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Jeff, Who Lives At Home (Blu-ray Review)

I just realized it that it may be pseudo-comedy week here on Why So Blu – we’ve been dropping them like they were hot all week long and we’re not done yet. Up next we’ve got The Duplass Bros. sleeper comedy Jeff, Who Lives At Home starring the cry-baby from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jason Segel along with Mr. Hangover I & II,  Ed Helms. Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon round out the cast in this esoteric comedy of sorts. If the Duplass name sounds familiar that’s due to another film called Safety Not Guranteed, which was also reviewed here on Why So Blu. I will say one thing – The Duplass Bros. are busy guys, whether they’re behind-the-scenes or in front of the camera. They’re coming up, it seems.

Film 

Jeff (Jason Segel) is a thirty-something (30 years old) year old with zero job prospects, lives in his mother’s basement, and really has no plans for the foreseeable future. Well, I’m sort of speaking in the past tense, because after watching M. Knight Shamalyan’s Signs, he gets an epiphany about life in general, in that everything happens for a reason and we’re all connected somehow by the mundane. Granted, the voice-over and execution of this particular scene is pretty hilarious, the film squanders the opportunity by just meandering about.

Susan Sarandon plays Jeff’s mother who is widowed and carries on unfulfilled through life and her boring job. Ed Helms plays Jeff’s older and much more successful brother (not by much), Pat, who is married to the cute and quirky Linda (Judy Greer).

On a pretty unremarkable day, Jeff gets a phone call from someone that’s looking for “Kevin.” A normal person would just respond to it as a wrong number and carry on, but Jeff does the opposite, and the film, along with Jeff’s journey, is to find this mysterious person named Kevin. Me thinks Jeff has watched Signs and has dabbled on the narcotics a bit too much to take on this great undertaking, but since he’s practically useless he might as well get out of the house for bit.

By that same token Pat suspects that Linda is cheating on him and wants to catch her in the act. This subplot is one of the better moments of the film, when Helms is onscreen, but when Jeff comes along to assist, I stopped caring. On the other hand, the best parts of the film are the ones where Susan Sarandon are onscreen. I feel sorry for her character in that her sons are both idiots, she’s widowed, sad, and hates her job. She feels like the walls are closing in and doesn’t really know what to do to stop that.

Make no mistake, I didn’t care for Jeff, Who Lives At Home. I found to it to be too self-important and “hipstery” that it totally sucked the life out of me while I was watching it. Although, I blame Jason Segel for that. Ever since his cringe-inducing and shameful performance in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I can’t stand him in any other films. No, I have yet to see How I Met Your Mother, so I can’t say if he’s cool in that or not.

Considering that I hate his face, the rest of the cast do their best to move the material along as best as they can. I do give credit to the writer/director Duplass guys in that they have created a project where the film Signs was used as a catalyst to create something like Jeff, Who Lives At Home. It’s strange, but very ballsy.

Video 

Jeff, Who Lives At Home is presented in 1080p, 1.85:1 widescreen. Here’s a somewhat peculiar presentation of the film. It was shot in digital, but it looks like film, and it would have looked stellar if not for the incredible amounts of softness found all over the place. Black levels are adequate, but contrast does suffer a bit due to it taking place mostly outside – it’s really bright out. Flesh tones look natural, never flush, and the detail comes through very well. I did not notice any instances of DNR saturation a grain levels were steady throughout the film. The softness and contrast boosting were the only culprits here. If you can forgive those two intrusions then you’ll be fine.

Audio 

Jeff, Who Lives At Home is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1. Here’s a lossless track that won’t blow the doors down in terms of earth shattering tones, but it does deliver the goods in terms of dialogue, ambient sound effects, and LFE, with regards to the various music cues. Dialogue comes through crystal clear, and never muddled. Sound effects are very realistic as there is a car chase that features a Porsche, which sounds pretty awesome. Yeah, so there really isn’t that much to say about the audio quality only that the audio presentation is probably the best thing about Jeff, Who Lives At Home.

Extras

Poop.

Summary  

Whew, glad that’s over. I hate Jason Segel, loved the supporting cast, hated that there were zero special features, and loved that the Blu-ray sounded pretty damn good considering that the video looked soft as hell. Other than those quibbles, I’d say that if you’re super curious about it then just rent it. Speaking of which, I really need to start watching How I Met Your Mother. I hear it’s awesome. I also need to see Safety Not Guaranteed just to see if that will change my opinion of the Duplass Bros. and their work. They’ve got potential, I just didn’t care about Jeff, Who Lives At Home in particular

 

 

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “Jeff, Who Lives At Home (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Also from Duplass brothers this year: Do-Deca Pentathlon: http://whysoblu.com/the-do-deca-pentathlon-movie-review/