How does the old saying go? You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can't pick your family...or something along those lines. I'm sure most of us feel as if we grew up in a crazy, dysfunctional family, and the larger the family, the crazier they tend to be. Of course, all that craziness is amplified when everyone gets together for holidays and special occasions. Hollywood seems to make it a point to use this concept every few years and comes up with a comedy based on the idea that some ethnic group has a family event and when everyone gets together hilarity follows. Comedian Jo Koy's version of this concept is DreamWorks Pictures' Easter Sunday.
Joe Valencia (Koy) is an actor in Los Angeles, known for his beer commercial and its catchphrase, "Let's get this party started, baby!" He is up for a role on a new sitcom, which he desperately needs to pay his mounting bills. His only problem is the producer wants his character to have a Filipino accent, something Joe refuses to do. In the midst of everything going on, Joe's mother is hounding him to come home for Easter Sunday. Dragging his mildly estranged teenage son, Junior (Brandon Wardell; I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson), along with him, Joe spends the day with his family while trying to get cast on a television show.
When Jo Koy graced the CinemaCon stage in Las Vegas to talk to movie theater owners about Easter Sunday, I was excited to see it. Koy probably did a good five to seven minutes of a hilarious, off-the-cuff stand-up routine that was so funny, it teased the audience and built anticipation for the movie. If the movie had been infused with Koy's humor and wit, it would have been a much better film than what was ultimately produced. Aside from a few funny lines and one church-inspired, Koy stand-up routine, Easter Sunday tries too hard to reach a seemingly unattainable goal.
Besides Koy and Wardell, the cast consists of Tia Carrere (True Lies), Lydia Gaston (The Path), Eva Noblezada (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Eugene Cordero (The Mule), and Jay Chandrasekhar (Super Troopers), etc. all of whom are well cast. They each bring something unique to their characters but Gaston and Carrere are terrific as feuding sisters always trying to outdo each other.
The technical aspects are what you would expect from a Blu-ray. The 1080p resolution makes for very good, detailed visuals and a vibrant color palette which makes almost everything pop. The nighttime scenes have authentic shades of black without grain. The DTS True-HD 5.1 audio is also solid with plenty of ambient noise surrounding the viewer with dialogue sitting front and center. The Blu-ray comes with a decent amount of extras including Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes, Making Easter Sunday, Family Matters, A Day in the Life, Tallish, and Feature Commentary with Director Jay Chandrasekhar and Actor Jo Koy. There is also a digital code that can be redeemed.
There is no denying that Jo Koy has talent. He is a funny comedian who has had success in his career to date. However, this project lacked that humor we have come to expect with the exception of a few scenes here and there. The family dynamic never becomes fully explored so we are left wondering and, honestly, while the funniest moments were great, they were few and far between.
The Blu-ray quality and extras are very good but the film didn't live up to expectations.