Blu-Ray Review: John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill Rule in ‘Cyrus’

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CHICAGO – John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill (and Marisa Tomei and Catherine Keener) prove to be a perfect comedy duo in the nearly-great “Cyrus,” a delightfully left-of-center comedy that allows these two talented men to prove that they have some of the best comic timing in the business. “Cyrus” is a daring comedy about when someone new in your life crosses the line from “eccentric” to “dangerous.” Don’t miss it. Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0

Reilly stars as John, a sad, lonely man trying to put his life back together and realizing that one of the new puzzle pieces doesn’t quite fit. John gets drunk at parties and tells people about his depression. Strangely, his honesty and vulnerability draws him to the gorgeous Molly (Marisa Tomei), someone used to dealing with people who may need a bit more emotional attention than others because of her fragile son Cyrus (Jonah Hill).

Cyrus was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
Cyrus was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
Photo credit: Fox

Cyrus was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
Cyrus was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
Photo credit: Fox

Her adult son doesn’t seem to do much with his days, which is not uncommon for men in a quarter-life crisis, but it becomes clear that he’s also bizarrely-attached to his mother. They go to the park together and take photographs when he’s not composing pretty horrific techno music. Once again, no big deal. It’s when John notices that he has a bit too much physical comfort with his mother that he starts to worry. He casually goes to the toilet while she’s showering and he’s simply too touchy-feely in general. Of course, it’s not long before Cyrus is actively putting himself in the middle of the blooming relationship between John and Molly, emotionally manipulating his mother in the way that only a son can do and starting all-out warfare with the man who could be taking the attention he so desperately needs.

“Cyrus” sounds like a cliched comedy mess and the plot easily could have been if the multi-talented Duplass brothers had been replaced by someone like Jay Roach and Reilly and Hill were replaced by comedy hacks, but this team refuses to do something that doesn’t feel genuine. Mark and Jay Duplass brilliantly underplay their story hook, allowing their amazingly talented cast to bring their characters to the plot instead of vice versa. Reilly, Hall, Tomei, Keener – they never hit a false note even as the story goes to relatively ridiculous places by the final act.

“Cyrus” could have easily just been another variation on the man-child comedies that have made Adam Sandler and Owen Wilson millionaires but Hill, Reilly, and their directors just never let that happen. Shot with excellent handheld camera work, “Cyrus” has a fly-on-the-wall quality, creating wonderfully uncomfortable moments from totally believable characters.

Mumblecore took another step forward this year with the massive praise for Noah Baumbach’s “Greenberg,” a film I like but not as much as “Cyrus.” It seems like as the genre continues to grow and before it dies down, it will produce at least one great director. It turns out that the “great director” could actually be a pair of brothers as they have taken the sensibilities they brought to “The Puffy Chair” and “Baghead” and perfectly translated them to what could be called the first big budget mumblecore comedy.

Special Features:
o Deleted Scenes
o Q&A With Directors/Writers Jay & Mark Duplass
o Music Mash-Up with John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill
o Behind the Scenes at SXSW with Jay & Mark Duplass
o Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character with John C. Reilly
o Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character with Jonah Hill

“Cyrus” stars John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei, and Catherine Keener. It was written and directed by Jay & Mark Duplass. It was released by Fox on December 14th, 2010. It is rated R and runs 91 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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