The Brothers Bloom

It’s been a long few years since Rian Johnson’s first film Brick but Johnson’s follow-up, The Brothers Bloom, is finally about to hit theaters, with a limited release in NY/LA on May 15 and expanding wider in the weeks following. My full review of The Brothers Bloom won’t be published until the 15th, but in the meantime, I can tell you that I’ve seen the film and was completely blown away. Rian Johnson has successfully crafted what I would call a con film with a heart, and continues to live up to his promise as one of the most exciting directors working today.
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The Brothers Bloom

Rian Johnson‘s (Brick) “big fun globetrotting con man movie” The Brothers Bloom doesn’t hit theaters until May 29th, but right now you can watch the first 7 minutes on Hulu. Things to look out for: One of the young Brothers Bloom is played by Where the Wild Things star Max Records, as Rian points out in the intro. You might recognize the voice in the voice over narration as Magician Ricky Jay, who also provided some narration for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. But this opening sequence introduces you to the quirky tone and characters of this story. It’s a great movie. I highly recommend it, and can’t wait to see it again myself. Check out the first seven minutes, embedded after the jump.
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brothers bloom poster new vs old

The new poster for Rian Johnson‘s The Brothers Bloom is much like the new trailer — Summit has basically added a bunch of critic quotes. The big problem now is that the new poster doesn’t really tell you much about the tone, genre or story. The poster features a photo of a bunch of actors holding white and orange colored umbrellas, an image that doesn’t immediately convey “quirky conman comedy”. Not that I loved the older poster, but at least it featured shots of the main stars with packs of money, guns, and even a car explosion. Unable to explain what the movie is about visually, they have added an overwhelming wall of text quotes.

I really loved this film when I caught it in September, and have been dying to see it again. I really hope it finds an audience, but you never know with a poster like this. I would have much rather seen a Hollywood-ized version of Zach Johnson’s poster. Check out the new poster in larger resolution after the jump.

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Rian Johnson‘s cousin Zach Johnson created an alternative poster for The Brothers Bloom. Zach is responsible for a lot of the hand-drawn artwork included in the film. He created the alternative poster as a free side project, and Summit liked it so much they added it to the film’s official website. Check out the full poster and the artist’s thoughts after the jump.

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The Brothers Bloom Movie Trailer #2

brothers bloom
Summit Entertainment has released “Trailer #2” for The Brothers Bloom, Rian Johnson‘s follow-up to the critically acclaimed indie high school noir film Brick. I use quotation marks around “Trailer #2” because the movie trailer is not much different from the original trailer that was released in July before the film got pushed back. The revised trailer includes some new title cards, including “From the Writer/Director of Brick”. I somewhat remember that Summit was criticized on the blogs for not mentioning Johnson’s debut film, which has now become a cult film among film fanatics, in the original trailer release. The trailer also features the addition of some new critic pull quotes, including one from my sometimes hyperbolic friend Alex at FirstShowing.

You might be wondering why I’m posting this trailer if it shows the exact same footage from the first trailer. I’m not quite sure. First of all, its a slow news day. Second, it has been so long (almost 9 months) since that trailer premiered, and with the film beign released in theaters on May 15th (wide on the 29th), I thought it might be good for a refresher. But honestly, I really loved this film . I saw it during my 30-day film festival trip, traveling from Telluride to Toronto to Fantastic Fest. Brothers Bloom definitely ranks up there with some of the other great North American premieres I saw during the trip, such as The Wrestler and Slumdog Millionaire. Hopefully that will give you some indication of how much I enjoyed the movie. And it’s definitely one of the movies that grows on you more with time. I can’t wait to see it again. Watch the revised trailer after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

The Brothers Bloom Moved to Summer

A bit of disappointing news. Summit Entertainment has decided to delay the release of Brick director Rian Johnson‘s acclaimed con adventure film The Brothers Bloom from early January to May 15th 2009 in select markets, and May 29th wide.

Moving the film to film to late May shows confidence in the film, but putting it out on May 29th up against Up, which looks to be Pixar’s most adult film to date, might not be the best idea in the world.

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TIFF Video Blog: Brothers Bloom and JCVD

[flv: 300 226]

Yesterday morning, I caught Cinematical‘s James Rocchi off guard, and after totally butchering the pronunciation of his last name (hey, for the last two years I’ve just been calling him “James”), I got his opinion on Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom and JCVD. Eric D Snider also makes a quick cameo appearance. Sorry for the lackluster video quality, the theater was very dark, and apparently the Flip ultra camera doesn’t work well in extreme low light conditions.

