There are two ways to judge Dan Rush's directorial debut Everything Must Go. You can look at the film itself and/or you can grade star Will Ferrell’s performance. To explain my rating I would give the actual film 4 stars while Ferrell’s performance earns a solid 5. Since they go hand in hand the average represents my rating: 4.5 stars.
The film follows Ferrell as a recovering alcoholic who relapses
after losing his job. He comes home to find that his wife has left him and
put all of his stuff on their front lawn prompting his decision to live on his yard. But local laws prohibit that (and some
neighbors don’t approve) so he is forced to turn the whole thing into a yard sale within
five days. If you can spot the metaphor between the things on the lawn
and his troubles congrats! You’ve cleared Metaphors 101. We’ll cover
similes next week. Anyway living on the lawn causes Ferrell to look
back and ponder over his life decisions. Helping him along the way is
newcomer Christopher Wallace (Biggie’s son) the precocious child that
helps teach him a lesson. Again a more overused cliche couldn’t be
found but it’s done right and Wallace is a joy to watch on screen.
Rebecca Hall as the pregnant neighbor who befriends Ferrell while he's camping on the lawn is a pleasant surprise as well holding her own against the star's incredible energy.
On Ferrell’s performance: It's by no means revolutionary for the craft of acting but is a breakout turn for the funny man. A more traditional dramatic actor could’ve lazily walked through the script and come out fine on the other end but Ferrell's portrayal is stark raw and real. You know the Will Ferrell scream? Imagine someone doing that not because it's funny but because it's their only means of expressing emotion. That’s what he does in this movie. He took the energy he employs in his comedies to reach new manic heights and channeled it into the darkest corners of the human psyche. The closest thing we can compare it to is Stranger Than Fiction since it's his only other dramatic role worthy of note (in that it's something most people know about and can compare to) but that film had a strong narrative hook that took care of all the whimsy so Ferrell could just be “normal.” Everything Must Go doesn’t have the benefit of that hook so Ferrell jumps headfirst into the pits of human emotion. I highly doubt it’ll garner him any award nominations but it was pleasing to see that he can actually act. And in hindsight it makes the crazy Ferrell that much funnier.
Onto the actual film: a fairly standard black comedy and that is by no means an insult. Standard can be good as long as it’s handled well and director Rush treads through the narrative carefully. The story jumps around a bit as the characters get the inspiration they need to move on to the next plot point awfully quickly but that affords cinematographer Michael Barrett more time to capture the beautiful South West landscape. Though there isn’t anything amazing about the film it is solid movie executed really well. A refreshing change of pace for Ferrell and a delightfully dark change of mood in the doldrums of the summer blockbuster.
Eric McDougall has told U.S. publication Life & Style he and his receptionist had sex with James and his mistress Michelle 'Bombshell' McGee at a tattoo festival last summer (09), while Bullock was promoting her film The Proposal.
The receptionist, Skittles Valentine, becomes the fifth woman linked sexually to James since news of his alleged cheating broke after telling the publication she had unprotected intercourse with the TV star.
San Diego, California-based McDougall claims the orgy took place after the Ink-N-Iron tattoo festival in June.
He says, "Michelle came into my shop and was like, 'I’d like to introduce you to my boyfriend.' I recognised Jesse right away."
The tattoo artist "filled in" an octopus design on James' skin and then the TV star and his mistress started making moves on Valentine.
He adds, "Jesse and Michelle both wanted Skittles."
The receptionist continues, "Eric and I were having sex and Jesse and I had sex. I had an awesome time. I think Jesse is so cute."
But the night ended badly when McGee reportedly turned on Valentine.
The publication reports the two started fighting over time with James.
Both James and McGee failed to respond to the magazine's requests for a comment.
Bullock walked out on James in early March (10) after McGee went public with her affair.
"The Wedding Planner" marched down theater aisles this weekend, celebrating in first place with $14 million.
The PG-13-rated romantic comedy from Columbia Pictures and Intermedia Films easily captured the top spot on Super Bowl Weekend with a sexy ESTIMATED $14.0 million at 2,785 theaters ($5,027 per theater).
"Planner" had the highest per-theater average for any film playing in over 1,000 theaters last weekend.
"Great news for us this weekend," Sony Pictures Entertainment worldwide marketing & distribution president Jeff Blake said Sunday morning, noting that Sony had four of the top ten films ("Planner," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Finding Forrester" and "Snatch").
