Brigsby Bear [Celluloid Hero]
Brigsby Bear (2017)
I went into this movie about 99% blind - I think the only thing I had seen about it was from following Mark Hamill on Instagram. I knew Kyle Mooney was a weird awkward funny guy on SNL, and seeing a knockoff of Teddy Ruxpin set me up for a typical SNL-style quirky oddball comedy. What I got was way heavier, way more interesting, and way better.
It's somewhat hard to explain this plot without giving away a huge detail, so I'll dance as best I can. James is a 30ish guy who lives with parents. The only entertainment he has ever seen is a kid's show called "Brigsby Bear"; it's part sci-fi, part educational, and has been running every week for as long as James can remember. When the show comes to an abrupt end, he ventures out into the world to finalize the series, creating his own movie to serve as the series finale.
I expected an 80s nostalgia trip, something involving a guy who was just unable to let go of his favorite show as a kid. I expected something like Be Kind Rewind where a bunch of guys re-enacted old shows. I ended up getting something with a real heavy shadow cast over what could have been cutesy, but done in a way that worked perfectly. It's been a while since I had a movie that I felt fully emotionally invested in, but I was so drawn to James and what he was going through.
It wasn't entirely perfect, and some of the supporting characters went through changes that felt rushed; their motivations were there because they moved the plot, as opposed to making actual sense. The acting across the board was great, even if the characters themselves didn't always live up to it.
It's weird to say, but I think the less you know about this movie going into it, the better. I went into it with vague expectations, and got something completely different. If you want a fun, unique experience, you should definitely dig into "Brigsby Bear".
[Celluloid Hero] gives "Brigsby Bear" a 7 out of 10.