Plot: What’s it about?
Jackson Smith (Morris Chestnut) is a fast track pediatrician with a bright future, but he seems to have bad luck when it comes to romance. He can pick up girls all the time and have physical love, but he can’t seem to fall in love, no matter how hard he tries. His friend Derrick Smith (D.L. Hughley) has found his one true love, but all is not well with him either, as he can’t get his wife to take care of his sexual needs. Terry White (Shemar Moore) has been involved in a serious relationship for some time, but hasn’t taken that final step, at least not yet. The last of this group is Brian Palmer (Bill Bellamy), who is a player to the core and even if he meets the right woman, he has no intentions of settling down. These four men have been friends for as long as they can remember, but as they grow older, things begin to change and they start to look at life with a different perspective. When Terry announces he has taken the marriage plunge, it sends the friends off in different directions, as they explore what they truly want & need in terms of romance and relationships.
I wouldn’t call this a romantic comedy by any means, but as far as guy aimed flicks go, this is about as close as it gets. The premise is a great fun and one most guys can relate to, although it does lose some steam as time passes. The writing is more than solid however, with some excellent moments and also, it never resorts to filth, which is good news. I love a good crude comedy now and again, but it is also nice to have a break from them, to be sure. The writer here is Gary Hardwick and he is able to create some likable characters, which helps the humor out a lot as well. You need to like the leads in order for the flick to work and you do here, at least most of the time. The leads are played with adequate skill by Morris Chestnut, Bill Bellamy, D.L. Hughley, and Shemar Moore, who really seem natural inside the characters. The supporting cast is also better than expected, with a lot of well known faces in the mix. The Brothers is a humorous, very solid movie and while it isn’t a great one, it is well worth a look. Columbia/Tristar has issued a terrific disc also, which means a purchase or rental would be more than justified.
This movie has a good ensemble cast, but I think the most memorable performance comes from Bill Bellamy, former MTV host. Bellamy is by no means a gifted actor in the traditional sense, but when he has the right material, he can be very humorous. Such is the case here, as Bellamy seems to mesh with the character he’s given, which shows on the screen. His outrageous physical antics are fun to watch, as is his often manic line deliveries, which are very amusing. I don’t think he’s a great actor or anything, but in this case, his turn is very appropriate. You can also see Bellamy in such films as Love Stinks, How To Be A Player, Loves Jones, Fled, and Any Given Sunday. The cast also includes D.L. Hughley (The Original Kings of Comedy), Shemar Moore (Tv’s Soul Train), Morris Chestnut (Boyz N The Hood, The Inkwell), Tamala Jones (The Ladies Man, Blue Streak), Julie Benz (Jawbreaker, Inventing the Abbotts), Gabrielle Union (She’s All That, Bring It On), and Tatyana Ali (Kiss the Girls, Fakin’ Da Funk).
Video: How does it look?
The Brothers is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Aside from some slight grain at times, this is a gorgeous visual effort and I doubt anyone will be let down. The print looks clean and shows minimal defects, despite the film’s low budget roots. No errors in terms of colors, as he hues seem bright and problem free, while flesh tones are natural throughout. The contrast remains smooth and well balanced also, with no lost detail or the like. This image looks very good and quite sharp, very impressive work.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is a dialogue driven movie, but that doesn’t mean the audio isn’t smooth, not by any means. You won’t hear much in terms of surround presence, but the music comes through the rear channels well, so there is some depth. The front channels handle most of the audio however, which isn’t a bad issue, though I do wish more atmosphere was present. The dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand, with no volume errors in the least. This disc also includes 2.0 surround options & subtitles in English and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release wasn’t labeled as a special edition, but it could have been, given the selection of bonus materials included. An audio commentary with director Gary Hardwick is up first and while he is talkative, some silence can still be found. I was hoping for more insight into the shoot, but Hardwick focuses on the actors and writing process, which were still welcome topics. An exclusive featurette is next and runs about twenty-two minutes, with Hardwick giving more comments in between clips from the flick & behind the scenes footage. You can also view four deleted scenes and once again, Hardwick has recorded comments (only on three of the scenes), which are optional. This disc also includes talent files, an Eric Benet music video, and the film’s theatrical trailer.