"$14 million is allowing for an over 50% drop on Sunday because we (should) do a little better than the rest of the world (against) the Super Bowl," Blake explained. "We got a real clear mix of an audience. It was almost evenly divided under-25 and over-25 and clearly a large part of the under-25 crowd was driven by Jennifer Lopez, who couldn't be hotter right now with both her album and now her No. 1 movie. I think, certainly, the attraction of the over-25 crowd was that this is also a very romantic movie and Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey make a very romantic couple. I think that will be a key as we go forward into February. I think we look like the romantic choice for the next couple of weeks through Valentine's Day."
Sony is very pleased, Blake noted, with the opening of "Planner," which is "a co-production between Columbia and Intermedia. Columbia has all domestic rights and Intermedia is selling the foreign territories. The negative cost is $28 million, so this is one we can really do well on."
Directed by Adam Shankman, "Planner" stars Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey.
Paramount's PG-13-rated teen appeal drama "Save the Last Dance" from MTV Films fell one slot to second place in its third week with an okay ESTIMATED $10.00 million (-35%) at 2,561 theaters (+22 theaters; $3,905 per theater). Its cume is approximately $59.5 million.
"I think it gets to around $80 million (in domestic theaters)," Paramount distribution president Wayne Lewellen said Sunday morning. "We're assuming like everyone else that we get a pretty good hit (from the Super Bowl) today, or at least we don't hold up as well.
"It basically hurts everything pretty well. But the female-oriented stuff seems to hold up a little better. And by that I mean, maybe we're down 50% to 60% over yesterday (Saturday), whereas the male-oriented stuff will be down 70%-80% over yesterday."
Directed by Thomas Carter, "Save the Last Dance" stars Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas.
20th Century Fox's PG-13-rated drama "Cast Away" slid one peg to third place in its sixth week, still holding well with an ESTIMATED $8.94 million (-20%) at 2,890 theaters (-171 theaters; $3,092 per theater). Its cume is approximately $194.1 million, heading for $215 million-plus in domestic theaters.
"We had a heck of a weekend," Fox distribution executive vice president, sales Rick Myerson said Sunday morning. "Off only 20%. It will probably go a little bit north of $215 million and you can't tell (yet) what happens with Academy Awards. That's sensational."
After winning the Golden Globe for best actor/drama, Tom Hanks is a likely best actor Oscar nominee for "Cast Away."
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, "Cast Away" stars Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt.
USA Films' R-rated Oscar contender drama "Traffic" dropped one rung to fourth place in its fifth week, still showing great legs with an ESTIMATED $6.49 million (-24%) at 1,580 theaters (+9 theaters; $4,105 per theater). Its cume is approximately $56.3 million.
"Traffic," which won Golden Globes for best screenplay (Stephen Gaghan) and best supporting actor (Benicio Del Toro), is considered a likely contender in the Oscar race. Its director, Steven Soderbergh, is a Directors Guild nominee for both "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich."
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, "Traffic" stars Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Quaid and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
New Line's opening of its PG-13-rated youth appeal cheerleaders drama "Sugar & Spice" placed fifth with a not-so-spicy ESTIMATED $6.03 million at 2,150 theaters ($2,802 per theater).
Insiders had been anticipating a more exciting launch in the area of $8 million for "Spice," given word that it was flying higher on the Hollywood radar screen.
Directed by Francine McDougall, it stars Marla Sokoloff, Marley Shelton, Melissa George and Mena Suvari.
Sony Pictures Classics continued to expand its critically-acclaimed PG-13-rated action adventure "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," which rose two slots to sixth place in its eighth week with a very encouraging ESTIMATED $5.1 million (-16%) at 869 theaters (+32 theaters; $5,846 per theater). Its cume is approximately $44.5 million.
"Tiger," which won Golden Globes for best director (Ang Lee) and best foreign language film, is considered a likely contender in the Oscar race. Lee is a DGA nominee.
Directed by Ang Lee, "Dragon" stars Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun-Fat.
Columbia Pictures' PG-13-rated drama "Finding Forrester," which was sixth last week, tied for seventh place in its sixth week, holding well considering the weekend's Super Bowl competition with an ESTIMATED $4.8 million (-28%) at 2,002 theaters (theater count unchanged; $2,398 per theater). Its cume is approximately $35.9 million.
