The Skeleton Twins Blu-ray Review
I watched Saturday Night Live growing up. Like our taste in music, the SNL cast and which one is the best is debatable but we all tend to identify with the one we first saw; the first group who made us laugh after we began forming our own opinions about what is funny in the world. For this reason I never really came to adore the recent cast(s) featuring both Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, the stars of the new film THE SKELETON TWINS. I have seen many of their skits and find them quite funny; they just never struck me or became appointment television for me the way that ‘my’ cast did. Nevertheless, THE SKELETON TWINS, more than any other film featuring these two stars, makes me want to go back and see what I missed. And it makes me hopeful for the future…
THE SKELETON TWINS is the story of twins Maggie and Milo Dean (Wiig and Hader, respectively), who haven’t seen or talked to each other in ten years. When our story begins both are living life on the brink of disaster but they’re drawn together when Milo attempts to commit suicide. Seeing each other brings back loads of memories but both are timid, now strangers. Since they were last together Maggie has married Lance (played pitch-perfectly by Luke Wilson), a sweet doofus who you just can’t imagine ever encountering a situation he couldn’t handle. Lance welcomes Milo into their home and never seems jarred by any of the strange things that happen between the siblings.
Back in their hometown for the first time since leaving 10 years ago, Milo once again tries to establish a relationship with his former teacher Rich (MODERN FAMILY’s Ty Burrell) with whom he had an inappropriate relationship during high school. Milo, of course, hides this from his sister but Maggie is too busy dealing with her own issues to take notice, namely hiding both an affair and the fact that she is secretly taking birth control from Lance. Soon, the broken Milo and Maggie begin to realize just how much they support and complete each other.
THE SKELETON TWINS deals with some pretty touchy subject matter but is deftly told and works primarily because of the relationship between Wiig and Hader. Their casual chemistry really fits the sibling relationship of Maggie and Milo and while I wouldn’t EVER have thought of the two of them for these roles I have to say they are just phenomenal. I am NOT a fan of dramas most of the time. I think they have their place, it just isn’t in my living room. THE SKELETON TWINS does something incredible though. It takes this serious, terribly difficult subject matter, not to mention two unlikeable heroes, and makes you interested in them.
THE SKELETON TWINS isn’t the typical Lorne Michaels production in which we’ve all become so accustomed to seeing SNL actors star in the last 20 years. Instead, this film is brought to us by the Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay, who have been putting together a phenomenal filmography writing, producing, and in the case of Mark acting as well (this year’s phenomenal THE ONE I LOVE being a great example). THE SKELETON TWINS marks another unique take on the world from the Duplass brothers and now from writer/director Craig Johnson (TRUE ADOLESCENTS). I have to say, the Duplass brothers continue to amaze me with their inspired choices and THE SKELETON TWINS is no exception. It isn’t a perfect film but it is, quite simply, a great one.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.40:1) The images on THE SKELETON TWINS are beautiful and cinematic despite the relatively simple visual subject matter.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) THE SKELETON TWINS features an audio track that is well mixed and conveys all the right feelings. It features an interesting score mixed with a nice soundtrack that sets the mood without being overbearing.
Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Craig Johnson, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader (01:33:05) Probably my favorite commentary track this year, Wiig and Hader are in their element with friend/filmmaker Craig Johnson. It’s clear they all had a great time making THE SKELETON TWINS and while the commentary is probably a little bit light on content for people wanting a real introspective view on the filmmaking process, this track is easily the most entertaining I’ve listened to in recent memory.
Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Craig Johnson, Co-Writer Mark Heyman, and Producer/Editor Jennifer Lee (01:33:05) This commentary track is also surprisingly good, featuring the core storytellers who worked on THE SKELETON TWINS. Absolutely worth a listen if you are someone who enjoys commentaries, there is very little downtime and a lot of content here.
To Whom it May Concern: Making THE SKELETON TWINS (15:14) Through interviews with the filmmakers, Wiig and Hader, this is a phenomenal ‘making of’ special feature that really looks into THE SKELETON TWINS and the process of putting it together.
Sweet Moves (01:35) A brief look both in front and behind the camera on THE SKELETON TWINS at the various dancing moments in the film. Kind of presented like outtakes.
Gag Reel (03:36) Lots of little moments caught on camera from shooting THE SKELETON TWINS. There are some neat little moments of improv but it’s pretty standard.
Outtakes 4 specific scenes are included here, one at a time, that should have been presented as part of the outtakes from THE SKELETON TWINS. These are all generally moments containing ad libs and actor flubs. Still, a few funny moments. They include: Luke Wilson “Fat Kid” Improv (00:26); “Sea Turtles” Bill Hader break (00:55); Maggie and Billy sex scene gag take (00:28); Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader improv takes for the dentist scene (03:14)
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary (15:54) Many scenes that were cut from THE SKELETON TWINS are presented here with optional commentary. I recommend playing them with the commentary. Nothing here really great but a few things that are interesting enough to check out.
THE SKELETON TWINS Blu-ray also features previews for other films from Lionsgate and comes with an UltraViolet DigitalHD Digital Copy of film.