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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Nicholas Stoller
Cast:
Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Carlo Gallo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Ike Barinholtz
Writing Credits:
Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien

Tagline:
The Battle for the Street Begins.

Synopsis:
A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.

Box Office:
Budget
$18,000,000.
Opening Weekend
$49,033,915 on 3,279 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$149,771,255.

MPAA:
Rated R

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English Descriptive Video Service
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 9/23/2014

Bonus:
• Alternate Opening
• Deleted/Alternate Scenes
• Line-O-Rama
• Gag Reel
• “An Unlikely Pair” Featurette
• “Partying with the Neighbors” Featurette
• “On the Set With…” Featurette
• “The Frat” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Neighbors [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 16, 2014)

One of summer 2014’s biggest hit comedies, Neighbors introduces us to young married couple Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne), proud new parents of baby Stella. They deal with the challenges of first-time parenthood in their quiet little neighborhood.

Their lives change when a fraternity buys the house next door to theirs. Initially, this situation seems fine, as Mac and fraternity president Teddy (Zac Efron) strike an accord – and bond during an intoxicated night of partying.

However, the situation takes a turn for the worse when Mac and Kelly call the cops to report a loud party at the fraternity house. Teddy asked them to consult with him before any potential intervention from the authorities so he feels betrayed by this decision. Mac and Kelly attempt to apologize but Teddy won’t accept it and he launches a series of pranks against his neighbors. The two sides war with each other and battle for neighborhood supremacy.

One of my friends likes Rogen a lot and I tried to get her to see Neighbors with me. I’m fairly neutral toward old Seth, but I thought the movie boasted good comedic potential.

My friend decreed that it “looked stupid”, which I’ve come to view as a positive sign. Usually when my friend deems a movie to be beneath her, it turns out to be really good; for instance, she crapped on Step Brothers, which I loved. (For reference, this same friend feels License to Drive is a true classic and laughed hysterically at the execrable Grown Ups.)

Emboldened with my friend’s disapproval, I eagerly went to see Neighbors theatrically – and quickly realized that my friend nailed this one. Put simply, this is an idiotic movie, and not in a fun, wacky way, but in a "too many events too stupid to accept" way.

The whole premise of the feud seems ridiculous. Teddy accentuates how important promises are to him, but the movie never explains why. I expected some plot point about his dad ignoring an obligation when he was a kid or something, but that never came - instead, we're just supposed to accept that breaking a promise for Teddy is the worstest of all possible worst things.

In truth, that plot point exists just because the movie's too lazy to think up a better motivation for the feud, and moments like that abound. The fraternity throws plenty of wild parties, but Mac and Kelly can't complain because the cop - apparently the only officer in town - doesn't like them. Really?

And are we honestly supposed to believe Mac and Kelly will have sex right in from of a window - with the blinds open - when they can see college kids mingling a few feet away? Really really?

On and on and on it goes - just one idiotic moment piled on top of another, all because the filmmakers were too lazy to bother with rudimentary logic.

If the desired laughs materialized, I might not mind as much, but the movie comes with too many cheap/easy jokes. Sex/drug gags are all the filmmakers can do - again, all out of laziness. The occasional chuckle pops up but nothing more, as the flick’s just too brain dead.

It remains the laziness/stupidity that bugs me the most. It feels like the movie adapts the narrative and characters to fit the jokes so these gags rarely appear organic. Instead, it comes across more like they invented a comedy scene and shoved that square peg into the plotline’s round hole.

All of this adds up to a consistently poor film, one made worse by the talent involved. The folks behind Neighbors have done better in the past so there’s no excuse for the witless nonsense on display here.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

Neighbors appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer seemed pretty positive.

Sharpness appeared mostly strong. On occasion, wide shots came across as a little soft and fuzzy, but the movie appeared solid the majority of the time. The image usually displayed crisp and concise information. Jagged edges and moiré effects created no concerns, and edge haloes were absent. Print flaws remained absent, as we found no specks, marks or other issues.

