Everly (Blu-ray Review)

Everly (Blu-ray Review)Everly is one of those films where I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to see.  No, I’m not going to divulge whether I liked it or not just yet, but what I mean by that is ever since its VOD release in January I have been resisting the urge to buy or rent just so my first viewing could either be on the big screen or on my HD format of choice, Blu-ray.  Regrettably I had a chance to see it when it was in town here playing as a double-header with Adam Green’s Digging Up The Marrow at the Alamo Drafthouse, but wouldn’t you know it fate intertwined and I had business to conduct out of town.  Nevertheless, I didn’t give up hope that one day I’d bask in what I read to be one very violent femme fatale of flick.  And that day has come!  Ladies and gentlemen…Everly.



As I mentioned before, Everly came out on VOD platform in late January, but it was first screened for audiences in September last year at Austin’s Fantastic Fest.  It also had a limited theatrical release courtesy of Dimension Films starting in late February, but I digress.  We are all here really to discuss director Joe Lynch’s vision and Salma Hayek’s violent, a$$-kicking performance.  However, before we start, let’s get the basics out of the way.

The action thriller feature directed by Joe Lynch was written by Yale Hanson off a story by both he and Lynch.  The film obviously stars Salma Hayek as the title character (replacing Kate Hudson who was originally casted) with supporting roles filled in by Jennifer Blanc, Akie Kotabe, Masashi Fujimoto, Togo Igawa, Gabriella Wright, Caroline Chikezie, Laura Cepeda and Hiroyuki Watanabe.  So what’s it all about?  Now you’re talking!  Let’s get cracking!

Everly has received for the most part generally negative reviews from the critics.  While I tend to shrug those off for fluff when it comes to a movie I’m dying to see, I have to champion those reviews here.  Everly, while it does feature a few cool shots and creative death scenes here and there, is nothing more than a meh entry into the world of filmmaking.  You can tell Lynch’s passion and heart was there, but the story was just a dud in the long run.  It felt like someone only spent a month crafting it (sorry Joe), but that’s not to say I did not have some fun with Everly, because I did.

Joe wastes no time putting us right in the middle of Everly‘s effed up world from the start.  However, unlike most films that usually do this and flash back to where you can catch up to present events with character development, we never get that here.  It’s just wham, bam, thank you ma’am as we hear Everly being raped in another room, see her naked back in the bathroom, which is a work of art in its own right, and watch her immediately dispense a room full of what I guess would be considered criminals like it was nothing.  You see, there’s really nothing climatic about this at all.  And this is just in the first five minutes.  Forget everything you know about good story writing.  There’s no plot twists or turns to be found here.  It’s just a 90-minute blood fest of CGI and practical effects as a prisoner/prostitute takes on an army of criminals, while never having left the apartment building the whole time, with hopes to make amends with her mom and daughter she hasn’t seen in four years.  In a nutshell, that’s everything.  It sounds pretty devoid of plot, huh?  It is!  At least it’s better than this year’s R100.  I’ll give it that at least.  So even though there’s no tangible or credible story to be found here whatsoever, other than a tip of the hat to Oldboy (from the locked up/prisoner perspective we learn about through dialogue in the story), let’s talk next about why I actually did like Everly.

First off, you can’t be a fan of Everly without being a fan of Salma Hayek.  I have liked her as an actress ever since I can remember from her earlier roles in features such as Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn to one of her finest roles she ever portrayed in a film simply titled Frida.  However, whether you love her or hate her, there’s no denying Salma has most certainly found the fountain of youth in Lynch’s Everly.  She doesn’t look a day over 35 in this bang, bang, take no prisoners, shoot’em up story.  Although she’s pushing 49 in real life, she’s a walking work of art in this one with her back clearly a canvas (you’ll get that when you watch the film).  All I’m saying is hell yes to Salma.  There wasn’t much to work with here in this story, but she made the character of Everly her own and infused much needed life and empathy into what little was really there for her.

