Beautiful (2010) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Mystery / Thriller
E1 Entertainment || R - 103 minutes - $24.98 || June 29, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-07-03


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Dean O'Flaherty
Writer(s): Dean O'Flaherty (written by)
Cast: Peta Wilson, Sebastian Gregory, Tahyna Tozzi


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

Beautiful is an Australian financed mystery-thriller filmed in Adelaide, South Australia. It’s an odd tale that had potential but thanks to an uneven tone and a predictable third act, the movie kind of falls flat.

The plot involves a teenage outcast, Danny (SEBASTIAN GREGORY), who is obsessed with neighbor and residential hottie Suzy (TAHYNA TOZZI), a chick who likes to sit out in her bathing suit in the pouring rain while Danny hides and takes pictures (and she knows he is). He’s picked on by his peers and his prospects in life don’t look too good. Think Wes Bentley’s character from American Beauty meets Jake Gyllenhaal from Donnie Darko...

If Danny’s outdoor activities are creepy, his home life isn’t much better. His father (AARON JEFFERY) is a cop with a tough love (or hate) kind of attitude towards his son while dad’s live-in girlfriend of 14 years, Sherrie (PETA WILSON), seems to have more concern for Danny and his anti-social behavior.

When Suzy figuratively gives him the time of day and invites Danny inside her house, his dreams seem to be coming true. Suzy being a Lolita-like chick seduces Danny into doing some neighborhood surveillance for her namely finding more out about a woman who lives at House 46 on the street. You see, the neighborhood scuttlebutt is that there have been several girls who have gone missing throughout the years and the belief is whomever lives in the house may be behind the disappearances.

What other secrets may lie on Wisteria Lane err, some suburban street in Australia?

Beautiful is an odd movie but for all the wrong reasons. First, I’m still not sure what writer/director Dean O’Flaherty, making his debut in both areas, was going for in terms of the film’s tone. One moment it’s a quasi Disturbia vibe with the weird neighborhood beneath a false sunny/happy suburb, the next some dark comedy in a scene where Suzy and Danny scour through her father’s old true crime magazines during which O’Flaherty uses some strange Grindhouse-like style during the process to a dark and sadistic drama for the third and final act. Because of the confusing tonality, the story wasn’t near as effective as the writer/director was aiming for.

The cast on the whole is alright with no one really standing out except perhaps Peta Wilson who I’ve only known from the TV series “La Femme Nikita” and she probably gives the best performance out of the ensemble while Tahyna Tozzi coming in second as the Lolita-like character. As the central character, Sebastian Gregory turns in a decent if not forgettable performance playing a dark loner.

Overall, Beautiful isn’t a bad movie by any stretch and actually surpassed my low expectations. That said, the flaws with the tone of the story make the film feel too uneven to recommend unless you happen to see it on cable.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

“The Beautiful Vision” Behind-the-Scenes Featurette (14:54; SD) – This is a typical, though still informative given its shortness, featurette where members of the cast and crew get to talk about different aspects of the story, casting, characters and the film as a whole.

Deleted Scenes (10:44; SD) – There are a few scenes that were no doubt removed for time constraints. Nothing particularly wrong with them but they don’t exactly move the story along. One scene that jumped out to me, and is shown in the featurette, is a dream-like sequence in which a couple of the dead girls plus Suzy, show up in the middle of the street surrounding Danny and doing an odd dance. It doesn’t make a lick of sense and only furthers to confuse what kind of tone the directing was going for.

And lastly is the theatrical trailer (2:25; HD).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Beautiful is presented with a 2.35 aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition. Despite the name of the film, it’s not a particularly beautiful looking picture as parts do look to be on the softer side than well detailed. Colors do however look decent enough from the Lolita/femme fatale lead actress’s red bathing suit to the green lawns in the, for the most part, well maintained neighborhood. Black levels are also just OK but during a scene or two would look more like a very dark gray than black while other parts during the night scenes do look dark. Good news I didn’t notice much in the way of pixilation, dust or scratches so it is at least a clean looking transfer.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track isn’t anything special, just effective. The dialogue sounds good enough as I could understand everything being said while the score makes the most use out of the channels and I did notice that the subwoofer turned on a few times throughout. The only sound effects occur towards the end so you’re not going to get much depth from this track.



.::OVERALL::.

Beautiful has a few things going for it: you’ve got a talented young actress in Tahyna Tozzi in a one-dimensional role and veteran actress Peta Wilson turning probably the best performance of the entire film, but unfortunately the story and direction both fail to accomplish what Dean O’Flaherty probably was going after and instead we get an uneven film that had some potential to be more memorable.