The Movie: 7.5/10
I wasn’t going to like it. I didn’t want to like it. I pre-judged based on nothing more than the cover of the DVD and maybe a trailer I had seen a long long time ago. What does this say about my movie watching cred? I’m not sure, but what this movie does for my movie watching enthusiasm is pretty good. I loved it. I laughed. I cried. It made me think and made me shake my head at the weirdness that is being human among humans. Sandra Bullock, wonderful. Billy Bob Thornton…Billy Bob Thornton. I mean come on, he’s Bad Santa and the President from Love Actually rolled into one character most of the time anyway and much to the chagrin of my Billy Bob Lovin’ husband (Ascully.com) he’s not the highlight of this movie by any stretch.
What turned me around from my ‘sigh’ “I guess I’ll watch this movie and try to enjoy it since it’s a rainy day and it’s comfy here in the movie room.” attitude was the very first 5 minutes of the dang thing. Sandra Bullock was at ease, not playing it up, not being Miss Congeniality (like we all know we expect, go on, admit it). She just was the woman, the character we meet who has retreated from her career as a political strategist which apparently went terribly terribly wrong. She is trying to overcome the shitty things she has done in the name of winning political campaigns for other people by isolating herself in a cabin in the woods doing pottery. You can tell she’s tightly wound though, a spring ready to let loose, and all it takes is for the CIA agents who come around to bait the trap. She is presented with what could be her rival, (Thornton) who is backing a rival candidate that the CIA want to win the presidency of Bolivia. Don’t panic, the politics of other countries is exactly the same as it is in our very own, ugly.
We then follow our maven of hatred and back stabbing who will do anything to win her campaign, never mind she’s not the actual candidate. She’s got issues, drinking, erratic behavior, she’s unhinged basically and now we get to see it all hit the fan while she tries to blindly get her guy to be president. She doesn’t care about the actual country, of course, however we meet a few citizens who might just get through that thick skin and head of hers to changes things around….MAYBE!
There are a few flaws with this movie, as always, a few characters who are basically useless or not used correctly, but hey, I was fixated on the story and the unraveling of our leading lady so I don’t mind.
Bullock reminds me that we all label performers unfairly, even me, and that as an artist in their own right they should and can bring us all kinds of characters, stories, and experiences as the watchers of them. I’m glad I wasn’t enthused about this movie, which sounds weird, but it made me sit up and pay more attention once I realized how wrong I was. I’m not a fan of the title, Our Brand is Crisis. It kind of made me think it was about some failing movie star or pop star who needed her image remade by some sleazy promoter…which is kind of true, but it’s way better than that, thankfully.
I recommend this movie highly for anyone who wants to enjoy some laughs, some thinking, some fictional realities that shine a light on our own brainwashing process when it comes to politics. Pair it with The Campaign with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, it’s got the same message, but has more wackiness, and a big heart…aweeee.. I’m going soft! Or maybe I’m just tired of real life political campaigns and rhetoric and bullshit:)
- Sandra Bullock: A Role Like No Other (10 Minutes) – A very short featurette that interviews Sandra Bullock on her preparation for the film. She looks about 10 years younger than she does in the movie for some reason.
- UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover is main reason I was not excited to see this movie, so that means it’s not good. I was wrong, so thankfully I didn’t base my movie watching choice on this image. I wouldn’t have it as a poster, but I would have something else from the movie, maybe one of the political campaign posters used in the story?? Eh, Hollywood, are you listening?
Audio & Video: 8/10
As usual with recent Warner releases Our Brand Is Crisis comes on a BD50 disc which is only half full, please Warner just up the bit rate on these types of releases it really makes sense. The film itself looks great with dark shadows and great flesh tones throughout. Shot on film fine grain is intact and detail is clear and crisp.
The 5.1 lossless DTS-HD MA track is actually quite good. Dialog is the focus of the movie and that comes through the central speaker loud and clear. Music and crowd scenes surround you with a pinpoint clarity that enables you to hear individual conversations in various parts of the room. This is a great track that makes the movie feel more alive.
Overall Score 7.5/10