Posts Tagged ‘Kyle Mooney’

BRIGSBY BEAR: 4 STARS. “inspirational story about child abduction.”

Against all odds “Brigsby Bear,” a new film starring “Saturday Night Live’s” Kyle Mooney, manages to be an inspirational story about child abduction.

Mooney is James, a man-child with a head of curly hair and 173 episodes of his favourite show, “The Adventures of Brigsby Bear” on VHS. Sort of like Paddington in outer space, the adventure series stars a man in a bear mascot suit saving the universe for the evil SunSnatcher and doling out advice like, “Prophecy is meaningless, only trust your familial units.”

“Brigsby” super fan James lives with his parents Ted and April Mitchum (Mark Hamill and Jane Adams) in an underground bunker, shut off from the rest of the world save for a weekly delivery of a new “Brigsby” tape and a dodgy internet connection. His parents have kept him separated from the world, a world, he was told, where the air was toxic. He’s never been off the property or outside without a gas mask.

One night the FBI raids the bunker arresting Ted and April for abducting James when he was a baby before returning James to his real parents Louise and Greg (Michaela Watkins and Matt Walsh) and sister Aubrey (Ryan Simpkins). Leaving Ted, April and Brigsby behind is a tough adjustment for the naïve man. “Everybody says they’re trying to help me,” he says, “but nobody can get me the new episode of Brigsby Bear.”

Turns out Ted had been making Brigsby episodes like, “Making Friends with the Wizzels,” for an audience of one, James. Filled with good life lessons the shows taught James about loyalty, fairness and perseverance. With no new episodes to study and learn from James, and his new acquaintances Aubrey, Meredith (Alexa Demie, Spencer (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and Detective Vogel (Greg Kinnear)—comes up with a plan to share his favourite character with the world. “Brigsby never gives up and I won’t either,” he says.

James is a Chance the Gardener type character. Like the famous “Being There” he is sweetly unsophisticated with knowledge derived mostly from television. Mooney could have played James as an alien, a fish out of water for whom everything is new—first party, first time with a girl, first bad drug trip—but, Like Peter Sellers’ Chance, he keeps it real, imbuing the odd character with real humanity. “It’s a different reality than I thought,” he says of world outside the bunker and he has trouble fitting into it but he never falls into caricature.

I kept waiting for “Brigsby Bear” to develop an edge or to get ugly or to collapse under the weight of its quirkiness, but it doesn’t. It’s a sweetheart of a film about loyalty, the power of art as a coping device and a source of inspiration, the line between passion and obsession, but most importantly, it’s about accepting people for who they are.


Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 3.34.36 PMRichard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliott have a look at the weekend’s big releases, “Deadpool” with Ryan Reynolds as The Merc with the Mouth, “Zoolander 2,” Ben Stiller’s fifteen years in the making sequel to his 2001 comedy cult hit and “How to Be Single,” Dakota Johnson’s sex and the city.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 9.46.54 AMRichard and “Canada AM” host Marci Ien dissect the weekend’s big releases, “Deadpool” with Ryan Reynolds as The Merc with the Mouth, “Zoolander 2,” Ben Stiller’s fifteen years in the making sequel to his 2001 comedy cult hit and “How to Be Single,” Dakota Johnson’s sex and the city.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

ZOOLANDER 2: 1 STAR. “a super white hot blazingly stupid fashion faux pas.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 10.43.42 AM“Zoolander 2,” the fifteen years in the making follow-up to the 2001 comedy hit, finds former “Blue Steel” supermodel Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) “out of fashion,” literally and figuratively. Following a tragic event involving his wife and his Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good, Derek stepped away from fashion and the world. He now lives the life of a “hermit crab,” complete with a long beard that obscures his “really, really, really, really, really ridiculously good looking face.”

When some of the most beautiful people in the world turn up dead, their Instagram images frozen in time in perma-duckface, Derek’s most famous facial expression, Zoolander and his past partner Hansel (Owen Wilson) are tricked into travelling to Rome to uncover who is behind this evil plot to rid the world of good looking celebrities.

In the Eternal City the dim-witted models will search for Derek’s long-lost son—whose blood may contain the secret to eternal fashionability—battle fashion criminal Mugato (Will Ferrell) and meet new high-powered fashionista All (Benedict Cumberbatch). Aiding the boys is Valentina (Penélope Cruz), a former swimsuit model troubled by her inability to “transition to print and runway work,” now working as an agent for Interpol’s Global Fashion Division.

“Zoolander 2’s” main joke isn’t the Blue Steel, the pouty-lipped move that made Zoolander a superstar, or the dim-witted antics of Derek and Hansel. No, the movie’s best joke is its commentary on how quickly the best-by date comes for modern day celebrities. The speed of popular culture has revved considerably since 2001 and what seems hip today may be passé tomorrow. Fashion is fleeting, as cameos from Anna Wintour, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs demonstrate, but the big question is   has “Zoolander 2” reached its expiration date?

I usually avoid the scatological in my reviews but suffice to say any movie whose best joke involves the morphing of the word “faces” into feces over and over, that features a hotel made of “reclaimed human waste” and subtitles itself with “No. 2” is really asking for it.

To put it more delicately, villain Mugato marvels at how “super white hot blazingly stupid” Derek is, and you’ll do the same thing about the film. Stupid can be OK if it’s funny but “Zoolander 2” leaves the laughs on the runway. Stiller’s mugging gets tired quickly and the simple, juvenile jokes were much funnier fifteen years ago when we heard them the first time. To use the movie’s own dialogue against itself, “You guys are so old-school,” says Don Atari (Kyle Mooney), “so lame.”

Stiller, who directs and co-wrote the script, jam packs every frame with with cameos in a desperate grab for relevancy. Everyone from Justin Bieber (who appearance may please non- Beliebers) to Joe Jonas and Katy Perry to Ariana Grande decorate the screen, while Susan Sarandon does a “Rocky Horror” call back and Billy Zane demonstrates that he is no longer an actor, but a pop-culture punchline. I doubt even Neil deGrasse Tyson could scientifically explain why he chose to appear in this dreck.

Fred Armisen as an eleven-year-old manager of social media tries his best to make his brief role strange-funny while Will Ferrell’s Mugatu is essentially an audition to play an alternate universe Bond villain.

The best thing about “Zoolander 2” that it is such a fashion faux pas and so desperately unfunny it’s hard to imagine Stiller and Company making a third one fifteen years from now.