roles. Young Jacob Tremblay is especially fun to listen to. His extensive make-up process to look like Auggie is shown in detail and that is very interesting. The music for the film is covered as is the final scene in which Auggie is given a school award and gets a standing ovation.
  • A Child’s Sense of Wonder explores the younger cast members bonding and goofing off on set and off. Filmmakers’ kids and their friends are cast in the movie too as students. Fun.
  • What a Wonderful World focuses in on the locations used in the film; Vancouver for upstate New York. Kinda interesting.
  • Brand New Eyes – is a music video featuring singer Bea Miller and it is a really nice song.
  • Wonder Soundtrack: Behind the Scenes features the music supervisor deciding on which themes and sounds fit the story. Nice.
  • Audio Commentary with Stephen Chrosky and author R.J. Palacio is interesting and it’s nice to have the book’s author comment for a change.

Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson (Auggie's parents) clap for himJulia Roberts and Owen Wilson (Auggie's parents) clap for himCourtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Wrapping Up

You may be well past the 5th grade, or not, but, if you’ve ever felt that you just didn’t fit in at school, for whatever reason, you can identify with Auggie’s problems or, you might feel closer to Via and her high school drama. The film is very well-acted. Joseph Tremblay does a great job as Auggie while smothered by some serious facial prosthetics. All actors are convincing in their roles.

Actor Joseph Tremblay with author R.J. PalacioActor Joseph Tremblay with author R.J. PalacioCourtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment
 

The film has great messages like you can’t tell a book by its cover and, as Auggie says “We all deserve a standing ovation at least once in our lives”.

This is one of those movies that will appeal to you and also your parents (without being dorky).  Well worth adding to your home entertainment collection. The extras are a bit long and can drone on on one subject but they do cover the film and the novel upon which it was based very well.  We go four stars.

Wonder Blu-ray Rating: 4

Courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

You can purchase ​​Wonder starting February 13th.

Have Your Say

Have you felt like you just don’t fit in? Did you see Wonder in theaters? Can you identify with either Auggie or Via’s problems? Talk it up below with a comment.