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Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan
Writing Credits:
Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

An aging Chinese immigrant gets swept up in an insane adventure where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 139 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 7/5/2022

• Audio Commentary with Writers/Directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
• “Almost Everything You Wanted to Know About” Featurette
• “Putting Everything on the Bagel” Featurette
• “Alpha-Bits” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes with Commentary
• Outtakes
• Music Visual
• Trailer


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Everything Everywhere All At Once [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 10, 2022)

If trends continue, by the year 2034, 95 percent of all movies will involve “multiverses”. In recent years, most of these came from Marvel characters, but 2022’s Everything Everywhere All At Once gives us an indie spin on the subject.

Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) operates a struggling San Francisco laundromat with husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quon). Their marriage hits a rocky patch, and Evelyn also finds herself estranged from daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu).

While Evelyn goes through all these stressors, she experiences strange visions that connect her to alternate worlds and alternate versions of herself. Evelyn learns that only she can prevent catastrophe across a mix of universes.

Collectively known as “Daniels”, writers/directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinart made their feature debut with 2016’s Swiss Army Man. A tale of a suicidal man who “befriends” a flatulent corpse, this feels like what I’ll call a “mission statement”, as Swiss told us in no uncertain terms that Daniels would set out to make some distinctly odd films.

Once doesn’t go quite as wackadoodle as Swiss, but it still seems pretty out there. As we go through various universes, we come across a slew of nutty realities, and Once manages to exploit them in a satisfactory manner.

Really, Once works because the characters and their journeys remain at the core. In other hands, this could just deliver a strange trip with little meaning involved, but Once manages to offer a pretty good character narrative along the way.

It helps that Yeoh grounds the movie well. She handles all the different curveballs thrown at Evelyn – and all the variations on the role we encounter – with aplomb and ensures that we buy into the oddness more than otherwise might’ve become the case.

Essentially Once often feels like a weirder take on The Matrix. It uses some similar concepts in the ways Evelyn jumps in/out of realities and how she can access new skills via her various personalities like Neo can gain skills through connections.

That said, it would be a mistake to view Once as a knockoff of the 1999 classic – or anything else, for that matter. For better or for worse, Once exists as its own beast.

And I’d usually vote “for better”, though Daniels’ unbridled ambition occasionally gets the better of them. They can seem more enamored with kooky weirdness than clear character and story development.

Still, we find enough ideas for at least 10 movies, and Once throws them at us in a way that never leaves us bored. I’m not sure the movie makes a lick of sense, but it turns into a creative and fun ride.

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

Everything Everywhere All At Once appears in a variety of aspect ratios on this Blu-ray Disc. “Normal” modern-day shots went 1.85:1, while “action” scenes opted for 2.40:1 and flashbacks tended to go 1.33:1.

The last category tended to look intentionally degraded to match old home movies, but the rest offered appealing visuals whatever the ratio. Sharpness remained positive, with only a mild amount of unintentional softness along the way.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws remained absent – well, outside of some intentional artifacts to suit cinematic choices on occasion.

Colors varied somewhat due to the various styles but usually leaned toward Hollywood Standard Orange and Teal. Some variety occurred due to all the different settings – mainly due to some heavy greens - but those dominated. Though not exciting, the hues looked well-rendered and full.

Blacks appeared deep and firm, while shadows looked smooth and concise. This became a pretty solid presentation given the movie’s stylistic decision.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Once also worked well, as the movie boasted a wide and involving soundfield. This showed up during scenes both loud and quiet.

During the latter, music offered nice stereo presence. Various environmental elements displayed quality localization and involvement.

The bigger sequences added more pizzazz to the package. These used all the channels in a satisfying manner, as the action scenes created a lot of useful material. From start to finish, the mix used the speakers in a way that gave real life to the proceedings.

In addition, audio quality was strong. Music appeared vivid and full, with crisp highs and rich lows.

Speech was concise and natural, so no issues affected the lines. Effects appeared to be accurate and lively.

Those elements lacked distortion and they boasted nice low-end during their louder moments. Overall, I felt pleased with the mix.

The disc includes a mix of extras, and we find an audio commentary from writers/directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, sets and locations, photography and visual design, cast and performances, references and influences, various effects, stunts and action, music, editing, and related topics.

From start to finish, we get a fine look at the movie's production. If you hope the filmmakers will explain anything, you'll encounter disappointment, but they give us a lot of good insights about the production and make this a worthwhile chat.

A few video features follow, and Almost Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Everything Everywhere All At Once goes for 40 minutes, 47 seconds and includes notes from Kwan, Scheinart, producer Jonathan Wang, director of photography Larkin Seiple, hair department head Annissa Salazar, makeup department head Michelle Chung, production designer Jason Kisvarday, costume designer Shirley Kurata, editor Paul Rogers, and actors Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ke Huy Quan.

“Almost” covers the project’s development, the writing process and story/characters, various design choices, the atmosphere on the shoot, sets and locations, and connected areas. This program fleshes out a slew of visual decisions in a compelling manner.

Putting Everything on the Bagel runs 10 minutes, three seconds and involves Scheinert, Kwan, Quan, Yeoh, Hsu, Wang and actors Brian Le and Andy Le. They cover a bunch of topics from the shoot and offer useful insights.

With Alpha-Buts, we get an 11-minute, 23-second piece with a mix of elements. We see VFX breakdowns, “morning warm ups”, stunt concepts/rehearsals, time lapses, and B roll footage. It’s not a coherent collection but some of the material proves interesting.

Eight Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 13 minutes, 51 seconds. These mostly offer minor expansions, but we get some more significant cuts like “Spaghetti Baby Noodle Boy”. They prove entertaining.

The scenes come with commentary from Kwan and Scheinert, though their remarks feel more like intros than anything else. They deliver minor notes but not anything memorable.

Next comes a collection of Outtakes. It fills eight minutes, 30 seconds and shows a basic blooper reel.

Music Visual lasts two minutes, 42 seconds and depicts the end credits song “This Is a Life” over an image of a slowly spinning bagel. It’s as forgettable as it sounds.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we get promos under Also from A24. This domains includes ads for X, After Yang, The Green Knight and Swiss Army Man.

Not a lot of movies provide meaningful characters with hot dogs for fingers, and that acts as only one off the wacked out ideas in Everything Everywhere All At Once. Though it occasionally – okay, often - threatens to go off the rails, the films packs enough verve and creativity to make it a consistently enjoyable ride. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and audio along with an informative array of bonus materials. This turns into a weird and wild tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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