Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best (2011)

Director: Ryan O'Nan

Writer: Ryan O'Nan

Composer: Rob Simonsen

Starring: Ryan O'Nan, Michael Weston, Arielle Kebbel, Andrew McCarthy, Jason Ritter, Wilmer Valderrama, Christopher McDonald, Melissa Leo, Jake Miller, Charles Chu, Philip Ettinger, Steven Boyer, Charlie Hewson

More info: IMDb

Plot: Underachiever Alex (O'Nan), recently dumped by his girlfriend, reluctantly embarks on an impromptu road trip with his new and eccentric bandmate, Jim (Weston). By channeling their inner children and giving a new meaning to the term lo-fi, Alex and Jim find their unique style by bringing the sound of children s instruments to their unsuspecting fans. Playing a series of bizarre shows, and experiencing multiple near-disasters, Alex and Jim's determination takes them on a true coming-of-age journey one that may be their last shot at achieving their childhood dreams.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

The first bit in the trailer is the best and funniest moment in the picture.  Michael Weston (as Jim, the goofy guy who plays the toy instruments) is hilarious and I wanted more of him.  He's absent from most of the last half hour and he's really missed.  When it's up to Alex (writer/director/star O'Nan) to carry the film where he's trying to deal with loss and discovering what's most important to him, it drags a lit but it stays engaging if not a little disjointed.  SPOILERS IN THE KEY OF D MINOR...it really was kind of lonely not having Jim around and Cassidy just disappears into thin air at this point, too.  This gives Alex some time to spend with his religious brother's family (Brian played by Andrew McCarthy who still looks great).  Alex hangs out with Brian's 10-year-old son which is nice but it's when Cassidy just shows up to announce Jim's grandfather died and Jim is going to a rough venue to perform solo for the battle of the bands competition, that's when it gets typical Hollywood.  While I liked the upbeat tone (it doesn't end like you think it will but it's close) I would have almost preferred Cassidy to stay out of it and watch Alex make it on his own, even if making it finds him re-teaming with Jim.  END OF SPOILERS...YARRRRRRR! While I didn't find it entirely satisfying, it's a nice little picture that has a few good laughs in the first half hour before it gets into self-discovery, let's learn some life lessons mode that will likely be more satisfying to kids in their twenties.  The Oscilloscope DVD has some extras including a 16-minute making of featurette, a couple of minutes of outtakes, 28 minutes with the boys performing 3 songs and giving a Q&A at a film festival, two short films (TAG SALE SALVATION (about 3 minutes) and SWEET SOUNDS OF CASIO (5 minutes) (both of which are pretty cute), the theatrical trailer (anamorphic widescreen) and trailers for four other Oscilloscope films.

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