The Do-Deca-Pentathlon Jay and Mark Duplass

The Do-Deca-Pentathlon Jay and Mark Duplass
A story of sibling rivalry taken to a not-so-logical extreme, it could be presumed that the latest from the Duplass brothers might be somewhat autobiographical in nature ― if not for the fact that it's based on a true story about two other brothers. As seen alongside their recent mainstream efforts (Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives At Home), it's a comparatively lightweight and flimsy conceit for a film, one more closely resembling the Duplass' debut: The Puffy Chair. Which is to say that it is an amiable, though rarely laugh-out-loud funny slice of life bearing the hallmark hand-held camerawork that characterizes the unfortunately branded "mumblecore" movement. Jeremy (Mark Kelly), a professional poker player, barely even sees his brother, Mark (Steve Zissis), anymore, partially because of a 25-event titular sports challenge that the two competed in when they were growing up. Mark agrees to return to their childhood home with his wife, Stephanie (Jennifer Lafleur), and nearly adolescent son, Hunter (Reid Williams), for his birthday, on the assurance that Jeremy won't be there. When he does show up after all, the brothers stage a Do-Deca-Pentathlon Redux in an attempt to bury the hatchet. This potentially silly idea is presented with more depth than expected, with the brothers having to hide their plans because of the unwanted friction it'll ignite within the family. Because of this, the events of the challenge lack any genuine excitement and fun, leaving us instead with some drama that, even at 76 minutes, is spread too thin. It does manage to successfully capture the ridiculously amplified spirit of competition that exists in brothers while presenting it in an unexpected way that is typical of the brothers Duplass. The acting is perfectly capable all around, but the lack of big names is notable, given the people they have worked with recently. Included on the disc are a couple of too-brief clips of the real-life brothers that provided the film's inspiration. They discuss the origins of the Do-Deca-Pentathlon and, as in the movie, attempt to re-stage the challenge for the cameras. Unfortunately, the featurette ends frustratingly as they are beginning the last event while tied 12-12. Even more revealing is the inclusion of the two of them engaging in the Rock, Paper, Scissors event, taking a very long opportunity for analysis after each round. (Fox)