Bad Neighbours is a film which, like Transformers: Age of Extinction, didn’t come out in the cinema on a Friday, but a Saturday, which meant that it wouldn’t make the following week’s charts, but would actually have a 9-day “weekend” in terms of box office, and so would easily by No.1 the following week.
A cynic might say that the studio are clearly so unsure it’d get to No.1 on its own merit that they have to cheat by getting almost two full weekends out of it. I do hope this isn’t the start of a trend.
Anyhoo, the film, called “Neighbors” in the US – obviously avoided in the UK so people don’t suddenly think that a near-30-year-old Australian soap opera has finally got the big-screen treatment – centres around pot-smoking Mac (Seth Rogen) and and forthright Kelly (Rose Byrne), who are new parents with a suffering sex life. They need some peace and quiet, so what they don’t need is Delta Psi frat house to move in next door. But they do, and they’re fronted by Teddy (Zac Efron).
Naturally, any chance they try to get them to keep it down backfires on them big-time, and to a few humourous results. Can they sell up and move on? Well, who else would now want to move in to that neighbourhood.
What follows is around 90 minutes of the couple and the frat boys trying to get one-up on each other. It’s okay but far from outstanding. Its best joke involves air-bags stolen from the couple’s car, which is why they showed most of it in the trailer. Hence, there’s nothing here that made me laugh out loud, as it’s all very predictable.
The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and is crisp and sharp, looking at its best during the party scenes in the frat house, filled with neon signage. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma screen with a Samsung BDP1500 player.
Audio-wise, while it’s not a SFX movie and there’s nothing major in the way of split-surround excitment, there’s some loud music pumping out big-time through all the speakers.
The extras are as follows, and they’re in HD and subtitled, but annoyingly, you have to switch the subtitles on for each one:
- Alternate Opening (6:40): A rather painful one… And some obviously early SFX, as it didn’t make it to the finished movie.
- Line-o-rama (2:52): Out-takes, mostly from the same scene. They’re okay, but even for a short piece it does go on a bit.
- Deleted/Alternate Scenes (12:55): 10 of them here. I’d include the first one as it features a wet T-shirt contest, plus No.3 (which I won’t spoil) and No.8 (“Airbags“).
- Gag Reel (5:57): Entitled “Neighbors Gag Real” in the feature. These are more out-takes.
- An Unlikely Pair (5:34): A standard featurette with chat from key case and crew mixed in with on-set clips.
- Partying with the Bad Neighbours (7:17): Another featurette in the same style.
- On Set With… (3:41): And more, focusing on a particular scene which I don’t want to spoil here.
- The Frat (5:44): And this one centres on the Frat House.
- Audio description track: Does what it says on the tin.
So, there’s nothing massively revelatory in these but then this is not a drama/thriller, this is a stoner comedy. Also, the longish list of extras makes them look substantial, but they’re each only a few minutes long.
There are subtitles in oodles of languages (see below) and 20 chapters is fine for this film as I go by the rule of thumb of one every 5 minutes.
Running time: 97 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
Released: September 8th 2014
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Latin American Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish and Arabic
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Producer: Evan Goldberg
Screenplay: Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien
Music: Michael Andrews
Mac Radner: Seth Rogen
Kelly Radner: Rose Byrne
Stella: Elise Vargas
Stella: Zoey Vargas
Bill Wazowkowski: Brian Huskey
Jimmy: Ike Barinholtz
Paula: Carla Gallo
Teddy Sanders: Zac Efron
Pete: Dave Franco
Brooke: Halston Sage
Scoonie: Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Garf: Jerrod Carmichael
Assjuice: Craig Roberts
Whitney: Ali Cobrin
Brittany: Kira Sternbach
Toga #1: Andy Samberg
Dean Carol Gladstone: Lisa Kudrow
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.