Brave One, The

WSR Score4
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Warner Home Video
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Strong violence, language amd some sexuality
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Dual Side/Dual Layer (HD DVD30/DVD9)
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Neil Jordan
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital+ 5.1
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After the murder of her fiancÚ in a random, violent attack that nearly cost her her life as well, New York radio host Erica Bain (Foster) finds herself at rock bottom, terrified of the outside world. Tired of being a victim, Erica soon discovers the pistol-toting stranger within herself. Now no longer the victim, The Brave One decides to take back the streets of New York, one thug at a time. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include up-front previews, the featurette I Walk The City (21 minutes), and seven minutes of deleted scenes.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.36:1 DVD exhibits a solid picture, with deep blacks and good shadow delineation helping give it a believably three-dimensional appearance. Colors are nicely rendered, as is contrast. Fleshtones have a natural appearance, with good distinction between different shades. Details are also captured nicely, and the image shows good resolution. Occasionally, the image can have a digitized look with pixilation noticeable, and "jaggies" can be seen on fine lines. Edge enhancement is rarely obtrusive. The HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc both include the same VC-1 encoding, which provides sharp details and a good sense of depth. Black levels can be inconsistent, and occasionally the image can look somewhat hazy. Long shots aren't as well defined as in many high-definition releases, but the picture is still good. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby« Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack can sound very good, but dialogue can have a harshness that removes from its realism. The front stage is mixed well, with impressive imaging and a good sense of extension beyond the physical loudspeaker locations. The surround channels are used frequently with varying levels of effectiveness, but pans across the stage can be quite realistic. Dynamic range is fairly good, with low-level effects delivered well, and the noise floor is low. Music is mixed very well, helping build suspense nicely. The soundtrack isn't perfect, but it is enjoyable. Both the Blu-ray Disc and the HD DVD include lossless Dolby TrueHD encodings, which provide a subtle improvement in overall fidelity and dynamic range over the lossy encodings on both discs (Dolby Digital on Blu-ray Disc, Dolby Digital Plus on HD DVD). Differences between the two lossy formats are minimal. (Danny Richelieu)