Step Brothers - Blu-ray Review
By Jeff Swindoll Dec 4, 2008, 14:01 GMT
Brennan Huff, a sporadically employed thirty-nine-year-old who lives with his mother, Nancy. Dale Doback, a terminally unemployed forty-year-old who lives with his father, Robert. When Robert and Nancy marry and move in together, Brennan and Dale are forced to live with each other as step brothers. As their narcissism and downright aggressive laziness threaten to tear the family apart, these two middle-aged, immature, overgrown boys will orchestrate an insane, elaborate ...more
Family is skewered in this latest comedy romp from Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and the Apatow Productions comedy factory. The problem is that the film looks funny in the trailer but doesn’t hold up the promise as the main characters are hard to like.
When Nancy Huff (Mary Steenburgen) meets Dr. Robert Doback (Richard Jenkins) the sparks fly between them. Both of them have a secret though as they have forty-year-old sons that live at home with them. When they reveal this to each other it seems a match made in heaven as they share so much and they quickly marry and consolidate their households.
The problem is that their man-children Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly) hate each other... at first.
A funny thing happened on the way to the feature. The kids were in the room so I decided to start gathering my info from the special features and the last item on the list was the R-rated “red band” trailer. I laughed at it and thought that I’d be in for a perverse treat when they finally went to bed and I could watch the movie. Well, not really.
The concept might’ve been an amusing one and Ferrell and Reilly play their buffoonish characters well off of each other, but I found them grating after a while. I’m not one to think highly of forty year olds that still sponge off mom and dad, but I surely dislike them when they act like ten year olds. That’s what Ferrell and Reilly do with their characters.
They’re funny in the trailer but when you have to put up with them for a feature film the concept starts to wear very thin. I know that this is supposed to be an extreme comedy but maybe it’s too extreme. There are still some funny moments in the film but it all came back to these grating characters and that’s when I started to lose interest. Your mileage may vary.
Whatever the case, Sony has provided a fine Blu-ray presentation with some great special features in the ironic style of the other Apatow Production flicks, though it feels less packed than Superbad and some others did. Of the unholy Adam McKay directed trilogy, Anchorman and Talladega Nights being the other two, this was the one that I liked least. I guess I’m not so full of brotherly love.
Step Brothers is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (2.40:1). Disc one contains a commentary with director McKay, Ferrell, Reilly, and special guest star L.A. Clippers player Baron Davis with music provided by composer Jon Brion. You also get to choose between the theatrical cut (98 minutes) and the unrated cut (106 minutes) of the film. All of the special features, save one, are presented in high definition.
Next are 9 minutes of deleted scenes, 35 minutes of alternate and extended scenes, and previews of other Sony products. The Blu-ray has an exclusive feature that allows you to edit your own music video for “Boats ‘n Hoes” and if you’ve got a Profile 2.0 (meaning an internet connected one) player you can upload your creation via BD Live and share it with the world and get their opinion on it.
Disc two starts off with the familiar 6 minute “Line-o-rama” that provides different riffs on some scenes and a 4 minute gag reel. There are also alternate versions of the Job Interviews (29 minutes) and Therapy sessions (19 minutes) with Ferrell and Reilly.
You also get the full presentation for the duo’s Prestige Worldwide agency (5 minutes). Next is the 2 minute “Boats ‘n Hoes” music video and is the only feature that is in standard definition. The 7 minute “Dale and Brennan” are more alternate riffs on the duo insulting each other. The 22 minute “The Making of Step Brothers” details the production and the 18 minute “Music of Step Brothers” is about the composer.
The 7 minute “Charlyne Moves In” is a comedic take on a gal that moves into the set and lives there. The 12 minute “L’Amour en Caravane” is another comedic bit about Jenkins and Steenburgen having a romance onset. Finally you get the 2 minute red band trailer, which I found funnier than the feature.
Step Brothers is going to be an acquired taste in my opinion. The characters tended to grate on me and I couldn’t stand how our intellectually disabled brothers are enabled by their parents.
They deserve all they get since they let their kids turn into forty-year-old men who behave like ten-year-olds. It has some funny bits but they’re few and far between. Sony has provided a nice set for fans of the film.