Brigsby Bear

Brigsby Bear is one of those movies that came out earlier in the year at a weird time, then everyone forgot about it. An indie film, not a blockbuster, and a weird one at that, it was easy for people to ignore.

I know I wanted to see it, but hurricanes, day screenings and more made me have to wait for closer to the DVD release unfortunately.

I mean. Movie about dudes in bear costumes, or something like that. What is not to love!

Based entirely on screenshots, it could be one of the trippiest films of the year too.

James (Kyle Mooney) thought he was a normal kid adult dude, living with his parents (Mark Hamill, Jane Adams), in their underground bunker. James couldn’t leave without the gas mask, so he just lived in his room for the most part. The good news is that even though the end of the world was bleak and lonely, he still was able to get his weekly episode of Brigsby Bear, going on many many years. James learned a lot from Brigsby Bear, its lessons always seemed to really be appropriate to his life, and he chatted on the internet about various Bear theories.

But then the cops came. They arrested his parents and took him away, and they didn’t even need gas masks. It turns out they were not his real parents, he was abducted at a very young age by the couple and lied to for decades. His real parents (Matt Walsh, Michaela Watkins) had been worried forever, but are glad to have their son back. Turns out that he now has a younger sister (Ryan Simpkins) and a lot to learn about the real world.

The biggest shocker is that no one knows about Brigsby Bear, his one obsession since he can remember anything. It was a show developed by his “parents” as a distraction and no one else knows what the hell he is talking about. Shit. Well, maybe if he can get some of the tapes from evidence, he can show the world. Or maybe he can just continue the story on his own, so that everyone can find out about the wonders of Brigsby Bear and why he is the best hero known to mankind. And bear kind.

Also featuring Greg Kinnear, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., and Alexa Demie.

And this field was juuuuust right.

I didn’t know what to expect with Brigsby Bear, but I certainly didn’t expect that. Our lead was introduced and freed from the bunker all within the first 15 or so minutes. Most of the film is him adapting poorly to the real world, while those who want to care about him find it quite difficult to interact with him.

And of course, the bear. I frankly wanted to have a lot more of the bear videos in the movie. If it was just doubled, I would have been ecstatic. We want to see the mythos he grew up with and not just vague explanations about the characters. Show us, don’t tell us.

That would be basically my only complaint. We have a lot of real feeling characters, and a bear, that is going to change so many of their lives. It is one of the strangest ways to look at a child kidnapping story, but it is great that the filmmakers are keeping things fresh. I love a bit of a bizarre film to keep me realizing what bad films are also coming out.

Brigsby Bear will end up being a bit of a bore for a lot of people watching it. The good news is that those people are wrong, and probably wish I was reviewing Transformers: The Last Knight now instead.

3 out of 4.

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