Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Movie Menage: The Brothers Bloom

Sometimes the Reel Whore likes a little company in the dark of the theater. Though the interwebs bring us closer, reviewers cannot always bed down together for a post. With the Movie Menage, I surreptitiously pluck a couple of reviews from fellow LAMBs and other film bloggers. These brief blurbs coupled with the Reel Whore take constitute a critique à trois, if you will. Getting three opinions of a film tossed together should be better than one, right?

Release: 05.15.09
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 54 minutes
Full Price

Ever since they were children, Stephen (Mark Ruffalo, Zodiac) and his little brother Bloom (Adrien Brody, Hollywoodland) have been running cons. Stephen is the maestro; he has a knack for crafting the most elaborate and successful cons. Though, much of the credit goes to Bloom and his ability to embody the character Stephen creates, thus swindling their every mark. Over the years, Bloom feels he's lost his true identity and retires. Stephen refuses to let Bloom rest and convinces him to join in one last great con to swindle the eccentric Penelope Stamp (Rachel Weisz, Confidence) out of her millions.

The first of our lovers trio:

... The Brothers Bloom, Rian Johnson’s follow-up to 2005’s Brick, is kind of a difficult film to assess because it is equal parts enjoyable and frustratingly over-plotted. It’s like a sketch on Saturday Night Live that’s really good and funny but then just doesn’t know how or when to stop and so fizzles itself out. That being said, while its weaknesses keep it from being a really great movie, its strengths are enough to qualify it as a good movie. Besides, anything that starts with a voice-over by Ricky Jay can’t be all bad.

Let's go get cozy with this chick and her flick.

Joining in the fun is our second partner:

... The critical success of Rian Johnson’s Brick gave him a lot of freedom for his second feature film The Brothers Bloom. Unfortunately, like a lot of other directors, with this new found freedom of better actors, and a higher budget, this writer/director fell into some of the same pitfalls as directors like Guy Ritchie: all style, very little substance. Johnson himself stated that he based his three main characters on those of Homer’s Odyssey. If this isn’t representative of his expectations for his film, I don’t know what is.

See Blake make Brothers Bloom his bitch.

Writer-director Rian Johnson (Brick) creates the cleverest of tales in Brothers Bloom. Excellent performances are given all around. Brothers even helped improve my low opinion of Brody and Weisz.
Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi, Babel), the brothers' silent prodigy with the eccentric fashion sense, is funny, foxy and easily my favorite.

Brothers suffers from the same problem that plagues many a heist film; the creator twists the tale one time too many. Someone should have told Johnson that when you spare the editing, you spoil the film.

Johnson's last flourish didn't ruin Brothers, he just throws thee tone and rhythm one comes to expect in a heist off kilter.
Still, the dialogue and situations presented in Brothers are exciting and amusing. For that, I'd easily watch this again (well, and for Kikuchi, too).

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. OMG. Heretofore it's only been a wet dream of mine to participate in your critique a trois. Thank you so much for the opportunity!

  2. It is the holiday season after all, the perfect time to make dreams come true.