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Joe Lynch
Salma Hayek, Akie Kotabe, Gabriella Wright, Jennifer Blanc
Writing Credits:
Yale Hannon

An action/thriller centered on a woman who faces down hitmen sent by her ex, a mob boss, while holed up in her apartment.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $26.99
Release Date: 4/21/2015

• Audio Commentary with Director Joe Lynch, Co-Producer Brett Hedblom and Editor Evan Schiff
• Audio Commentary with Director Joe Lynch and Cinematographer Steve Gainer
• Music Video
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Everly [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 7, 2015)

Salma Hayek goes into butt-kicking mode with 2014’s Everly. Naked, beaten and frantic, Everly (Hayek) finds herself trapped in a bathroom while outside assailants attempt to get to her. After she recovers items hidden in a toilet tank, Everly comes out with gun blazing and manages to slay her attackers.

This doesn’t end her nightmare, though, as Everly still needs to contend with more violence. Her ex Taiko (Hiroyuki Watanabe) didn’t react well when she left him, so he threatens her daughter. Everly needs to confront a mix of threats if she plans to save her child.

Prior to Everly, I’d seen two flicks directed by Joe Lynch: 2007’s direct-to-video gorefest Wrong Turn 2 and 2013’s comedy-horror effort Knights of Badassdom. Neither left me impressed, though Turn offered a reasonably entertaining genre flick. Knights came with a fun premise but sputtered in terms of execution.

Everly reminds me more of Knights than Turn, as it comes with similar strengths and weaknesses. On the positive side, Everly delivers an interesting notion, largely because of its setting. Virtually all of the film’s action takes place in one apartment, as Everly needs to confront a variety of foes in the same isolated location. That gives the material a twist that makes it more interesting.

In theory, at least, as the actual film doesn’t manage to do much with its themes and setting. The claustrophobia of the location fails to bring much to the table, as it doesn’t really matter that our lead finds herself trapped; the movie’s evolution doesn’t seem especially creative due to that twist.

I like the fact Everly isn’t a skilled assassin, as her lack of training adds some drama. However, the film doesn’t develop this thread in a satisfying manner, and the action itself tends to feel lackluster.

Occasional exceptions occur, such as when Everly needs to contend with a creepy dude known as The Sadist (Togo Igawa). Rather than simply burst in and try to kill Everly, he creates a perverse work of art. The Sadist’s segment ends up as a standout here.

Too bad it doesn’t have more company. Even at a short 92 minutes, Everly tends to feel slow and long, as its action fails to do much to engage the viewer. A few moments add some life to the tale, but most of Everly winds up as a bland action effort.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

Everly appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though mostly appealing, the image came with some inconsistencies.

Deviations in definition accounted for all of these. While the majority of the flick showed good accuracy and delineation, occasional instances of softness occurred. I suspect these were the result of the original photography, but I couldn’t determine a logical reason for these soft shots, so they became a perplexing distraction.

I saw no signs of moiré effects or jagged edges, and the movie lacked edge haloes. In addition, print flaws failed to become an issue, as the movie lacked specks, marks or other defects.

As one would expect from a modern action movie, Everly opted for a stylized palette. It tended toward an amber feel – though the colors varied as the movie progressed - and the hues looked fine within those constraints. Blacks looked dark and tight, and low-light shots showed reasonable clarity. Most of the movie seemed well-rendered, but those odd bouts of softness dropped my grade to a “B-“.

With lots of action, Everly delivered a lively soundfield. As anticipated, battle sequences offered the most vivid moments, as they filled the room with firepower and mayhem. Quieter scenes delivered some involving material, too, as these offered localized speech and other tidbits that created a good sense of environment.

Audio quality worked fine. Speech was natural and distinct, while music seemed full and dynamic. Effects showed positive clarity and dimensionality. The mix added to the movie’s impact.

As we shift to extras, we locate two separate audio commentaries. Titled the “creative feature commentary”, the first involves director Joe Lynch, co-producer Brett Hedblom and editor Evan Schiff. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the movie's origins and development, story/character/script areas, sets and locations, editing, action and stunts, cast and performances, effects, music/sound, and other topics.

From start to finish, we get a dynamic and enthusiastic commentary here. The guys chat non-stop and deliver a bunch of good details about the movie. They do so with gusto and make this a consistently delightful discussion.

Called the “technical feature commentary”, the second track includes director Joe Lynch and cinematographer Steve Gainer. The two men sit together for another running, screen-specific discussion that concentrates on cinematography but also covers set and production design, color schemes, effects, cast and performances, working in Serbia and other domains.

Though “technical commentaries” can be dry, that doesn’t become an issue here. Frankly, Lynch could discuss a box of Triscuits and make it interesting. Gainer provides a lively personality as well, so the pair combine to give us a fun and informative piece.

We also get a music video for Raya Yarbrough’s rendition of “Silent Night”. Directed by Joe Lynch, the black and white video shows Yarbrough as she lip-synchs and emotes for the camera. It’s a moody piece but not a good one.

The disc opens with ads for Monsters: Dark Continent, Snowpiercer and Horns. No trailer for Everly appears here.

Despite a promising premise, Everly degenerates into a forgettable action affair. The mayhem doesn’t prove explosive enough to overcome thin characters and a weak plot. The Blu-ray comes with erratic visuals, solid audio and two informative commentaries. I respect this film’s attempts to be different but the end result leaves me fairly cold.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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