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post #1 of 3 Old 01-02-2018, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Brad's Status Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews writer/director Mike White’s entertaining drama about A father that takes his son to tour colleges on the East Coast, and meets up with an old friend who makes him feel inferior about his life's choices.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Universal - 2017
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 102 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.00:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Ben Stiller, Jenna Fischer, Michael Sheen, Austin Abrams, Luke Wilson
Written & Directed by: Mike White
Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: January 2, 2018

"The Success You’ve Been Searching for May be Right Next to You"

My Take:

Plagued by feelings of inadequacy in comparison to his overly successful college friends, Brad begins to doubt his own life’s choices and contributions, as his prodigy son explores the beginnings of his own. Brad’s Status is a thoughtful examination of the complexities of getting older and handling others’ perceptions pf self in the modernly connected world.

I have generally found writer/director Mike White’s films to be wonderfully effectual at spinning character driven stories that revolve around grounded subject matter that has a genuine flavor. Brad’s Status is yet another example, based on plot that centers on Brad, a middle class, nebbish of a guy, who is going through a midlife crisis. Brad is financially secure, but feels that his choices in a career path have fallen short, of both his expectations, as well as those around him, at least from his perspective. Seeing the successes that his college friends have had in their careers, Brad has found himself envious, and willing to blame his “failure” on everyone, feeling that it is their shortcoming as friends/relatives/spouse that have held him back.

Brad has essentially disconnected himself from his marriage and relationship with his son, opting to drift along, wallowing in self doubt. It isn’t until Brad and his son take a trip to visit colleges in New England that Brad, through a series of personal revelations, comes to realize that his greatest achievement has been 17 years in the making, proving that he is anything but a failure.

I thoroughly enjoyed Brad’s Status. Its personal story has a contemporary feel, with a bit of social commentary that isn’t overdone, as it speaks to our focus on wealth/success which can sometimes lead to a jaded outlook that prevents the ability to see the positives in life. There is a bit of truth, humor, and poignant drama that is underscored by a very solid performance by Ben Stiller, who shares wonderful onscreen chemistry with Austin Abrams. The ensemble of seasoned actors that portray the various people connected to Brad’s life is spot on as well. I wound up watching Brad’s Status twice, once with my wife, and then again with my son, when he was home for a visit. It was just as good the second time. ‘Nuff said.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Brad’s Status comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 Mbps.

Colors are effectively used in this film to help set the tone/setting based upon the mood of the scene. The chroma range isn’t broad and hues can vary from being sullen and inanimate to warm and inviting. Skin tones are warm with natural highlights and descriptive variation. Images onscreen were exquisitely detailed and sharp with superb depth of field and visible texture during wide angle shots. Contrast is spot on and blacks are deep with revealing delineation that provides excellent perceptibility during scenes shot at night or in lower lighting. The video has a pristine quality that is free of video related artifacts.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices are rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for active surround activity and extended dynamics however there is frequent use of atmospheric sounds that utilize the entire soundstage in support of the exterior/interior venues depicted in the film. The end result is an excellent audio presentation that renders the soundtrack’s elements with aplomb.

Bonus Features:
  • A Look at Ben Stiller as Brad
  • A Culture of Comparing Ourselves
  • Mike White on Directing His Own Script
  • The Story of Brad’s Status
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Brad’s Status comes from writer/director Mike White, and spins an entertaining character driven tale that speaks to relevant themes as seen through the eyes of a guy in need of a reality check. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring top notch high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a worthwhile supplemental set. Brad’s Status is highly recommended viewing and deserves a place near the top of your Blu-ray rental queue.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems
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Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 01-03-2018 at 04:28 AM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-02-2018, 06:23 PM
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Thanks Ralph for a great review. I'm looking forward to this film. We missed it in the theater. Visiting colleges with my son last year will be a touch stone for me in this film.
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-02-2018, 06:58 PM
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Knew nothing about this film until your great review, Ralph...definitely going to give it a rental after reading your review.

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