Director: Neil LaBute
Writer: Dean Craig
DVD and blu-ray release date: September 27 2010
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Number of discs: 1
Price: From £11.99-£14.98
Running Time: 92 mins
Starring: Danny Glover, James Marsden, Chris Rock, Peter Dinklage, Zoe Saldana, Luke Wilson, Keith David, Loretta Devine, Ron Glass, Regina Hall, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan
The opening coffin sequence is a good indication of what to expect of the rest of this black infused American remake of the 2007 British comedy, Death At A Funeral.
A motley crew of relatives reunite for an ill-fated funeral each bringing with them their own baggage. Whispered bickering starts an already doomed service as brotherly rivalry and a mother’s favouritism makes for a sour reunion.
Aaron (Chris Rock) is the oldest brother and an author whose unpublished book no-one has read. His successful writer brother, Ryan (Martin Lawrence), is the favourite – a rich arsehole who brags about travelling first class and tries to usurp Aaron’s right to read the eulogy, suggesting he is an incompetent writer: “Daddy’s only going to die once”.
Other relatives are equally unsupportive of Aaron’s writing talent, telling him: “We can all write cheques”. Add to this, his mother, Cynthia’s (Loretta Devine) constant cruel jibes at his wife, Michelle’s (Regina Hall) inability to get pregnant and it’s no wonder Aaron is highly strung: “You can’t understand death until you have given life”.
Aaron is not the only preoccupied family member – Norman (Tracy Morgan) is worried he has a pigment mutation and family friend, Derek (Luke Wilson), still loves Elaine (Zoe Saldana) while her fiancé Oscar (James Marsden), takes what appears to be valium but ends up naked on the roof flapping open his knees.
While all this family-orientated drama goes on, mystery guest dwarf, Frank is angered he wasn’t left anything in the will and feels like a “cheap piece of arse” so wants the $30,000 he deserves, threatening to show Cynthia sex pictures to prove he was her husband’s lover.
Death At A Funeral is full of obviously comical slapstick actions, including a dancing tripping midget and a whole host of made-for-laughs gags, like family friend “Little Martina” being described as “in 12th Grade but her arse in grad school”, the Frank situation summarized as “Our father was having sex with a guy that could fit in his pocket” and a drugged up Oscar’s assessment of the funeral: “I want our wedding to be like this”.
By far the biggest joke of the film is an almost unrecognisable Danny Glover as the famously moody Uncle Russell – a wheelchair-bound bitter old guy constantly jabbing people with his walking stick and making inappropriate remarks like “Let’s just burn him and get it over with”, to the point where a fellow relative threatens: “You better stop this or you’re going to be in the box next”.
Afro-Caribbean Death At A funeral does nothing new but a strong cast and appropriately apt timing results in a continuous onslaught of comical episodes happily keeping viewers chuckling hard throughout.
- Commentary with Director Neil LaBute and Chris Rock.
- Deleted Scenes.
- Death at a Funeral: Last Rites, Dark Secrets Featurette.
- Family Album Featurette.
- Death For Real Featurette.
Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Material
- movieIQ™+sync and BD-Live connect you to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie.