I am of the opinion that you only really need to see one Will Ferrell comedy of his 'improving with his buddies' oeuvre and that is "Talladega Nights". Much to my surprise, that was comedy gold. Despite what Grant says in his review here, I didn't care for "Step brothers" much. It's not the worst movie ever and has some parts that are genuinely funny but let's face it: it's all downhill from here for the Ferrell man-child movies.
Here's Grant with his take on the Two Disc Unrated Version of "Step Brothers"
Adam McKay: "I gotta tell ya, that Will Ferrell, playing a man-child... Solid Gold!!"
Judd Apatow: "mm hmm..."
Adam McKay: "Seriously, Will is the exact same big stupid kid in every movie and audiences eat this shit up!"
Judd Apatow: "yeah, mm hmm..."
Adam McKay: "If only we could do two of him playing that same role in a movie...that would be twice as good!!"
Judd Apatow:"yeah, yeah sure..."
Adam McKay: "Now, I suppose we could have him play twins... kinda like a 'Parent Trap' thing... but nahh. We should get someone else to star along side him... JUDD! Are you even listening to me?!?"
Adam McKay: "Uh huh... sure... Will Ferrell something-er-other... Don't worry, I'll put my name on the project..."
Adam McKay: "Dewwwwwd!! I'm trying to tell you that we need to get someone who can play Will Ferrell playing a man-child and play it as good as Will... if not better!!"
[they both pause]
McKay and Apatow in unison:
"JOHN C. REILLY!!!
I specially requested to review this movie. Specially requested it! And I actually got it! I didn't get a 'Linewatch 2: Back in the Habit
', some failed Larry the Cable Guy
television series, or 'Zyzzyx_Road
'. I actually got my request! So I have nobody, not even Cyrus
, to blame for this but myself.
But why did I want to see this movie? I heard mixed reviews. Some people loved it. Some hated it. But that was expected from a silly Ferrell
film. And I loved Will Ferrell
. From Mugatu
, to Frank the Tank
, to Ron Burgundy
, I cracked up at the character
he played. But it all went down-hill around the time of 'Talladega Nights
'. Playing the same character had worn out its welcome and Wilf
had begun to lose his appeal. Even after the 'Blades of Glory
' and 'Semi-Pro
' atrocities I still hoped that some glimmer of that 'Anchorman' greatness will still shine through with 'Step Brothers
) is a mentally retarded 39 year old who lives with his mother (Mary Steenburgen
). Dale Doback
(John C. Reilly
) is a mentally retarded 40 year old who lives with his father (Richard Jenkins
). When their parents meet, fall in love, and marry, Brennan
become.... Step Brothers! The childish and idiotic persona's initially spurn conflict between the two. But after uniting against a common enemy, Brennan's
younger douche-bag brother Derek
), the two become best friends and work together to become mature adults and finally face the world... sorta.
Adam McKay: "I knew from Talladega the funniest scenes from that movie were the ones that were loose...We wanted to come up with an idea that was loose enough so we could do that."
This movie is probably exactly what you expect it to be: an excuse for Ferrell
to compete for most ridiculous, idiotic or offensive lines and actions in every scene. If you loved Ricky Bobby, then this movie just may be right up your alley. Being from the Anchorman
camp, I preferred the more subversive, awkward, and self-deprecating humor stylings that Carrell
brought to that film over the blunt, wacky and absurd one-liners that are this films and Talladega's
Judd Apatow: "How do we find ways to add depth to this story... Not that this story needs much."
This movie is really little more than an hour and a half long fart joke. And like any fart joke, I couldn't help but laugh. Sure, I felt ashamed every time. Oh,so ashamed! But I laughed. Once I accepted that the movie was immature and idiotic, I found Will
was pretty funny and John C.
even funnier; stealing most of the scenes. Even the supporting cast did an excellent job with their parts. Especially Adam Scott
and Katharine Hahn
, who plays Scott's
. But I feel the "loose" structure and creative freedom given to Ferrell
actually weakens their characters and every other actor around them when the story is lost in the spectacle. The jokes are lowbrow humor intended for shock factor above all else. In the end, the biggest joke seems to be the one played on the audience for actually watching this tripe.
