Brave New Jersey is a comedy about a small town on the night of Orson Welles’s legendary, 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast — the hoax that terrified millions into believing Martians were invading America. As the citizens of one New Jersey town are faced with what they believe is their last night on Earth, their lives will change forever.  An alien invasion movie where the aliens never show up.

 

The film’s focus reflects upon the inherent reactions towards the famous broadcast, by a group of residents in the small town of Lullaby, New Jersey.  The bumbling events of the night lead to a few life-altering experiences that attempts to combine romance and satirical comedy with a hint of dram, but falls flat on all ends as the film seems to waste the talent of several decent actors with its low-key, restrained humor and sapless characters.

 

The film seems to waste the time of Tony Hale and Anna Camp, whose comedic capabilities are typically on full display in other well known performances, but seem to be vastly inhibited by a modest budget and dozens of technical limitations in the production.  I honestly had high hopes for Brave New Jersey.  The film’s talented cast had enough chops to make the film slightly more entertaining and funnier. Unfortunately the writers included far too many over-dramatized sequences which had the feeling of a vintage era soap opera, instead of engaging in more facetious comedy moments that may have saved the film.

 

The film stars Tony Hale (Arrested Development), Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Heather Burns (Miss Congeniality), Dan Bakkedahl (Life in Pieces), Sam Jaeger (Parenthood), Mel Rodriguez(The Last Man on Earth), Erika Alexander (Last Man Standing), and Leonard Earl Howze (Barbershop).

 

Director: Jody Lambert
Writers: Jody Lambert, Michael Dowling

Producers: Taylor Williams, Jen Roskind

Starring: Tony Hale, Anna Camp, Heather Burns, Dan Bakkedahl, Sam Jaeger, Mel Rodriguez, Erika Alexander
Check out video highlights from day 2 of the 2016 Austin Film Festival.

About The Author

Hayden Walker
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Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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