TIFF Review: The Brothers Bloom

One of the reasons why I love The Brothers Bloom, is because the film cons the audience. The Brothers Bloom is a story about two brothers, disguised as a love story, disguised as a con movie. The perfect con is where everyone involved gets what they wanted. By the time the credits roll, you will be happy to have experienced a film you weren’t expecting.

The Brothers Bloom have been in the con game since they were young children. Now, along with their speechless explosive expert sidekick Bang Bang, have become the best con team in the world. Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) writes his cons “like dead Russians write novels, full of thematic arks and symbolism.” Now in his 30’s, Bloom (Adrien Brody) wants out of the Con game, hoping to live a real story for a change. But he is lured into one last con, to trick an eccentric shut-in rich woman named Penelope Stamp (Rachel Weisz), out of millions of dollars. But when Bloom falls for the mark, the con begins to unravel.

Comically absurd and fantastically fun, The Brothers Bloom is like a film from another era in another dimension. Weisz is wonderfully cute, and Ruffalo tells a story “so well that it becomes real.” The only problem with Rian Johnson’s follow-up to 2005’s critically acclaimed high school noir indie Brick, is that it is hard to resist comparing it to the filmmakers triumphant directorial debut. And it would be extremely unfair to compare the two films.

Johnson will likely draw comparisons to Paul Thomas Anderson and Wes Anderson. For example, the opening narration is done by Ricky Jay, who also provided the incredible bookend narration for PTA’s Magnolia. Johnson’s use of the swish pan, sharply cut montages, the core brother story, and cast of quirky characters is reminiscent of Wes Anderson. If you’re going to be compared to anyone, Anderson and Anderson are certainly good company. Johnson brings to the table absurd comic moments, sharp and stylish dialogue, and a story with more twists and turns than an elaborate card trick. While Weisz is juggling chainsaws on top of a unicycle, you will believe a lie can tell the truth.

/Film Rating: 8 out of 10

Exclusive Photos: The Brothers Bloom

Summit Entertainment has provided us with two new exclusive images for Rian Johnson‘s Brick follow-up, The Brothers Bloom. We’ll be seeing the film on Thursday at the Toronto Film Festival, and we also will be talking with Johnson during the week. So please check back.

The Brothers Bloom are Bloom (Academy Award® winner Adrien Brody) and Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust, intrigue and the most complex literary-inspired setups imaginable.  Now they’ve decided to take on one last job – showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress named Penelope (Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz) the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world – from New Jersey to Greece to Russia and Prague –in pursuit of priceless artifacts wanted by some of their most unsavory competitors.An upbeat adventure featuring a renowned cast, this film is a whirlwind of action, intrigue, and romance with such scene-stealing supporting characters as Bang Bang (Academy Award® nominee Rinko Kikuchi) and Diamond Dog (Maximilian Schell).

After Rian Johnson’s audacious debut, Brick (a film that fans of Miller’s Crossing should give a try, as it contains significant similarities in style and substance), I started to get psyched for his follow-up, The Brothers Bloom. Bloom features a plot about millionaire grifters and stars Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, and Mark Ruffalo.

On the /Filmcast, we had already booked the weekend to review the film in October, but unfortunately we’re now hearing from Boxofficemojo, with confirmation from Johnson’s message board, that the film’s original theatrical release on October 24th will become a limited release on December 19th, followed by a wide release on January 16th 2009. According to Johnson:

There were a few reasons for the move: October and November are crowded as hell, it’s a tough tough market, especially for a smart unique film like ours, and we’d have a week or two at the most to sink or swim. Whereas concentrating on a couple markets for awards consideration in December, then pushing the wide in the more open January slot just seemed like a better use of resources. Mostly though, what convinced me it was a good idea was that it gives us more time to get more awareness of the movie out there.

Johnson also discussed the key role that film festivals would play in promoting the film:

There are alot of films competing for attention, the more time I have to travel around to film festivals, do interviews, show and talk about the film, the better. And that’s the one consolation I can give: I’m going to be doing the rounds at a TON of regional US festivals, I’m hoping to hit nearly every big one that happens between now and the release. So if you live near a big city with a festival, chances are you’ll get a shot at seeing it before January.

The film will be screened at the Toronto Film Festival, which means many people including our fearless leader Peter Sciretta will get a chance to check it out. I’m still looking forward to this film, and if a later release date means more promotion and hence, a higher possibility of success for Johnson, I’m all for it. Still, it pains me to wait even longer. Go here to check out the trailer for The Brothers Bloom

via Cinematical