BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (WB, 2013) D: Richard LaGravenese, w/ Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert. Rating: NNN; DVD/Blu-ray package: NN Rating: NNN
I'll take Beautiful Creatures over The Twilight Saga any day. Sure, it's got the same human-supernatural teen romance at its centre, but the young lovers spend far less time moping, so the proceedings are considerably livelier. Also, they feature first-rate actors having fun in outrageous costumes, surprising effects scenes, a good measure of humour and a plot driven by more than fear of premarital sex.
High school senior Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) is attracted to Lena (Alice Englert), the new girl in his South Carolina village school, but she and her family are witches and she's approaching her 16th birthday, when her powers will be claimed for either good or evil. There's also a curse forbidding human and supernatural love.
It's no wonder that Lena's guardian (Jeremy Irons) does all he can to discourage Ethan. So do Lena's evil cousin (Emmy Rossum) and mother (Emma Thompson), a shadowy being who manifests as Mrs. Lincoln, the town's leading bigot.
Irons, Rossum and Thompson play sinister, straight-faced comic and pathetic with a polished verve that steals the show from Ehrenreich and Englert, who are adequate and likeable.
Most of the making-of docs are little more than promo spots, but there's a little meat in the two on effects and costumes.
EXTRAS Six making-of docs. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles.