Two estranged brothers compete over...well, practically over the air they breathe in The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, a teensy, disarming, characteristically shambling story about the routines of slow-moving men from filmmaking brothers Jay and Mark Duplass. Onscreen siblings Jeremy (Mark Kelly) and Mark (Steve Zissis) are grown-ups, at least chronologically. But when Jeremy crashes Mark's birthday celebration at their mother's house, the pair resume a cutthroat, dead-serious, 25-event athletic showdown they invented as high school kids. (Their face-offs include holding one's breath underwater.) The competition is brutal to the appalled resignation of Mark's incredibly patient wife (Jennifer Lafleur), who looks on with appropriate womanly dismay at all this deranged, love-hate guy nonsense.
Although newly released, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon was shot four years ago, before the Duplasses' more spiffed-up Hollywood entries Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives at Home. So the filmmakers' trademark shoulder-shrugging, what-the-hey approach to visual storytelling all raggedy, with slamming zooms and unsparing close-ups on less-than-glossy male faces was achieved on even more of a microbudget than most of their stuff. Not that it makes much difference. These movie guys specialize in snapping vignettes of human inconsistency no fancy lighting required. (Also available on VOD) B+