Plot: What’s it about?
Dorothy (Susan Lynch) and Petula (Rachel Weisz) are both beautiful, intelligent women, but they seem to have the worst taste in men. Both have been with more than their share of losers, but neither seems to break free of their patterns, so they end up with bad men over and again. These two women soon get thrown together, when Dorothy stumbles into a tense situation, where Petula is being beaten by her boyfriend, Brian (Tom Mannion). In an act of courage and perhaps stupidity, Dorothy comes to the rescue, complete with a thick lead pipe in hand. Brian takes some lumps and survives for the time, but then kicks off once morning rolls around. In a panic, the two women realize the police might not believe their story of self defense, so they hatch a ransom scheme, which could be an unwise decision. As the police, as well as Dorothy’s drug addict boyfriend become involved, will the ladies be able to escape this horrific ordeal unscathed?
I wanted this to be an awesome flick, but in the end, Beautiful Creatures is an average movie with some above average moments. The premise seems to have potential and having Rachel Weisz is good, but this one never gets off the ground, at least not for longer than a couple scenes at a time. I don’t think this was a bad movie per se, but I think it could have better and as such, I was a little let down here. I found the writing to be decent, but never overly impressive and while the characters were interesting, we never delve too deeply into them, which means even more wasted potential within the picture. If love suspense/thrillers however, and can overlook some flaws, then Beautiful Creatures is worth a look. It has some nice twists and turns packed in, as well as a terrific performance from Rachel Weisz, whom I am always pleased to see in action. So if you’re a fan of the genre or simply can’t get enough of Weisz, then I recommend a rental on this one. I was displeased with the lack of supplements on this release, but Universal has included both Dolby Digital and DTS audio tracks, so some value is regained there.
As much of a let down as this film is at times, the presence of Rachel Weisz often redeems it, at least to an extent. In truth, I think her presence is the main reason to check out Beautiful Creatures, as she more than lives up to the film’s title. I’m not a real big fan of the blonde look on her, but Weisz is still red hot and turns in a sultry performance here, very impressive stuff. I especially think she’s good here because the material often lapses into weaker spots, but Weisz seems to elevate it at those times. If her costars had been able to do the same, this one might have been a much more enjoyable picture, to be sure. You can also see Weisz in such films as The Mummy Returns, Chain Reaction, Going All the Way, Sunshine, The Mummy, Enemy at the Gates, and Stealing Beauty. The cast also includes Susan Lynch (Waking Ned Devine, Interview with the Vampire), Ian Glen (Tomb Raider, Gorillas in the Mist), Tom Mannion (Poldark, Return of the Jedi), and Maurice Roeves (Judge Dredd, The Last of the Mohicans).
Video: How does it look?
Beautiful Creatures is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a more than decent visual effort, but some consistent flaws lessen the experience and by turn, force me to lower the score. This one made the move from theaters to home video in a pretty short timeframe, but even so, the print looks worn in places, which is a let down. The flaws aren’t massive, but frequent nicks, marks, and debris can be seen, which combine to sometimes be a minor distraction. The colors, flesh tones, and contrast are in fine form however, so not all is lost with this one. I doubt anyone will be too impressed here, but in the end, this is a solid, but flawed transfer.
Audio: How does it sound?
Universal has chosen to include both Dolby Digital & DTS 5.1 surround options here, though I am unsure why this movie needs the deluxe audio treatment. I found both tracks to be solid and more than adequate, but this simply isn’t the kind of film that becomes a demo disc. As such, I doubt anyone will be blown away by either of the two mixes, though as I said, both more than handle the material, which is what counts. The basics are more than covered here, with crisp dialogue and good surround presence, but in the end, neither track is too memorable. I still commend Universal for including a DTS option here though, even if it has little to offer over the Dolby Digital version. This disc also contains English & French subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files, production notes, and the film’s theatrical trailer.