We all have our own take on young disillusioned kids who bring weapons to school with the intent of doing harm.  But what about the parents who raised them – are they responsible or perhaps victims themselves?  Such is the subject of the new to DVD drama "Beautiful Boy" out this week from Anchor Bay Entertainment.  See the details below.




   Title: "Beautiful Boy"

   Grade: 3 1/2

   Cast: Michael Sheen, Maria Bello, Alan Tudyk

   Director: Shawn Ku

   Rating: R

   Runtime: 101 minutes

   Release Company: Anchor Bay Entertainment

   Website: www.anchorbayent.com   




The Flick: Of course, a school shooting is a devastating thing, but "Beautiful Boy" takes the original angle of the aftermath left behind from the perpetrators parents’ perspective.  It seems so cut and dry – mom and dad are to blame – but the real interesting part of this film is how many sides there really are for folks in such a tragedy.  Here played by acting virtuosos Michael Sheen and Maria Bello, the parents are forced to deal with their son’s death plus his unspeakable actions, all under the scrutiny of friends, family and press galore and its rough stuff indeed.  But in the hands of both ample actors Sheen and Bello, there is a real resonating depth to the material.  Separately the fellow thespians have amazing bodies of work, but together here playing husband and wife with an obvious distance the chemistry is still strong.  There are some overly heavy-handed moments (the scenes of son Kyle Gallner do get a bit melodramatic) and work solely used to lighten the mood (only Serenity’s Wash Alan Tudyk could bring humor into such a morose subject!), but overall it’s the screen prowess of the two harrowing leads that gives this boy it’s real beauty.

Best Feature: You might not agree, but if you listen to the 'Audio Commentary Track' there seems to be a hidden power struggle over various aspects of the film between Writer/Director Shawn Ku and Cinematographer Michael Fimognari – interesting.   

Best Hidden Gem: Meat Loaf Aday not only plays a great and memorable little part as a motel manager, but takes the unsure position of the audience – good character.

Worth the Moola: Good Acting, harrowing subject.  Much like the opinions of the subject matter within, the answer is not so cut and dry.