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Thursday, January 12, 2017

'Doobious Sources' VOD/Digital HD: Stoner "Bros" Take on Fake News

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Wonderfully eclectic indie-film company Gravitas Ventures (along with Doobious Sources, LLC) shows great timing regarding releasing the indie stoner-comedy "Doobious Sources" on VOD and Digital HD three days before the January 20, 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump. This film that centers around 20-something Harold and Kumar clones practicing neon yellow journalism in a period in which several states allow limited marijuana use and the scope of fake news extends from deceptively presenting advertising messages as current events to having an undisputed impact on the 2016 presidential election.

Another historic element regarding this film is that this review is likely the only one that will compare this low-budget minimal effects movie with the Orson Welles classic "Citizen Kane." The similarities relate to "reporter" Reginald "Reg" Block-Hunsleigh creating the news in the same manner as yellow journalist (and William Randolph Hearst impersonator) Charles Foster Kane loudly declaring that if his man provides the pictures, Kane will provide the war. This point is made to illustrate that '70s tabloids and "doobious" websites are only a small and recent chapter in the history of fake news.

The following YouTube clip of the clever and entertaining trailer for "Doobious" nicely tells you all you need to know about the film and provides an excellent sense of the style of this one.

The final opening note regarding this film is that watching it at 4:20 p.m. is apt and ingesting some of the aforementioned newly legalized substance may enhance the enjoyment of it. Speaking from the perspective of someone whom well-known pot-smoking '50s child actor Billy Gray once good-naturedly asked "you don't smoke, do you?" the pace of "Doobious" is a bit slow throughout much of the film.

An early scene has Reg and textbook frienemy/cameraman Zorn setting up a real estate agent who is crooked but against whom they lack any genuine evidence of malfeasance. This establishes the nature of their "Instant Karma" news service.

We further get the mandatory stoner comedy ordering drive-through fast-food while high scene. The nice twist this time is that the boys bicker about the order and use their constant paranoia-fueled video surveillance of each other to resolve the dispute.

All this comes during a high (of course, pun intended) period following a story by the boys on men who claim to be straight but use a Craigslist clone for motel hook-ups with other men. This expose makes our heroes the golden boys of the local television station that airs it. The related problems with the story are that Reg and Zorn set up the men and are the legal and extra-legal targets of one of the catfished men.

The television station, which does not know of the deception, soon hires the boys to work with a doofus reporter with his own agenda on a story about local government officials operating an illegal slush fund. As always, journalistic principles are not a large priority.

Much of the remainder of the film now has our trio riding around in a vehicle that arguably is the worst possible choice for covert activity, our doobious brothers learning more about the true motivation of their new loser colleague, and dealing with the increasing rage of the man whom they set up in the motel.

This wackiness leads to a good final 15 minutes that follows an awesomely warped neo-version of the Hollywood Code that requires that justice prevail in the end; this truly is the case in a manner that requires watching "Doobious."

Substance does exist regarding the objective of exposing malfeasance even if doing so requires dubious tactics. More entertaining cynicism comes in the form of only regretting underhanded reporting tactics if you get caught.