Burden
R2 - United Kingdom - Signature Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: (6th August 2020).
The Film

From OscarŽ-nominated filmmaker Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club), Burden is the shocking, thought-provoking and moving true story of disavowed South Carolina Klansman Mike Burden.

When a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a small South Carolina town, the idealistic Reverend Kennedy (Academy AwardŽ winner Forest Whitaker) resolves to do everything in his power to prevent long-simmering racial tensions from boiling over. But the members of Kennedy's congregation are shocked to discover that his plan includes sheltering Mike Burden (Garrett Hedlund), a Klansman whose relationships with both a single-mother (Andrea Riseborough) and a high-school friend (Usher Raymond) force him to re-examine his long-held beliefs.

Video

Adequate dramatisation of a true story is formulaic but well done for what it is. For some reason this sat on the shelf for two years before seeing release, mainly playing festivals. The cast is decent enough and direction gets the job done with that slightly edgy style in which the camera is rarely still. No world beater but it kills nearly two hours well enough. Those into hard hitting drama will appreciate it more than I did.

A modern, digitally lensed production has good contrast which allows detail to shine albeit in standard definition. Colour values are fairly strong for a film made in the way it is with no bleed with primaries and flesh tines are solid and naturalistic. This isn't a comic book flick so don't expect such a punchy image. Black levels are decent with some shadow detail and no signs of unintended crush. There's no grain that I could really see and no signs of digital manipulation or compression problems. Encode is solid and handles the varied image well allowing for a pleasing experince in motion.

PAL / MPEG-2 / 2.4:1 / 112:52

Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: None

Decent modern 5.1 track which is slightly more wide ranging than the 2.0:Stereo. Predominantly a front and centre experience with the surround channels relegated to carrying ambience and score when needed. Dialogue is nice and clear, score never intrudes and there's no distortion in the high end. I didn't detect much LFE boost; the subwoofer wasn't challenged much.

No subtitles which is extremely regrettable.

Extras

Startup Trailers:
- Bulletproof (1:46)
- Inheritance (2:02)
- Mr. Jones (2:05)


Nothing of note; promos for other Signature releases.

Packaging

Standard black DVD Keepcase.

Overall

Basic, barebones standard definition rendering of a film on DVD. Image is decent enough, sound is decent enough but it's a new production (despite first hitting the festival circuit two years ago). It's a cheap disc to buy and it provides the purchaser with a solid if unremarkable presentation. Why we haven't had a BD release continues to be mystifying as it would advance the quality in all areas.

The Film: C+ Video: B+ Audio: B Extras: E Overall: C+

 


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