"It continues to hang in there," Sony's Blake said Sunday morning. "I think we'll continue to be one of the top adult choices going forward."
Directed by Gus Van Sant, "Forrester" stars Sean Connery.
Sony's Screen Gems label's R-rated drama "Snatch," which was fourth last week, tied for seventh place in its second week with a less exciting ESTIMATED $4.8 million (-40%) at 1,444 theaters (theater count unchanged; $3,324 per theater). Its cume is approximately $15.8 million.
"Clearly, the picture's still got a good chance to get to, perhaps, $30 million and, certainly, $25-30 million and will be very profitable for us, especially with already being in profit out of the international markets," Sony's Blake said.
Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, "Snatch" stars Benicio Del Toro,Dennis Farina, Vinnie Jones, Brad Pitt, Rade Sherbedgia and Jason Statham.
Paramount's PG-13-rated romantic comedy "What Women Want" from Icon Productions slid four rungs to ninth place in its seventh week with a less sexy ESTIMATED $4.3 million (-37%) at 2,611 theaters (-414 theaters; $1,647 per theater). Its cume is approximately $169.5 million.
Directed by Nancy Meyers, "Women" stars Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Warner Bros. and Castle Rock Entertainment's PG-13-rated comedy "Miss Congeniality," down three slots in its sixth week with a still okay ESTIMATED $4.01 million (-36%) at 2,409 theaters (-194 theaters; $1,665 per theater). Its cume is approximately $93.1 million.
"We're (heading for) between $105-110 million," Warner Bros. Distribution's Jeff Goldstein said Sunday morning. "We're tracking very positively against 'Analyze This,' which came in at $106 million. Right now we're 12% ahead of that. I think we comfortably get to $105 million and we could get to $110 million, too."
Directed by Donald Petrie, "Congeniality" stars Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt and Candice Bergen
OTHER OPENINGS There were no other wide openings this weekend.
SNEAK PREVIEWS There were no national sneak previews this weekend.
EXPANSIONS On the expansion front, Warner Bros. and Franchise Pictures' R-rated thriller "The Pledge" went wider, placing 12th with a calm ESTIMATED $3.57 million (-38%) at 1,410 theaters (+135 theaters; $2,528 per theater). Its cume i approximately $11.0 million.
Directed by Sean Penn, "Pledge" stars Jack Nicholson.
Miramax's PG-13-rated romantic comedy drama "Chocolat," a likely contender for Oscar nominations, went wider in its seventh week, placing 13th with a still hopeful ESTIMATED $3.2 million at 1,203 theaters (+545 theaters; $2,660 per theater). Its cume is approximately $17.3 million.
"Obviously, our Sunday's going to be hurt from the Super Bowl, a little bit," Miramax senior vice president, marketing David Kaminow said Sunday morning. "But the holdover runs are doing great, even as we're expanding these markets. Whatever happens on the 13th (of February with Academy Award nominations), I think this is still a movie that's going to be a crowd pleaser and that's going to stick around for a while."
Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, "Chocolat" stars Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench,Alfred Molina, Lena Olin and Johnny Depp.
Buena Vista/Touchstone went wider with its PG-13-rated dark comedy "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," placing 16th in its sixth week with an okay ESTIMATED $2.3 million at 547 theaters (+128 theaters; $4,205 per theater). Its cume is approximately $12.6 million.
Directed by Joel Coen and written by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, it stars George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson and John Goodman.
Lions Gate Films' R-rated drama "Shadow of the Vampire" went wider, placing 18th with a calm ESTIMATED $2.0 million at 513 theaters ($3,890 per theater). Its cume is approximately $2.6 million.
"We're going to hold at this level of screens for a few weeks and then we're going to expand once more on Feb. 16, the weekend after the Academy nominations, when we're expecting a couple to come our way," Lions Gate co-president Tom Ortenberg said Sunday morning.
Directed by E. Elias Merhige, "Vampire" stars John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe.
WEEKEND COMPARISONS Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 for the three days -- took in approximately $93.93 million, up about 55.13% from the comparable weekend last year when key films grossed $60.55 million.
This weekend's key film gross was down about 13.06% from the previous weekend this year when key films grossed $108.04 million.
Last year, Destination Films' opening week of "Eye of the Beholder" was first with $5.96 million at 1,751 theaters ($3,403 per theater); and New Line's third week of "Next Friday" was second with $5.75 million at 1,335 theaters ($4,309 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $11.8 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $24.0 million.