As much as I hate on this film, there's aplenty I loved about this DVD. The film has that distinctive visual style, familiar in other Apatow films ('40 year old Virgin' and 'Knocked Up'), which I find very appealing . This theme was carried through in the brilliant (imo) marketing campaign for the film as well, and I crack up everytime I look at the Sears family photo style poster created for this:
I'm not just saying I like the cover of the DVD, though. This 2-DVD set is actually loaded full of:
(Feat. Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Adam McKay, and Special Guest Baron Davis...Scored by Jon Brion)
Keeping with the ridiculous tone of the movie, the commentary is carried out as a freestyle flow musical. They impressively sing for the first 30 minutes before they take a break, and then continue singing periodically through the rest of the film. This is a unique and amusing approach to the commentary and Ferrell has the singing voice of an angel. NBA badass Baron Davis
oddly pops in for a bit to chat with the guys and join in singing a few tunes.
Extended & Alternate Scenes
Pretty self-explanatory. This provides a lot of extra versions of various scenes.
This is an example of the improv style where the actors do multiple takes of a scene and just say any ridiculous things they could think of until they get one that works.
Bloopers! You can't say all the filthy and ridiculous things these guys say on set with out actors breaking out of character and laughing.
Boats n' Hoes Music Video
In the film you see a glimpse of a music video Dale and Brennan make in an attempt to start their own business. This is the video in its entirety and its an amusing filthy yacht rock
The Making of Step Brothers
The behind the scenes "making of" discusses the characters, the idea behind the film, and mainly explores the improvisational approach Ferrell and Reilly took toward the film. If you liked the movie you will appreciate this behind the scenes look. If you didn't care for the movie soo much (like me!) it may make you understand a bit more of where they were coming from with this.
DISC 2 SPECIAL FEATURES!!
Although I might argue that they didn't edit enough out of this film, they were kind enough to give even more scenes that didn't make the final cut. Some funny stuff. Mainly bad stuff.
Extended & Alternate Scenes
Even more of these scenes. Just like 'Wake Up Ron Burgundy
', no scene shall be wasted!!
At one point in the movie the step bros. go on job interviews together and several comedians cameo as the interviewers (Seth Rogen
, some fellas from The Office
, that Sonic guy
). These are the 'Extended and Alternate Scenes' for those parts. Some are pretty good, mainly because of the cameos.
Everything I just said above ... replace 'job interview' with 'therapy sessions' and its the same gimmick.
Prestige Worldwide Full Presentation
entrepreneurial business was called Prestige Worldwide. At one point they give a presentation on their company to gain investors. Here is the full presentation. It' not much different than what was seen in the film nor was it that funny to warrant its own spot on the DVD (I dunno what I would replace it with though...).
Dale vs. Brennan
This is a montage of the fight scenes and witty retorts between Dave and Brennan... It's not that great.
The Music of Step Brothers
The music in the film, composed by Jon Brion
('I Heart Huckabees
', 'Punch-Drunk Love
') is actually quite beautiful and playful and adds a whole different compelling layer to the film. I really enjoyed the music and watching the creative process behind scoring the film was actually quite interesting.
Charlyne Moves In
Remember Charlyne Yi
, that goofy little asian girl who is the pothead girlfriend of Seth Rogens roommate in 'Knocked Up'? She had such a small yet memorable role in that film, and returns in a pseudo behind-the-scenes mockumentary where she plays herself as a squatter living on the set during filming. It's cute and funny little special feature.
L'amour en Caravane
A heavily improvised film with Mary Steenburgen?
Of course this has the markings of a particular sad victim of circumstance
. So why not make a small homage to that great show with a playful retroscripted
story of an illicit on-set romance. This is pretty good. Pretty pretty pretty good.
Overall, this film is a culmination of all of Ferrell's
other films as he once again nails another man-child role. Yet John C. Reilly
has proven that while this may be Ferrell's
niche, others can do it better and perhaps it is time for Willy
to move on to other parts. Step Brothers
is stupid and silly and, while I found parts funny, the movie wasn't all that good. The DVD is jam-packed with features though, most of which aren't too shabby and considerably improve my view on this DVD package as a whole.
My Rating: 3/5