Some Kind of Wonderful appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image defined “dated but fine”.
Sharpness was generally positive, as 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 edge haloes remained absent. With a strong layer of grain, I suspected no noise reduction concerns.
As for source flaws, the occasional speck or mark appeared. However, these defects remained acceptably subdued and infrequent.
Colors were erratic. Occasionally they looked reasonably dynamic and lively, but they usually suffered from the vague murkiness that often affected Eighties flicks. The tones seemed adequate within the confines of the original photography.
Blacks were similarly decent but somewhat flat, and shadows tended to be a bit dense. The image had its ups and downs but was good enough for a “B-“.
Though I liked the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Some Kind of Wonderful, it wasn’t especially memorable either. Music most benefited from the expanded soundfield, as 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.
Speech seemed concise and crisp, and effects were acceptably accurate and clean. This was an unexceptional mix but it worked for the film.
How did the Blu-ray compare with the special edition DVD from 2006? The lossless audio felt a bit more dynamic, though the nature of the source restricted improvements.
As for the visuals, the Blu-ray looked better defined and more film-like. Given the limitations of the original photography, the Blu-ray didn’t blow away the DVD, but it became the more appealing rendition.
The Blu-ray mixes old and new extras, and we begin with an audio commentary with director Howard Deutch and actor Lea Thompson. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at 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, as 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 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, 46 seconds, and includes notes 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, 27-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 archival featurette, we find a John Hughes Time Capsule. This 10-minute, 50-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.
New to the Blu-ray, Back to Wonderful spans six minutes, 46 seconds and offers more info from Deutch. He discusses how he came to the film, casting and performances, some story/character areas, camerawork, and locations. We find occasional repeated bits of information, but Deutch makes this a fairly tight overview.
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 Blu-ray offers dated but appropriate picture and audio as well as a decent compilation of bonus materials. Wonderful might be the best movie under the John Hughes umbrella.
Note that as of February 2021, this Blu-ray of Some Kind of Wonderful can be purchased only as part of a “John Hughes 5-Movie Collection”. The latter also includes Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty In Pink, Planes, Trains and Automobiles and She’s Having a Baby.
This package reuses old Blu-rays for Ferris, Pink and Planes. As of February 2021, Wonderful and Baby remain exclusive to the “5-Movie Collection”.
To rate this film visit the DVD review of SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL