Sisters had plenty of potential given the cast, writer and director all with impressive resumes. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who don’t have a whole lot to work with and seemed to rely on improvising than anything from the script, do at least share nice comedic chemistry; outside of those two, though, there weren’t a whole lot of genuinely funny scenes.
Universal Studios | R/Unrated – 118 min. / 122 min. – $34.98 | March 15, 2016
Date Published: 03/12/2016 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE – 2.5/5
Sisters is a compilation of members of “SNL”, including writer Paula Pell who has worked on the (once) venerable sketch comedy 20 years strong, is a mishmash of quality that never quite works for its jokes yet the chemistry shared between Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at least makes it somewhat tolerable, but not by much.
The story is pretty basic, as is the humor, focusing on Ellis sisters Kate (TINA FEY) and Maura (AMY POEHLER) who return to their childhood home after discovering their parents (JAMES BROLIN, DIANNE WIEST) have put the house up for sale and want the pair to clean out their bedrooms.
With problems in her home life, including her daughter’s (MADISON DAVENPORT) refusal to stay with her own mother, Kate wants nothing more than to let loose and after meeting the uppity potential buyers of the home, she convinces Maura to hold a party though Maura this time wants to have the fun while Kate is the designated party mom.
And… that’s really it. The last 30 minutes or so of the film is dedicated to the party scene including some sort of feud, manufactured if you ask me, with a character played by Maya Rudolph who is a very funny actress but she doesn’t get much to work with, which is the same I say with two of the funniest actors (men and women) working today in Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. That said, the pair do get a few amusing scenes with Fey working so well opposite Jon Cena who steals the show as a drug dealer who decides to stick around and Poehler with Ike Barenholtz, a contractor and potential love interest.
Sisters was helmed by Jason Moore who made his name with the 2012 smash hit, Pitch Perfect and while his direction was certainly adequate the screenplay, from Paula Pell, based on her, and her sister’s, teenaged journals, never exactly was laugh-out-loud funny and had more amusing moments than anything else. Even the party sequence, where things do pick up after dispensing with the overlong set-up, didn’t really deliver the laughs but between the scenes with Fey/Cena and Poehler/Barenholtz, they did give some life before tying things off well enough at the end.
The movie has its moments but like comedies nowadays it seems, they are far too long with this one clocking in at nearly two hours and a good 20-minutes could’ve been cut out, easy to do with a lot of line-o-rama-like scenes that go on seemingly forever. I get this is a talented and funny cast, but the editor could’ve been more selective and left the excess on the cutting room floor.
In the end, Sisters is hardly a terrible movie or anything and I’d say if you’re a fan of either Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, and to some extent Maya Rudolph who has a smaller role, it might be worth checking out on Netflix or Redbox…
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.75/5
This release comes with a title-embossed slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy and a standard-def DVD Copy.
Audio Commentary – This track features director Jason Moore, writer Paula Pell and stars/producers Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Although there are four participants, and it does take some to distinguish the ladies, they do offer their own behind-the-scenes stories and break down the various locations the film shot in.
Deleted Scenes (18:03; HD) include seven scenes that thankfully didn’t make the cut since the movie was long enough anyway, and these don’t add very much, if anything, to the “plot”.
Extended Scenes (16:54; HD) are scenes that were chopped down and, again, were removed for pacing issues no doubt.
Gag Reel (3:17; HD) – These are a collection of more bloopers that didn’t make it into the end credits…
The Improvorama (8:40; HD) – Yep, and there’s more footage with the cast going off script with more lines in this line-O-rama feature.
How to Throw a Party (1:36; HD) is just some line-O-ramas with the lesbian gals on what to bring to a party.
Grown-Up Parties Suck (5:18; HD) – This is just more extra footage from the various supporting actors at the party trying their own line-O-ramas.
The Alex Chronicles (2:51; HD) – Yep, this is more extra footage this time featuring actor Bobby Moynihan with his different lines for the editor to cull from.
The Kate and Pazuzu Chronicles (2:05; HD) – Bet you can’t figure out what this one is about! Hint: it features Tina Fey and Jon Cena.
A Teen Movie… for Adults (10:26; HD) – This is the only making-of featurette with some behind-the-scenes footage and on-set interviews with the cast and crew as they talk about the project and working with one another.
The Original Sister (6:40; HD) is a featurette on Paula Pell’s actual diary as read by the cast.
Pool Collapse VFX (0:50; HD) shows the visual effects work done with the sinkhole scene.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
|Sisters arrives to town on Blu-ray presented in the film’s original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer and to no surprise, since it is a comedy, it’s a generally bright and cheerful picture with colors that have a nice pop to them. Detail looks sharp throughout and there were no apparent signs of artifacts or aliasing.|
AUDIO – 3.5/5
|The film’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is serviceable but disappointingly low energy. The bulk of the movie of course is mostly dialogue-driven set against a generic comedic score and even the party sequence isn’t quite robust either though the LFE does kick in with some of the bass-heavy club music. Outside of that, however, it’s a rather average lossless track.|
OVERALL – 3.0/5
|Overall, Sisters had plenty of potential given the cast, writer and director all with impressive resumes. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who don’t have a whole lot to work with and seemed to rely on improvising than anything from the script, do at least share nice comedic chemistry and for any “SNL” fans out there, their friends make some appearances. Outside of those two, though, there weren’t a whole lot of genuinely funny scenes. The Blu-ray released through Universal offers good video, decent audio and an OK selection of bonus material.|
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.