The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Michael Sheen, Maria Bello, Alan Tudyk, Moon Bloodgood, Austin Nichols, Kyle Gallner, Meat Loaf Aday
Directed by: Shawn Ku
Music by: Trevor Morris
Written by: Michael Armbruster, Shawn Ku
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 11, 2011
"To confront the truth, first they had to face each other"
Beautiful Boy is an unconventional love story that explores the journey of a married couple on the verge of separation, who must live with unimaginable heartbreak, and find healing through the darkest days of their lives.
Beautiful Boy is a gripping drama that explores the difficult journey of a couple already on the verge of separation, who are suddenly faced with devastating circumstances that leave them mired loss. Sharing the darkest days of their lives, Bill (Michael Sheen) and Kate (Maria Bello) hopelessly try to find some hint of an explanation after learning of the senseless loss of their only son. Their already strained marriage is tested as they realize all they have left is each other, their shared grief and confusion—and the unfortunate legacy of their son. This life-altering event forces Bill and Kate to face their feelings of guilt, rage, blame, self-discovery –and ultimately hope—so that they can finally see each other and their chance for happiness again with clear eyes.
This is a powerful film with a character driven narrative that deals with subject matter that falls into the category of every parents worst nightmare. Along with that is this couple drifting through their marriage with their sole remaining connection being their son. Once faced with tragedy they have no where to turn but to one another. Unfortunately the circumstances they encounter aren’t simply those of loss. They are forced to question/re-examine their roles as parents via disturbing elements that lend to high levels of melodrama that revolve around the two main characters. It’s tough not to feel for them. Despite the film’s synopsis I can’t say that I see this as much of a love story. What I see is a lost couple that is suddenly thrust into an interminable situation that draws them out. This includes the surfacing of feelings, emotions, and unspoken words that have left them estranged as a couple and disconnected as parents. The film offers a fly on the wall perspective that leaves few stones unturned which provides a viable correlation between the story and characters. Its tight pacing and poignant subject drew me in early and didn’t let up until the credits rolled. Beautiful boy isn’t feel good filmmaking but it rewards with a strong script and excellent performances from leads Michael Sheen and Mario Bello. If you enjoy character driven dramas this one strikes all the right chords.
The rating is for language, a scene of sexuality/brief nudity and thematic content.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Beautiful boy comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 2.4 Mbps.
This is a pleasing high definition presentation that exhibits video quality that is consistent with a newer release film on Blu-ray Disc. This film is adorned by a grainy, sepia toned aesthetic that combines with its use of browns, beiges, and reds, to set the thematic tone intended by the filmmakers. It rarely makes for eye catching imagery but the results are pleasing. Fleshtones tend to look a little bronzy but otherwise fall in line with the film’s visual elements. Contrast is spot on and blacks are fairly delineated and deep. Images are crisp and resolute with defining sharpness that provides appreciable dimension. The video is whistle clean and shows no obvious signs of compression errors or video related anomalies.
The front heavy lossless surround mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices were rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for surround activity and extended dynamics however there are a few instances that provide a discernable level of spatial envelopment accompanied be punchy low frequency enhancement.
- Deleted scenes
- Audio commentary with writer/director Shawn Ku, editor Chad Galster and cinematographer Michael Fimognari
- Theatrical trailer
Beautiful Boy is a gripping and evocative drama that explores the difficult journey of a couple already on the verge of separation, who are suddenly faced with devastating circumstances that leave them mired loss. Its tight pacing and poignant subject drew me in early and didn’t let up until the credits rolled. Beautiful boy isn’t exactly feel good filmmaking but it rewards with a strong script and memorable performances from leads Michael Sheen and Mario Bello. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring solid audio/video quality but a noticeably light supplemental offering that consists of a decent audio commentary, two deleted scenes and a trailer. If you enjoy good character driven dramas this one strikes all the right chords and is worth checking out.
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