Sisters & Brothers Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Cory Monteith, Dustin Milligan, Amanda Crew, Camille Sullivan
  • Director: Carl Bessai
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English  
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • Release Date: September 10, 2013
  • Run Time: 86 minutes



            I enjoy a good Hollywood satire, because there are many elements of the entertainment world which is ripe for picking on and the industry narcissistically appreciates negative attention over none. The problem with an independent film satirically insulting Hollywood is the mere hypocrisy of the entire endeavor. It’s like the kid who is terrible at a game and insists that the game is stupid while desperately trying to be the winner. Canadian filmmaker Carl Bessai clearly wants to be a part of the club, though this film has an obsession with belittling Hollywood while he simultaneously attempts to make a movie to build his reputation within it.


            You may wonder why I am discussing Hollywood satires for a film called Sisters & Brothers. It is true that the familial relationships is the main focus of the narrative, just as Bessai’s previous films, Mothers & Daughters and Fathers & Sons. The problem with these sibling situations is the mere fact that two out of the four deal with one or two characters working within the film industry. In the most fantasy-based section of the film, brothers Justin (Cory Monteith) and Rory (Dustin Milligan) deal with their competing careers in Hollywood. Although Rory was a star first, his brother Justin quickly surpassed him to movie star status, and they bicker over what is important as Justin shows off his luxurious lifestyle. The other actor in the film is pathetic Canadian dreamer, Nikki (Amanda Crew), who has a cynical half-sister named Maggie (Camille Sullivan) to judge her on a road trip to L.A. with a promise-filled writer whose brother is also an actor.


            The only two stories which aren’t obsessed with the entertainment industry are the two more melodramatic sequences, and also contain some of the poorer acting. Louise (Gabrielle Miller) cares for her mentally ill brother (Ben Ratner), although the improvised nature of the film and Ratner’s inability to keep from breaking character makes this entire section entirely insensitive to people with real mental problems. Perhaps Ratner was just having fun with the role, but Bessai’s inability to retain control makes this section more offensive than effective. The last section is the most amateur and manipulative, involving an unbelievable situation with unrealistically exaggerated character behavior, all ending with a contrived emotional resolution. Spoiled teen Sarah (Gabrielle Miller) discovers that she has a half-sister from her mother’s time as a cult member in India.


            There is no screenwriter listed in the credits of Sisters & Brothers, instead listing the film as a collective creation by the cast. I can only assume that means that they improvised or made up most of it on their own, which makes the performances slightly more impressive and Bessai appear an extremely lazy filmmaker. I would not recommend this to anyone, especially not anyone actually in the entertainment industry. Perhaps the Canadian film industry will enjoy the jokes about Hollywood, although anyone who has seen an episode of “Entourage” could write material this realistic.


    Entertainment Value: 3.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 2/10

    Historical Significance: 0/10

    Disc Features: 0/10



    No comments: