Collateral Beauty Blu-ray Review
Beauty is a drama centered
around Howard (Will Smith), a successful business entrepreneur who
from his company after a personal tragedy. Howard then spends his time
letters about the tragic events that happened to him and mails them to
concepts of Time, Love, and Death. He soon ends up meeting them when
Love, and Death pay him a personal visit. The film is produced by
(13 Reasons Why, The Knick), Allan
Loeb (The Space
Between Us, The Switch), Bard
Dorros (Spotlight, Triple 9), and
Anthony Bregman (Foxcatcher, Begin Again).
Howard's company is
crumbling. Stocks are
down. Three employees concerned about their job security all decide
boss needs some help in order to get things running smoothly again.
(Edward Norton), Claire (Kate Winslet), and Simon (Michael Pena) all
hire a theatre troupe of actors to perform the parts of Time (Jacob
Death (Helen Mirren), and Love (Kiera Knightly), who
convince Howard that they are real and
that they decided to meet him and help him.
Whit, Claire, and Simon
hire the actors in the
hopes of helping to save Howard and the company. Howard quickly becomes
by his encounters with Time, Death, and Love and is shocked by how they
manifested before him. He begins bicycling all across New York City and
Madeline (Naomie Harris), whom he starts a friendship with.
Beauty isn't a success
in the way one might hope given it's all star cast and intriguing
of the problem is that Will Smith's character is barely even in the
hardly appears for the first 1/3rd of the film). It makes it hard to
the storyline around his tragedy. The film centers around his character
the filmmaking doesn't give enough development of his storyline for it
resonate as strongly as it should.
Then there's the issue
with the premise of
Howard actually meeting Time, Death, and Love. As a high-concept, it
interesting. It seemed to have promise for a spiritually and
story. However, having him meet three theatre actors portraying these
after being paid by desperate employees determined to not lose their
interesting or effective. It doesn't work.
The supporting characters
are unlikeable as
they help send their emotionally unstable boss, who is supposed to be
friend, into even more of a downward spiral as he quickly believes he's
the literal manifestations of Time, Death, and Love... all of whom he
becomes engaged in meeting. It's a terrible way to tell a story and it
what would have been a sweetly sentimental film into a surprisingly
unintentionally) dark one.
The film does have some
aspects. The costumes designed by Leah Katznelson (Bride
Wars, The Visitor)
are suitable for the cast of characters. The cinematography by Maryse
Alberti (The Wrestler, Creed, The Visit) is
sleekly produced, crisp, and satisfactory. The music score by Theodore
Shapiro (Tropic Thunder, The Secret Life
of Walter Mitty) isn't memorable but is perfectly
The screenplay by Allan
Loeb (21, Just
Go With It, The Space Between Us)
isn't as strong as it should have been. The concept itself was
the execution of it was disappointing. The film could have been an
rewarding journey wearing its heart on its sleeve: the premise and cast
certainly suggested as much. Yet the film is a poorly executed,
badly done effort.
Director David Frankel (Marley and Me, The Devil
Wears Prada) doesn't help matters with his sub-par direction.
enlisted several first-rate actors for a film that is mundane and badly
executed. Collateral Beauty won't
give audiences warm, sweet, sentimental feelings. It's more likely to
audience with its frustrating execution and well-intentioned but
disastrous storytelling. Collateral
Beauty is more like a collateral bore.
Beauty is presented on
Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded high definition presentation in
original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. The film has
strong encode which preserves the cinematography of Alberti. The film
colors, strong clarity, and overall depth. It also features a strong 35
The 24 bit 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
lossless audio presentation is a
decent if underwhelming sound design. Collateral
Beauty barely utilizes its surround sound soundstage for an
experience and is instead a merely serviceable design. Dialogue is
easy to understand.
Subtitles are provided in English
SDH (for the deaf and hard of
hearing), Spanish, and French.
Please Note: This is a Blu-ray +
Digital HD UV Combo Pack release.
A Modern Fable:
Discovering Collateral Beauty (HD, 15 min.) is a behind the scenes
featurette with interviews with the cast, crew, screenwriter, and
about the production of the film.
Collateral Beauty is a surprisingly disappointing
and underwhelming film and it isn't even close to being as heartfelt as
trailers suggest. While the film has an excellent cast, the screenplay
direction ultimately fail to help muster up much enthusiasm for a film
a poorly executed effort.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.