Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

It has come to my attention that I speak way to freely in these reviews that I do for you, my loyal, single, one dude who occasionally reads this site.  I merely speak to you in my natural voice ‘cause I keeps it real like that.  I also write reviews for a nationally distributed magazine, Decode (, but I make it a point to censure myself for that little publication because I suppose I should.  My son, who is in the fifth grade, recently had a paper to do about film criticism.  He proudly told his teacher ‘My Dad is a film critic!’ to which she wanted to know the URL to check out some of my ‘writings’.  I pass both of the URL’s to the boy, who had the common sense to check them out.  He told me later in the day that he passed the Decode site along, but chose to withhold on the FCU because of the all the dirty words that were typed in those reviews.  Don’t want Mrs. Poole to think my dad is some kind of sicko the boy would tell me.  Those words hurt me to my mother fucking heart.  Censured by my own son.  Ain’t that about a bitch.  From this point on, I will no longer curse in my reviews because Lord knows I don’t want my child to be embarrassed by his old man.  But then again… He is about at the age when parents start embarrassing their children by walking around the neighborhood in speedos and fight getting old by getting a jerri curl and wearing Jordache jeans that are two sizes two small.  Hell, that was my reality and I survived it.  He needs to start feeling some of that pain too.

Oh.  ‘The Bros’.  Right.  It wasn’t that bad actually.  Lanny (John Tindall) and Pete (Joachim Wiese) are a couple of aspiring Malibu style rappers who struggle in the hood of suburbia where NO ONE is keeping it real.  Lanny and Pete do the best they can though, breaking into cars, smoking blounts, spittin’ the flows you know.  Problem is that Pete and Lanny aren’t about much of anything since their rhymes are weak, their game is

whack and when they get beat up by a pair of skinheads at a stop light, we learn they can’t fight either.  Hope is at the end of the tunnel in the form of a demo CD that just may set them off into the stratosphere, but sadly our two hip hoppers need 10 large to get the thing pressed.  This is about the time ‘The Bros’ gets a bit subversive as Pete and Lanny go on wilding spree which includes home invasions, liquor store robbing and ATM jacking.  Lanny, being the child of well to do suburbanites and who actually had a future at one point is stressed to hell when he sees his likeness on the local news.  Pete, on the other hand, is feeling the gangsta love as his origins are more sub working class with his waitress mom married to a Black guy who insist that Pete calls him Daddy.  Daddy (Former NBA basketball player Dennis Scott) also serves as narrator for this tragic tale of suburban white kids gone wrong.

Now hiding out at a rundown motel, Pete and Lanny get a little help from an old high school chum Eric (Sean O’Toole) who resets them from thuggish, back to there original polo shirt wearing, sweater tied around neck original selves, complete with golf course outings and lunch at the country club.  But Pete and Lanny ain’t going out like that and have to stay real to the game and continue to pursue the dream of being setting the rap world on fire.

Though ‘The Bros’ was certainly a feature with a minimal budget, it was well done, was a good looking film, and leads Weise and Tindall were very good in their respective roles as Pete and Lanny.  The key to their performances is that they took themselves so seriously and never played up to the camera for laughs which, of course, made them funny as hell.  This means that we were laughing at them and not with them, but I assume that’s what writer / director Jonathan Figg was shooting for. 

It would seem that Figg was also laying a moral message on us as well, with the message being that suburban white kids, in this society at least, can pretty much get away with anything with minimal effort.

Not all of the jokes worked, and there were definite lulls and drop outs that slowed the story down some.  The narrative also took a few strange left turns with Pete and Lanny’s wilding episodes and their bizarre encounters with the skin heads, but overall, and especially taking the budget considerations into account, The Bros. was a pretty funny, fairly insightful look into the world of the clueless.

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