HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Some Kind of Beautiful
HTS Overall Score:67
Pierce Brosnan has been getting a lot of work lately. I’ve seen him in no less than 4 films in the last 30 days of new releases. Something that has not been the norm for the aging actor. I grew up with Brosnan as Bond and the dashing gentleman that every female in my family swooned over, as well as of course watching good old reruns of “Remington Steele”. Now it seems that he’s content with getting second rate roles in second rate movies (although some of them do surprise me like “No Escape” did last week). “Some Kind of Beautiful” looked charming and funny enough from the trailers, but upon viewing the movie itself I have to wonder what the film makers were thinking. What starts out as a fun little romp and jabs taken at the historical clichés of romance just snowballs itself out of control until it becomes the very cliché that it was trying to rib. Brosnan does a decent job, actually not phoning in his performance, but Hayek and Alba just look like they’re there for the paycheck. Which is highly disappointing considering the start studded cast.
Professor Richard Haig (Brosnan) is a romantic’s professor at Cambridge University, schlepping around with the young women like it’s going out of style. That is until he knocks up his current fling and decides that maybe it’s time to settle down. He moves to California with his new wife, Kate (Salma Hayek), and adapts to the new joys of fatherhood. Again, THAT IS until he finds out that Kate is cheating on him with Brian (Ben McKenzie of “Gotham” fame), an upstart young guy around her age that she works with. This is when things to spiral out of control for the philanderer turned upstanding dad. Kate and Brain move in together (in the house that his father bought for Richard and Kate), and Richard lives in their guest house while his green card status is running out of time. To make matters even worse, Richard starts to fall for Kate’s sister, Olivia (Salma Hayek), despite the fact that she sees through his suave veneer and sees the man underneath, with all the nastiness that contains.
Now Richard has to make some decisions. Where does he go with his life? What does he do? Making the best of a bad situation he struggles his heart out to jump through all of the immigration hoops that he can in order to stay, be a parent for his kid Jake (Duncan Joiner) and do what he teaches. Be a romantic. That can be made even more difficult when his misogynistic and philanderer teaching father (Malcolm MacDowell) comes to town and gums things up even more for the poor guy.
I have to say that I’m fairly disappointed with “Some Kind of Beautiful”. On the outside it looked like a fun romantic comedy (if not a little vapid), but the unevenness of the film was a little off putting. I’m not sure where the disconnect came from. Maybe it happened when Richard completely butchered the romantics in the first 20 minutes of the film, or when the movie tried so very hard to insert a level of seriousness that didn’t jive with the loose writing of the film. All those clichés that they sneered at during the first part of the film, and where Richard teaches his students to branch off from the societal norms and clichés just vanished into thin air. Instead of seeing a clever comedy about a man overcoming these clichés, we watch as pretty much every cookie cutter cliché known to man is checked off the list.
None of the characters are even very likeable due to the ham fisted writing. Pierce tries his best, but not much can save the very obvious paydays for the actors. Salma Hayek acts reasonably well, but Alba and MacDowell just sleep walk through the entire process with Ben McKenzie doing his best with the limited screen time given to him. I really wanted to like the film as the star studded cast of over the hill actors was almost a sure fire recipe for at least SOME entertainment, but by the second act I was wishing it was over, and by the third I was finally glad that it WAS over. Maybe with a better writer and a better script we could have seen something better, but unfortunately what’s been done had been done.
Rated R for language, sexual content, some nudity and drug use
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=60354[/img]Lionsgate’s 2.40:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray looks rather pleasing, but is nothing that special amongst the myriad of other shiny new movies. Colors tend to be a bit golden in color grading, but otherwise rather natural, with the bright greens of the California estate, mixed with the sandy colors of the outfits and bleak look of Richard’s new interim job. Fine detail is ok, but nothing spectacular, showing off some nice little tidbits, but having an overall layer of softness applied to the image. Blacks are good, but never exemplary, but do showcase some nice shadow detail with minimal washing out. The transfer is good, and will definitely please the viewer, it just isn’t in the upper echelons of Blu-ray’s today.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=60362[/img]“Some Kind of Beautiful” is a drama film, so guess what, we get that type of sound track as well. Heavily front loaded it still sound really nice, with strong vocalization and plenty of balanced among the mains. There are times when the surrounds get some good action, but it is mostly ambient noises and some small directional moments like Richard crashing his car into the Dean’s red sports car, or the desperate scrabble to get out of the house when Kate comes home early. LFE is tight and clean, minimalistic as expected, but used effectively to add to the score or some weight to said car crash and other such incidents.
• Inside the Heart of a Romantic
Even though I complain bitterly about the writing, there is certainly some fun to the movie. Hayek’s schtick about noises men make in bed was utterly hysterical, and there are a few fun moments with MacDowell, but those moments are few and far between. The best I can say about “Some Kind of Beautiful” is “what might have been”. The structure for a fun movie was there, the cast was there, the chemistry was there, but nothing really came of it. Audio and video look and sound very good for a drama, and while there is a single featurette and a few previews, the extras are sorely lacking. Honestly, I would skit it, or at the very most rent it. Cheapie bored rental material is the kind of equilibrium I have to swing to between the two options.
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba
Directed by: Tom Vaughn
Written by: Matthew Newman
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 100 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: December 1st, 2015
Buy Some Kind of Beautiful Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It/Cheap Rental
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