3 Big Things on ‘Blackberry’ – A SPOILER-FREE Review
If you’ve listened to this week’s episode of The CineBoiz Podcast you know we got into a little kerfuffle in regards to smart-phones and flip-phones. (Crazy good timing, right?). I love my iPhone and unless there is some sort of major paradigm shift (or society collapses) I will only ever have iPhones. The other Boiz seemed weirdly too big on flip-phones–to an upsetting degree if you ask me. We didn’t however being to delve into what came in-between, and 2023’s ‘Blackberry” takes a deep dive into the early 2000’s when their phone ruled the universe.
This film is a fascinating and relentlessly funny look into the rise and fall of a company that helped sky-rocket the smart-phone into what it is today. Think about it, do you know anyone (cool) who doesn’t have some sort of smartphone? Blackberry today unfortunately has less than 1% market share in the industry, but this 2023 film is the most entertaining corpo-pic of the last 10 years.
To me, it’s a must watch, but if you’re on the fence about whether or not you should see ‘Blackberry’ here are 3 Big Things to consider:
1. He’s been around for a bit, but this is Glenn Howerton’s breakout role.
It’s no secret, I’m a massive ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ fan. So my praise for Howerton in this movie might fall on deaf ears, but he absolutely steals the show. Glenn has had other roles in the past 17 years, but he’s really always been Dennis Reynolds to me. This might’ve changed with his performance of Jim Balsillie. Dennis Reynolds is really a caricature of a psychotic sociopath, where Howerton brings more nuance mixed with his trademark insanity to Balsillie. He gets unhinged, but not once do you think that this isn’t a character rooted in reality.
Jay Baruchel and Matt Johnson also bring complimentary performances as Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin; the co-founders of Research in Motion whose vision is disrupted when Jim Balsillie enters the fray. It’s amazing to watch all three of these actors play off of one another and see the dynamics of each of their relationships evolve through the success and downfall of their company.
2. Sure it’s really funny, but it’s much more than just a comedy.
There are comparison’s to be made, sure. This film definitely takes from the Adam McKay/Succession playbook. It is very fast paced with very fluid camera movement. What it does so well, much like ‘The Social Network’, ‘The Big Short’, ‘Succession’, etc. is make you laugh, but also make very clear that this isn’t a comedy. There are some big-laugh moments, but there’s no wink-wink-nudge-nudge going on here. Director Matt Johnson makes you buy-in from the jump and laughs are just a fortunate bonus.
What ‘Blackberry’ also does well is educate it’s audience in a way that doesn’t bog you down with useless information. Not only do we see the company rise to the upper-echelon; we understand how it got there. That is very important for a guy like me who sends in a help-desk ticket every time he cant figure out how to work his email.
3. If you’re not familiar with director Matt Johnson, watch this video.
The moment I saw actor/director Matt Johnson show up on the screen as Doug Fregin, I knew I recognized him but couldn’t quite put my finger on where from. It came to me late last night as I was lying in bed. One of my favorite viral vids on the mid-late 2000’s. I figured I would share it all with you:
‘Blackberry’ is likely going to fall under your radar given it’s limited release, but I beg you to find it somewhere and watch it as soon as you can. From the compelling performances to fascinating story, you’ll find yourself in an entertainment vortex that few films these days tend to suck you into. Matt Johnson, Jay Baruchel, and Glenn Howerton are here to let you know that the ‘Money-Bro” genre is alive and well.
4.5/5 Swedish Fish
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