09th Jan2018

Brad’s Status (Film)

by timbaros

Image 09-01-2018 at 00.23Ben Stiller is having a major life crisis in the new film Brad’s Status.

Ben plays Brad Bloan, a late 40’s something father of a teenage boy who is about to fly the coop and head to college. But Brad has a lot more on his mind. He’s worried that he doesn’t have enough money to take care of his family, he’s worried that his job is on the lower end of importance, he hopes that his wife Melanie’s parents (Jena Fischer) will leave him with all their money, and he’s a bit (a lot) jealous that all his schoolmates have very successful and high profile careers (one is even retired). And with all this in mind, he goes with his son to tour colleges on America’s East Coast.

It’s a father – son bonding week. Brad’s son Troy (Austin Abrams), a wanna be musician, takes his father’s anxiety in stride. This trip, which takes from their home in California to Boston, will also test their relationship. Troy sorely wants to get into Harvard – but at the same time he’s dealing with his father’s angst and regret of not being extremely successful in his job life. We get to see Brad’s visions of all his very successful friends (Luke Wilson, Mike White, MIchael Sheen and Jemaine Clement) all very rich and successful but, unfortunately, Brad’s career choice does not come close, in fact he’s way behind these guys financially and socially. It’s his status that he’s not happy with.

‘Brad’s Status’ is a melancholy journey of one man’s lament at his perception that he is not good enough. He’s got a happy wife, a happy son, a happy home – but is there something that’s missing? And leave it to Ben Stiller to convey a man with mixed messages. Stiller nails his character – it’s a role that he was born to play. Writer and Director Mike White nails most scenes on the head, including a pivotal scene where Brad and Troy run into one of Troy’s old friends at Harvard (a perfect Shazi Anya) who opens up Brad’s eyes a bit more for him to realize that he’s not really connected to the younger generation. ‘Brad’s Status’ is a bit sad, and makes us take a long hard look at our own lives, and isn’t that what films should really do?

15th Jul2017

Cars 3 (Film)

by timbaros

NEXT-GEN TAKES THE LEAD — Jackson Storm (voice of Armie Hammer), a frontrunner in the next generation of racers, posts speeds that even Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) hasn’t seen. “Cars 3” is in theaters June 16, 2017. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Lighting McQueen is back in the latest instalment of Disney’s Cars movie franchise.

If you remember him from “Cars” and “Cars 2,” Lightning McQueen is a racing car whose red exterior and very likeable and loveable interior melts children and adults hearts alike. But in “Cars 3,” the world is changing and Lightning McQueen (voiced by Luke Wilson) can’t keep up with the new mangled fangled super fast highly technologically-advanced new cars now racing, and this includes the shiny and cocky Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). So what should Lighting McQueen do, retire? No way! After a nasty car accident in a race, McQueen is sent to Radiator Springs to recover from the crash, and from there he joins a new racing facility so that he can up his game to compete with the new cars. There he meets Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a feisty female personal trainer who whips cars back into racing shape. Ramirez also had hopes of being a championship race car but she gave these dreams up years ago. But McQueen has to follow her instructions and at the same time he has to convince his owner Sterling (Nathan Fillion) that he can and will win his next race, for if he doesn’t, then he will give up racing altogether and just stick to endorsements. With McQueen getting into tip top shape, and Cruz’s confidence picking up and raising hopes of her going back to racing, it all boils down to the big race where McQueen has to show what he’s now made of, all thanks to Cruz.

As in “Cars” and “Cars 2,” “Cars 3” is an entertaining movie that provides us with excellent animation and a story where we route not just for Lightning McQueen but for Cruz as well – a minority female character with an inspiring storyline – a rarity in animation films. Expect Disney to have another big hit on their hands with this film as it appeals to both children and adults alike, and perhaps expect “Cars 4” to come our way in a few years time.

19th Jun2017

Rock Dog (Film)

by timbaros

0300RAD_0140_master_v025.l.0246 0300RAD_0140_master_v025_l_0246A young dog from the Tibetan mountains heads to the big city to pursue his dream of being a rock star in the new and fun animated film Rock Dog.

Bodi (Luke Wilson) lives with his father in a tiny village high up on Snow Mountain. His father Khampa (J.K. Simmons) is a leader of the village, and it’s him who is in charge of a motley gang of sheep guards who protect the village from the dastardly, and hungry, wolves who are constantly trying to attack them. Then one day a plane drops a box into the village, and it’s Bodi who is there to investigate it’s contents. In it is a radio which Bodi turns on and instantly he’s in love with the music of a musician by the name of Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard). Bodi tries to copy the sounds of Scattergood by piecing together items found in the village to make a guitar – and Bodi thinks he’s found his calling! After an incident which causes havoc on the village, it is agreed that Bodi should be given a chance to head to the bright lights of the big city so that he can further explore his passion for music and his admiration for Scattergood. But once Bodi leaves the mountain, he is followed by two of the wolves who plan to kidnap him and use him as bait in order to take control of Snow Mountain. But in the big city Bodi meets fellow music and Scattergood enthusiasts in a place called Rock and Roll Park, it’s where Scattergood began his career. It’s not too long before Bodi comes face to face with Scattergood, but he also comes face to face with the wolves, who, at the behest of their leader Linnux (Lewis Black), vows to kidnap Bodi and do whatever it takes to take control of Snow Mountain.

This Chinese-American production is a simple tale of someone from a small village out to seek fame and fortune and explore his passion in the big city, themes most of us can relate to. But Bodi has more than a sense of adventure, he’s got charm and curiosity and a wit about him that should make this film appeal to both children and grownups alike. This film has been a flop, both in the U.S., with a measly gross of $20 million versus a budget of $60 million, and in China, where it has only earned $5.7 million (the film, though not explicitly mentioned, takes place in China). But in my opinion, it’s a great tale told very well with animation that’s passable and an excellently-voiced cast (even Matt Dillon pops up as a yak). It’s a cute story with cute characters – Rock Dog Rocks!