The Brave One appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though it never really excelled, the transfer seemed perfectly competent.
Sharpness was usually fine. Some shots appeared a little soft, but those were exceptions to the rule. The majority of the movie provided reasonably good delineation and accuracy.
No signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no issues with edge enhancement. While source flaws were absent, I thought grain seemed a bit heavy at times.
Like most modern thrillers, the palette veered heavily toward teal, with splashes of orange as well. The hues looked fine within those parameters.
Blacks were decent, though I thought they could be somewhat mushy, and shadows tended to be a little heavy. Neither issue was a major concern, but I felt they made the image less pleasing than I’d like. Nonetheless, this was a generally positive presentation.
Along the same lines, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of The Brave One offered moderately above average material. For the most part, the soundfield stayed limited.
Street ambiance did the most to open up the track, particularly around vehicles and trains. Those used all the speakers to decent advantage and formed a good sense of place.
Music showed nice stereo imaging and also spread to the surrounds in a modest but satisfying way. I couldn’t cite a memorable sequence, though, since nothing here was especially impressive in terms of spatiality or involvement.
Audio quality always pleased. Music was bright and dynamic, and effects followed suit. Those elements seemed clear and accurate throughout the movie, and the louder bits showed solid presence.
Speech sounded concise and natural, with no edginess or other problems. This was a fairly well-executed – if not ambitious – mix.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Audio was a little more robust, while visuals seemed tighter and smoother. The image delivered a moderately superior image.
Not many extras appear here, and we find a featurette called I Walk the City. This 21-minute, 41-second piece brings us notes from director Neil Jordan, producers Joel Silver and Susan Downey, screenwriters Cynthia Mort and Roderick Taylor, executive producer Herb Gans, production designer Kristi Zea, director of photography Philippe Rousselot, location manager Robert T. Striem, police consultant Neil Carter, and actors Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard.
They tell us a little about story and characters, how Jordan came onto the project and his take on the material, the project’s path to the screen and various changes along the way, cast and performances, shooting in New York, cinematography, and research.
At its core, “Walk” remains a promotional program. It touts the film and doesn’t provide much real depth.
However, it includes enough decent material to make it worth a look. We get a smattering of insights along the way, though you definitely shouldn’t watch “Walk” until you’ve already seen Brave One, as it includes some major spoilers.
Five Additional Scenes fill a total of six minutes, 45 seconds. The first two focus on Erica, and the other three concentrate on Mercer. Three of the five are inconsequential additions, but the other two have more substance.
We see more of Erica’s friend Nicole as she tries to lure our protagonist to a self-defense class; it’s not a very good scene, though I like the way it better expands Erica’s friends attempts’ to bring her out of her shell.
The final sequence shows more of Mercer and his ex-wife, as we learn she’s pregnant. I think that it might’ve been a good one to keep in the final film, as it deepens his hurt.
While The Brave One doesn’t exactly reinvent the vengeful vigilante genre, it provides a few neat twists and entertains along the way. The presence of a fine cast helps make it an above average thriller. The Blu-ray offers fairly positive picture and audio along with minor supplements. Expect a pretty involving tale here.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of THE BRAVE ONE