Mom, who am I? 3 Stars

Tori and Kyle Breyer (Elizabeth Banks, David Denman) are struggling to conceive when they discover a spacecraft has landed in the woods near their home. Inside is a seemingly perfect child, and they adopt and raise him as their own. Years later, Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn) is a normal, if smart but sheltered, kid approaching puberty. When his ship reactivates, drawing Brandon in to “Take the world”, he begins to take on a made up identity, Brightburn (also the name of his town). He discovers super strength, impenetrability, and even flight and heat vision. Soon, those closest to Brandon draw his ire, but as his power grows so does his potential for global catastrophe.

Brightburn (2019)
Released: 24 May 2019
Rated: R
Runtime: 90 min
Director: David Yarovesky
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Abraham Clinkscales
Writer(s): Brian Gunn, Mark Gunn
Plot: What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?
IMDB rating: 6.3
MetaScore: 44

Disc Information
Studio: Sony
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: R
Run Time: 90 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: Keep Case
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: A
Release Date: 8/20/2019
MSRP: $38.99

The Production: 3/5

What if, instead of coming to save humanity, Superman arrived on earth to destroy us? That’s the simple twist that changes Brightburn from a hero film to a horror. And a bit of a tragedy to boot. Brandon’s parents are loving and reasonable, with a few quirks that come from being first timers who have a child that nobody can prepare them for. Banks in particular is stellar as a mother who refuses to see the evil that her child is capable of until it is far too late.

Brightburn parallels Chronicle way more than it does Superman, with the answer to whether nature versus nurture will influence Brandon falling decidedly on the innate nature of his identity vice the love and support he got growing up. This has the unfortunate side effect of making all of the build up moot. There is nothing that can stand in his way. Loving parents, burgeoning sexuality, a cool uncle (a shout out to Matt Jones, Badger from Breaking Bad, in a pivotal but all too short role that gives him too little to do but an awesome effects scene on the way out), or even the police. Police and bullets can’t stop Brandon, and we’d be hard pressed to find anything that could, short of a tactical nuke. The janky ‘citizen journalist’ shots of Brightburn tearing apart cities at the end parallels Chronicle too. There’s a cameo from Michael Rooker insinuating that others like Brandon are becoming known too, but that makes little sense at this point unless earth is some kind of grand central station for aliens now.

With no foil, Brightburn is on the loose and the sky is literally the limit. Which might make for great horror setup but a pretty big letdown with no catharsis after the origin story is told. We lose, the end.

Video: 4/5

3D Rating: NA

Per IMDB Brightburn was shot digitally on Alexa XT and Alexa Mini using Panavision T-series Anamorphic lenses, with an EFilm digital intermediate and a Digital Cinema Package DCP release. Details are moderately sharp throughout, with no noticeable artifacts or significant noise during the many night scenes. It’s got a subtle HDR pass that nicely highlights the transition from early blue casts and costumes to the heavy red color schemes late in the film as Brightburn’s rageis unleashed.

Audio: 4/5

Brightburn’s Atmos mix is mostly well grounded, with a few exceptions. When the spacecraft lands there’s some good shakes and a big crash. The spaceship’s reawakening has some eerie effects that reach down from rumbles into indecipherable code talk. And the fights at the end are decent showcases for Atmos’ atmospherics, with punches up into the sky and zooming to earth, and Brightburn zooming through the house ripping it apart. Those are fun scenes for sure but other than that there’s not much to say.

Special Features: 2.5/5

Both the UHD and the Blu have an identical director’s commentary. I punched out after a half hour of it, I just didn’t get into their in jokes I guess.

On the Blu are a very few additional extras:
– Creating a Supervillain: interviews with cast and crew about what it takes to make a horror based super origin story.
– Hero Horror, talks with the writer, director and producer about making a horror based super origin story.
– Quick burns, short takes from the cast and crew

Oh and links to the preview reel from the front of the Bluray. That doesn’t count.

