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Television commercials for THE BRAVE ONE ($29) had this reviewer believing that Jodie Foster had gone the Charles Bronson route and was starring in a remake of DEATH WISH. However, with Neil Jordan at the helm, THE BRAVE ONE proves to be so much more than your typical revenge fantasy / vigilante movie. With a sharply written script, THE BRAVE ONE is a rich character driven film where there are shades of gray, instead of black & white and where justice and the letter of the law don’t always mean the same thing.

In THE BRAVE ONE, Foster portrays a NPR type talk radio personality Erica Bain, who is viciously beaten by a pack of muggers in New York’s Central Park. Awaking three weeks later from her coma, Erica discovers that her fiancé David Kirmani (Naveen Andrews) did not survive the attack. Mourning her lost love and living in perpetual fear greatly affect Erica’s psyche; so much so, that she is no longer the person she was before the attack. Purchasing a gun to protect herself turns into so much more when chance places Erica in the middle of a grocery store robbery, and to save her own life, she is forced to kill the assailant. This sets Erica down a path where she goes out at night looking for trouble, so that she dole out vigilante justice. The cast of THE BRAVE ONE also features Terrence Howard, Nicky Katt, Mary Steenburgen, Ene Oloja, Luis Da Silva Jr., Blaze Foster, Rafael Sardina, Jane Adams, Gordon MacDonald and Zöe Kravitz.

Warner Home Video has made THE BRAVE ONE available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. This is a good transfer overall, accurately reflecting the intentionally unglamorous cinematography. The image usually appears sharp and nicely detailed, but some wide shots do come across as a little bit softer. Colors attend to be on the cool side, however the flesh tones come across realistically. Blacks are completely accurate, while the whites are the wholly stable. Contrast is smooth and shadow detail is average. The film elements are free from defects and appreciable grain is usually mild. Digital compression artifacts are well concealed.

THE BRAVE ONE comes with a very good quality Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. The sound design reflects the predominately talky nature of the material and doesn’t call attention to itself much of the time. There are some lively moments where the mix does snap. For the most part, the sound design utilizes the outlying channels, for smaller sound effects and musical fill. Fidelity is strong for both music and effects. Dialogue is clean and totally understandable. French and Spanish 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as I Walk The City your standard interview based making of program and five Additional Scenes.

THE BRAVE ONE goes a lot deeper than your standard revenge fantasy / vigilante movie thanks to the presence of star Jodie Foster and director Neil Jordan. Warner’s DVD looks and sounds fine. Definitely worth checking out.



The Brave One (Widescreen Edition) (2007)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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