Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Movie Review: The Brothers Bloom

The Brothers Bloom is the story of two brothers who were shuffled about by the foster system because they were too prone to misbehavior. Eventually they embrace their mischievous [1] behavior and begin going about it more methodically. Adulthood, for them, is not a chance to go straight—it's a chance to hone their skills. Actually, one of them does want to go straight, but his brother never lets him get away with it—there's always "just one more" con to pull.

My verdict: Several of the creative decisions in this film were obviously an homage to The Sting (which is a much better film). The narration at the beginning was superfluous. The rest of the film was a bit drawn out. Some of the deleted scenes—particularly a few from the ending—added depth to the story and shouldn't have been cut. One of the scenes (a less useful one) was deleted because a certain point in the movie feels like it should be the ending. But I thought it felt that way even without the deleted scene.[2] The acting went both ways. It wasn't until I was watching the deleted scenes that I realized that 'The Curator' was played by Robbie Coltrane (i.e. Hagrid from the Harry Potter movies [1]), who did a fantastic job. Rachel Weisz' character is both quirky and wooden.[2] Even though her acting is poor (probably as a result of having a disjointed and incoherent part to play), her American accent is surprisingly good. Adrien Brody's acting is the same, whether he's playing a halfwit in The Village, a socially awkward author in King Kong, or a smooth-talking conman in this movie. Be sure to check kids-in-mind or screenit before watching this one.


[1] Let's be clear that mischievous is pronounced MISS-chi-vuss, not miss-CHEE-vee-uss (mouse over for IPA). There is no i after the v. The same goes for grievous: it's GREE-vuss, not GREE-vee-uss. Perhaps these incorrect pronunciations come about because of the word previous.

[2] As Roger Ebert puts it, "The problem with the movie is that the cons have too many encores and curtain calls." (See http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090520/REVIEWS/905209987/1023.) The same can be said of the movie itself.

[3] To read my reviews of the last two Harry Potter movies see here and here. To read my review of the video game LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1–4, see here.

[4] I'll give her props, though, for learning to do all the hobbies her character demonstrates on film—especially the card trick.

Image attributions:

Old Compass is by Sebastian Niedlich (Grabthar), available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/42311564@N00/2292118012. Don't ask my why I used this as an image for this movie review—it just felt right for some reason. 

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