Neighbors (Blu-ray Review)19 Sep, 2014 By: John Latchem
Box Office $150.09 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout.
Stars Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jerrod Carmichael, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Roberts.
Pushing the limits of its ‘R’ rating, Neighbors is exactly the kind of raunchfest one might expect from a collaboration between Seth Rogen and director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall). The premise certainly lends itself to the puerile antics on display.
Rogen and Rose Byrne play Mac and Kelly, a married couple with a new house and a new baby who are going through the motions of adulthood, relishing their neighborhood and enjoying the occasional quickie when the baby isn’t a distraction. To their dismay, a fraternity from the local college buys the house next door and moves in, setting the stage for endless nights of loud partying.
Mac and Kelly make a deal with frat leaders Teddy and Pete (Zac Efron and Dave Franco) about settling any noise complaints without the police, but after the first party gets out of hand and Teddy and Pete can’t be reached, Mac and Kelly call the cops, which sets off a feud between the two houses. The frat commits pranks such as dumping garbage on Mac and Kelly’s lawn, so the couple plots to force the frat to move out by pushing them to the limits of the “three strikes” rule of the college dean (Lisa Kudrow).
The screenplay uses this as an excuse for an endless supply of sex and penis jokes, as even Mac and Kelly spend most of the film hanging out at the frat parties and acting like horrible parents (which is one of the film’s recurring motifs). Some of the gags are pretty funny, but the film as a whole is mostly a mildly entertaining diversion.
Surprisingly, the Blu-ray offers no unrated cut, but based on what ended up in the film that’s probably not necessary. There’s an alternate opening that shows what the frat did to their previous house, and about 13 minutes of deleted scenes, most of which are pretty funny in their own right. The alternate opening and some of the deleted scenes actually shed light on a few plot developments that seem glossed over in the final cut.
The Blu-ray also includes a gag reel, alternate line-readings and a few behind-the-scenes featurettes chronicling everything from getting Efron to appear in the film to creating a variety of prosthetic body parts.