Blu-ray Review Brad's Status

'Brad's Status' Blu-ray Review: A humorous yet introspective look at one man's midlife crisis

January 23, 2018Ben MK

Brad Sloan (Ben Stiller) is a man in the midst of a midlife crisis. He lives in Sacramento, works for a non-profit, is married to a great woman, Melanie (Jenna Fischer), and has a 17-year-old son, Troy (Austin Abrams), who's a talented pianist and composer. Yet, Brad can't help but feel like a failure in life.

He's 47, and what has he achieved? He compares himself to his friends from college, who are now movie directors featured on the cover of Architectural Digest, hedge fund managers with their own private jet, former White House press secretaries who get treated like royalty everywhere they go, and retired-at-40 business moguls who live on a tropical island with not one, but two girlfriends half their age. But as Brad eventually comes to realize, success is all about perspective, and sometimes you just have to step back and take stock of what really matters.

Humorous yet introspective, this low-key comedy-drama from writer/director Mike White offers a funny and poignant look at growing up, growing old and the undue pressures we put on ourselves when we put ourselves in indirect competition with our peers. Whether you're 17 or 47, everyone can relate.

Brad's Status makes its Blu-ray debut with a nicely textured and appreciably detailed 1080p transfer. Color saturation is on-point, as are contrast and black levels; and there are no egregious image defects to speak of. Overall, however, there's nothing particularly remarkable about the image, and the same goes for the accompanying Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack. Still, both the picture and audio do work in harmony here, as the sound design is largely dialogue-driven, save for the background noise of restaurants, bars and street traffic, only coming to life briefly towards the end with the melodies of Antonín Dvořák's "Humoreseque," heard during a music recital.

VVS Films' single-disc Blu-ray release includes the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Ben Stiller as Brad (2:32) - Writer/Director Mike White and the cast talk about working with Stiller and his performance.
  • Comparing Ourselves (2:31) - White talks about how we as a society are prone to comparing ourselves to others and how that manifests in the character of Brad.
  • Mike White on Writing & Directing (2:30) - White talks about doing dual duty on the film and the cast and crew share their thoughts on working with him.
  • The Story (2:39) - A look at the story and the themes of the movie.

Brad's Status is available from VVS Films as of January 23rd, 2018. The Blu-ray features English and French Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks. The film is presented with English and French subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 42 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my TIFF review of the film, published on September 9th, 2017.

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