(aka 'Sweet Revenge')

Directed by Neil Jordan
USA 2007

 

It's hard not to cringe at the opening of Neil Jordan's moody, upscale revenge drama The Brave One; any drama that starts off this ecstatically happy is clearly just establishing a high-water mark so the inevitable plummet into misery will be even more striking. Jodie Foster begins the film as a successful radio host on the verge of marrying Lost veteran Naveen Andrews; their giggly, giddy relationship is so idealized that the weight of inevitable doom hangs over it even before a random act of violence ends it. After three weeks in a coma, Foster is left to contemplate a newly purchased gun and a shaky sense of resolve that leads her out into the streets, where she tries to become a predator hunting other predators.

It's all been done before, all too often via sleazy rape-revenge films. But director Neil Jordan and his screenwriters (father-and-son team Bruce and Roderick Taylor, plus Cynthia Mort) give the revenge theme a taut, burning internality, as Foster gradually refines her intentions and capabilities, and her emotions start leaking into her sleepy, Garrison Keillor-esque radio show. The smartest touch is her dynamic with detective Terrence Howard, who seems to be trying to reel her back in to sanity. Throughout the film, it's rarely clear exactly how much he knows about her nocturnal activities, and as she cautiously plays him for information, their relationship becomes murky and complicated. And the terrific performances help keep everyone guessing.

Excerpt from The Onion AV located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 6th, 2007 - Toronto Film Festival

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:02:08 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUBs in French and Spanish
Subtitles English, English (CC), French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Featurette: I Walk the City
• Additional Scenes

DVD Release Date: February 5th, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 31

 

Comments:

This enigmatic film is one that holds little value but is also one that you just don't want to end. Our inner demons thirst for more lowlifes blown to kingdom-come by our, justifiably, psychologically-bent heroine. It's done with some panache - just not enough to make it viable in my opinion. I don't think Jodie Foster is at her best but I do think the film is intriguing enough to watch even if so much more could have been done with the premise. Anyway - think a classy 'Death Wish' with some twists. 

The dual-layered, progressive Warner DVD (anamorphic 2.35:1 ratio) has some definite blue-green in the image. Perhaps it was intended... but it comes across more as sign of SD weakness - the high-definition DVD should bear this out. Colors are somewhat dullish and detail is a notch below standard for a modern film - cinematography could be the culprit though - again we'll see it in 1080P and give a comparative opinion. The rest has Warner's usual good DVD production - optional subs plus a competent and occasionally tested audio track.

Extras include a 20 minute 'Making of..." with soundbite input from director, writer, actors etc. . In it Jordan reflects on the films link to Noir. There are also some 'Additional Scenes' which constituent about 6 1/2 minutes of non-anamorphic extra footage not used in the final product - nothing noteworthy.

So the film? Yeah - what the heck. Perhaps, I was expecting more from Foster but I have to admit it held my attention pretty well, although I had severe moments of disbelief about the storyline details. Prepare for a standard vigilante yarn and you will undoubtedly be impressed... just don't expect too much. Director Jordan once again bridges the gap between mediocre and great.   

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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