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Marvel Short Films ‘Truth in Journalism’ and ‘Dirty Laundry’ Review

truth in journalism

I am, once again, extremely late to the party, because I’ve only just discovered the amazing Marvel short films #TRUTHINJOURNALISM and #DIRTYLAUNDRY from producer Adi Shankar.

In my defense, “Truth in Journalism” was only released last week (“Dirty Laundry,” on the other hand, came out last year, and I have no idea how I haven’t seen it until now.)

Both of these shorts feature Marvel characters and show them off in interesting new ways.

Dirty Laundry

  • Starring: Thomas Jane
  • Directed by: Phil Joanou
  • Running Time: 10 minutes

Thomas Jane takes on the role of a man who, upon witnessing two crimes, becomes conflicted between remaining a bystander or risking getting involved. He ultimately decides on taking out the laundry. Er, trash. (I’m totally mixing up my metaphors here, but you get the point.)

“Dirty Laundry” poses the question: What is the difference between justice and punishment? (Judging by the ending, justice can only be doled out by those who were wronged – but that’s just my interpretation.)

Since I knew who Thomas Jane’s character was even before clicking play, the philosophical ideas toyed around with in this clip didn’t really click with me. I spent a good portion of the short mentally screeching “just go and punish them already why are you just standing there?!”

I do appreciate the theme itself, I just think it would have worked better if it was coming from an individual who had more reasonable concerns about getting involved. Knowing that Jane’s character was entirely capable of taking those guys out from the very beginning (and especially knowing that his usual M.O. is to Punish evil – ha, see what I did there?), having him wait until after the woman was assaulted and the little boy was beaten up before finally taking action felt less like righteousness and more like unnecessary dilly-dallying.

That said, “Dirty Laundry” is definitely well-acted and beautifully shot, and the slow, careful build up gives way to an explosive ending that was all kinds of awesome. I’m starting to think I should stock up on bottles of Jack Daniels for my zombie apocalypse preparations rather than baseball bats – they’re apparently capable of cracking limbs open, plus there’s alcohol inside!

four stars

Truth in Journalism

  • Starring: Ryan Kwanten
  • Directed by: Joe Lynch
  • Running Time: 17 minutes

In “Truth in Journalism,” True Blood‘s Ryan Kwanten plays a disgraced reporter who fancies himself dedicated to raw, honest journalism – an “administrator of truth” – even at the expense of peoples’ lives. A documentary camera crew follows him around to various crime scenes but ultimately they decide not to go through with making a film with him.

Chaos ensues.

“Truth in Journalism” has this constant current of violence brimming at the surface, even in scenes where people are just talking. There’s not much outright bloodshed in the clip, compared to “Dirty Laundry” – most of the kills happen off screen – but the casual way certain characters approach death and murder makes it just as (if not more) unnerving than blunt destruction would’ve been.

I really loved the 80’s feel to this short film, and the character reveal at the end, though not at all a surprise, was still pretty damn cool. What’s more, this is quite possibly the best homage to Man Bites Dog since Kid Cudi and Cage’s MANIAC short film (which I also happen to love with a passion), and Ryan Kwanten makes a fantastic Eddie Brock.

five stars

What did you think of the shorts? Do you have a different answer for the question posed in “Dirty Laundry”? Let us know in the comments!