Neighbors Blu-ray Review
I haven’t ever really been a fan of Seth Rogen as a leading man. I enjoyed KNOCKED UP but I think I prefer him in smaller character roles. I think this is owed primarily to his deadpan delivery and perfect timing in movies like THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN. I do, however, really enjoy the work of Nicholas Stoller. A prolific writer and the director behind FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (2008), GET HIM TO THE GREEK (2010), and THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT (2012), Stoller earned his stripes with his previous entries. So it was with mixed feelings I watched NEIGHBORS, Stoller’s most recent film starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron and Dave Franco.
NEIGHBORS opens with a fairly interesting premise, especially for anyone who has been married and had a child. What do you do when you’re confronted with the very thing you’re trying desperately to hold onto? How do you respond? It is essentially the focal point of NEIGHBORS but the movie almost immediately loses sight of the idea and only skirts the issue. Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) have just had their first baby and are dealing with the fact that they aren’t able to continue their lives in quite the same way. Their closest friends are a divorced couple who also haven’t let go of their youth.
So what do Mac and Kelly do when, instead of a ‘normal’ couple moving in next door they are faced with a frat house? The first thing is to introduce themselves to the heads of the house, president Teddy Sanders (Efron) and vice president Pete (Franco) in one of the most uncomfortable scenes I’ve witnessed. They attempt to confront them with mixed results… of course the frat is born and bred to party, aren’t able to keep up with this request so they go to confront them and, baby monitor in tow spend the entire night partying, drinking, and doing drugs with the frat. But of course that cannot continue and they now have to deal with the ramifications of the frat in the life of their baby.
From here the movie devolves into a series of gags back and forth, each one trying to outdo the last from their opponent. Most All of the funny gags were featured in the trailer and by the third act NEIGHBORS becomes a plodding mess. The entire film, it seems, was based around a premise that only had about 5 really good jokes. The rest of basically lowest common denominator detritus, waste presented for the enjoyment of the masses who don’t realize they’re witnessing maybe the worst film in which any of these people (Stoller, Efron, Rogen, Franco) have ever been involved.
It makes me sad because they had some real opportunities to do something interesting with the premise. They had opportunities to use the incredibly talented and charismatic cast to make a movie that had not only a decent message but that would have been able to reach a population with something they’ve never really seen. Instead the movie ends up losing the audience with the boring mash-up of noise. Poorly done guys. Here’s hoping the next outing is a LOT better, or some of us won’t be making the trip with you.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.40:1) The HD presentation of NEIGHBORS is very nicely presented and immersive to the experience of the family members.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio presentation of NEIGHBORS is also well done though a bit bass heavy making some of the dialogue difficult to hear over the music/soundtrack.
Deleted/Alternate Scenes (12:55) 10 scenes are included here with the option to play all. Everything here just expounds on the scenes already included in NEIGHBORS without really adding anything. The already slowly plodding pace of the film would have been much worse with the inclusion of these scenes.
Line-O-Rama (02:52) A few scenes from NEIGHBORS where the actors were allowed to improvise are included here for your enjoyment.
Gag Reel (05:57) A pretty standard gag reel is presented on the NEIGHBORS Blu-ray. Some funny moments but this one was just a little bit long for me.
An Unlikely Pair (05:34) This featurette focuses on the pairing of Seth Rogen and Zac Efron and the chemistry the filmmakers believed would carry NEIGHBORS.
Partying with the Neighbors (07:17) This feature focuses on the central themes of NEIGHBORS that are lost as the jokes devolve… similarly to the way this was put together.
On the Set With… (03:41) Some interviews with the cast of NEIGHBORS who talk about some of their favorite moments.
The Frat (05:44) Interviews with the filmmakers and how they put together the frat for NEIGHBORS.