DVD Review: 'The Naked Brothers Band Movie'
Nat & Alex younger and even cuter than their fans know them now
The real life brothers' mother, Polly Draper of "thirtysomething" fame, recognized the goldmine of untutored entertainment in her two kids and created this film, which not only attracted big-name cameos and was popular at festivals, but showcased the boys' natural talents enough to earn them their own TV show.
Set up as a rock documentary with references to the Beatles, the movie centers on how the Wolff brothers and their band, The Silver Boulders, deal with fame and the eventual breakup of the group -- partly because of an Asian girl, partly because of creative differences and partly because of a rival silver-tongued manager.
The movie is pure wishfulfillment for kids who like to pretend to be famous, know better than their elders and experience adult situations without the drama. Parents will be similarly charmed by Nat's awkward crush on Rosalina (he puts on an English accent when she's around), Alex's outrageous fashion sense, the nostalgia this genre brings and appearances by Cyndi Lauper, Uma Thurman, Tony Shalhoub and other stars.
The "making of" featurette is geared more towards kids, with very little emphasis on how the film was actually made. Some light-hearted behind-the-scenes moments -- such as Nat getting embarrassed by his mom -- are intercut with snippets of the "concert" footage and songs, music video-style. There's lots of good-natured mugging and costume changes to let the viewers feel part of the process.
A fun, interactive feature is the "Crazy Car" video, which consists of tons of footage from the film of the band singing their "hit" song with the on-screen lyrics highlighted by a bouncing star so kids can sing along.
As an added bonus (or curse for parents sick of the songs), the DVD comes with a CD of the five original Wolff songs from the film. These catchy and often humorous songs are a good deal more honest and wholesome than other stuff kids and tweens are listening to nowadays.
EXTRAS: Making of the movie featurette; "Crazy Car" karaoke movie; bonus music CD of songs from the movie