Saturday, August 26, 2017

Movie Review: "Brigsby Bear" (2017)

Director: Dave McCary
Year: 2017
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

A man named James has spent 25 years of his life in a bunker watching a show called "Brigsby Bear." This show has been produced solely for him. James is suddenly brought into the real world with no conclusion to the series he has watched his entire life. Now, he is determined to make a Brigsby movie on his own in order to complete the saga.

Charmingly funny, wonderfully weird, and extremely heartfelt, "Brigsby Bear" is the feature film directorial debut of Dave McCary, who is a writer and director on "Saturday Night Live." The film is written by Kevin Costello and Kyle Mooney, who also stars in the film as James Pope. For reasons we won't really go into, James has lived his life in an underground bunker for 25 years, watching only a single television show called "Brigsby Bear." More things happen and James is brought into the real world where no one knows of Brigsby Bear's existence. James has gotten no conclusion to the series. Finding it hard to think of anything else and obsessed with the show, he takes it upon himself to finish the story. The film boasts a solid cast of up and coming actors, including Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Ryan Simpkins, and Alexa Demie, and seasoned veteran actors like Mark Hammill, Greg Kinnear, Matt Walsh, Michaela Watkins, and Claire Danes, who take smaller supporting roles. There are many great performances here, but our favorites come from Kyle Mooney and Greg Kinnear. Kinnear has always been one of our favorite actors. We feel he is constantly overlooked, a fantastic actor who always impresses us.

This film examines geeky obsessions with pop culture as James's fandom for "Brigsby Bear" could be equated to the obsession some people have with shows like "Game of Thrones," or the way people gravitate towards films like "Star Wars," Marvel movies, and the DC extended universe. "Brigsby Bear" is also a touching story about a man who has spent his life believing the world is something it isn't. James has no idea the way people act in the real world. His life has always started and ended with Brigsby Bear, which creates perfect opportunities for a lot of awkward humor delivered by a character in his mid-20's that has a childlike innocence to him. There is so much we want to say about this film, but we also want to avoid spoiling as much as possible. We went into this film knowing very little about it and we believe this aided in our enjoyment of the film. We encourage you to do the same. The trailers purposefully keep specific occurrences out of the marketing, and it is these moments where this movie truly shines.

We found "Brigsby Bear" to be very funny, extremely creative, very poignant, super sweet, extremely sincere indie comedy. We smiled, we laughed, and heck, we even cried. It is all about friendship, family, and understanding, how people should be creative and do the things they love regardless of what anyone else thinks about them. We absolutely loved its quirky, somewhat bizarre nature, and though we will admit it isn't for everyone, it certainly resonated with us.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~79%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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