From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
“The Brothers Bloom”
Writer-director Rian Johnson puts a distinctive stamp on the con-man movie genre with “The Brothers Bloom,” augmenting the expected complicated plot with raucous good humor, touching revelations and magical realism.
The caper is now available to rent on DVD and Blu-ray and goes on sale in both formats on Jan. 12.
Johnson’s follow-up to his acclaimed 2005 crime-drama “Brick” features some of the most quirky, memorable characters in recent film, and the superlative cast clearly relishes bringing them to cinematic life.
He gives the titular siblings an unforgettable flashback intro: Orphaned brothers and budding con artists Stephen and Bloom (Max Records and Zachary Gordon) carry out their first caper to the rhyming narration of sleight-of-hand expert Ricky Jay.
All grown up, the Brothers Bloom are still pulling scams, with Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) writing complex ploys, Bloom (Oscar winner Adrien Brody) cozying up to the marks, and their enigmatic assistant Bang Bang (scene-stealing Oscar nominee Rinko Kikuchi) providing props and firepower.
But Bloom wants to get out of the con game, so Stephen promises to dream up one last big score. He assigns Bloom to befriend peculiar heiress Penelope Stamp (Oscar winner Rachel Weisz) so they can entangle her in an intricate plot to steal a (supposedly) priceless book. Inexperienced and lonesome, Penelope is easily drawn into the scheme, but the brothers soon learn she’s not so easily fooled.
The first half of “The Brothers Bloom” is easily the most engrossing hour I spent at the movies this year, and Johnson brings the twisty tale to a surprising and ultimately satisfying conclusion.
DVD features: Commentary, behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes, storyboards and image gallery.