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Dan Rush
Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern, Michael Peña, Stephen Root, Glenn Howerton
Writing Credits:
Dan Rush, Raymond Carver (short story, "Why Don't You Dance")

Lost is a good place to find yourself.

“Will Ferrell shines” (Detroit News) as Nick, a career salesman who loses his wife and his job in the worst day of his life. Faced with his life imploding, Nick puts it all on the line – or, rather, on the lawn – as he moves himself and all his possessions to his front yard. Based on the short story by Raymond Carver, Everything Must Go is “Will Ferrell as you’ve never seen him” (Rolling Stone) in this unflinching comedy about what happens after life falls apart.

Box Office:
$5 million.
Opening Weekend
$791.677 thousand on 218 screens.
Domestic Gross
$2.706 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 9/6/2011

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Dan Rush and Actor Michael Pena
• “In Character with Will Ferrell” Featurette
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; 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.


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Everything Must Go [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 31, 2011)

Following in the footsteps of Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell makes occasional forays away from his bread and butter form of broad comedy to enter into more dramatic fare – or at least work that’s not so multiplex ready. I rather liked 2006’s Stranger Than Fiction so I figured I’d give 2010’s Everything Must Go a look.

Nick Halsey (Ferrell) goes through an awful day. First he loses his long-standing job as a company VP, largely due to his continued struggles with alcoholism. When he returns home, Nick discovers that his wife Catherine has left him – and changed all the locks and deposited all of his possessions on their front lawn.

With his life at its lowest, Nick makes a radical decision: to live on his lawn until he sorts out what to do. This lands him in some trouble, but his AA sponsor is a local detective (Michael Pena), so that buys him some time.

Detective Garcia finds a loophole to give Nick a couple extra days. While it’s illegal to live on your lawn, it’s okay to hold a yard sale for up to five days. This leaves Nick three more days to take care of business. He indulges in a half-baked yard sale and also gets to know a couple of locals. Nick deputizes neglected teen Kenny Loftus (Christopher Jordan Wallace) and they bond over sales and baseball. Also Nick becomes acquainted with Samantha (Rebecca Hall), a pregnant new neighbor who seems to have relationship issues of her own.

Can a movie come across as both too overstated and too understated at the same time? In the case of Everything Must Go, I’d argue that this is the case. On one hand, the film delivers some fairly obvious metaphors. Heck, the whole premise of the man with his entire life exposed on his lawn feels forced, and the story comes up with lots of contrivances to keep him there. Though the way Catherine treats Nick makes a bit more sense as the ale progresses, the severity with which she disconnects him remains improbable and off-putting; these elements really do feel like plot devices.

On the other hand, the film moves at such a slow pace that it often feels as though nothing will ever happen. It does eventually develop and give us interesting character moments, but the gradual movement can frustrate. I’m happy with movies that evolve bit by bit, but this one threatens to stagnate.

While I’d like a film with a bit more balance between the extremes, I like that Go errs on the side of subtlety; hey, if a flick’s going to make a mistake, it’s better to be too low-key rather than too obvious and strident. I appreciate that the film allows Nick’s issues to develop slowly; it takes us quite a while to find out more specific problems between Nick and Catherine as well as what really prompted his firing. Many movies telegraph everything, but this one doles out info in tiny dollops; that factor makes it more compelling since we get actual surprises along the way.

Really low-key surprises, of course. At times, Go feels like it wants to lurk in the background and never do much to attract our attention. This means it threatens to drag – and occasionally does – but it still has enough of interest to make it a decent flick.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Everything Must Go appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Expect an attractive presentation.

Sharpness looked great. Even the widest shows boasted fine clarity, as the image always remained well-defined and distinctive. I noticed no issues with jaggies or moiré effects, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also were absent, as the movie looked clean and fresh.

In terms of palette, the film opted for an arid, semi-amber tone. This restricted overall broadness of the colors, but they looked fine within the limited range of hues. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows looked clear and full. This was a consistently terrific transfer.

While I wasn’t impressed by the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, I thought it suited the story. The mix mostly focused on the general sounds of suburbia. This meant the side and rear speakers gave us elements like sprinklers, bicycles, cars and other elements. These used the spectrum in an adequate way but we didn’t get anything particularly memorable.

Which was fine, and audio quality seemed nice. Speech was always natural and crisp, without edginess or other problems. Music was pretty full, though the gentle nature of the score meant it lacked much dimensionality. Effects were also low-key but perfectly acceptable in terms of reproduction. Though nothing here stood out as impressive, the track worked well enough for the film to earn a “B-“.

We get a decent mix of extras here. We open with an audio commentary from writer/director Dan Rush and actor Michael Pena. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, camerawork and staging, music, sets and locations, editing, and a few other production areas.

Though it drags at times, the track moves at a generally good rate. Rush dominates, but not as much as you'd expect given the fact that Pena doesn't have a ton of time on-screen. Instead, the pair interact in a lively and fun manner as they also contribute useful info about the movie. All of this adds up to a pretty positive discussion, though I must disagree with their belief that Rebecca Hall pulls off a good American accent; she sounds British throughout the whole movie!

Two featurettes follow. In Character with Will Ferrell goes for eight minutes, 34 seconds and offers notes from Rush, Pena, producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, and actors Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, and Christopher CJ Wallace. We learn why Ferrell took the role and what he brought to it as well as story and characters. A few good notes emerge but mostly the piece exists to sell the movie and give us a general take on the flick, so don’t expect much.

Behind the Scenes lasts 10 minutes, 31 seconds and provides info from Rush, Bowen, Ferrell, Hall, Wallace, Godfrey, Pena, Wallace, production designer Kara Lindstrom, costume designer Mark Bridges and executive producer Scott Lumpkin. The show covers story and characters, cast and performances, Rush’s work on the shoot, set and costume design, and general thoughts. Like “In Character”, this offers a promotional piece, but it includes a handful of interesting facts.

Deleted Scenes fill a total of 12 minutes, 54 seconds. We find “Nick Gets Fired (Extended)” (3:39), “Specialist Sears” (2:48), “Nick Calls a Hooker”(4:11), “Kenny Makes His Tough Face” (0:42) and “Nick’s New Apartment” (1:30). I’m glad the movie cut the added bits from “Fired”, as they telegraph some developments that come later in the film.

As for the others, “Sears” features a character otherwise not seen in the final flick; it’s moderately intriguing but wouldn’t have had a great spot in the end cut. “Hooker” seems odd and pathetic; we have enough odd and pathetic material in the movie and don’t need more. It also adds too much obvious exposition. “Face” is simply a minor character gag, and “Apartment” wraps up Nick’s story in too tidy a manner.

A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Margin Call, The Future, Swingers, I Love You Phillip Morris, Hesher, and The Conspirator. These show up under Also from Lionsgate as well, but no trailer for Go pops up here.

Subdued nearly to a fault, Everything Must Go doesn’t deliver a consistently stimulating effort. However, it has more than a few interesting moments and deserves credit as a movie that grows as it goes. The Blu-ray comes with excellent visuals as well as reasonably good audio and supplements. This one turns into a moderately interesting character piece.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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