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Brightburn DVD Review

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“Brightburn” is exactly what it’s advertised as.

The story: A couple in Brightburn, Kansas (Tori and Kyle) happen upon a young boy in a crashed spaceship. They take him in and raise him as a son named Brandon. 12 years later, things take a dark turn when Brandon discovers the spaceship, learns more about who he really is, and has some dark personality changes. Over time, it becomes clear that Brandon is a violent danger to all who encounter him including his own parents.

Written by Brian and Mark Gunn, produced by James Gunn and directed by David Yarovesky, “Brightburn” is what you think it is. It’s a spin on the Superman mythos, but instead of a young Clark Kent becoming a hero he becomes a villain. If that sounds familiar it’s because the story has been done before in “Smallville,” “Superman 3,” Mark Waid’s comic series “Irredeemable” among other stories. Where “Brightburn” differs a bit as a cautionary superhero tale is with the family/parent storyline. Granted, it’s a pretty straight forward nature vs. nurture parental nightmare tale, but it’s an angle that at least separates it from other similar content.

As a whole though, “Brightburn” feels like a missed opportunity. There’s so much that could have been done with the character and concept, but the writers squander the premise. Only in the action-packed end are risks taken, but by then, the credits are already rolling.

The one thing that “Brightburn” does have going for it is that the movie takes advantage of the R rating. When Brandon unleashes brutal horror movie esque violence, it’s impactful and deeply unsettling. It’s especially impressive from a production values standpoint given that the movie sports a rather low budget.

Cast wise, there are two stand-outs here. Jackson A. Dunn (who plays Brandon/Brightburn) really embraces the part and is believable in his transformation. Elizabeth Banks (who plays Tori) also brings a lot to her part as Brandon’s mother. Her scenes with Brandon are particularly effective.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1. How does it look? The film looks crisp in standard definition. Note: This title is also available on 4K and Blu-ray.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? From the sound FX to the dialogue, this 5.1 track is on point.

Extras:
* Sony trailers
* “Quick Burns Social Vignettes”- Quick interviews with Elizabeth Banks, James Gunn and David Yarovesky.
* “Hero-Horror!”- This featurette contains cast and crew interviews, film clips, story, character and tone discussions, casting tidbits, etc.
* “Nature Vs. Nurture”- A featurette that explores the theme of nature vs. nurture in relation to this film.
* A passionate commentary by David Yarovesky, Michael Dallatorre, and Autumn Steed about their numerous collaborations, “Brightburn,” behind-the-scenes stories, and more. More entertaining than the film itself.

August 14, 2019 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , ,

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