Sisters & Brothers Blu-ray Review

Every so often (several times a month?) studios deem it time to release the lesser known films of our stars. They market them with big pictures of the star on the cover, usually regardless of the size of the role they play. One recent movie to be released with, well, curious timing, is SISTERS & BROTHERS from 2011. An independent film from Vancouver, Canada, SISTERS & BROTHERS features Cory Monteith (GLEE), who died early this summer. If there’s one good thing about the movie, though, it would have to be that the film is almost entirely forgettable. That’s a good thing for fans of Monteith, because you don’t want to come into this movie looking for something amazing or you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Dustin Milligan and Cory Monteith

SISTERS & BROTHERS starts off as kind of a faux-documentary, featuring quick snippets of ‘interview’ footage with various people, some of which are featured throughout the film. We learn very little about any of the characters during these supposed-to-be ‘intense’ interviews. Instead everyone talks in generalities about their relationships with their siblings. I’d be bothered by this, but these vague answers are actually refreshing in hindsight since this is probably the only moment you’ll care about these characters.

Camille Sullivan and Amanda Crew

While the movie basically follows four sibling/familial relationships, it spends far too much time vaguely giving us the history of each relationship. Very. Slowly. With lots of exposition. All four of our primary relationships are troubled, but at the same time they could be relatable… if they were only written to be something more than stereotypes. But instead of full characters we spend the entire movie watching and HOPING someone will finally do something against the type so quickly established at the open. Waiting for a train that will never come.

Dustin Milligan and Cory Monteith

SISTERS & BROTHERS is the third (and hopefully last) movie along similar lines from filmmaker Carl Bessai, who previously released the films FATHERS & SONS (2010) and MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS (2008). I completely understand what he is trying to do but with his resume I would expect far better character development and plot lines than are ever present in SISTERS & BROTHERS. It could be the writing or the acting but there is not a single relatable character in this film, and that’s sad. There’s potential in the script, certainly some potential in the actors they got for the leads, but in trying to make the characters so general as to be ‘universal’ for viewers, Bessai has succeeded only in alienating the audience.

Benjamin Ratner

I guess there are two more good things about this movie. First, it is a reminder of the end of an era. The faux documentaries were fun at first, just like the ‘found footage’ thrillers… but eventually a premise like this becomes distracting on its own simply by being used. At least Hollywood fads like this don’t tend to last too long. The other good thing – this is at least one final opportunity for fans of Cory Monteith to see him on screen. I don’t think this is the performance you’re going to want to remember, though, and would suggest avoiding this one if possible.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: (1080p Widescreen 1.85:1) The video is reasonably presented though the colors are muted in many scenes. All in all, not a terrible presentation but nothing special.

Audio: (English Dolby TrueHD 5.1) The sound is actually very well done and mixed and presented with great clarity, an immersive experience.

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