Disney Channel star and Pop-sensation Nick Jonas (Camp Rock, Scream Queens) Isabel Lucas (The Loft, Transformers 2), and Dermot Mulroney (Insidious: Chapter 3, J. Edgar) star in Careful What You Wish For, the steamy-thriller that is brought to you by Anchor Bay Entertainment, and it was made available for Digital HD purchase on June 10, 2016, and will be released on DVD on August 2, 2016. The film is a pseudo-Boy Next Door copy cat, that flips the genders of the protagonist and antagonist, and throws in a few twists and turns.
The movie follows Doug (Nick), a bookworm and recluse of sorts, and when I say recluse, I mean that even his parents encourage him to go partying (great parenting right?). His friend and parents encourage him to be a teenager, and do teenage things, but he’s just not having it. So, when a new neighbor moves in next door, Elliot (Dermot), and his beautiful wife Lena (Isabel), things start to get interesting. It starts with Doug helping fix Elliot’s new boat, which leads to him being introduced to Lena. This causes them to spin into a tangled web of love, and mystery that leads to the death of someone close to them, which makes Doug the main suspect.
Surprisingly, I can say that I didn’t hate this film as much as I might have thought I would. It had some decent twists, and eventually had a pretty satisfying payoff. While I did compare this to The Boy Next Door, it isn’t nearly as bad, it just holds similar plot points. In the critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, someone said this was “a painfully stilted high-school reproduction of Fatal Attraction.” I do agree with half of that, by that I mean it is like a high-school version of Fatal Attraction but not in a bad way at all.
It’s not like I can say “Oh, this is great for your teenagers, since it’s the high-school version of Fatal Attraction” because unlike a movie like Ghostbusters (2016) or Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this isn’t at all child friendly, which is something that was very obvious from the start.
I did however enjoy this, even with the atrocious acting on behalf of some of the actors. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have problems. It definitely does. Let’s discuss them. The film goes at a steady pace for a good 50 minutes, but then divulges and turns into a totally different film. It went from a thriller to an investigative drama, which while some films can change genres halfway and still work, this is not the kind of movie that can. The film’s ending, while satisfying, makes other things in the plot not make sense. It causes other plot points to sizzle out and not make sense, which unfortunately hurts the whole film.
Now keep in mind these are based on a viewing of a DVD, and not the full 4K my TV can output.
- Encoding: MPEG-2
- Resolution: 480i
- Clarity/Detail: Surprisingly enough, this wasn’t a horrible looking DVD. The only time that it was immensely noticeable that it wasn’t 1080p was the trailer before the film, not the film itself. The film has a nice looking color palette, and while sometimes I couldn’t read license plates, or couldn’t see something clearly in the distance, this is a good looking film for its 480i resolution.
- Depth: The depth suffices for 99% of the film, except for one scene that was clearly a green screen, the depth in that scene was terrible.
- Black Levels: Pleasantly surprised at this, but they were very good looking, and I have seen Blu-rays with much worse black levels.
- Color Reproduction: The color is very sufficient. The trees look pretty, and green, but not enough to make them over-colored. Overall there’s decent color portrayal.
- Flesh Tones: The skin tones lacks some color, a overall okay flesh portrayal.
- Noise/Artifacts: I watched the film with the noise removal feature on my TV turned off, and it looked fine, no real noticeable grain.
Now when it comes down to it, this is actually didn’t sound too bad. Definitely not amazing, but not horrible, with a few mishaps along the way.
- Audio Format(s): Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Dynamics: Sadly, though I did say this didn’t sound horrible, the dynamics aren’t great. The booming bass-ridden score over-weighs everything else in the film, causing problems with the audio experience.
- Low Frequency Extension: The booming score, and deep mids do shine in the film, but over-weigh everything else.
- Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound for the most part was fine, and did at least help a bit in hearing things other than the extreme bass.
- Dialogue Reproduction: This is the part where I can fully admit there is a problem, with the dialogue. It is all over the place, sometimes it’s real quiet, and sometimes it will make your head explode.
Unfortunately, this DVD contains no special features.
Careful What You Wish For is a movie that is better than most recent thrillers, but it still isn’t even close to being great. It looks fine on DVD, but I would recommend picking up the Digital HD, because well, it’s HD. However, this is at least rent worthy, and could be fun for the hour and thirty minute run time.