Brassed Off

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:47 Long
A Review by:
– Stu Gotz

Brassed Off
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald, Ewan McGregor, Stephen Tompkinson
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Miramax
Release Date: 1996
Kiddie Movie: See “Date movie.”
Date Movie: Why waste more good money by bringing someone else along.
Gratuitous Sex: Would have made this movie more bearable.
Gratuitous Violence: No.
Action: No.
Laughs: No.
Memorable Scene: A financially troubled miner, whose wife has left him, is forced to make extra money by being a clown (with really big shoes). His depression grows too great so he hangs himself. In the hospital you see him being rolled in on a gurney with his big clown shoes sticking up. I almost pissed myself with laughter.
Memorable Quote: “Would you like to come up for some coffee?” Reply “I don’t drink coffee.” Response “I didn’t have any coffee anyway.”
Directed By: Mark Herman

“Easily the first great film of 1997!” Huh?!? What??? What movie did the critic from NBC-TV go see? It certainly could not have been the snooze fest of a movie that I saw. All I can think is that the “Brassed Off” promotions people put “Two Thumbs Up!” the bum holes of some critics to get such high praise.

I’m told that the movie’s title, “Brassed Off”, is British slang for “Pissed Off.” Well, quite honestly, I’m pissed off that I had to sit awake through this whole movie. Let me tell you, it was a tough battle to fight off the “head nods,” but I managed to make it through the whole “slow, not making a clear point, cliché” of a movie. This movie did have a lot of potential because it did touch upon so many emotional subjects, and there- in lies the problem I had with “Brassed Off.” – It just “touches” upon the character issues. Just as you, the audience, gets interested in a story line, the movie takes off in another direction, and that really brassed me off. This could have been a movie that made a dramatic point about how the closing of a coal mine can emotionally and financially affect the community surrounding it, and furthermore it could have showed how politics, both nationally and locally, enter into such situations. And you know, “Brassed Off” could have even followed one of two love lines: That of love growing or that of love dying. It does show all of that, but not with as great of detail or success that I would have liked. Instead the movie focuses far too much time on how a simple town band loosely holds together the community during it’s time of strife. Let’s be realistic, who is really gonna go off and toot a horn when their marriage and job are on the line, yet the movie chooses this fruitless story line and again does it with poor detail.

“Brassed Off” was an ambitious movie that tried to drive too may points home in too short of a time and therefore failed on all fronts. I really can’t recommend you spending your money to see this movie and seriously doubt that you would be able to even if you wanted to. “Brassed Off” was scheduled for a very limited release in LA and New York on May 23rd, and from there I fear it won’t get too far because I’m sure most people and “blue-collar” critics like myself would agree that this was a movie that tried and failed. I can only give “Brassed Off” 1 1/2 out of 5 stars.

I kinda feel real bad that I had to basically trash this movie, but I really thought it sucked! – Maybe I’m just an unsophisticated dolt. I’m sure that a lot of people may like this movie, but if you’re not sure if you want to go see it, ask yourself the following question:

Question: If I were to walk into a lounge (not a bar, pub, or crack house) would I order:

(a) A pint of Bass Ale
(b) A glass of ’77 Merlot
(c) A MGD Light in a bottle
(d) I wouldn’t be caught dead in a lounge!

If you choose the Bass Ale, this might be a movie you’d understand, but not necessarily like. If you’d go for the vintage wine, then this is definitely a movie you would see and probably tell your friends you loved, but deep down you really couldn’t understand it (you pretentious asshole). If you’re like me you would have gone for the Macro Brewed Beer, then I’d hazard a guess and say you’re not really gonna like this movie. Lastly, if you wouldn’t be caught dead in a place as classy as a lounge, then by all means save your money and don’t be caught dead in a theater showing Miramax’s newest release “Brassed Off.” ’nuff said.