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Step Brothers (DVD Review)

23 Nov, 2008 By: John Latchem

Step Brothers

Street 12/2/08
Sony Pictures
Box Office $100.5 million
$28.96 DVD, $34.95 two-DVD set, $39.95 Blu-ray, $24.94 UMD
Available in ‘R’-rated and unrated versions.
Stars Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins, Adam Scott.

Only the minds of Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, director Adam McKay and producer Judd Apatow could conceive of a home video presentation this wild.

Beyond all the usual bells and whistles associated with a loaded special edition DVD/Blu-ray, the trio have decided to sing a good portion of their commentary. Composer Jon Brion provides the trio’s musical accompaniment, and even special guests such as NBA star Baron Davis pop in for a few laughs.

Joss Whedon had announced a musical commentary for his forthcoming Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog DVD, but Step Brothers has beat him to the punch.

While the concept is amusing, the actual attempt gets annoying after about five minutes, so when they actually start speaking at a normal tone about the film, it is a welcome respite.

The film itself could only have sprung from the creative forces behind Anchorman and Talladega Nights. In the making-of featurette, McKay says the idea to do Step Brothers stemmed from some of the improvisation of Talladega Nights, which also paired Ferrell and Reilly. The idea was to create a loose framework and let the talent do their thing, which is probably why Step Brothers seems so random.

Basically, it’s just a series of sketches in which two fortysomethings act like teenagers. There’s a hint of a plot about learning responsibility, but who cares? The movie’s main strength is in how it mines comedy from the juxtaposition of the child/adult dynamic. At its core, the movie is a reminder that we are all still children at heart, even when dealing with grown-up issues.

The DVD has everything fans of the Apatow comedy franchise could possibly want. The single-disc version is loaded in its own right, and the second disc just piles on with more deleted scenes and a digital copy of the film.

The comedy isn’t as sharp as previous efforts from the team, but it’s entertaining enough, and the hardcore fans should be satisfied.

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