The Movie: 5/10
Beautiful creatures don’t do much for me, so Beautiful Creatures had a big task of grabbing my attention. Not that I don’t like looking at beautiful things in this life, but defining beauty might be where myself and the makers of this movie hit a crossroad.
What is beautiful about any of this story? Am I missing something? The actors are all fine-looking people. The idea of magic is splendid, of course. I think what has happened is that this is another case of a book coming to life, but not for the movie goers, mostly for the book lovers. There is definitely something missing in translation, for me at least.
There is a lot of fun in this movie. Campy magic and melodrama at times heighten my raised eyebrow, the one that keeps wondering if I like it or not. There is a spinning dining room scene that is so inane it almost turned me off to the rest of the movie, but I kept an open mind, mostly.
I do like the cast. I might forget someone, so look it up if you are so inclined. Emma Thompson let’s go and is as whimsical as I have seen her in an almost grounded character. She plays the Bible thumping mother of a teenager in this small town where evil and good must battle it out…dramatic enough for you? Thompson just powerhouses through the southern accent and crazy talk of her dual character. I am not a huge fan of her, but this time around she got my attention. She is one of the best features of the movie.
Jeremy Irons plays the southern tilted uncle of the young girl who will be faced with the battle of evil versus good. Did I mention this is not an original story, just an attempt at a modern version of the classic conflict. Irons does a fine job of delivering the accent, the attitude, and even moments of sheer conviction of being the dark lord or something like that of the family.
My favorite character, and favorite part of the story, was played by Emmy Rossum. She is the right age, plays her role with the sweet brassiness her character embodies. She’s got moment’s of comedy, drama, vampiness, vulnerability, and pure actorly indulgence. I would like to see a whole movie of HER story.
The young people are OK. I have a huge problem with the aging of these two characters. I understand that to make it in line with the book they decided to make them 16 years old respectively. He says he’s about to be a Junior in high school, and she’s about to turn 16….well, these two performers are not even close to pulling off those ages. She’s closer, at real life 18 years old, she almost can pass for 15, but not really. He’s 23 frickin’ years old, with a man jaw, man neck, man body, passing him off as 16 is ridiculous. That distracted me at times when it shouldn’t have. All I’m asking of future movies is that if you have a script or original writing that has characters a certain age, when casting keep that in mind. If you find actors you love, adjust the ages in the story. In this one it would have been fine to say that at age 18 she would have to do her good vs. evil battle, and that he is going off to college instead of abandoning his high school years to go traveling…..that’s a whole other thing that annoyed me, but I got over it.
The special effects are questionable at times, but there are a few moments of spectacle that satisfy. If you are going to do a movie about magic, witches, super natural, these days make sure you don’t skimp on the CGI. If you want to make it low budget, own that concept. If you want to pretend to be high budget, you will get what you pay for.
Overall I enjoyed parts of Beautiful Creatures. I didn’t buy most of the story, it was too sappy and directed at an age group I no longer identify with, but I did find some entertainment here and there so that’s a good thing.
- Behind The Scenes – Basically a set of featuretes that cover every aspect of the making of the film. These total about half an hour and unfortunately don’t really give away much information. I wish Warner would go back to the Maximum Movie mode for these types of movies.
- Deleted Scenes – 8 minutes of scenes that were deleted for a reason, that reason is they all suck.
- Theatrical Trailers – Not really an extra but on the disc anyway.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
Strangely enough I like this cover. It does what it should, represent an over the top tale almost soap operatic. I wouldn’t have it as a poster in my house, but it’s kind of fun in a “not in my house” kind of way. The menu is static, very 20th century DVD style.
Audio & Video: 6/10
I usually expect to write pretty much the same thing every week at this stage of the game. But Beautiful creatures on Blu-Ray does not match up to Warner’s other stellar releases. Picture quality here is hit or miss with some scenes so soft you would swear you had put the DVD disc in the player on mistake. There are also instances of Banding and quite a bit of black crush. Aside from the issues the 1080P AVC encode does do a good job with skin-tones but overall it’s pretty lackluster.
Beautiful Creatures uses the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and most of the time does what it should. Dialog is crisp and clear and when magical effects are happening the rear speakers do surprise you. LFE is quite good as well, I forgot to turn my subwoofer on for half of the movie and was still impressed by the bass coming from the speakers.
I would rent Beautiful Creatures just for the curiosity factor. Other people might pay the full price for the Blu-Ray just because they love the books. I say a rental gets your money’s worth, as long as you follow it with something like Interview With a Vampire or an original classic Universal monster flick.
Overall Score 6/10