Brüno appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Despite some challenges provided by a variety of filming conditions, the flick usually looked very good.
The vast majority of the time, sharpness seemed satisfying. Most of the movie appeared concise and detailed. When the film went with lower quality cameras for its “undercover” shots, it became less precise, but that was inevitable, so I didn’t mind these lapses. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and the only edge haloes that showed up resulted from some video artifacts. Source flaws were absent; some graininess occurred, but that was a minor concern.
Colors tended to be satisfying. The movie went with a natural palette that only became a little iffy during those shots with lower quality equipment. Most of the film exhibited lively hues. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows usually seemed fine; again, the shooting conditions occasionally meant things were a bit iffy, but they were good most of the time. This wasn’t reference material, but it was strong enough for a “B+”.
I also liked the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Brüno. Music offered the most involving material, as effects played a fairly minor role. Most of those elements came from on-the-spot recording, so they didn’t do much to open up the spectrum. However, music used all five channels well. The track spread the tunes and score around the room in a pleasing manner that added life to the proceedings.
Audio quality was solid. Again, music was the best aspect of the track, as the tunes always sounded lively and full. Speech was consistently concise and crisp, without edginess or other issues. Effects didn’t have much to do, but they appeared acceptably accurate. Nothing here dazzled, but the track deserved a “B”.
In terms of extras, we get an enhanced commentary from actor/writer Sacha Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles. What makes it “enhanced”? Occasionally, Cohen and Charles halt the movie to tell extended stories about various scenes. This means that the commentary runs about 27 minutes longer than the movie itself.
During the track, Cohen and Charles discuss sets and locations, cast and performances, staging and shooting various sequences, censorship issues, music and costumes, challenges staying incognito, and various tales from the production. The commentary is substantially more interesting than the movie itself. Cohen and especially Charles tend to congratulate themselves a little too much, as they tell us about the flick’s social commentary and insight.
Otherwise, this is an entertaining glimpse at the unusual production. They let us know the details of how they staged the various sequences and set things straight about who was and wasn’t in on the joke. I’m not sure I believe all of their claims, but I still appreciate the information. We find a consistently enjoyable chat here.
Next we find scads of Alternative/Deleted/Extended Scenes. Added together, these areas give us 21 sequences; in total, they run one hour, nine minutes and six seconds. Given the amount of footage found here, I won’t discuss all of it. We get alternative subjects for some existing scenes. For instance, we see interviews with Pete Rose and LaToya Jackson instead of Paula Abdul, and we find a few other conservatives instead of Ron Paul.
Possibly the most significant deleted sequence shows an alternate break-up between Diesel and Brüno. This occurs during an interview with a white supremacist, and it extends into a sequence with some football players. Most of the sequences cover fairly familiar territory; they include a variety of different subjects but don’t veer away from the material seen in the final film.
This means that if you like Brüno, you’ll enjoy these scenes, and if you don’t… well, you’re largely out of luck. Actually, even though I didn’t care for the flick, I think some of the clips offer entertainment. In a weird way, the footage is funnier when taken out of the flick’s semi-story-based framework; it comes across as somewhat less contrived. The cut scenes won’t win over any new fans, but there’s some good stuff here.
Finally, we find an Interview with Hollywood Agent Lloyd Robinson. In the film, he attempts to get Brüno various show business jobs. During this five-minute and 32-second clip, Robinson talks about his limited awareness of Borat and his experiences as an unwitting comedic foil in Brüno. Robinson has a good sense of humor about the shoot, so he offers a nice perspective on the flick.
The apparently inescapable Digital Copy shows up here as well. With this, you can transfer the film onto a portable viewing gadget or a computer. Yabba dabba doo!
After the huge success of Borat, most thought Brüno would be another hit. Nope – it made less than half of its predecessor’s take and sank like a stone. Hopefully that means the US public has wised up and decided that Sacha Baron Cohen’s style of guerilla comedy is more interested in being crude than it is in being funny. The Blu-ray provides very good picture plus solid audio. It doesn’t feature a ton of supplements, but the included components are interesting. While this is a nice release, I don’t care for the movie itself, so I can’t recommend Brüno for anyone who doesn’t already dig the flick.