- Street Date:
- July 12th, 2011
- Reviewed by:
- Aaron Peck
- Review Date: 1
- July 25th, 2011
- Movie Release Year:
- Well Go USA
- 85 Minutes
- MPAA Rating:
- Release Country
- United States
The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
'Brother's Justice' misses the mark by a mile. Imagine 'I'm Still Here,' but without a sense of direction, or purpose, or anything (not saying that 'I'm Still Here' had any of those things in abundance, but they were there however microscopic). At least 'I'm Still Here' had a bearded Joaquin Phoenix. All 'Brother's Justice' has is a two-bit comedian who by the looks of it couldn't craft a decently funny mockumentary about Hollywood. It's Hollywood for heaven's sake. If you can't at least produce a handful of funny scenes satirically tearing apart the town and the industry it's built upon then you don't have much hope.
You may know Dax Shepard from 'Parenthood' and such films as 'Employee of the Month,' 'Let's Go to Prison,' and 'Without a Paddle.' He was decent in 'Zathura' as a stranded astronaut, but he's never been a Hollywood heavy-hitter.
With 'Brother's Justice' Dax Shepard has come up with a brilliant idea. He's going to pitch a movie idea that reinvents himself as a martial arts superstar. His movie idea, which he explains over and over, is about two brothers. One is kidnapped by a motorcycle gang and the other has to fight his way in and free him. Or something like that.
Dax has no money, no one to direct, and no one to star in it. All he has is his close friend and producer Nate Tuck. The two of them set out to pitch the idea to people like Jon Favreau, Ashton Kutcher, and Tom Arnold.
The problem with 'Brother's Justice' is that it seems so forced, so heavy-handed, and yet doesn't actually accomplish anything. Watching some of the scenes involving Dax pitching his idea are almost embarrassing. It's one thing to act stupid for no good reason, it's another thing to apparently script out scenes to seem "unscripted" and then act stupid. There's no flow. There's no biting satirical wit like with other movies that have lambasted the entertainment business ('This is Spinal Tap' or even 'Cannes Man'). It's just Dax yelling at people and not being particularly funny.
Did I laugh at all? Well, a couple times. The best line in the movie comes when Dax is telling his lawyer about the idea, and the lawyer asks if he's incurred any costs. Dax says, "Well, we've been to Starbucks. Six times." That got a chuckle out of me, but the rest of the movie's potential is squandered. Even when Dax somehow gets David Koechner and Bradley Cooper involved in a fight on Koechner's front lawn. Yeah, it sounds like it has comedic potential but it doesn't. Somehow Dax's writing and direction make even Koechner seem like an amateur comedian.
The biggest problem is that the movie tries to sell itself as a true-to-life documentary and Dax acts as such. The movie is far too serious for its own good. It never finds its voice, direction, or pace. It wallows around in Dax's profanity filled diatribes that describe nothing in particular and are only around to fill up running time. I can't think of a reason why this movie should even exist.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Brother's Justice' is a Well Go USA release. They've packaged it in a combo pack that includes a 25GB Single Layer disc and a DVD copy of the movie.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
'Brother's Justice' has a very filmed-on-home-video look. It's 1080p picture is never all that great to look at in high definition mainly because its source just isn't conducive to it. It isn't the worst transfer I've ever seen, but it's far from the best.
The handheld look gives it a documentary feel, but also provides a handful of problems. Contrast is lacking. Whites are blown out especially when Dax roams around LA in the daytime, while blacks are flat and lacking depth. Darker spots and scenes also harbor a bit of noise that's hard to not look at. Crushing often rears its head as shadows only serve to cover any detail that was there.
Speaking of detail, close ups hold quite a bit, but once the camera backs up to a couple feet away a lot of the fine detail is lost. Again this is because of the way it was filmed, but it isn't a high-def presentation you'll be clamoring to see over and over again.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
The video is where the utilization of the Blu-ray format stops. Here you're given the choice of two lossy audio presentations – Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital 2.0. Truthfully, it doesn't really matter which one you pick. There's hardly any action in the surrounds anyway.
Much of the movie's dialogue sounds like it was filmed solely with the microphone attached to the camera. Dialogue echos big time when they enter Tom Arnold's expansive foyer. Voices sound trapped and tin-like when the bunch of them converse in a cramped trailer. There's not much good to say about the audio presentation here. It wasn't much to begin with considering its origins, but with the lossy audio options and the fact that there's nothing here to really showcase in the first place it's a pretty unattractive affair all together.
On a side note it's weird that the deleted scenes in the special features actually get an LPCM 2.0 mix. So, the movie gets two lossy options and the deleted scenes actually ends up getting a lossless mix? You can't make this stuff up.
The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff
- Audio Commentary — Dax, Tuck, and director David Palmer offer the commentary here. Yes, I was surprised that there was a commentary offered up here. Dax and the others obviously like the movie they've created. At times the commentary is funnier than what's on screen because they're not trying to ham it up like they do in the movie. Either way, there's no reason to watch the movie in the first place so there's no reason to rewatch it with commentary.
- Deleted and Alternate Scenes (HD, 14 min.) — A few more scenes of Dax antics that are just as mundane as the movie itself. I assume they were cut because they were redundant.
- 'Drillin' Deep' Movie (HD, 7 min.) — A short that is featured as one of the "projects" that Dax and Nate Tuck have worked on. Dax is a rancher that strikes it rich with oil and takes out his revenge on the people that wronged him.
- Trailer (HD, 2 min.) — The theatrical trailer is included.
HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?
There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided.
'Brother's Justice' is tedious and bordering on the annoying. Its purpose is to be a snide skewering of the way Hollywood works, but it can't even get that right. If you want something that does it way better watch 'Entourage'. This is just a meaningless waste of your precious time.
- Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
- 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
- English: Dolby Digital 5.1
- English: Dolby Digital 2.0
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted and Alternate Scenes
- 'Drillin' Deep' Movie
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