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Sisters (Blu-ray Review)

SistersComedy superstars Tina Fey (“30 Rock,” “SNL”) and Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation,” “SNL”) reunite in Sisters, the uproarious hit coming to Digital HD on March 1, 2016, and Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on March 15, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. From Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore, Sisters is a “hilarious, heartfelt and downright dysfunctional” (Rama’s Screen) delight, perfect to share with friends — and relatives. The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD versions feature even more of Tina and Amy’s outrageous shenanigans in a new Unrated Version, as well as over an hour of deleted and extended scenes, gag reel and much more!  Produced by Tina Fey and Jay Roach (Meet the Parents franchise) and executive-produced by Amy Poehler from a script by Paula Pell (“Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock”),Sisters also features an all-star comedy cast including Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids), Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors), John Leguizamo (Ride Along), John Cena (Trainwreck), James Brolin (Catch Me If You Can), Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters), Rachel Dratch (“30 Rock”), Samantha Bee (“The Daily Show”) and Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”).

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Film Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5Dexter-0

When the Ellis sisters, the always-responsible Maura and impossibly hotheaded Kate, receive word from their retired mom and dad that their family home is on the market, they discover they have one weekend left to clean out the old junk in their bedroom. As they comb through the artifacts of their teen years, Maura and Kate’s trip down memory lane leads them to a seemingly crazy plan.  Looking to recapture their glory days, the sisters throw one final ”Ellis Island” blowout for their classmates, resulting in the cathartic rager that a bunch of ground-down adults really need.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, one of today’s greatest comedic duos return again for Sisters.  Also known as the movie that opened against Star Wars (and fared well mind you).  This one has a terrific premise which basically takes the 1980s/90s “Mom and dad are away for the weekend” party movie, but has all the characters now in their 30s and 40s.  Mix this pot up with a couple key Saturday Night Live members both past and present and you’ve got a cocktail for a pretty good time.

I wouldn’t say this is some outright amazing comedy, but its a really solid venture.  There are plenty of jokes and sequences here that you’re definitely going to find more to like than not.  Plus, the real treat here is watching Tina Fey and Amy Poehler just sitting in any given scene and given the opportunity to just play off of one another.  The basic story is a bit of something you’ve kinda seen before in the past, but with it being gender swapped and using two talented leads it makes it feel a bit more fresh.

Can we talk about John Cena?  I’d hate to take a female-led movie to talk about a small-sized male role, but the man is pretty great in his cameo sized role here.  He plays a drug dealer and the guy has both terrific comedic timing and deliver.  Couple this with another great turn in Trainwreck and he’s become somewhat of the comedic breakout performer of 2015 in a way.  I don’t really need a comedy led by the wrestling star, but I sure as hell hope to see him keep getting supporting roles in comedies.

Sisters is a rock solid time, and a good little party movie for the adults.  It plays on nostalgia in a healthier way than we seem to be getting nowadays.  The film is a bit too long (I don’t know most comedies insist on being 2 hours or close to in this day and age), but still there’s enough fun and energy to never feel too much like its overwelcoming its stay.  its something to definitely check out!

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Video Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail:  Well, the only problem here would be if the picture DIDN’T look great.  Its a sharp and well detailed image as you’d expect from a modern movie that is big budget and well lit.  Colors come through quite nicely and you can usually make out minuscule details in any given scene. 

Depth:  The 3 dimensional work on this one looks quite good.  Spacing in the house or outside is impressive.  Movements are smooth and cinematic.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and inky.  No crushing at all here and shading, especially during the night party sequences is expertly done.

Color Reproduction:  Colors pop and look gorgeous at every turn.  While its a bright movie with appealing colors, the film’s look never takes an outrageously vivid approach and everything looks as intended by its aesthetic.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout.  Make-up, lip texture, wrinkles, freckles, tatoo designs and all facial features come through perfectly at any distance.

Noise/Artifacts:  CLEAN

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Audio Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Descriptive Video Service

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics:  The party goes bump bump bumping on this terrific 5.1 track.  Physical comedy gags involving destruction come through terrifically.  As loud as the music is in the movie, it never gets in the way of anything else going on and plays its role very well.

Low Frequency Extension:  

Surround Sound Presentation:  You’ll feel like you’re right there at the party with this mix.  This track is fully illuminated and well dispersed between all 5 channels delivering a lifelike appearance.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Audio is crisp and clear.  Party scenes deliver with good accuracy.

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Extras Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5Dexter-0

Sisters comes with a DVD Copy and an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • With Director Jason Moore, Star/Producer Tina Fey, Star/Executive Producer Amy Poehler and Writer Paula Pell

Unrated Version (HD, ) 

Deleted Scenes (HD, 18:03)

Extended Scenes (HD, 16:54)

Gag Reel (HD, 3:17) – Reveals the film’s original title “The Nest”

The Improvorama (HD, 8:40)

How To Throw A Party (HD, 1:36) – Pretty much Kate McKinnon’s first scene…extended, alternated, improv’d…you get the idea.

Grown-up Parties Suck (HD, 5:18) – Outtakes, alternate lines, extended dialogue from the early, quieter moments of the party sequence.

The Alex Chronicles (HD, 2:51) – Bobby Moynihan outtakes.

The Kate And Pazuzu Chronicles (HD, 2:05) – Some John Cena/Tina Fey outtakes.

A Teen Movie…For Adults (HD, 10:26) – This is your basic EPK “Making of” featurette.  They build the movie off of old school teen party movies, but aging the events and characters.  Director/actor relationships are discussed and plenty of the supporting players chime in with tid bits too.

The Original Sister (HD, 6:40) – Paula Pell shares her true life inspiration and real journal from which her screenplay of the movie was based.  Actors read actual entries from her diary.

Pool Collapse VFX (HD, :50) – A brief little video showing the various digital phases of how they pulled off the illusion.

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Summary Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

Sisters is an above average comedy that succeeds because its leads are a fun pair and do what they do best at for the film’s duration.  Its also a funny look at the updated version of the 1980s/90s house party movie.  This Blu-ray delivers the party with a top notch presentation.  The extras make it look like this thing is loaded with features, but really its just a bunch of alternate line readings and outtakes split into different titled featurettes.  Overall though, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with the release of this solid comedy.

Sisters-Blu-ray

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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