An Everlasting Piece

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Colin (Barry McEvoy) and George (Brian F. O’Byrne) are unlikely partners, as Colin is Catholic and George is Protestant, which in this time, would normally make them sworn enemies. But the two have joined forces instead and their goal is a simple one, to make tons of cash. The plan is a simple one, as the two want to get their hands on a list of clients from a local barber, then use it to take over the toupee market in the area. This might sound like a half baked plot, but if it should work out, the two would be loaded and then some. So the partners visit the local barber known as The Scalper (Billy Connolly) and after some fast talking, they manage to acquire his list of clients. This all happens at a mental hospital, where The Scalper is a patient and Colin & George happen to be employed as barbers, as luck would hold. Now the two schemers have their hands on a massive list of potential customers, but will their plan unfold just as expected, or will some issues arise that leave them in serious danger of failure?

This movie was quickly rushed through a few theaters and then buried, only to emerge now as one of Dreamworks’ weakest discs to date. I managed to see this flick at a local arthouse and found it to be quite funny, so I don’t know why Dreamworks didn’t back it a little more. Even if not in the theaters, they could have issued a deluxe edition here and helped push it to the home video market, but they didn’t even put that much effort into An Everlasting Piece. But this film does deserve a better treatment and of course, that will probably never happen now. I wouldn’t say this is a great movie by any means, but it does cover some fresh ground and that’s always welcome. The film tackles several seemingly unrelated issues and then ties them all together, which is no simple task and here, it seems to work out well enough. Some of the material is hilarious, some is sort of amusing, and some is bad, but it is humorous more often than not. It is a shame this movie was buried by Dreamworks, as it might not be fantastic, but it is worth a look. I recommend you rent this to give it a chance, but Dreamworks has done little to encourage a purchase.

I’ve found the work of director Barry Levinson to be solid over time, but also inconsistent, especially in his more recent projects. He can really deliver when he has the right material to work with, but sometimes even with a superb cast, Levinson chokes and offers up a mediocre picture. I think he can elevate his work to high levels when he wants to, but sometimes he sleepwalks and that makes his films suffer. With this film however, he seems to be in good form and on the ball, as direction is tight and consistent. Perhaps it was the low budget or his personal interest in the project, but Levinson supplies great direction here, though the material slips at times. Other films directed by Levinson include The Natural, Wag the Dog, Tin Men, Toys, Liberty Heights, Rain Man, and Young Sherlock Holmes. The cast here includes Barry McEvoy (Gettysburg, Gloria), Brian F. O’Byrne (The Grey Zone, Bandits), Billy Connolly (The Boondock Saints, The Impostors), and Anna Friel (Rogue Trader, The Land Girls).

Video: How does it look?

An Everlasting Piece is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This was a low budget effort, but the image looks quite good and I doubt anyone will be let down. The film stock used causes some small problems, such as softness at times, but nothing too serious in the end. The colors look bold and natural, while flesh tones are normal and consistent also. No errors as far as contrast either, black levels are rich and smooth, with no loss of detail to be reported. As I mentioned, the low budget roots of this movie keep the transfer down a little, but this is still a good looking visual presentation and fans should be pleased.

Audio: How does it sound?

Dreamworks has packed in both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround options, although with this material, you won’t need them for much. This is a dialogue driven flick and has little audio potential, so the surrounds won’t be used all too often. The music is dynamic and well presented, but aside from that and a few outdoor scenes, you won’t even know those rear speakers are on. This is better than a forced mix however, as this one sounds natural and never hollow. No problems with dialogue, as vocals are clean and crisp throughout, no volume issues in the least. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround track and English subtitles, should you need those.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some talent files, production notes, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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