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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Step Brothers


Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Richard Jenkins and Mary Steenburgen
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Available 02 February 2009

Two spoiled guys, Brennan and Dale, still live at home even though they are in their late thirties. When Brennan's mum and Dale's dad meet and fall in love, it's not long before the two get married, which means that the two 'boys' become step brothers and have to share a bedroom. 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 plan to bring their parents back together. To pull it off, they must form an unlikely bond that maybe, just maybe, will finally get them out of the house...

Step Brothers is a comedy that on the surface shouldn't work. The basic plot should, by rights, have worn thin after about twenty minutes, but somehow Ferrell and Reilly manage to take the paper thin plot and turn it into more than the sum of its parts.

The basic humour comes from the fact that the two 'boys' act very much like young teenagers would do if placed in the same position. They both love dinosaurs, adult magazines, and both think they have a musical talent - for Brennan it's being a great singer and for Dale it's being a fantastic drummer.

Richard Jenkins and Mary Steenburgen (who most will remember as Clara in Back to the Future III) turn in wonderful performances as the parents, even if Steenburgen is slightly too young to portray Brennan's mother. And Adam Scott (playing Brennan's younger brother, Derek) and Kathryn Hahn (playing Derek's wife, Alice) help to add another level of weirdness with their off-the-wall characters.

The disc contains two editions of the movie. There's the theatrical version (1 hour, 37 min, 48 sec) and an extended edition (1 hour, 45 min, 32 sec).

Extras include an audio commentary with Ferrell, Reilly and a selection of guests. To be honest while this is amusing (they spend the majority of the commentary singing about what's going on on screen) it soon gets a little tedious and I found myself fast forwarding through most of it. We also get Blu-ray live content and Boats 'N Hoes Music Video Editor. Both of these seem to use the Blu-ray internet connection facility and, sadly as only about 50% of these ever seem to work, I couldn't play either on the Blu-ray player or the PS3 we have in the office.

Next up we have Extended and Alternate Scenes (approx 17 mins of scenes); Gag Reel (4 min, 15 sec); Prestige Worldwide Full Presentation (4 min, 51 sec); Boats 'N Hoes - Music Video (1 min, 52 sec); Dale Vs. Brennan - Sibling Rivalry (6 min, 52 sec - additional confrontational scenes between the two); The Making of Step Brothers (22 min, 04 sec behind the scenes featurette); The Music of Step Brothers (18 min, 16 sec which looks at the musical styles used in the movie and includes a really great jamming session).

While it's obviously never going to win any major awards (unless "Best teabagging drum kit scene" is being added as an Academy Award category) Step Brothers is a surprisingly hilarious movie.


Darren Rea

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