Neighbors utilized a fairly naturalistic palette, and the disc reproduced those tones well. Party scenes offered more dynamic hues, as they gave us some deep purples, greens and blues. The colors consistently came across as nicely accurate and precise. Nothing here dazzled, but the image remained very good.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Neighbors, it offered an experience typical of comedies, as the soundfield displayed an emphasis on the forward channels. Music showed nice stereo imaging and moved the songs and score to the back speakers.

Most of the effects tended toward environmental material, though a few sequences added some pep; for instance, party scenes showed solid information around the room. Nonetheless, the majority of the mix stayed dialogue-intensive and without real theatrics.

Audio quality came across as good. Speech seemed natural and distinct, and I noticed no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Music was reasonably full, with clear tones overall. Effects were accurate and concise, without distortion or other concerns. Nothing here excelled, but the audio was fine for a comedy like this.

As we shift to extras, cut footage starts the set. In addition to an Alternate Opening (6:40), we get 10 Deleted/Alternate Scenes (12:55). The “Opening” shows us what happened to Delta Psi’s prior house and why they needed to move. Fans who enjoy the movie will be happy to see it, but I think the story works better with a later introduction to Teddy and pals.

In terms of the deleted/alternate scenes, they tend toward minor additions. The most significant new sequence shows a fraternity prank aimed at Jimmy. Another shows the end of Teddy’s academic career, and a third lets us see Jimmy take revenge on Scoonie. We also get a return visit from the realtor. The latter offers some amusement – Liz Cackowski plays the part well – but the others seem less memorable.

More unused material arrives via Line-O-Rama. In this two-minute, 52-second compilation, we get a variety of alternate lines for a scene in which the fraternity leaves a huge mess in front of Mac and Kelly’s house. This becomes more of a deleted scene than anything else, but it’s a good addition.

Next comes a five-minute, 57-second Gag Reel. I thought this might include more alternate lines, but it mostly gives us Seth Rogen’s annoying laugh.

Four featurettes follow. An Unlikely Pair runs five minutes, 34 seconds and includes notes from director Nicholas Stoller, producer Evan Goldberg, and actors Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Ike Barinholtz, Craig Roberts, Zac Efron,Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Rose Byrne. The show looks at the movie’s lead actors and tends toward fluffiness. We get a few interesting elements – like some unused dialogue – but happy talk dominates.

With the seven-minute, 17-second Partying with the Neighbors, we hear from Goldberg, Byrne, Stoller, Rogen, Barinholtz, and writers Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien. This one examines the Mac/Kelly relationship as well as aspects of the Rogen/Byrne pairing and the parental tale in the film. Again, a few alternate lines add some value but most of the piece seems superficial.

On the Set With… fills three minutes, 41 seconds and gives us moments with Mintz-Plasse, Carmichael, Rogen, Franco, and property master Sean Mannion. “Set” provides details about various penis-related props and effects. That doesn’t sound promising, but it’s the most informative reel on the Blu-ray.

Finally, The Frat occupies five minutes, 44 seconds with notes from Efron, Stoller, Carmichael, Mintz-Plasse, Roberts, Franco, O’Brien, and Cohen. The featurette follows the same format as “Pair” and “Neighbors” except with a focus on the Delta Psi characters and actors. Like its predecessors, it has a few decent bits but usually seems lackluster.

The disc opens with ads for Jarhead 2: Field of Fire, The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power, The Fluffy Movie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Purge: Anarchy, The Man with the Iron Fists 2 and A Millions Ways to Die in the West. Previews also provides clips for Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse, Identity Thief, Ted, The Big Lebowski, Bridesmaids, The Change-Up, Couples Retreat and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. No trailer for Neighbors appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Neighbors. It comes with the same extras except for the alternate opening, the deleted/alternate scenes and the “On the Set With…” featurette.

With a good cast and a fun premise, Neighbors boasts solid comedic potential. Unfortunately, it wastes our time with ridiculous situations and poor jokes. The Blu-ray brings us good picture and audio as well as a decent mix of bonus materials. Neighbors turns into an obnoxious clunker.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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