Dallas IFF '10 – Brotherhood Review


Like an extended episode of The Shield, but with frat boys instead of cops./strong>

There’s always something special about a film when it has been shot in your city. Little things pop up in the background that only people in your area would know about. For example, the movie RoboCop takes place in Detroit, but it was filmed in Dallas. In the chase scene at the end, it is clearly the Dallas skyline and the trademark Reunion tower that is in the background. The film Brotherhood made its debut at SXSW last month and just took the Dallas International Film Festival by storm. Shot in Arlington, TX (just outside Dallas) the film has a lot of subtleties for locals to enjoy, and killer writing and acting to boot.

One night of fraternity hazing goes horribly wrong, as the upperclassmen force the pledges to hold up various convenience stores for $19.10, the year that the fraternity was established. A raging party is underway back at the frat house when the upperclassmen and pledges return from the convenience store and the events spiral even further out of control. Armed with egos and very foul mouths, the upperclassmen attempt to do whatever they can to stay out of jail. But one pledge named Adam has to find the courage to stand up to them.

With its use of shaky cam, violence, and f-bombs, the film’s pace is lightning speed and plays out like an episode of The Shield; not a second of film time is wasted. Every small piece of information, every supporting character is fully realized in the end of this very satisfying film. For Dallas-ites, there are plenty of posters for popular Dallas based band “The Toadies” plastered to the walls of every room in the frat house. The convenience store is located near Fort Worth, as the ads display in the background. The acting is phenomenal by everyone. Jon Foster (Accidentally On Purpose, and little brother of Ben Foster) reminded me of Ryan Reynolds, when Ryan Reynolds plays a bad guy. Trevor Morgan (Mean Creek, The Patriot), who plays Adam, neatly walks the fine line of keeping the upperclassmen satisfied and trying to do what is right. The role would be a difficult one to play. Lou Taylor Pucci (The Informers) plays the injured pledge Kevin, Jennifer Sipes (W.) has a small but memorable role as Kevin’s sister Emily.

The screening that I attended had the entire cast, crew, and their family members there in attendance. The film was introduced by the Artistic Director of the Dallas Film Society, James Faust, and he expressed much admiration for the writer and director of Brotherhood, Will Canon. Apparently Mr. Canon has a short film called Youngster that is considered the ideal independently made film. After watching Brotherhood, you can bet I’ll be checking out everything by Will Canon.

Director:Will Canon
Notable Cast:Trevor Morgan, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jon Foster
Writer(s):Will Canon, Douglas Simon

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