Some Kind of Wonderful appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The movie displayed a lackluster transfer.
Grain created the biggest problem. Much of the film exhibited rather high levels of grain, and this gave the image a messy feel. A few other specks and marks appeared as well, but the grain was the main distraction.
Sharpness was decent. Most of the movie came across as reasonably distinctive and concise. Wide shots occasionally looked a bit indistinct, but the flick was acceptably defined for the majority of its running time. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and only a little edge enhancement was detected.
Colors were erratic. Occasionally they looked reasonably dynamic and lively, but they usually suffered from the vague murkiness that often affected Eighties flicks. Though I didn’t think the tones were weak, they lacked much vivacity. Blacks were similarly decent but somewhat flat, and shadows tended to be a bit dense. This was a consistently watchable transfer that never became better than that.
Though I liked the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Some Kind of Wonderful, it wasn’t especially memorable either. Music most benefited from the expanded soundfield. The songs demonstrated good stereo spread and also spread to the surrounds with decent involvement. Effects played a smaller role and didn’t do much through the movie. They presented a minor sense of atmosphere but not much else. Still, the music opened things up in a satisfying manner.
Audio quality was fine for a movie from 1987. Again, music was the most important element, and the songs seemed reasonably lively and dynamic. At least they offered more satisfying bass when compared to the thin tones of Pretty in Pink. Speech seemed concise and crisp, and effects were acceptably accurate and clean. This was an unexceptional mix but it worked for the film.
A moderate mix of supplements fills out the DVD. We begin with an audio commentary with director Howard Deutch and actor Lea Thompson. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They cover music and the opening sequence, cast, characters and performances, reshoots and a few problems, set design and locations, and story issues.
Although Deutch’s solo chat for Pink was a dud, I hoped that the introduction of Thompson into the mix would add some life to the proceedings. After all, the real-life married couple fell in love during Wonderful, so one would expect lots of great stories and notes, right?
That’s what one would expect, but not what one would actually get. Deutch does seem chattier here than during Pink, but we don’t learn a whole lot more. Thompson offers very little information. She throws out the occasional note but leaves the meat of the track to her hubby. The only minor sparks occur when they bicker about whether or not a particular scene was a reshoot. Deutch reveals some moderately interesting story concerns as well as a few other decent tidbits, but this remains a lackluster commentary. There’s still too much dead air and not enough information to create a particularly useful track.
A few featurettes follow. The Making of Some Kind of Wonderful goes for seven minutes, 45 seconds, and mixes movie clips, archival materials, and interviews. We hear from Deutch, Thompson, writer/producer John Hughes (from 1986) and actors Mary Stuart Masterson and Eric Stoltz. We learn how Deutch came onto the project, cast, characters, and performances, interactions and conflicts on the set, and what John Hughes brought to the teen genre. That’s a lot to pack into a short piece, so “Making” suffers from a lack of depth. Some enticing tidbits emerge – especially when we hear how Deutch and Stoltz didn’t get along – but this show acts as nothing more than a quick teaser.
Greater depth comes from the 13-minute and 25-second Meet the Cast. It includes Deutch, Stoltz, Thompson, Masterson, Hughes (1986), and actors John Ashton, Maddie Corman, Chynna Philips (1987) and Molly Hagan. This piece tells us more about casting and characters as we learn why the actors wanted to work in the film. We also learn a few more insights into characters and performances. Many good stories emerge here, especially the touching one Corman tells about her dying mother. These add up to an engaging little program.
For the five-minute and seven-second The Music, we get notes from Deutch, Hughes (1986), Masterson, and Stoltz. We learn how Hughes integrates music into his films and get some specifics about the tracks in the flick. I wouldn’t call this a substantial piece, but it covers the subject with reasonable efficiency.
For the final featurette, we find a John Hughes Time Capsule. This 10-minute and 48-second program presents a 1986 interview with Hughes conducted by actor Kevin Bacon. They discuss how Hughes represents high school life and his childhood influences, how he went from writing to directing, and some thoughts about Wonderful. Hughes doesn’t give us a ton of information, but we get enough insight to make the show worth a look.
25 images appear in a Photo Gallery. It includes the usual mix of publicity stills and behind the scenes shots. None of these seem particularly memorable.
The DVD opens with some Previews. We get ads for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Failure to Launch and Totally Awesome. No trailer for Wonderful appears here.
Because I disliked Pretty in Pink, I didn’t expect to enjoy Some Kind of Wonderful. After all, the latter literally remakes the former. However, Wonderful ended up as a much more likable and better-made movie that proved quite satisfying. The DVD offers pretty average picture and audio along with some decent extras. This isn’t a special DVD, but it’s perfectly acceptable, and the quality of the movie means it merits my recommendation.