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MOVIE INFO

Director:
David Palmer, Dax Shepard
Cast:
Dax Shepard, Nate Tuck, Tom Arnold, Bradley Cooper, Jon Favreau , Michael Rosenbaum , Ashton Kutcher
Writing Credits:
Dax Shepard

Tagline:
Not every idea is a winner.

Synopsis:
In an attempt to reinvent his career, actor Dax Shepard makes the rash decision to abandon comedy in pursuit of his true dream: to become an internationally-renown martial arts star. Without any formal martial arts training, nor adequate funding for his 'blockbuster' action movie script, Dax enlists the help of his buddies including producer Nate Tuck and actor Tom Arnold. Together, they fight to realize Dax's true passion while facing rejection at every turn. With maniacal conviction, Dax journeys on a bizarre path that becomes increasingly nonsensical and destructive, all at the expense and exploitation of his personal and professional relationships.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Subtitles:
None
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 80 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 7/12/11

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Actor/Director Dax Shepard, Producer Nate Tuck and Director of Photography David Palmer
• Eight Deleted Scenes
Drillin’ Deep Short Film
• Trailer
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Brother's Justice [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 24, 2012)

When a “C”-list actor figures he needs a career boost, what should he do? In the case of Dax Shepard, the answer is “create a movie about an attempt to generate a career boost”.

That’s essentially the notion behind 2010’s Brother’s Justice a flick starring, co-written and directed by Shepard. Out of the blue, he decides he wants to create a martial arts flick called Brother’s Justice. Though known as a comedic actor, Shepard thinks this should be a straight action movie in which he kicks a lot of butt.

Here we see Shepard as he makes the rounds with producer Nate Tuck (himself). They go to producers, lawyers, actors and others in a desperate attempt to get their lame-brained project off the ground.

To make a parody work, the participants must refuse to wink at that camera. The best spoofs come with actors who play them straight and don’t acknowledge that they’re in on the joke.

That becomes a big problem here. The acting is uniformly weak, as even professionals like Shepard can’t provide effective performances, and the amateurs always look like they’ve never seen a camera and don’t know what to do. Some participants fare better than others, but there’s always the obvious sense that everyone knows it’s a big lark, and they play it that way; they’re too busy goofing it up to actually provide compelling work.

At its core, Justice has some potential as a parody of Hollywood and delusional actors, but Shepard and the others lack the talent to pull off the film’s goals. The flick defines the phrase “self-indulgent” and rarely shows a spark of creativity. Like I said, the basic concept could be fun, but nothing involved in it works. The script rambles badly and the jokes don’t hit.

In truth, this is the kind of project that would’ve worked better as a 10-minute short. It’s the rare spoof that can keep us interested for 80-plus-minutes; Spinal Tap pulled it off and some others have done it, but Justice lacks 1/100th the skill and creativity to get to that level. I’m not saying it’d be good at 10 minutes, but at least it’d be able to collect its smattering of mildly amusing moments and be less monotonous and boring.

It’d still be self-indulgent, but not to the same insane degree. Shepard clearly boasts a high level of belief in his talent and appeal, but he overrates himself. I do think he has skill as an actor, but if Brother’s Justice is any indication, he can’t do more than read someone else’s lines. When left to create his own work, he flops. Justice is a tedious, unfunny mess.


The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C/ Bonus B-

Brother’s Justice appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a decent presentation held back by its source material.

Shot on video cameras, the film tended to look less than dazzling. Sharpness was decent but never more than that. While I didn’t think it ever looked truly soft, it tended to be a little mushy and it lacked the definition we expect from Blu-ray. At least I saw no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes failed to appear. The movie also didn’t suffer from any source flaws.

Colors were decent but varied. Some shots came across with reasonable vivacity, but others tended toward a blandness often found in video productions. I thought the hues were acceptable but not much more than that. Blacks showed fair depth and darkness, while shadows showed good clarity. This was a perfectly watchable program that merited a “C+”.

Similar average values accompanied the movie’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. It’s odd to find a Blu-ray without lossless audio, but I can’t say that was an issue here given the movie’s limited sonic aspirations. The soundscape favored music most strongly, so the score broadened to the side and rear speakers in a reasonably satisfying manner. Otherwise it had little to do, as effects tended to remain environmental in nature. We got light ambiance and not much else.

Audio quality was fine. Lines occasionally seemed a bit thin due to their “on the fly” recording, but they were intelligible. Music seemed clear and full, while effects showed good clarity; they didn’t have much to do but appeared concise enough. This was a decent track that lacked the ambition to earn anything more than a “C”.

When we head to the disc’s extras, we open with an audio commentary from writer/actor/co-director Dax Shepard, producer Nate Tuck and co-director/director of photography David Palmer. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, music, locations, story topics, editing and related issues.

Along the way, we get some decent insights connected to the film’s creation, but these tend to be rather few and far between. Mostly the participants laugh at the situations and give us general thoughts that fail to reveal a whole lot. In truth, it’s not a bad listen – it’s certainly more interesting than the movie itself – but the track doesn’t give us a ton of good information.

Eight Deleted Scenes run a total of 16 minutes, two seconds. These include “Power Wash” (2:50), “Unwritten Code” (1:10), “Paradigm Shift” (0:36), “Seth Green” (6:36), “Go to a Lesser Director” (0:30), “You’re Funny Around Town” (0:40), “You Just Lost Your Biggest Fan” (0:24), and “2 Dudes on a Weird Mandate” (1:16). Given how awful the material in the final film is, I didn’t expect anything good from the cut material – and I was right.

The most substantial piece comes from the addition of Seth Green. He made the final cut only if you sat through the end credits. I like Green, but he can’t redeem the awful situations into which he’s placed. Nothing enjoyable shows up here.

During Justice, we see part of a fake movie called Drillin’ Deep. This seven-minute, 31-second reel offers more of it. The snippets in Justice were lame, and the longer version doesn’t get any funnier.

A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Little Big Soldier, The King of Fighters and A Fork in the Road. The disc also includes the trailer for Justice.

A second disc offers a DVD version of Justice. This offers a full retail edition, which makes it a better bonus than the neutered DVDs often found in these packages.

A misbegotten attempt at a mockumentary, Brother’s Justice provides the worst kind of vanity project. Self-indulgent to an extreme, it lacks much cleverness or wit and instead offers a slow, dull, poorly made piece of nonsense. The Blu-ray delivers decent picture, audio and supplements. I can’t imagine anyone to whom I would recommend this lifeless stinker.

Viewer Film Ratings: -- Stars Number of Votes: 0
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