I haven’t had nearly as much time to devote to writing reviews lately as I’d like. Relocating the entire TCS Empire out here to Hollywood has been one amazingly time consuming and slightly soul crushing experience. But, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by to write up a quick review of Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best before it begins its theatrical roll out to cities across the country.
This movie, (and others like it), are the reason that TheCinemaSource exists. This is what keeps us inching along while the big guys fly by us at warp speed thanks to their parent companies and ridiculous cash flows. We fight tooth and nail to stay in the game so that when a special movie like this comes around we can be here to help promote it and get the word out so as many people as possible have the chance to see it.
Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best is a small independent film that is so good it gives people a reason to get their asses off of their own couches and back into actual movie theater seats. And it’s not because you need to see it on a massive screen because of insane special effects and thank God it has nothing to do with the ridiculous 3D movement that continues to plague our nation, the reason is far simpler than that; it’s a real movie.
Do you remember that feeling you used to get when you’d go see a movie without seeing the trailer or a million photos online before-hand and didn’t know what actors were about to show up on the screen? It’s an old school notion now in our post-internet society, but people used to walk into small theaters that had maybe 3 or 4 screens and randomly decide what movie to see based on the posters they had up on the wall across from the box office. Sometimes they sucked, but often times they were amazing. They made you laugh, they made you cry, and most importantly they gave you something to think about and plenty to talk about on your way home.
Brooklyn Brothers didn’t make me cry but it definitely checked all of those other boxes. And afterwards, honestly, I was a happier guy for the experience of having seen it.
Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best is the story of two musical misfits and their dogged determination to prove their worth in spite of constant rejection, self-doubt and overwhelming odds. Call me crazy, but that describes a lot of people in our country these days and taking a break from all of the pessimistic ‘realism’ and seeing guys like this ultimately find happiness in an unconventional way is a damn good way to spend 97 minutes.
Writer / Director / Star Ryan O’Nan is a name and a face that you might not immediately recognize, but if this film is given the respect it deserves you’ll be hearing his name a lot more in the very near future. He had something of a Ryan Gosling circa Half Nelson charm and presence about him in this film that immediately draws the audience in despite his characters negative outlook on life. He’s witty, a talented actor and not too rough on the eyes if we’re being perfectly honest.
His co-star Michael Weston audiences will most probably recognize from his recurring role on Law & Order SVU as Detective Benson’s estranged brother, Simon. He’s also someone that deserves more attention and adoration based on his talent. He’s wonderful in this film and is able to show more layers and depth than we’ve ever seen in his TV guest appearances.
Now the rest of the cast will be immediately recognizable to you. We’ve got Christopher McDonald, Melissa Leo, Andrew McCarthy, Wilmer Valderamma and Jason Ritter. Whenever you see name actors like these showing up to work on an independent film for no money, you know you’ve got something special.
The first three quarters of the film are laugh out loud funny and the final quarter is genuine, heartfelt and a realistic conclusion to the crazy journey that these guys take. It may not redefine the way movies are made or anything like that, but I can guarantee it’s an enjoyable film that will surprise you and leave you with a big ‘ol grin on your face.
And if you’re a music lover you will be amazed by the original music that was created for the film using acoustic guitar and a ton of baby toys. That’s right, baby toys. Ohh yeah and there’s a Pink Musical Moose in the film too. And with that, I’ve already said too much.
Check your local theater listings and find out when Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best is coming to your town and get out there and support these guys!