Brad’s Status Review – A Dour Retrospect With A Few Bright Moments

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Brad's Status, from Plan B and Amazon Studios, presents a dour retrospect of an unfulfilled life, that doesn't measure up to truth and imaginings of his super successful college buddies, who seem to be living their dreams.

Directed, written by and starring Mike White, Brad's Status also stars Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer, Michael Sheen, Jemaine Clement, Luke Wilson, Shazi Raja and Muisa Lee.

Brad's Status begins as Brad, played by Ben Stiller, is heading off on the college tour with his son, Troy, played by Austin Abrams. The shock of having a son who is checking out the schools, including Harvard, in Boston, is freaking him out.

Soon he is taking a trip down memory lane mixing the equation with the current successes of his college buddies all of whom were super achievers, a director, owner of a Hedge Fund, former White House Press Secretary and author, and "I sold my tech company" inventor, while he reviews the successes the dollar signs seem to be cha-chinging in his mind.

All so successful and he of course, operates a Non-profit, and now his son have a solid chance of getting accepted into a college where the annual tuition begins at $40,000.


Celebrity Interview: Finn Wittrock talks on Landline, His Creative Pursuit Bucket List, and Memorable Moments


So in voice over, Stiller, continues his trip through the last twenty years of decisions trying to determine who's fault and when and where did he make this horrific mistake that put him on the bottom rung in life twenty years after he began his career.

Granted his house in the suburbs, a wallet of credit, although at the airline counter, as we all know, the wallet of credit cards is of no help, and home, family, a loving wife Melanie, played by Jenna Fischer, although as he in retrospect determines she was too easily pleased and that in part is the reason he didn't become an overachiever.

Brad and Troy arrive in Boston with a list of colleges to visit and of course the reason the two traveled from Sacramento to Boston, was to visit Harvard. Troy for some reason gets the day wrong and Brad is scrambling to find one person who he knows that can skip the red tape and secure the interview with admissions for his son.

So Brad is left calling his college buddies, soon he is calling Craig Fisher, played by Michael Sheen, a former White House Press Secretary, and now author of a several political books, his wife, a celebrity in her own right, sold an article to HBO and now, he is has to write the script. Life, well, couldn't be sweeter we find out.

To his credit, the minute Brad asks Craig for a favor for his son it was done and essentially admission was clinched on the good word of this old friend.

As Troy meets with some of his former friends from home who are now at Harvard, the idealism of the academic community where the exchange of ideas and the belief that one can change the world is discussed and encouraged comes along and meets Brad imagination.

The clash of ideals from someone who devoted his life to Public Service and has now decided as his bank account doesn't equal that of his super successful friends, his life was wasted and as he is turning the corner at 50, there is no opportunity in the future for a windfall except of course through traditional gifting in the event his parents or his in-laws die.

I really wanted to like this film as Ben Stiller rarely disappoints with choices that usually create some laugh out loud moments. Unfortunately this film is not one of them.

There are a couple of scenes that shake up the flatlined "my life is over I haven't made an eight figure nest egg" pity party. As he is imagining Harvard, he imagines his son getting accepted and the scene is probably one of the few that have the emotion the audience expects.

The flashes to his friends and the lives the fruits of their labors have bought them are interesting. And as we find out over dinner, the lives we choose come with its own set of troubles and problems and of course health is the great equalizer and the imagination can often trick us into believing what we see is actually true.

Austin Abrams nailed his role. Abrams' performance is a genuine bright spot and worth watching. He captured each nuance of a typical teen including the ability to answer without moving his mouth.

The four college buddies, Michael Sheen, Luke Wilson, Jemaine Clement, and Mike White, are in flashes during the opening sequences and sprinkled throughout until toward the end of the film when the audiences is allowed to see reality verses fantasy.


Weinstein Lexus Short Film Series Three Review – Attention Grabbing, Comedy, and Mysticism Make the Cut


As idealism creeps back into the story line Harvard and again the energy associated with the academic community and the exchange of ideas presents a nice moment. The audience is allowed for a few minutes to see the superficiality that some allow to become who they are and others remind us of the realities of life.

Brad's Status, for those rounding the next curve in life, is a checklist of what to avoid and for those who are looking to begin the career aspect of life, choose wisely and determine what is the end goal.

Brad's Status is in theaters everywhere Friday, September 15, 2017.  

 

Haute Tease

  • Obama Signals Victory; Romney Vows Swift Action if Elected -The Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week 26

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican Presidential candidate, has vowed swift action, if elected in November, to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.

