Film Clips: Documentary puts objectivity on a leash
September 7, 2007 4:00 AM
Will Arnett (top) and Will Forte are in a race to procreate in the shallow comedy "The Brothers Solomon."
'Your Mommy Kills Animals'
My dear friend Marilynn and her fellow animal lovers in Kansas used to politely engage women coming out of the big Wichita furrier's with: "What a lovely coat -- do you lick it clean?"
No screaming or hurling nail polish. Just a nice, civilized protest approach, I thought. But that was several decades ago. These days, we've got the considerably more radical Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and a considerably more repressive federal government enforcing The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act of 2006.
"Your Mommy Kills Animals" () is documentary director Curt Johnson's in-your-face defense of the animal-rights movement, which the FBI recently called the "No. 1 domestic terrorist threat to the United States."
It's true. ALF (inter alia) received that designation for violent protests against Huntingdon Life Sciences and other corporations engaging in animal lab testing procedures deemed unconscionably cruel.
You only need to see a few of the grisly images in Johnson's doc to be appalled by the barbaric dogicide and kitty killing. But what about ALF's confrontational, polarizing tactics vs. freedom of speech?
A complex concomitant question: What about the difference between animal-rights and (the more moderate) animal-welfare organizations? It turns out that some of the latter, such as the Humane Society of the United States, have been snagging millions of dollars in donations while doing little or nothing to ameliorate such animal catastrophes as Hurricane Katrina produced in New Orleans.
"Mommy" focuses on the legal case of young activist-idealists Josh Harper and Kevin Kjonaas arrested for "eco-terrorism." They are supported by (and we are treated to) all sorts of celebrity input from Bob Barker to -- my favorites -- sisters Shane & Sia Barbi. There's not an objective one in the lot. I love 'em all.
Nor is there an objective moment in this cinematic diatribe. And I love it, too.
Rating: R in nature for graphic documentary images. Opening only at the SouthSide Works Cinema.
-- Barry Paris, Post-Gazette film critic
"The Brothers Solomon"
Hollywood loves a good "fish out of water" comedy. But "The Brothers Solomon" () is more a fish-in-shallow-water comedy. Writer and co-star Will Forte introduces us to two home-schooled PhDs, raised in the Arctic and Antarctic, guys who know nothing about the opposite sex or the social niceties of courtship. He has these unworldly goofballs race to procreate because they're told a grandchild could give their comatose dad (Lee Majors, comatose) a reason to live.
Then Forte makes the brothers (Will Arnett of "Arrested Development" and "Blades of Glory" plays the other Solomon brother) dimwits. And crude, foul-mouthed on-the-make lechers. They're educated, but incredibly stupid. They're naive about sex, but they apparently subscribe to the Playboy Channel.
This film from the same team that gave us "Let's Go to Prison" is, if anything, less funny than that soap-dropped-in-the-shower comedy. It's all crass come-ons and giggly, fey interplay between the brothers, who are as homoerotic a pair as you'd care to see in a siblings "comedy."
This is a movie that could have had a touch of cute, and truth be told, it finds that tone near the finale. But the outtakes after that finale tell you everything you need to know about the 93 minutes that precedes them. The stuff they cut out is no better, or worse, than the piffle they left in.