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Mike White
Ben Stiller, Jenna Fischer, Austin Abrams
Writing Credits:
Mike White

A father takes his son to tour colleges on the East Coast and meets up with an old friend who makes him feel inferior about his life's choices.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$89,921 on 4 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 102 min.
Price: $26.98
Release Date: 1/2/2018

• “A Look At Ben Stiller As Brad” Featurette
• “A Culture of Comparing Ourselves” Featurette
• “Mike White on Directing His Own Script” Featurette
• “The Story of Brad’s Status” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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Brad's Status [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 5, 2018)

For a look at a middle age in the era of social media, we go to 2017’s Brad’s Status. The operator of a non-profit group, Brad Sloan (Ben Stiller) seems to lead a happy life with wife Melanie (Jenna Fischer) and teen son Troy (Austin Abrams).

However, Brad sees how much more successful his various pals are - a factor exacerbated by the accomplishments they trumpet online – and he feels like an underachiever. As he takes Austin on a tour of colleges, Brad comes to terms with his life and achievements.

Because I’ve written about 7000 reviews, I’ve obviously watched many, many movies for which I couldn’t be called the “target audience”. Teen flicks, kid tales, female-oriented stories – throw a rock at your monitor and you’ll hit a film outside of my theoretical scope.

As a 50-year-old middle-class white male, though, I’m the exact target audience for Status. If I can’t identify with this movie, who can?

And I do connect to it in some ways, as I can relate to the form of self-appraisal on display here. I go through the same kind of comparisons with peers that Brad does, though my friends aren’t nearly as successful as his.

Which becomes a flaw, as Status takes a totally relatable topic and makes it less so due to the superstar nature of Brad’s friends. It’s not enough for them to do pretty well – they all have to be millionaires/moguls and among the elite.

What are the odds that one guy will be pals with four men who all go on to such heights? Slim to none, and this stretch of reality becomes an issue. Couldn’t at least one of Brad’s buddies been an average Joe, too?

In addition, Status makes it more difficult to connect to Brad because it paints him as such a self-absorbed, whiny prat. He doesn’t come across like a good guy going through a brief crisis – instead he seems like a narcissist who should count his lucky stars for what he has.

Status follows a fairly inevitable plot progression that gives it the feeling of a more cynical take on Like an edgier It’s a Wonderful Life. Every once in a while, the movie connects, but it comes across more like an idea for a story than a well-thought-out character piece.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D

Brad’s Status appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.00:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a largely solid visual presentation.

From start to finish, sharpness looked strong. Only the slightest hint of softness affected wide shots, and those examples occurred too infrequently to cause problems. Instead, the film looked concise and well-defined.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. I also failed to detect any source flaws.

In terms of colors, the movie featured a palette that emphasized a golden/orange tone, with a fair amount of teal as well.. Across the board, the hues looked positive, as they showed nice clarity and breadth and came out well.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows appeared fairly clear and smooth, though some interiors could be a bit thick. Overall, this turned into a mostly strong image.

I thought that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Status seemed fine but it didn’t excel because of a lack of ambition. Like most dramas/comedies, the movie featured a limited soundfield that strongly favored the forward channels. It showed nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides.

Panning was decent, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement. A few scenes opened up better – like those on planes or beaches - but most of the movie stayed with limited imaging.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility.

Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score and songs showed positive dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B-“ but didn’t particularly impress.

We find four short featurettes here: “A Look At Ben Stiller As Brad” (2:32), “A Culture of Comparing Ourselves” (2:32), “Mike White on Directing His Own Script” (2:31) and “The Story of Brad’s Status” (2:40). Across these, we hear from writer/director/actor Mike White, producer David Bernad, and actors Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Luke Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and Michael Sheen.

The clips look at cast, characters and performances, story and themes, and White’s work as director. These offer a handful of decent notes but they mostly exist to promote the film.

The disc opens with ads for I Do… Until I Don’t, Home Again, A Bad Moms Christmas, and Marshall. No trailer for Status appears here.

As a tale of middle-aged self-appraisal, Brad’s Status lacks much depth. It comes with an unlikable lead and a general absence of real meaning or character involvement. The Blu-ray provides very good picture with decent audio and minor supplements. I wanted to like Status but found it to become a disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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