     
  • Celebrity Interview: PRIDE Director Matthew Warchus Talks on Honoring the Real Life Events Behind the Feel Good Film of the Season

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Pride" from CBS Films, BBC and Pathe, brings to the screen a triumphant feel good film highlighting the 1980's British Miner's Strike and the Gay lifeline that rescued them from the squeeze the government had planned.

     
  • Coming-Of-Age Drama Boy Erased Attracts All Star Cast Along with Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Lucas Hedges With Director Joel Edgerton

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Emmy and Tony Award winner Cherry Jones (“Transparent”, “24”)and Grammy Award winner Michael “Flea” Balzary, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, join the cast of Boy Erased, the coming-of-age and coming-out drama from writer/director Joel Edgerton.  

  • Saban Films Takes North American Rights To Action Thriller "Black Water"

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Los Angeles-based film acquisition and distribution company Saban Films has acquired North American rights to Pasha Patriki's Black Water, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme (Universal  Soldier, Kickboxer), and Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables 2).  

  • Oprah Winfrey Hosts SELMA and The Legends Who Paved The Way Special Screening and Gala

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In attendance were director Ava DuVernay and SELMA cast including David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Common, Giovanni Ribisi, Martin Sheen, Tessa Thompson, Niecy Nash, Lorraine Toussaint, Omar Dorsey, Andre Holland, Henry Sanders, Wendell Pierce, Jeremy Strong, Andre Holland, Stephen Root, Corey Reynolds, Colman Domingo, Keith Stanfield, Trai Byers, producers Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.

Crime

  • McDonald’s Worker Sells Heroin in Happy Meals

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Pittsburgh McDonald’s fast food employee was arrested and charged with possession of narcotics for distribution as she reportedly sold heroin in Happy Meals to pre-arranged buyers through the drive through window.

     
  • Double Homicide Suspect Caught on Camera; Manhunt Widens

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The main suspect in the murders of Liberty German and Abigail Williams, the two Indiana teens killed while hiking on Delphi Historic Trail, has been identified and his image was captured on park surveillance.

     
  • Robert Durst Charged With Susan Berman Murder; Extradited to Los Angeles

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Robert Alan Durst, the son of the New York millionaire real estate mogul Seymour Durst, was arrested in New Orleans and extradited to Los Angeles in the execution style murder of Susan Berman, a Beverly Hills writer and friend.

     
  • New Jersey Man Free After 30 Year Sentence Murders Again

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Steven Pratt, after completing a 30 year sentence for murder, returned to his Atlantic City home to a party in his honor only to turn the festivities into tragedy with the horrific murder of his mother who planned the celebration.

     
  • People Video Exclusive: WATCH: Video of Marine Veteran Allegedly Held Captive at Motel for 4 Years that Led Cops to Rescue Him

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    New details are emerging in the case of an 81-year-old Korean War veteran with dementia allegedly held hostage in a Highland Falls, New York, motel room for four years by a man stealing his pension and Social Security checks.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • V Theater Las Vegas Review - Entertainment Aplenty

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    No matter how many times you’ve visited Vegas, no trip would be complete without taking in a show or two amidst the time you spend eating, gaming, clubbing, sunning and otherwise funing in Sin City.

     
  • Tyler Hilton Secues London's Blue Soap To Arrange Interviews and Airplay for US Tour

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    We're delighted to be working with musician and One Tree Hill actor Tyler Hilton to secure airplay and arrange interviews ahead of his upcoming 30 city American tour. The focus tracks from the album and advance dates are enclosed! Support is hugely appreciated!

     
  • HL A&E Presents The Best Summer 2016 Music Festivals, by the Numbers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Every year, thousands of people flock to church. The devotees pray in flower crowns and straw hats, fringe-laden vests and neon body paint. They are the congregation of music lovers, gathering from many different corners of the world to worship at the summer’s many music festivals.  

  • The Fifth Letter Review - Page Turning Legal Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Fifth Letter, a novel by research scholar Dr. Vivian Carpenter, introduces Katherine Helena Ross, the first black female Supreme Court justice caught between her conscience and political expedience when forced to consider the most important question facing the U.S. Supreme Court today: Who is a person with inalienable rights?  

  • BACKSTAGE PAST: The High Times of Legendary Rock Promoter Barry Fey

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BACKSTAGE PAST, the auto bio road trip from legendary promoter Barry Fey, reveals the dressing room romps of Rock n' Roll royalty from a career that spans forty years of music madness.