Blu-ray Review Comedy

'Sisters' Blu-ray Review: Mid-life crises meet high school hijinks

March 15, 2016Ben MK

You know them as Liz Lemon and Leslie Knope from the TV shows 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. But together, they've co-anchored Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update and co-starred in Mean Girls and Baby Mama. Now Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are together again in Sisters. And this time, things are completely out of control.

Directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect), the film casts Fey and Poehler as Kate and Maura Ellis, two sisters who couldn't be more different from one another. Maura (Poehler), a nurse and divorcee, fancies herself an author of motivational catchphrases, and can't resist helping even when people don't particularly want her to. Her older sister Kate (Fey), on the other hand, is a hothead who's lost her job at a local hair salon, has just gotten herself kicked out of her apartment, and even her own teenage daughter (Madison Davenport) calls her out as irresponsible.

When their parents (James Brolin and Dianne Weist) decide to declutter and sell the old family home, Kate and Maura find themselves on the next flight back to Orlando to clean out their childhood bedroom. What they do when they get there, however, involves anything but cleaning. Once known in high school for their famous "Ellis Island" parties, the siblings instead decide to pull out all the stops and throw one last bash to relive their glory days. However, one thing quickly leads to another, and by the time their little house party is over, there may not be much house left to clean up.

Written by Paula Pell, Sisters features a very large and very talented supporting cast; and though the actual storyline ends up being little more than an excuse to get the film to its extended house party sequence, once we put all these actors in the same confined space together, the result is comedy gold. Of course, that's not to say that Fey and Poehler don't steal the scene from time to time. In fact, that's exactly what the duo do most of the time, and their natural chemistry — the product of years of both on-screen and behind-the-scenes collaboration — is hands-down the best part of the movie.

Shot digitally, Sisters's Blu-ray picture quality is highly appealing, with crisp detail, deep blacks and strong contrast levels throughout. However, it's the movie's vibrant color palette that's the real highlight, whether it's the bright green lawns, Fey's hot pink top or the neon purple lights that bathe partygoers in the third act. As for the film's audio, it's more or less your standard comedy-centric sound mix, defined mostly by dialogue, along with an assortment of pop and dance music. In short, it's nothing that isn't easily handled by the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack.

Universal's two-disc Blu-ray release presents the film in both its theatrical and unrated forms, and includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted Scenes (18:03) - Nine scenes ("The Dan and Kim Story," "The Cover Charge Runner," "Arrival at the Parents' Condo," "Kate's Tale of Woe," "Maura Controls Her Feelings," "Maura Pushes Too Hard," "Brinda Wreaks More Havoc," "The Geernts Get Theirs" and "Maura Takes One Last Look").
  • Extended Scenes (16:54) - Another nine scenes ("Shopping with Brinda," "Hae-Won Arrives," "Uh-oh - It's a Popo," "Kate Has to Party-Mom Kelly," "Kate and Alex Go Downhill," "Maura and James Review High School," "Hae-Won and Kate Reminisce," "Brinda Gets the Sale" and "Be That You").
  • Gag Reel (3:17) - Goofs and silliness from the set.
  • The Improvorama (8:40) - As the title suggests, this featurette collects the improvised takes that didn't make the final cut.
  • How to Throw a Party (1:36) - Alternate footage from one of the movie's scenes.
  • Grown-Up Parties Suck (5:18) - More alternate footage from another of the movie's scenes.
  • The Alex Chronicles (2:51) - Bobby Moynihan improvises his way through several scenes.
  • The Kate and Pazuzu Chronicles (2:05) - Tina Fey and John Cena improvise their way through several takes of the same scene.
  • A Teen Movie... for Adults (10:26) - A making-of featurette that covers the production shoot, the contributions of writer Paula Pell and director Jason Moore, and the chaos of the third-act party sequence.
  • The Original Sister (6:40) - Screenwriter Paula Pell reveals the inspiration for the movie: her teenage diary.
  • Pool Collapse VFX (0:50) - A very brief look at how the visual effects of the film's climax came together.
  • Feature Commentary with Director Jason Moore, Star/Producer Tina Fey, Star/Executive Producer Amy Poehler, and Writer Paula Pell - A very loose and relaxed track in which the four talk primarily about the cast and the performances and recount their experiences shooting various scenes.

Sisters is available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as of March 15th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish and French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 58 mins (Theatrical Version) and 2 Hrs. 2 mins (Unrated Version).

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on December 18th, 2015.

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