Next up, let’s talk about the action.  It wasn’t as wild, insane and fast-paced as we’re meant to believe from the film’s trailer or premise. There are actually many lulls and really’s to be found throughout here.  I was quite bored at times, but I have to hand it to Lynch and the gang.  You know how I know this Blu-ray feature was decent?  My girlfriend never once looked at her phone.  That’s unheard of nowadays when we are watching television shows or movies.  She even said she had dreams about the flick too.  So I guess all in all, Everly really can be considered a guilty pleasure for us.  However, if it wasn’t for Hayek, I don’t know how much I would like it, but it does have blood, violence and some cool, punishing deathblows.  That much, Mr. Lynch did not skimp us on.  My only complaint is there are a couple of scenes where I actually wanted to see the insane kill naturally transpire all the way through, but instead we get a cutaway shot.  So at the end of day, Everly is nothing more than one woman’s plight to stay alive against all odds to protect her child and what’s left of her dignity in this no holds barred, anything goes, bloodbath of a B-movie feature.  In other words, if you like blood and non-sensical action that’s light on story, this one’s for you!



How do I put this nicely?  Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Blu-ray video presentation of Everly isn’t going to dazzle and dazzle you and/or bring home any best of the year awards on the HD format.

  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: This is where I have have a hard time declaring a winner, meaning is this Blu-ray really sharp or are there a lot of soft shot?  I guess both sides of the coin would be accurate.  I mean we see fine detail in the apartment such as in the couch and bricks that adorn the walls and even the blouse that Salma sports in the beginning, but there are also a lot of soft shots, most notably involving Hayek’s face.  I’m not sure what’s up with that.  So I guess you can say my indecisive conundrum here is a tie and that I’m split on this one.  It’s not the glossy, digital presentation I was expecting to see.  Onscreen events look rather flat throughout.
  • Depth: There are a few artificial shots that make scenes look deeper than what they really are such as when the camera focuses on an apple, but since the whole film primarily takes place in an apartment it is what is I guess you can say.  Depth of field is existent, but don’t expect it to look like it’s going on for miles and miles.
  • Black Levels: Here’s a shocker.  The black levels are not deep and inky throughout.  They are for the most part decent, but there are a few washed moments too.
  • Color Reproduction: The warm colors worked for me here with some vibrancy thrown in too like when some of the prostitutes don colored wigs or you see bright red hair bow.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones for the most part are natural throughout with a few warm moments.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Despite some minor and infrequent noise I did not see anything in particular that will distract you from the visual presentation other than the lack of a truly great story.



While the video presentation suffered a bit up above, things are better here with Everly‘s lossless audio.

  • Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Thankfully you’re in for 92 minutes of bliss with this impressive lossless surround track in which you will follow Everly through the quietest of tiptoe moments to loud, aggressive shoot’em up ones the next as bullets spray and the once serene apartment environment gets violently trashed.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is where it’s at with this surround presentation.  My subwoofer’s green light never turned off from pounds on the door, endless gun shots and explosions and even an elevator falling down a shaft.  KABOOM!
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Equally impressive here are the rear channels filled with men’s screams as they one-by-one fall victim to Everly, gunshots, grenade explosions and even some strong percussion going on in the score courtesy of the ever magical and astonishing Bear McCreary.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: From the quietist of whispers to the loudest of screams pretty much all dialog here is audible and balanced.



Sadly, there are only three extras to make mention of here.  While I did not expect too much, why couldn’t there have been a gag reel, a quick making of or even a Digital HD file to boot so I can enjoy some a$$-kicking on the go anytime I please?  However, having two audio commentaries is somewhat impressive.  So instead of me wasting your time with anymore proverbial fluff let’s take a look at what we have to work with here.

  • Audio Commentaries – Because I love and adore Joe Lynch’s work so much I’m thrilled to announce that there are not one, but two audio commentaries he’s part of here on this Blu-ray.  The first audio commentary is titled Creative Feature Commentary and includes Joe, co-producer Brett Hedblom and editor Evan Schiff.  The second commentary is called the Technical Feature Commentary and showcases Joe and cinematographer Steve Gainer.
  • “Silent Night” Music Video – This is a beautifully shot music of “Silent Night” by Raya Yarbrough and Bear McCeary.  It is directed by the man Joe Lynch.



While light on story and thematic moments, Everly delivers what its trailer showcases, the demise of both men and women henchmen at the hands of a beautiful, middle-aged femme fatale.  Salma Hayek embraces the role and gives it her all in what may bore some, but titillate others.  With B-movies like this, you’re mileage may vary.  This Blu-ray edition of Everly features a slightly above average video presentation with a spectacular audio one coupled with a shallow amount of extras unless you count the multiple ways to watch the film with two commentary tracks to boast.  Again, your results will vary.  For any curious about this one, my recommendation is to rent it first or wait until it hits that sweet $5 mark.  All others, you know what you want and why you’re here so go get it!


Everly Shoots Them Up on Blu-ray April 21st




Everly Blu-ray


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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