Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Everything Must Go DVD review; a great change of pace for Will Ferrell

I bet very few of readers ever heard of Everything Must Go, much less watched it.  Luckily, I live in Southern California and watching an indie is a relatively easy thing to do.  Everything Must Go stars Will Ferrell as an alcoholic who has just been fired from his long-time job.  He comes home to see all his personal belongings on his front yard.  His wife has left him, and he's forced to have a yard sale as he learns to get his life back together.  With the help of a young friend, and a curious neighbor, he begins to do just that.

What I liked about the film:
A Change Of Pace For Will Ferrell
I'm a Will Ferrell fan, and I have been since his days on SNL.  But I must admit, the last few years, we've seen Ferrell play the same character, just modified a bit.  This was a nice change of pace.  This isn't the first time he's tested his acting chops.  In 2006, he was great in Stranger Than Fiction.  He does a fine job here as well.  The series of unfortunate events just come one after the other for this character, and we feel for him.  He has proven he can act in a drama.  It's only when Ferrell strays from the dramatic does he falter (I'll get into that later).  Overall, a job well done.

Rebecca Hall
I had no idea Rebecca Hall was in the film until I started watching it.  Mainly because I haven't seen much marketing for the film.  She is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses in Hollywood.  Especially after seeing her in The Town with Ben Affleck.  She is a curious neighbor who has just moved across the street from Will Ferrell's character.  Throughout the film, we learn why she is so sympathetic to Ferrell.  She turns in another solid performance she should be proud of.

The Friendships
While picking up the pieces of his life, Ferrell befriends a little boy in the neighborhood, played by Christopher Jordan Wallace.  Although I didn't think it was very convincing, I did appreciate the attempt.  As Ferrell and Wallace work together to sell all his belongings, they learn a lot from each other.  Wallace appears to be a future salesman, just like Ferrell.  And Ferrell learns that life has a lot more to offer than what he thought it did.  I also enjoyed the friendship formed between Ferrell and Hall.  I should mention, Michael Peña and Laura Dern are not in the movie long, but definitely add to Ferrell's character arc.  This was a neat little story written by Raymond Carver and Dan Rush (who also directed the film).

What I didn't like about the film:
The Absurd
It's only when Ferrell veers from the plausible that the movie doesn't work.  There's a scene where Ferrell is visibly upset about being let go from his job.  And what does he do?  He slashes his former boss' tires.  It looked like a scene right out of any Ferrell comedy; it would have been nice if the movie stayed grounded in reality the whole time.

Christopher Jordan Wallace
I feel bad even typing this, but the teenager was so poorly cast.  I think I understand what Dan Rush was trying to do.  Cast an unknown and that had chemistry with Ferrell so the scenes appear genuine and authentic.  In my opinion it didn't work.  I'm going to keep track of Wallace and see if he evolves.  Let me know what you thought.

The Verdict:
A Good, Not Great Film
I think the movie is one worth seeing because it's a great little story about a man struggling to get his life together.  I also enjoyed how he gets help from the most unlikely of places.  It reminds me of great movies like Finding Forrester where an unusual duo learns from one another.  Good stuff.

The Blu-Ray:
There really isn't much to brag about.  According to Amazon, it's going to include only three special features: Behind the scenes featurette, Audio commentary with director, Will Ferrell featurette.  Not a lot to choose from, but it's to be expected from an indie film.  I didn't look at the DVD version, but I would imagine it has equal or less special features.  My suggestion would be to go with the DVD.  This is a character driven piece where picture and sound don't really matter.  If you've seen the film, let me know what you think.

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