Beautiful Creatures (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-14-2013, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
87





Studio and Year: Warner - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 124 minutes
Genre: Drama/Fantasy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, Thomas Mann
Written & Directed by: Richard LaGravenese
Music by: The Newno2
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 21, 2013







"Dark secrets will come to light"


Film Synopsis:

When newcomer Lena Duchannes arrives in the small town of Gatlin she quickly captures the attention of Ethan Wate, who only wants to escape what he views as a boring and dead end town. He quickly gets more than he bargained for, as Lena possesses strange powers that have long kept her at a distance from others in her life. Lena and Ethan are drawn together, but their budding romance is threatened by the dangers posed by Lena's being a Caster and her family's Dark powers, for upon her sixteenth birthday Lena must undergo the Claiming, a process that will decide her fate forever: Light or Dark.

My Take:

Beautiful creatures is based on the book of the same name by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia and is a teen romance/young adult story that revolves around a small southern town, light and dark supernatural forces and forbidden love. The primary focus is two teenagers, Ethan and Lena, who share a bond that predates there first meeting. Ethan is the school athlete dying to shed his small town roots byt going away to college. Lena is the new girl, related to the Ravenwood’s, the town’s oldest, founding and eerily legendary family. This puts her on the outs with her new classmates as well as being the target of various rumors surrounding the family’s affiliation with the occult. In reality there is some truth to the rumors as the Ravenwood’s come for a long line of “Casters” who possess magical abilities allowing them to cast spells and control the elements. Casters can be either light or dark depending on which side they are “chosen/claimed” by on their 16th birthday. Lena is closing in on her 16th birthday and her powers are growing stronger each day. Dark Casters run in the women in her family and she seems predestined for it although her hope (and that of her uncle Macon who has raised her) is that she breaks the Dark Caster line.

Caster’s falling in love with mortals has historically resulted in tragedy and is deeply frowned upon. This brings us to the problem of Lena and Ethan who are immediately drawn to one another. The two have déjà vu like feelings of having met before and despite the best efforts of those around them fall in love. The problem is that with Lena’s claiming on the horizon she has the potential to be the most powerful Caster ever but her love for Ethan could stand in the way. Hoping to shift the cards in their favor is a pair of dark Casters that will stop at nothing to ensure Lena’s claiming goes their way. Caught between their forbidden romance, Lena’s dread over her impending claiming, and small town fears/gossip, the teen lovers greatest challenge still lays ahead as dark secrets will come to light…

I am a sucker for films with elements of the supernatural especially those with a contemporary flavor. Beautiful Creatures teeters more toward teen romance than I would like however it builds a solid narrative foundation and features likeable lead characters supported by a decent script. Based upon its target demographic I was concerned that this would be closely related to Twilight but luckily eschews much of its mawkishness and buttery romanticism. Having said that, it is based on a young adult book series so there is a bit of camp and corn but for me it never rose to diverting levels. I enjoyed the story, liked the characters and found the cast/production elements to be quite good. As I alluded to earlier I tend to like these types of films. Those with a lower threshold for the sort of romantic fluff that generally accompanies them may want to knock a point or so off of my rating while deciding if Beautiful Creatures is their cup of tea.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, scary images and some sexual material.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Beautiful Creatures comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.

This is a dark film both in tone and visual design and this video presentation capably conveys that. The use of muted secondary colors gives the film a stark visual aesthetic that coincides with the subject matter. When brighter elements such as shades of red, or blue are present, they have a vivid and pleasing quality. More often than not fleshtones lean toward lighter/pale looking complexions however I noticed livelier tonality during several sequences that utilized warmer accent lighting and deeper color emphasis. Detail in dark areas and low lighting is above average which provides discernible but limited visibility within backgrounds. Blacks are respectable but not definitively rich in contrast. High definition resolution is satisfying as close ups are well delineated and long range visuals are reasonably sharp. While not among the best high definition offerings on Blu-ray I found little to complain about with the overall quality of this video presentation.

I think this is a well designed lossless audio presentation that plays well to the film’s thematic components. It effectively uses the entire sound field to elicit reaction to sounds emanating from differing vantage points based on the camera’s perspective (meaning the subject onscreen). A great example of this occurs during the dinner sequence where Lena and Ridley “get into it” over Ethan. The soundtrack is enhanced by rich clarity, punchy dynamics and robust bass that appropriately support the film’s supernatural elements. Dialogue through the center channel is crystal clear and maintains a position of prominence within the front soundstage. The beautifully crafted music permeates the listening area with its light instrumentation and superlative tonal balance. This surround mix capably handles the subtle intricacies thrown at by this sneaky good soundtrack as it augments the enjoyment of this film.


Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Book to screen – 4 minute featurette

  • (HD) The Casters – 3 minute featurette

  • (HD) Between two worlds – 4 minute featurette

  • (HD) Forbidden romance – 3 minute featurette

  • (HD) Alternate worlds – 5 minute featurette

  • (HD) Beautiful creatures: Designing the costumes – 3 minute featurette

  • (HD) 4 deleted scenes

  • (HD) Trailers – Includes two theatrical, Comicon, and TV spot,

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Beautiful creatures is based on the book of the same name by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia and is a teen romance/young adult story that revolves around a small southern town, light and dark supernatural forces and forbidden love. It’s not a perfect film but I enjoyed the story, liked the characters and found the cast/production elements to be quite good. Beautiful Creatures comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video featuring excellent high definition audio/video and a sum over substance supplemental package that provides a glimpse behind the scenes and cast/crew insights. This isn’t a film for everyone however those that enjoy a bit of romanticism coupled with a supernatural twist should definitely give Beautiful Creatures a spin on Blu-ray.

Here is the trailer:



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-14-2013, 02:29 PM
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First. smile.gif

I know I am a bit old for teen movies, but I honestly like the movie.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-15-2013, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustester View Post

First. smile.gif

I know I am a bit old for teen movies, but I honestly like the movie.

lol... I've not seen any of the Twilight movies for that reason, but am thinking about checking them out along with the above-mentioned film.

Thanks for the review, Ralph! smile.gif

oz
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-15-2013, 09:46 AM
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I enjoyed this film also, as well as my sister (we're both in our 30s). She compared it to the Twilight-franchise (which we both loathe), while I thought it was more a mixture of Carrie and The Witches of Eastwick.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-16-2013, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post

I enjoyed this film also, as well as my sister (we're both in our 30s). She compared it to the Twilight-franchise (which we both loathe), while I thought it was more a mixture of Carrie and The Witches of Eastwick.
When I saw the advertising and the trailers, my reaction was, this is like Vampire Diaries but with witches, with a good dose of Anne Rice thrown in. I preordered this one.

"Bring out yer dead!".."Wait I'm not dead yet!"..(Sound Austrian here) "WRONG !!" (You know what happens next..)
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-24-2013, 08:15 PM
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I enjoyed the trailer and really would like to see a decent movie gearing to a younger audience, but I'm slightly disappointed.

Yes, it's a cut above Twilight, but that is a like a left handed compliment. Surprise to see Emma Thompson here, barely could recognize her. The ending seems to be a bit weak, but it could be me. I hope that there will be no sequel either.

Strictly a rental.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-09-2013, 05:45 AM
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It took me a while to get past the terrible accents, especially Ethan's. But in the end, I thought it was an OK rental. Definitely not a buy.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-09-2013, 09:51 AM
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Much better than the Twilight series--mainly due to the fact that the performances by the younger actors are much better--but not quite as good as Warm Bodies. I actually wouldn't mind a sequel.

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