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Best F(r)iends Volume 1 and Volume 2 Blu-ray Review

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“Best F(r)iends” has a strong start with volume 1, but volume 2 meanders too much.

I’m not going to dive into the plot of volume 1 much having already reviewed the VOD release (you can check that out here: https://dvdcorner.net/2018/09/26/best-friends-volume-1-movie-review/). I will say the central premise of volume 1 involves the friendship between a homeless man (Jon) and a mortician (Harvey) and a gold teeth business that sees a significant amount of income. Alas, greed and distrust become issues that put a wedge between the two friends. In volume 2, the aftermath of volume 1’s ending was dealt with. Without spoiling too much, Jon and his girlfriend Traci try to get the money from an ATM machine Harvey had. They visit Traci’s creepy uncle Rick for assitance, but things aren’t quite what they seem. Volume 2 also deals with what Harvey was trying to do for Jon and why he was being so secretive.

As you may or may not know, “Best F(r)iends” volume 1 and volume 2 marks the first time Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero have reunited on the big screen since the bad movie cult classic “The Room.” However, Wiseau did not write or direct these films. Instead, Greg Sestero penned both scripts while Justin MacGregor directed both features. Volume 1 starts off with great promise and is certainly the better of the two films. It’s a weird and surrealistic drama/comedy/mystery indie film about friendship, greed, secrecy that is also partially inspired by true events. Volume 2, on the other hand, suffers from a lack of Wiseau and a meandering middle act that focuses far too much on Uncle Rick. The movie largely bides its time until the surprisingly heartfelt ending. The ending is far and away the highlight of the second volume because it feels earned, but the road to get there is a bit of a rough one. And yes, in case you are wondering, there are many nods to “The Room.”

Part of what makes “Best F(r)iends” work as well as it does is the cinematography by Farhan Umedaly and Justin MacGregor. The California and Nevada location shooting in particular gives the film a strong sense of place (not to mention a strong array of splendid cinematic visuals).

I would imagine most people are tuning into these two films to see how Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau fare. Don’t be shocked to see them both give the best performances of their career thus far. Sestero shines as a troubled man who is trying to get his life back on track. Wiseau has the showier (and weirder) role, but there’s also something quite human about his character. The two also have great chemistry on screen together. They help balance out any flaws the story has. Special shoutouts should go to Kristen StephensonPino (who plays Traci) and Rick Edwards (Uncle Rick) for their quality performances which are pivotal to the story.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The striking cinematography shines in the hi-def transfers of both films.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The audio tracks for both films are solid. No more, no less.

Extras:

* Digital copy
* 8 deleted scenes
* “Welcome To My Paradise”- A behind-the-scenes featurette on the first film.
* “Tommy And Greg: Best F(r)iends Forever”- Set footage and clips of the two actors together.
* “The Tommy Diaries”- A collection of film clips and behind-the-scenes clips of Wiseau.
* “Uncle Rick”- Set footage and alternate scenes of the actor who plays Uncle Rick from volume 2.
* Commentary by Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau on Volume 1. A fascinating track that provides insight into the making of the film and what is based on real life events. Of course, it’s always compelling to hear whatever Wiseau has to say as well.

January 19, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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