Comedy film ‘Brad’s Status’ gives tribute to fathers, family, friendship

In getting the inspiration for Brad’s Status’ screenplay, writer-director Mike White shares his thoughts on family, relationships, social media, and fears as one grows old in this Director’s Statement:

“I wanted to write something to tell my father I love him and think he is a success, even though he feels like he never lived up to his expectations for himself. I also saw with him that the relationship one has with the world (status) can be as important (or more) as the relationship one has to family, partners, friends. I see that in myself in that—like Brad—I’m always having this running commentary in my head, comparing myself to others and the success I perceive they have — and I’m always either building myself up or tearing myself down.”

“I thought movies rarely tackle this aspect of our lives in a relatable way. How our thoughts about ourselves cannibalize most of our time. And how much we feel is on the line all the time.”

“I also wanted to write about comparative anxiety in the culture at large. How we aren’t only keeping up with the Joneses, but are keeping up with the Kardashians; through TV and social media we are seeing the lifestyles of millionaires and billionaires and how it creates this sense of lack and envy.  Everyone seems to be winning the lottery around us. And how in our consumer capitalist culture this desire to live these extreme lifestyles can be both personally painful and globally destructive.”

“Lastly, after writing Year of the Dog, Enlightened, and Beatriz at Dinner with female protagonists, I wanted to write a movie about men and their discontents, to do the midlife male crisis movie honestly — with some satirical teeth — but also compassion.”

Brad’s Status tells the story of Brad (Ben Stiller) who has a satisfying career and a comfortable life in suburban Sacramento where he lives with his sweet-natured wife, Melanie (Jenna Fischer), and their musical prodigy son, Troy (Austin Abrams). But it’s not quite what he imagined during his college glory days. Showing Troy around Boston, where Brad went to university, he can’t help comparing his life with those of his four best college friends: a Hollywood bigshot (White), a hedge-fund founder (Luke Wilson), a tech entrepreneur (Jemaine Clement), and a political pundit and bestselling author (Michael Sheen). As he imagines their wealthy, glamorous lives, he wonders if cozy middle-class domesticity is the best he will ever achieve. But when circumstances force him to reconnect with his former friends, Brad begins to question whether he has really failed or if, in some essential ways, their lives are more flawed than they appear.

Opening across Philippine cinemas on October 18, 2017, ‘Brad’s Status’ is released and distributed by Solar Pictures.

‘Happy Death Day’ tops weekend opening in US box office at $26.5-M

It’s celebration time for Universal Pictures and Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day as the new suspense-thriller opened at No.1 in North America this weekend October 6-8, with $26.5 million from 3,149 locations.

Check out Happy Death Day in Philippine cinemas October 18, 2017.

A horror spin on Groundhog Day, Happy Death Day centers on Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) as a woman who wakes up to the same day — her birthday — every day, and is murdered every time. Christopher B. Landon directed the film based on a script by Scott Lobdell.

The film, which earned a B CinemaScore, particularly appealed to female and younger moviegoers — the audience was split 54% female, as opposed to 46% male, and 63% was under age 25. The release date was pegged to Friday the 13th and the weeks leading up to Halloween.

“We’re obviously thrilled with the release,” said Universal’s executive VP of domestic distribution Jim Orr. “It’s an original, scary, and exciting twist on the genre,” he added, pointing to the studio’s successful partnership with Blumhouse. “They bring a lot more to the table than the standard genre fare.”

Earlier this year in January, Blumhouse’s Split opened to a monster $40 million in January, and went on to earn $278.3 million worldwide. Then, the next month, Get Out was a smash hit as well with a $33.4 million opening and $253.1 million in global grosses by the end of its run. The production house is also responsible for the hugely profitable Purge and Paranormal Activity franchises.

Happy Death Day is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.