Everybody's Fine (2009)
|Genre(s): Comedy / Drama|
|Miramax || PG13 - 100 minutes - $29.99 || February 23, 2010|
|Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-02-15|
Writer(s): Kirk Jones (screenplay)
Cast: Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell
Theatrical Release Date: December 4, 2009
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Normally when a big cast like Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate “I’m not a vampire in this movie” Beckinsale, and Sam Rockwell join forces the movie has got to be entertaining. I mean, no movie has ever done a plot where a father learns that his family is nothing how he forced them to be when they were younger. No, that could never happen. Did Hollywood run out of original ideas? Heck, had they thrown in a few vampires for Beckinsale to kill I would have enjoyed Everybody’s Fine so much more. Instead, the film is lackluster and filled with lame jokes and a horrible ending.
Frank Goode (Robert De Niro) is getting ready for the holidays when he gets calls from his family who are all saying they will be too busy to come see him. Frank’s wife recently passed away and he’s been lonely and isolated since the death, so he was really hoping to see his family to cheer him up. He decides to go visit his doctor to get some medication and visit the family on the road as a giant surprise to them. His first step his daughter Amy (Kate Beckinsale) in a faraway state. He shows up at the door and is greeted by Amy’s son, who Frank finds out isn’t enjoying school and isn’t being the success Frank taught Amy to be in life. This comes as a giant shock to Frank, as though he was such a tough parent that failure was never an option.
However, after only a day of visiting Amy is forced to kick her father out as though she has to be somewhere important. Frank is hurt by this but understands that they all have lives, so he heads off to visit his son David. David however is nowhere to be found and Frank decides to visit his other son Robert (Sam Rockwell). He’s once again surprised to find out that Robert doesn’t actually compose his own music in the symphony, but he’s merely just a percussionist. Frank is heavily disappointed with Robert’s choice in his life, and leaves to visit his other daughter Rosie (Drew Barrymore). Rosie however is so busy with her life as well that after only a day she kicks Frank out too. Frank, disheveled from the life he’s led and his medication being smashed by a drifter, is forced to see the life he’s led and the life he forced upon his family.
I could start off by rambling about why this movie is all sorts of wrong, but that would take me hours on end and thus I’ll just name a few. First off, when you bill the film as a comedy and there are no funny lines in the dang film that’s a problem. De Niro is past his prime, and has been for quite some time, and he’s just not funny at all. Barrymore, Beckinsale, and Rockwell give admiral performances but darnet the movie just isn’t comical in the slightest nor is it entertaining. I found the movie to drag on and on despite the fact the movie’s short runtime of only 100 minutes.
That’s another thing, the runtime. The movie takes seventy to eighty minutes to get going, and by then I stopped caring way before that moment. The whole plot of the movie is boring and has been rehashed so many times in film history that the idea is outdated. Plus, the whole “big conclusion” I guessed a few minutes into the film becomes more and more apparent throughout, and then at the unsettling conclusion I was left hugely disappointed. I had the ending pegged the entire time, which was that the movie was going to be boring and rudimentary.
I give some props to the cast for putting up with the crappy script, crappy plot points, and overall terrible acting. Wait, why would I give them props for getting paid millions for a flick that was destined to bomb from the start? Whose bright idea was it to put these four together in a comedy/drama flick? There wasn’t any drama, and there certainly wasn’t any comedy.
The Making of Paul McCartney’s “I Want to Come Home” (10 minutes): McCartney is almost as boring talking as the movie itself was, so that should be a warning that this is an extra you can skip on. He discusses the idea for the song and also the video for the accompanying song, but both are fairly terrible.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (12 minutes): There’s nothing of interest, at all, in this extra. The scenes are arduously long and unfunny, much like the film. Do you see a recurring theme here?
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
For a new release I always expect the upmost in transfers as though studios should be getting better and better with every DVD that hits shelves. Instead, this almost direct-to-DVD flick gets a soft, bland transfer that left me in awe. Colors are incredibly bright and literally thrown at the screen, as at several times I thought my contacts were blurring. Whites are insanely bright and take precedence over the other colors for some odd reason. There will also major issues with contrast being off, as you could probably tell from what I’ve already typed out. I saw many scenes with tons of grain and noise plaguing the shots, which caused me much dismay. This is an awful transfer for a new release, although I doubt a lot went into this one.
As you can probably guess, the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is a letdown as well. Surround sound is non-existent, since this is a dialogue-only track. I honestly don’t remember my sub turning on at all throughout the entire film. Dialogue itself, as that’s the only thing I bother to comment on with this track, is disappointing. The track is low and I struggled to understand clarity wise what was being said by the cast at several points throughout the movie. I also had to tweak the sound several times as though balance was also a major issue that I heard many times. This really could have been a 2.0 track, which is never a good thing to write.
Everybody’s Fine was a huge bomb at the box-office, and there are many reasons why. They mainly deal with a lackluster script, horrible direction of the movie, and just the feeling that the cast doesn’t care about the flick in the slightest. The technical package is weak, as are the lame special features that I had to sit through. This is one DVD that is definitely not fine by me, so I’d recommend passing.