Beautiful Ohio (2006)

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama
IFC Films || NR - 90 minutes - $19.95 || November 25, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-12-16


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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

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Chad Lowe
Writer(s): Ethan Canin (written by)
Cast: William Hurt, Rita Wilson, Michelle Trachtenberg, Julianna Margulies


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

The Messerman family has a genius in the family - and that is Clive (David Call). He is a math whiz and most of the film showcases it at various contests. William (Brett Davern), the much younger son who is considered a genius only to his mother, wants to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and will do anything to be like him - which would include forming an puppy-love relationship with Clive's girlfriend Sandra (Michelle Trachtenberg). Clive also has a deep secret he keeps from his family as well as a "secret" language that no one can seem to decipher. Most of the film deals with the relationship of William, Clive and Sandra as well as some interesting takes on "fads" of the 70's.

Acting was great - but the poorly thought out script and rather dry storyline didn't help the film at all. While I enjoyed Trachtenberg in the film everyone else really didn't seem to know what was going on. Brett Davern has to suffer through some fairly poor dialog scenes and never really had the power to upstage his potential love interest, Sandra. David Call, playing the super-smart Clive, always came off as a stoner who just lucked into the math contests never really taking the character in any sort of direction.

Those going into this for the somewhat famous Michelle Trachtenberg nude scene will be heavily disappointed. While she does appear nude, you only see a glimpse of her bare bottom from far, far away. Not worth the price of admission for this alone.

Whatís left is a film with a poorly thought out storyline that goes really nowhere. We get a glimpse at some of what happened in the 70's (Swingers, ban on TV, smoking, fondue) but nothing that actually pushes the story forward. I kept hoping for something to happen to would bring me out of my slumber, but it was a total snore fest until the final scene in 1973 with a rather abrupt, and possibly well kept secret comes unraveled.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Not a thing.

Clearly there are deleted scenes for this film (as evident by the scenes on the back of the case showing Michelle in a shirt not shown in the film). Shame these were not included.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Beautiful Ohio is presented in 1.85:1. A rather bland release with contrast set a bit too high and colors often looking a bit to drab. I'll give it a bit of slack since itís an independent release but nothing here screams amazing.

Genius has included a Dolby Digital 5.1 track as well as subtitles in English and Spanish. I didn't hear much more than a few peeps from the rear speakers the entire time. Since the film is very dialog driven I can understand this, but even that sounded a bit tinny and muffled from time to time.



.::OVERALL::.

Beautiful Ohio is a very dry film set in the early 1970's that really doesn't much more than a rental - if even that. While I didn't hate the film I certainly wouldn't want to have to sit through it again.