Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores the experiences of a young man rescued after years in captivity. The darker emotions are here, but that's not the focus of this film, which instead playfully keeps the audience laughing as it cleverly weaves a tale that will resonate in unexpected ways. And the fanboy-style premise makes it wonderfully timely.
This is the story of 25-year-old James (played by cowriter Kyle Mooney), who was kidnapped as an infant and raised in a bunker by Ted and April (Mark Hamill and Jane Adams), who claimed to be his parents and told him the air outside was unbreathable. Over the years, he gets his education from weekly videotape episodes of the children's show Brigsby Bear, made by Ted specifically for him. Then when he's rescued and reunited with his real parents (Matt Walsh and Michaela Watkins), they're strangers to him. As is his spiky little sister Aubrey (Ryan Simpkins). To make sense of this big new world, he gets help from a cop (Greg Kinnear) and a therapist (Claire Danes). But he longs to revisit Brigsby's world. So when Aubrey's friend Spencer (Jorge Lendeborg) shows interest in the furry character, James launches an epic plan to make a movie to bring the TV series to a conclusion.
Obviously, all of this is working as a kind of rehabilitation for James, and the film is smartly assembled to bring the audience into his quirky perspective. We've seen an episode of Brigsby, so we understand how it has charmed him with its nutty sci-fi superhero action. And it's hilarious to see James thrown into our world when his only cultural references relate to Brigsby. Meanwhile, Mooney underscores James' obsession with a bright sense of curiosity that's infectious both for the other characters in the story and for us watching it.
Continue reading: Brigsby Bear Review
When James Pope was just a baby, he was kidnapped from the hospital in which he was born. His new parents took him to live in the middle of an isolated expanse of wilderness, and refused to teach him anything about the world outside of their home and only let him watch a children's TV show called 'Brigsby Bear'. The only problem is, it has never been a real show and is merely a creation by his parents. One day, as an adult in his early 30s, he is rescued from his captors and taken out into the real world for the first time. Naturally, he is overwhelmed and confused about the nature of his new life, but nothing compares to finding out that 'Brigsby Bear' has never been a real show. However, it's the only thing he knows, so he sets out to bring the character out into the open and embarks on a filming project to create a movie of the character that shaped his entire life.
Continue: Brigsby Bear Trailer
Finding the perfect house is an important part of starting a family. But for one family, the perfect house may not be all that they first thought. The Bowen family, Eric (Sam Rockwell), Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt), Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and young Madison (Kennedi Clements) are in for a terrifying surprise, when they discover that their estate was built upon the sight of an ancient graveyard. But rather than realising there is an army of vengeful spirits, they are under attack from a horrific poltergeist. When they seek help from paranormal expert Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris), the poltergeist itself begins to discover everyone's true inner fear, and uses it against them.
Continue: Poltergeist - Teaser Trailer
Jane Adams, Sophia Takal, Kent Osborne, Larry Fessenden and David Siskind - Jane Adams, Sophia Takal, Kent Osborne, Larry Fessenden, David Siskind Saturday 3rd November 2012 AFI Fest - 'All The Light In The Sky' - Special Screening - Arrivals
After his parents are killed in a car crash, the thoughtful young Enoch (Hopper) becomes obsessed with death, attending random funerals and chatting to Hiroshi (Kase), the ghost of a young kamikaze pilot. The at one memorial service, Enoch is rumbled by Annabel (Wasikowska), who pursues a friendship with him. As they become closer, Enoch learns that the sparky Annabel has a fatal illness, which means he can no longer put off dealing with the fact that death is actually part of life.
Continue reading: Restless Review
Loren Dean (Enemy of the State, Apollo 13) does a decent job as Dr. Mumford, the most popular psychologist in the small town to which he just moved. Listening attentively to the tormented visitors of the treatment couch, his apparent peace of mind and even temper become infectious. Ubiquitously available and sounding less like a shrink than a wise uncle who gives just enough advice at just the right time, it's no wonder Dr. Mumford is everyone's favorite confidant. But will those he's helped to see through their own faults be just as understanding if they find out the truth of his past?
Continue reading: Mumford Review
Continue reading: A Fish In The Bathtub Review
A terse, obstinate, overeducated woman who is deeply resentful at having been passed up for a promotion to full professor at her university (in favor of a man), she abandons civilization for a spell to visit her sister (Jane Adams), a teacher at a very remote one-room school in the Appalachian Mountains.
McTeer's intense and austere performance serves the story well as her character makes the discovery of her professional life while reluctantly roughing it with the rustic locals: The isolated society of struggling mountain people has preserved, intact, for hundreds of years the Scots-Irish folk songs carried to the New World by their ancestors.
Continue reading: Songcatcher Review
Making a Hollywood story with a decidedly un-Hollywood flair, co-writers, co-directors and co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming take a casual, almost guerilla approach to their collaborative conception called "The Anniversary Party."
It's a shoestring production shot cinema vérité style in which these two gifted journeyman actors play a shaky show biz couple throwing themselves a sixth anniversary bash even though they've just recently and tentatively reconciled after a big infidelity blow-up.
Their guests -- movie stars, directors, industry types and hangers-on -- seem vaguely uncomfortable congratulating Sally and Joe Therrian (Leigh and Cumming) on their longevity under the circumstances. But in a town where fakery is the norm, it's easy for everyone to put on a happy face -- even the non-industry next-door neighbors (Denis O'Hare and Mina Badie) who have been invited only in an attempt to ease tensions over a barking dog dispute that's threatening to turn legal.
Continue reading: The Anniversary Party Review
Somewhere inside the surprisingly fresh, sharply jocular, angst-of-youth comedy "Orange County" there's a trite, typical teen movie struggling to get out. But director Jake Kasden just keeps out-witting the monster, pulling the carpet out from under its inherent clichés and giving his characters the chance to breathe and break free of their stock moldings.
A screwball affair about a bookwormy high school beach bum from the SoCal 'burbs who thinks his life is over when he doesn't get into Stanford, this flick rises above the spiritless, increasingly insipid, cookie-cutter teen genre simply because Kasden ("Zero Effect") and screenwriter Mike White ("Chuck and Buck") cared enough to try a little harder.
Played with pitch-perfect Everykid exasperation by sublimely expressive string bean Colin Hanks (son of Tom), Shaun Brumder had his heart set on pursuing his literary aspirations under the tutelage of his favorite writer, a professor at the venerated campus. So when he finds out his rejection was the fault of an inept guidance counselor (Lily Tomlin -- in the first of several inspired cameo performances) who sent the wrong transcript, Shaun goes on a dogged mission to get the decision reconsidered.
Continue reading: Orange County Review
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