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Brian and Charles (2022, Amazon Prime Streaming) Review

Brian and Charles (2022, Amazon Prime Streaming) Review
« on: May 14, 2023, 02:30:51 PM »

Studio:  Universal
Release Date:  8/30/22 (Blu-ray)
Rating:  PG
Film Grade:  B-

The Story:  Meet Brian, an eccentric, middle-aged tinkerer who spends his days finding discarded treasures that he turns into creative inventions.  Spending his days either alone in his workshop or making small repairs for others, it takes a pair of chance encounters for him to realize that he’s missing companionship in his life.  So, like any normal inventor, he decides to make a robotic companion to help him out.

My Take:  Sometimes I’ll find some interesting movies during my weekly search for trailers to show before our feature presentation, and that’s when I find titles like this.

Part mockumentary (although the basis for this is never explained), part romance, part drama, part coming-of-age, this small film is a bit hard to classify, but it is filled with whimsy, charm, and humor that follows from the rather silly, but still relatable, setup.  The result is a movie that prompts chuckles from the audience, even if it’s not an outright comedy.

David Earl infuses Brian with an honest and sympathetic portrayal of the lonely, socially-awkward creative type who always has a sparkle in his eye.  Similarly, Chris Hayward breathes life into Charles, who we see grow from infant to adult through the course of the movie.  The two actors also wrote the script, and together they’ve created a friendship that grows and evolves.  They’re joined by Louise Brealey, who brings a new element into the story as the also timid villager, Hazel.  Director Jim Archer brings out credible and natural performances from all of the side characters as well.

The story draws from elements of Frankenstein (minus the horror), Short Circuit, Napoleon Dynamite, and even boy-and-his-dog movies, but stands completely on its own. The documentary-style is almost abandoned through the middle of the movie, only to come back at the end.  It almost feels like it was an element that was there at the beginning of the story’s development but never fully flushed out.

The production values are a perfect match for the movie.  Brian’s house and workshop show his old cottage filled with all manner of inventions and treasures, easily mistaken by others as junk.  Charles is a product of this, and even give his ridiculous appearance (with more than a passing resemblance to Charles Nelson Reilly), the character is given enough life for the audience to look past it and see him as real.  It does show how a modest budget can be used to great effect for this kind of movie.
   
Video:  The 4K HDR10 presentation looks sharp and detailed.  The drab, muted colors are evocative of the fall English countryside, giving it a very natural and earthy feel.  Highlights are bright and sharp when called for. There’s no demo material here, but the cinematography fits perfectly with the story.  I didn’t notice any banding or artifacting while watching.

Audio:  A simple 5.1 Dolby presentation, it works fine with the movie. There are a few scenes with some bass that fit right in with the movie.  Again, nothing remarkable, but nothing was wrong either.  Dialog was clear, other than for a couple of villagers, but that is due more to the accents from the actors to my Americanized ears than anything related to the recording.

Final Verdict:  I really wanted to love this movie based on the preview, but came away simply liking it.  Its short run-time of 90 minutes feels about right, so there isn’t a huge investment in it.  There is plenty to enjoy, but it did feel like it was missing something that I can’t quite put my finger on.  I will say it has a satisfactory ending, that punctuates the themes of the story, and that’s something that isn’t overly common these days.

My wife enjoyed it as well, and it made for an fun evening.  It was well worth the watch, but it’s uncertain if it will make it into our library.  This isn’t for viewers that lean toward big Hollywood action-oriented productions, but for anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription who wants to support smaller movies with both imagination and heart, it’s definitely worth a look. And, if you watch all the way through the end credits, you’ll get to hear Charles do a rap song.

As a side note, Amazon has inexplicably labeled this with a sexual content advisory, of which there is absolutely none.  I thought this is worth noting, should anyone raise an eyebrow over the possibility of some bizarre robot/human coupling element that doesn’t exist.

Fun Quote:  “I’ll just sit in this room and rust away then, shall I?”

My Review System:
JVC DLA-RS420 Reference Series D-Ila Projector with 4K eShift4
Elite Screens Sable Frame B2 117” Width with Infinitely Variable Height
Monolith by Monoprice HTP-1 16 Channel Processor with Dirac Live
Monolith by Monoprice 7x200 Watts Amp
Monolith by Monoprice 3x200 Watts + 6x100 Watts Amp
JBL Studio 590 for Left, Center, Right, Wides, and Rears
JBL Studio 580 for Side Surrounds
JBL Studio SCS 8 for Tops
JTR Captivator 1400 Subwoofer X 4
Panasonic DP-UB420 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
NVIDIA Shield Android TV - 4K
HTPC Running madVR (work in progress)
Remote: URC MX-780
Mini DSP 2X4 HD controlling all subwoofers
APC S15 Power Conditioner with Battery Backup

My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

bmoney

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Re: Brian and Charles (2022, Amazon Prime Streaming) Review
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2023, 02:46:54 PM »
Interesting. That’s my first and middle name lol
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

Re: Brian and Charles (2022, Amazon Prime Streaming) Review
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2023, 08:49:38 PM »
Looks interesting. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

AVSCraig

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Re: Brian and Charles (2022, Amazon Prime Streaming) Review
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2023, 01:09:35 AM »
I saw the trailer and was intrigued with this!
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: Brian and Charles (2022, Amazon Prime Streaming) Review
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2023, 11:47:01 AM »
I saw the trailer several weeks ago and was curious as it looked like the quirky and different kind of thing I like to mix in to my movie viewing. Might have to watch it solo though lol. 

Re: Brian and Charles (2022, Amazon Prime Streaming) Review
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2023, 08:40:20 PM »
If you guys liked the trailer, it's very likely you'll like the movie.

This is one of those cases where the preview is an accurate representation of what you can expect from the movie, so it's certainty worth checking out, especially if you're an Amazon Prime customer.

Scott
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

bmoney

  • *****
  • 2484
Re: Brian and Charles (2022, Amazon Prime Streaming) Review
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2023, 07:10:11 AM »
I’ll have to check this out
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

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