Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) have just put their entire life savings into their new home. While at first they are excited, the pressures of being new parents and having adult responsibilities weighs on them. They miss the care-free days when they could go out and party with other couples and just have fun whenever they want to.
When a fraternity moves into the house next door, the Radners are concerned that their newborn daughter is going to be kept awake by constant parties. However, they still want to appear as a fun-loving young, hip, couple. So when they talk with Delta Psi president Teddy (Zac Efron) and ask him to curb the noise, they also try to be his friend, and agree to go to him with any problems and not call the cops. However, it’s not long before the raucous partying begins and all of their requests to keep the noise level down are ignored. So the Radners try to anonymously call the police, but when Teddy finds out, they become enemy number one. And soon there is an escalating war between the Radners and the members of the frat house.
While Neighbors has a lot of really fun moments, it never quite reaches the laugh-out-loud level I was hoping for. The film gives a more modern spin on your typical frat movie. For example, instead of selling beefcake calendars to raise funds, the Delta Psi boys sell dildos molded from their own members. Also, we don’t see Kelly sit idly by as the men compete as would usually happen in this type of film—she’s right in there, coming up with her own schemes on how to get the frat boys evicted. However, it still contains all of those classic moments you’d expect from this type of film—parties, drinking, drugs, pranks & schemes, fake nudity and a dance-off (how could you not have a dance-off with Zac Efron in your movie?!).
The film has a nice blend of physical, gross-out/shock and situational humor. Efron and Rogen have great on-screen chemistry, and the film finds a lot of humor in their completely opposite physiques. In fact, Seth Rogen may be more naked in this film than Zac Efron! Rose Byrne is also hilarious—especially when she becomes the instigator and ringleader in the plotting and scheming. It was also refreshing that her character was written as being Australian, allowing her to keep her natural accent.
The rest of the cast includes some great comedic talents. Ike Barinholtz and Carla Gallo deliver some hysterical scenes as the Radner’s divorced-couple friends (and scheming accomplices) Jimmy and Paula. And Lisa Kudrow is perfectly-cast as the dimwitted dean of the college. In the Delta Psi house there’s Dave Franco as VP Pete who can deliver a boner on command, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the extremely well-endowed Scoonie, Craig Roberts as hazed pledge Assjuice, and Jerrod Carmichael as stoner Garf. The film contains several humorous flashbacks to historic moments for the fraternity, and each one of these contains several recognizable TV actors.
The Blu-ray itself looks great, with a sharp clear picture that captures all of the details. And the audio soundtrack makes great use of various channels to bring the viewer into the scenes. For example, in an early scene where Kelly is Facetiming with Paula, you hear Paula’s voice only out of the left or right speaker, depending where the phone is on the screen.
The Blu-ray contains about 45 minutes of bonus material, including an alternate opening, more deleted/alternate scenes and takes, a gag reel and several behind-the-scenes featurettes. The material was really fun to watch, and the only thing that I found disappointing was the lack of an audio commentary as I think it could have been really entertaining.
- 1080p / Widescreen 2.40:1
- Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English DVS (Descriptive Video Service), Spanish 5.1 DTS Digital Surround, French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
- 480p / Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
- Audio: English 5.1, Spanish 5.1, French 5.1, English DVS (Descriptive Video Service)
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
- UltraViolet DigitalHD Copy redeemable via Flixster, Vudu or Target Ticket
- Digital Copy redeemable via iTunes or Windows Media
Digital Copy (For Redemption Deadline see NBCUcodes.com):
- Alternate Opening (6:40) (Blu-ray Only)
This alternate opening provides more of an introduction to the frat brothers and pledges, and the events that led to their original frat house burning down. These events are referenced during the film, so it was great to see that it was actually filmed and included on the Blu-ray.
- Deleted/Alternate Scenes (12:55) (Blu-ray Only)
A humorous collection of deleted and alternate scenes, including additional material with side characters Jimmy, Scoonie, Assjuice and Dean Carol Gladstone. There are also some fun guest appearances by comedic actors Bobby Moynihan, Nathan Fielder, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. Play All or select from “History”, “Babysitter Alt”, “Shaving Alt”, “Play Date”, “Negotiations Alt”, “Please Be Porn”, “Realty”, “Airbags”, “Good For Me” and “Watch Me ;-)”.
- Line-O-Rama (2:52)
The cast ad-libs and has fun with these alternate takes and riffs in this footage of Mac and Kelly and the frat boys trading smack talk back and forth.
- Gag Reel (5:57)
If you love Seth Rogen’s unique laugh, you’ll love this gag reel! The cast members have fun on set. and constantly crack up while trying to deliver their lines.
- An Unlikely Pair (5:34)
The cast and creators discuss the chemistry between Zac & Seth, and what it was like working with the actors. Includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with director Nicholas Stoller, producer Evan Goldberg, and actors Dave Franco (“Pete”), Seth Rogen (“Mac”), Ike Barinholtz (“Jimmy”), Craig Roberts (“Assjuice”), Zac Efron (“Teddy”), Jerrod Carmichael (“Garf”), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (“Scoonie”) and Rose Byrne (“Kelly”).
- Partying with the Neighbors (7:17)
The cast and creators talk about the premise of the film, the characters and working with Rose Byrne, Ike Barinholtz and the babies. Includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with producer Evan Goldberg, co-writers Brendan O’Brien & Andrew Jay Cohen, director Nicholas Stoller, and cast members Rose Byrne (“Kelly”), Seth Rogen (“Mac”), and Ike Barinholtz (“Jimmy”).
- On the Set With… (3:41) (Blu-ray Only)
On the set of the film with the cast and creators, where all the talk is centered around dicks. Christopher Mintze-Plasse discusses his enormous fake member, while property master Sean Mannion shows off early prototypes as well as the final product. Jerrod Carmichael comments on his hairless scene; Seth Rogen talks about the dildo fundraiser; and James Franco shows off all of merchandise and demonstrates the contraption that gives his character a boner-on-command.
- The Frat (5:44)
The cast and creators talk about bonding among the frat brothers as well as their own experiences with frats. Includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with director Nicholas Stoller, co-writers Brendan O’Brien & Andrew Jay Cohen, and actors Zac Efron, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Mintze-Plasse, Craig Roberts, and Dave Franco. Also provides behind-the-scenes looks at the filming of all of the historic flashbacks along with interviews with the stars of those segments—Kyle Newacheck, Anders Holm, Adam DeVine, Blake Anderson, Akiva Chaffer, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Jake Johnson, Bobby Moynihan, and Nathan Fielder.
Overall, I thought Neighbors was a fun hybrid of frat and bad neighbor themed comedies, that has a grat blend of physical, gross-out/shock and situational humor. The cast is loaded with talented actors, who deliver some really humorous performances. The Blu-ray looks and sounds great and contains 45 minutes of solidly-entertaining bonus material. This release is definitely worth checking out for some laughs.