16.7 C
New York
Monday, November 30, 2020
Advertisement

Lightning Bug Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby 2.0 Surround (PLII)
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Subtitles Color: N/A
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: NR
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 95
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 15, 2013
  • List Price: $17.97

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Robert Hall (ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2), the makeup artist responsible for work on such TV favorites as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and the film Paranormal Activity 2 acted as writer and director in this quiet, semi-autobiographical psychological drama.

Green Graves (Bret Harrison) is a quiet and talented young man stuck in an a dilapidated trailer home with his mom, younger brother, and an abusive drunkard of a stepfather. To wile away the hours in this sleepy rural town, Green, a horror-flick obsessed makeup artist, hangs out with his two best friends, sometime goes out to the woods with them to catch lightning bugs in mason jars, but mostly draws sketches of monsters and sculpts clay models and elaborate masks. He hopes to use his skill to escape the oppressive small town to the more well suited environs of Hollywood. When he meets Angevin Duvet (Laura Prepon), the clerk at the local video store and falls in love with the odd, Goth girl, his plans may become derailed. Angevin’s murky past and her strict, religious mother upset his plans to raise money for a plane ticket to L.A. By designing the haunted house for the local Halloween celebrations. Angevin’s mother has a metaphorical target on his back and riles up the local churchgoers to protest his “demonic” work, while charging him with vandalizing the church. Meanwhile, his home life takes a terrible turn for the worse as his stepfather’s drinking and violent tendencies become even more dangerous.

The film is rather charming and, even though it does have some very broadly sketched characters that could almost seem cliché, the sense of autobiography is undeniable here. This is pure slice of life drama, a real struggle to escape the metaphorical chains that bind one to their past for the greener grasses of the other side, as it were.

The real surprise in Lightning Bug is Laura Prepon who was still doing That ’70s Show at the time. As Angevin, the free-spirit, out of place girl in the morally conservative small town, her portrayal was a real revelation about her true talents beyond the retro-comedy of the Fox Network sitcom. She’s charming, sexy, mysterious, and painfully broken. It’s surprising the role didn’t really launch her into much greater things on the big screen.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Lightning Bug is an indie film from 2004 that was shot on Super 16 film stock, so hoping something that looks amazing in high definition is probably a stretch. That said, there have been 16mm films that have come to Blu-ray looking quite good, almost as good as 35mm, but this isn’t really one of them. This 1080p AVC encodement from Image Entertainment looks generally soft and grain structure is inconsistent. Some scenes look clean with a certain amount of detail, while other break down into softness with heightened levels of grain. Darker scenes show a little bit of noise and some washed out black levels in certain portions of the image.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is not particularly balanced. It’s mostly front-heavy and dialogue-driven with the surround channels providing some low atmospherics, but there are out of place discrete effects like a door opening or car driving up that are mixed into the surrounds and off to the far sides that feel out of place. Dialogue is clear and dynamics are reasonably good.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The supplements carry over on here and includes two new featurettes in high definition that bring back star Laura Prepon and others to discuss the film. Additionally, the disc features both the original and extended edition of the film, which is 15-minutes longer.

The film:

  • Commentary from Writer/director Robert Hall
  • Commentary from writer/director Robert Hall, producer Lisa Waugh, actors Ashley Laurence & Laura Prepon
  • Afterglow: A look Back at Lightning Bug (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:24:34)
  • Luciferin: The Making of Lightning Bug (1.33:1; 1080i/60; 00:20:47)
  • Deleted Scenes w/ optional commentary by Robert Hall (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:19:07)
  • Outtakes (1.33:1; 00:04:31)
  • Kevin Kinney Music Video (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:03:50)
  • Blu-ray Trailer (2012) (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Original Trailer (1.78:1; 1080i/60)
  • Photo Gallery (1080i/60)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Robert Hall tells a bit of his humble beginnings in this small town drama. While it may not have the cache of his B-movie cult classics, it will nevertheless keep you glued to the screen with its easygoing and often heart-wrenching story.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B009L63QCS[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Lightning Bug - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Lightning Bug on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B009L63QCS[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Lightning Bug - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Lightning Bug on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]



Advertisement

Related Articles

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy is arriving for the first time on 4K Ultra HD remastered in Dolby Vision and overseen by Peter...

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
724FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy is arriving for the first time on 4K Ultra HD remastered in Dolby Vision and overseen by Peter...

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.
%d bloggers like this: