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

  • 2017 Film Independent Fast Track Projects Announced; $20k Alfred P. Sloan Fast Track Grant Awarded To Radiant

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Film Independent announced the ten projects and 24 filmmakers selected for the 14th annual Fast Track film finance market. Held during the LA Film Festival, Fast Track helps producer-director teams advance their projects through meetings with top industry executives.  

  • Amazon Studios Greenlights Fifth Season of Jill Soloway’s Award Winning Series Transparent

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amazon Studios today announced it has greenlit a fifth season of Jill Soloway's Golden Globe Award and multi-Emmy Award winning series Transparent. The fifth season will begin production next year and is anticipated to premiere on Amazon Prime Video in 2018 exclusively for Prime Members.  

  • Kayaker Body Found Identified as Missing Fiance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Murdered kayaker Vincent Viafore, reported missing by Angelika Graswald, his fiancee, has been found in the murky waters of the Hudson River where he was last seen in early April as the two enjoyed a recreational boating trip.

     
  • Oscar®-Winner and Disney Legend Alan Menken To Present New One-Man Show At D23 Expo 2017

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Disney aficionados, film buffs, and musical theater fans can expect a show like no other when eight-time Oscar®-winner Alan Menken performs his own music and shares entertaining anecdotes about his unrivaled career at D23 Expo 2017.  

  • People Exclusive: Husband of Murdered Texas Fitness Instructor Shares Theory on Who Killed His Wife: 'It Had to Be Someone She Knew'

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brandon Bevers, the husband of a Texas fitness instructor who was found dead inside a church last month just before she was to teach an early morning class, believes his wife knew her killer.

Crime

  • Breaking News: 13 Dead On Campus; 20 injured in Oregon Mass Shooting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A lone gunman opened fire on the Umpqua Community College Campus in Roseburg, Oregon this morning killing 13 students and injuring 20 in an all too common scenario that left the shooter “neutralized” and reportedly deceased at the scene.  

  • Victim in South Carolina Police Shooting Owed Child Support

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A South Carolina police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man after a routine traffic stop in which the victim ran as he could not produce insurance or registration papers for the vehicle pulled over for a faulty tail light.

     
  • Crime City USA: The Top Thirty Murder Capitals

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Crime rates are decreasing across large cities in the United States, but murder rates are on the rise.  

  • Chattanooga Bus Driver Has Court Appearance; Employer Knew of Complaints

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Johnthony Walker, 24, the bus driver that intentionally crashed his vehicle filled with children, had a brief court hearing Tuesday where he learned his preliminary hearing was postponed until December 15, 2017. His bail remains at $107,500.00.

     
  • Colorado Officials Find Remains of 170 People, Including Infant Boy, In Basement

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The remains of 170 individuals who did not receive proper burial or cremation were discovered in the basement of a Montrose, Colorado funeral home after the property was purchased and the new funeral director began renovations.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • A Pink Suitcase Book Review – Empowering Stories from Women Who Dared

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Pink Suitcase, from World Traveler Press, presents twenty-two provocative individual stories of empowered woman who dared to fulfill their dreams of global expedition, from hiking the Appalachian Trail to entering Gutsy Gal adventures.

     
  • 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?  

  • NYPD Green Book Review - Page Turning Detective Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    NYPD Green, a memoir from Luke Waters, details his life from undocumented Irish immigrant to ranking detective in one of the largest police departments in the world solving horrendous cases and the interactions and working with other judicial agencies.

     
  • An A-List Line-Up of the Most Acclaimed African American Talent Join For One Night Celebrating the Spoken Word with Music and Dance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    WordTheatre’s Storytales: Featuring celebrities performing stories from acclaimed African-American author John Edgar Wideman’s literary anthology ‘Briefs’ at the Ford Amphitheatre Saturday October 6, 2012.

     
  • The Sword & Scabbard: Thieves and Thugs and the Bloody Massacre in Boston - A Page Turning Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Sword & Scabbard, from Allen Woods, looks as if it would appeal to Boston’s very tony elite, not until pushing through the labyrinth of technology interruptions does one realizes Woods has created a page turning account of corruption, violence, and a bloody re-revolution massacre.