Overall: 3/5

Brightburn starts off with a really cool premise and punctuates the answer with well done effects. Unfortunately the answer to its basic question is “a kid with the equivalent of superman’s powers could literally destroy his home town in one day and then turn his sights on the country and world to finish off the week, and we probably could not stop them if we wanted to.” That makes for a pretty fun 30 minutes but where do you go from there?

B07RR74N1S

Published by

Sam Posten

editor,member

Wayne Klein

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Messages
55
Reaction score
17
Points
10
I thought this was an interesting idea that wasn't developed as well as it could have been. It just wasn't all that imaginative to me. A better version of the same type of tale is The Boys.
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
47,451
Reaction score
23,496
Points
9,110
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Anyone get to watch this one?
Not yet, I might buy the 4K digital if it's the right price. My only worry is that it's probably a movie that I only watch once so it might be better to rent it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sam Posten

JohnRice

Executive Producer
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
12,855
Reaction score
2,290
Points
9,110
Location
A Mile High
Website
www.theteatable.com
Real Name
John
Ironically, I recently rewatched Chronicle. It also seemed like a missed opportunity. I'll probably give this a rent, out of curiosity.
 

Malcolm R

Executive Producer
Joined
Feb 8, 2002
Messages
18,329
Reaction score
5,052
Points
9,110
Real Name
Malcolm
I just ordered. Will probably watch next week.
 

JohnRice

Executive Producer
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
12,855
Reaction score
2,290
Points
9,110
Location
A Mile High
Website
www.theteatable.com
Real Name
John
It looks like I'll probably be giving this a try tomorrow. I'll try to keep my mind open. I tend to like movies that didn't go over well among the mainstream, so who knows. Not 4K, just the regular BR. I didn't notice if it happens to have Atmos.

EDIT: I checked. No Atmos, not even 7.1. Kind of half-assed for an action movie these days.
 

JohnRice

Executive Producer
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
12,855
Reaction score
2,290
Points
9,110
Location
A Mile High
Website
www.theteatable.com
Real Name
John
Watched it.

Liked it.

I have two comments.
1) A review of this movie should never have the word "moot" in it. ;)
2) Dude! Michael Rooker's character at the end is referring to Aquaman and Wonder Woman, not more "Brightburns". Because as a ranting "Alex Jones" conspiracy theorist, he can't tell the difference between a demon intent on destroying the world, and a superhero intent on saving it. Plus, it's a nod to the whole superhero genre that inspired this story.

It was better than I hoped it would be. In the end, I liked it a lot more than Chronicle.

BTW, I'm fully aware I'm in the minority of liking this movie. It's dark and sadistic. I'll disagree with RAH's assessment that it's nihilistic, but it certainly portrays a nihilistic character. There's a difference in my book. I think it achieves what it sets out to. What it sets out to achieve just isn't what a lot of people will want to watch.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Sam Posten

Johnny Angell

Played With Dinosaurs Member
Joined
Dec 13, 1998
Messages
12,002
Reaction score
3,983
Points
9,110
Age
74
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Johnny Angell
That seems eminently reasonable.
Sam, you changed your avatar! Please don’t tell me you did that a couple months ago and I’ve just noticed.
 

Johnny Angell

Played With Dinosaurs Member
Joined
Dec 13, 1998
Messages
12,002
Reaction score
3,983
Points
9,110
Age
74
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Johnny Angell

Malcolm R

Executive Producer
Joined
Feb 8, 2002
Messages
18,329
Reaction score
5,052
Points
9,110
Real Name
Malcolm
Loved this. I did wish there was was a bit more of a set-up. Seems like anyone without prior knowledge this was a riff on the Superman origin story might be a bit lost at the start. On the other hand, knowing the set-up in advance, it was nice to jump right into the meat of the story since not much happens until Brandon reaches a certain age.

Hope there's a sequel. Not a huge blockbuster, but with a worldwide gross of $32.5m vs. a budget of $6m it should have made money. Apparently James Gunn (producer) mentioned on Instagram that they were discussing a sequel, but nothing was yet green-lit and he would be busy for a while on Suicide Squad 2 and GOTG 3