Brightburn – Blu-ray Review


The idea of making Superman evil isn’t a new concept in the comic book world. We saw a glimpse of that in Mark Millar’s “Red Son” and more recently in DC’s “Injustice” series. Yet Brightburn asks the question: “What if a superhero with Superman’s powers becomes evil and he’s raised similarly to Superman in the comics?” It’s an interesting concept where it takes parents’ self-doubt in raising their kids right and using that concept in a film.

Unfortunately, you won’t invest yourself in any of the characters at all. You simply just don’t care about them. The film doesn’t give any of the characters an opportunity to grow and develop throughout the film. None of the characters are relatable nor likable. Not to mention, Brightburn relies heavily on audiences’ knowledge of Superman’s origin story. To be fair, Superman’s story is known all around the world. It’s more known than the oldest of stories. But as a result, the film goes through at a breakneck pace.

But despite the accelerated story, it’s a shame that Brandon’s transition into turning evil isn’t really that plausible. It makes it seem as if he were evil due to his DNA. Unfortunately, the execution makes it seem so much like a cop-out—which is a shame because the argument of nature vs. nurture is a legitimate debate.

At least the film is scary though. All of the jump scares are effective and the film’s use of lighting amps up the tension big time. Also, as we’ve seen from The Boys, anyone who had Superman’s powers and used it for wrongdoing means that no one’s safe. When Brandon uses his powers for evil, the results are so incredibly gory. That’s where most of the horror (and fun) comes from.

Overall, Brightburn is a scary yet generic film. Although the idea of combining a superhero and horror film is such an interesting idea, the execution doesn’t really work out. The lack of character development ultimately is what brings this film down. Regardless, the film is still entertaining as hell and a fun scary ride.

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms


Brightburn - David Denman and Jackson A. Dunn

Brightburn hits Blu-ray (see it on Amazon) with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. From the looks of it, a lot of care went into the video transfer of the film. The brightness is incredibly vibrant during the daytime scenes. Fortunately, this vibrancy doesn’t seem to affect the black levels at all. The video is dark during the nighttime scenes—which effectively hides Brandon in the shadows. Unfortunately, there are some slight issues. There is a lack of contrast during the daytime scenes and there is a lack of definition in the shadow details during the dark scenes.

In general, the color is saturated naturally. However, the video does out emphasis on the saturation of red. As you’ll find out in the movie, red is a big part of the film. The details are all-around clean and crisp. However, there is a slight softness in the edges. Overall, this is a bloody awesome video.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms


Brightburn - Jackson A. Dunn

Brightburn hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Although most audio mixes for horror films are typically always good, Brightburn’s mix is on a different level. It may not be Atmos, but the amount of fun in this mix is exceptional. The sound effects wash through the soundstage like a wave—specifically when Brandon flies around the stage. Not to mention, the accurate placement of sound effects to the context of a scene. The atmospheric effects are clear and distinct. All of this leads to some complete and fun level of immersion.

Tim Williams’ score is loud and boisterous through the soundstage. It’s complementary to the atmospheric sound effects that fill up the soundstage. Amidst all of the chaos, the dialogue can still be clearly heard. To top it all off, the subwoofer rumbles and brings some weight to the mix. Overall, this is a super audio mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features

Brightburn - Elizabeth Banks
Brightburn‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on it:

  • Audio Commentary
  • Nature vs Nurture
  • Hero-Horror!
  • Quick Burns Social Vignettes
    • Elizabeth Banks
    • James Gunn
    • David Yarovesky

As you can see there isn’t a ton of special features in this release. By far, the best bonus feature is the audio commentary is with David Yarovesky, cinematographer Michael Dellatorre, and David’s wife and costume designer Autumn Steed. Together, they’re fun and energetic but at times they get caught off guard with a question and try to figure out how to answer it. Despite all that, the three of them provide a ton of knowledge about all of the aspects of the movie.

Unfortunately, that’s as much behind-the-scenes as you’re going to get. All of the featurettes in this release are simply short online featurettes. “Nature vs Nurture” slightly talks about the idea of nature vs Nurture when it comes to creating an evil character. “Hero-Horror” talks about the combination of a superhero film and a horror movie. The vignettes are simply small talking-head videos where Banks, Gunn, and Yarovesky talk about the movie. Not much in terms of information or content.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms

Overall, Brightburn is a fun horror film that’s devoid of any interesting or likable characters. The audio and video are both incredible for a Blu-ray release. Unfortunately, the special features weren’t given as much love as the audio and video.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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