A mockumentary is a piece of satirical entertainment that is shot like a documentary except it is fictitious and never really happened. Like my first marriage, HEYOOOO! (okay, not really) They can be funny or serious but they are often shot to be of the former. Sometimes, they can be pretty interesting or funny but more often than not, they tend to be just like most documentaries. Boring, pointless and liable to cure insomnia. We shall proceed to investigate Brother’s Justice which mocks movie making.
Dax Shepard has an idea. He calls one of his best friends, Nate Tuck who is a producer and tells him to come right over with a camera. Nate says he will need a couple of hours to get things together, Dax asks if he can make it a half hour, the producer says I will try to be there in forty five minutes. At this point, I am already wishing for Nate to slam down the phone and walk away.
Anyway, it is the summer of 2006. Dax wants to make a movie called Brother’s Justice. Basically, it is a kung fu action movie where he plays one brother who wants justice for his fallen other brother. He would also like to become the next Chuck Norris, except he does not know any sort of martial arts except the ancient art of Numbentai. The martial art of putting me to sleep.
The first place they decide to go in hopes of promoting the idea is Dax’s agent, Greg Siegel. He is ultimately not comfortable with the idea because it has no backing and is pretty sure that Dax is certifiably insane. Then they take a trip up to Dax’s lawyer, Jamie Feldman. We learn that Dax is putting up 3/4’s of the money while Nate puts up the remaining quarter. Jamie also thinks it is a terrible idea and advises to keep it serious.
Their next stop is Andrew Panay, another producer who gives a vital piece of advice to the anxious duo. Find a big time star to attach to the project. Nate remembers the last time they did something like this and out spawned 24 Hours to Live. This was basically a black and white film where Dax drove around a Cobra for a day. I wish I was kidding. So, the two go out on a journey and the first actor they stop by? Ashton Kutcher. Panay said BIG STAR folks.
Anyway, it should be expected that Ashton really does not go for it. In fact, he finds the best way to talk himself out of it. Then it is off to go see Tom Arnold. Again, I said BIG STAR, not an overweight star. Okay, that is not fair, Tom has lost a ton of weight. Tom likes the idea but wants to be the brother (except he is fifteen years older). Dax was there just to ask advice. Somehow we get to Tom showing Dax pictures of himself and his father with their shirts off. I am just confused and in the fetal position at this point.
Apparently, Tom Arnold knows James Cameron and is going to ask him if he will direct the picture. I can only imagine that conversation. Tom: “So yeah I got this idea from Dax Shepard to make this film, yeah he’s the guy from Punk’d and Employee of the Month and he wants to do kung fu…he will be the next Chuck Norris!” James: “…I have to call you back, I am in the middle of Titanic 2, the Iceberg Returns…dialtone”. Anyway, as it turns out James will be pre-disposed until 2014.
James would have also wanted Leonard DiCaprio and Dax out of the picture. Wise move. Dax and Nate move down the road to visit Jon Favreau. He is currently pre-disposed because he is working on Iron Man. Yeah, I highly doubt he’s going to curtail that project. Might make him money, never know. So Dax Shepard and Nate Tuck are having quite the hard time trying to find decent stars to attach to this movie. With the pitch in jeopardy, what will the duo do next?
This is one of the movies that sound pretty funny in concept until you realize Dax is in the lead role. He was pretty decent in Employee of the Month as well as When in Rome, but the fact is that Dax is at best a good supporting actor. Here he is trying to man the whole bloody thing and it turns into a bleeping mess. The problem starts at the fact that he is trying to be funny and likeable. He succeeds at neither.
Dax is playing himself (or a hyper version of himself) who is the most annoying, pathetic, homophobic, and disrespectful person you could ever imagine. Nate is unfortunately not much better. The pile of guest stars they got to join in on the fun is somewhat decent with Arnold, Kutcher, Favreau, Bradley Cooper and Dave Koechner. Actually the best moment is when Cooper and Koechner beat the crap out of Tom Arnold and Dax.
Truthfully, if we had watched Cooper and Koechner beat the crap out of those two for eighty minutes instead, I would have enjoyed it much more. It is bad when I am looking at my watch when the movie is as short as it is. There was even a point where I was wishing for Tom Arnold to show back up. That’s how bad it was. When you are praying for Tom Arnold to show up, whose only real fame was being married to a woman who could be mistaken for my mother-in-law with makeup, you got serious problems.
The video is in 1.78:1 widescreen presentation in 1080p resolution. This is pretty bad as far as blu-rays go. At best it resembles that of an up-converted dvd. Colors are okay, often muted but okay. Scenery is fairly bland for the most part, a whole ton of white walls and surroundings. Actually, come to think of it there weren’t any women hardly in the film. And Dax is homophobic? I think something fishy is going on here.
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 English Dolby Digital track (2.0 Dolby Digital Mix also included). There is dialog and then there is some more dialog. It is clear, but hardly anything special. Surround speakers get barely anything, maybe an environmental sound here and there. It is about as plain as the presentation. Subtitles are provided in…oh wait, there aren’t any.
- Automatic Trailers : Little Big Soldier, The King Of Fighters(I hope I get this one to review), and A Fork in the Road.
- Audio Commentary with Dax, Nate and David : Okay, so Dax is not a total a-hole. He, along with Nate and David Palmer, the director of photography make for an interesting commentary. Except for one thing, when they pause, the voice track is completely off the movie. Makes for a very distracting watch unless you are willing to close your eyes.
- Deleted Scenes : Eight deleted scenes are included. Nate is made to look like a total goof by power-washing Dax’s House and then, oh lord. Excuse me I have to sit here and count the deleted scene times individually because somebody forgot to make a loop track. Wait, that’s Seth Green. That might have made this movie watchable. Seriously, the Seth Green footage is better than anything in the movie. Six great minutes. The whole deleted scenes is about fourteen minutes long, most of them were really short. After Seth, I lost interest.
- Drillin’ Deep Movie 7:31: Drillin’ Deep is one of the failed shorts that Dax has tried to pitch in his past. And the fake oil that looks like Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce. Remind me if Dax is ever shooting at me, I could probably pull a Bugs Bunny on him and stick my finger in the barrel and blow him up instead. Six minutes later, is this over yet? No, oh okay. Happy ending, okay we get it. Simulated gratuitous sex scene in 3..2..1, alright and we are out.
- Trailer 2:12: Two more minutes I will never get back. Maybe, just maybe they should have used trailer footage, looped in Seth Green and then finish it off with Bradley Cooper and Dave Koechner beating up Tom Arnold and Dax Shepard. That would have been the best thing they could have done.
- DVD: A DVD of the film is also included. Sadly, they are probably in the same quality range.
As the movie starts out, “In Hollywood, a movie often begins as a ‘Pitch’”. The problem is I do not think Brother’s Justice ever went anything past that. They took that pitch and ran with it, straight to some deep and dark recesses of Dax’s brain. His portrayal of himself is so over the top that it never reaches likeable. Nate is inept and a pushover and the rest of the stars are wasted at best. When you cheer the star of the movie getting his butt beat, either a) you are very sick or b) the movie sucks.
In this case, I will just admit both and move on. The video and audio are also pretty bad and the only thing I can say that was marginally good was the extras. Thanks Seth Green, hope to see another release of Robot Chicken very soon. Anyhow, I can not recommend this movie, I do not even want to try. If you happen to see this movie, have a fork ready and remember to always turn to the right, not to the left, always to the right and wait until you hear the crunch.