HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Any Day
HTS Overall Score:61
How many movies can you name off the top of your head where Sean Bean doesn’t die? Yeah, I thought so. If you’re not familiar with the common joke amongst film lovers, Sean Bean is famous for taking on roles where he ends up dying at the end. I’ve followed his career since the late 80s and I think this is the first movie that I’ve seen him in where Sean doesn’t bit the big one. For that alone I had to give the movie a watch as it is a personal milestone for the man! All jokes aside, I gave “Any Day” a shot since I really do love Sean Bean. He’s such a versatile actor who’s played everyone from heroes to villains and has stayed relevant throughout all the years. Unfortunately, “Any Day” turned out to be a well-intentioned project, helmed by Rustam Branaman that just fails on about every level that it sets out to meet.
Vian (Sean Bean) is an ex con who’s just gotten out of jail for a 12 year stint on second degree manslaughter. 12 years ago he was a much different man. A heavy drinker who literally beat a man to death at a party, and sentenced to over a decade of imprisonment as a result. Sober for those 12 years and just wanting a second change, Vian sets out to better his life. Finding a little solace with his sister, Bethley (Kate Walsh), Vian is able to set up for a spell in her house if he promises that he won’t touch a drop of liquor. Agreeing to the restriction, the ex-con tries his best to find a job, and running into the age old dilemma that most con’s find when getting out, that is no one wants to hire him. Finally he is able to land a small position at a local pizzeria, headed by an oddball manager named Roland (Tom Arnold). Finally on the path to redemption, Vian’s little world is about to come to turning point once more.
In a tragic turn of events, Bethley’s young son, Jimmy (Nolan Gross) is hit by a car, devastating his mother and uncle. Faced with more grief than he’s felt in many years, Vian is led down the road of temptation, falling back into several of his old vices and soon facing the direct possibility that his actions will lead him back into prison once more. The only outlet he has is in a higher power, a faith in something besides himself and maybe, just maybe he can come out of this with some semblance of healing in his pained and tortured life.
“Any Day” is definitely what I would call a well-intentioned failure. Director Rustam Branaman tries his hardest to create a sweet and poignant movie about finding peace in troubled times. The characters motivations and backstory are all perfectly logical and perfectly tragic, but in the end, a muddled script and amateurish directing keep the movie hobbled from its true potential. The acting force behind this movie is top notch, with Sean Bean, Evan Longoria, Kate Walsh and a few other small cameos, but they seem mainly lost and stumbling around with their characters. Sean Bean as Vian is fairly one note and he looks like he pretty much phoned his performance in. Eva Longoria looks TOTALLY lost in the film, and one has to wonder just what her agent was thinking, booking her for this gig. Kate Walsh and Nolan Gross actually turn in some rather good performances, with the better performance being Kate. She’s very believable as the struggling single mother just trying to keep a roof over her family’s head and dealing with an ex-con brother who she doesn’t fully trust. The odd man out here is actually Tom Arnold. You’re never sure whether he’s playing Roland as a comedic character or a serious one, as he’s all over the map here. One moment he appears to be joking around and the next line makes you wonder if he’s playing the moment straight. I was constantly scratching my head wondering just what to make of him.
The script itself is really the second weak link besides the character portrayals. Some parts of the film leave you with a smile on your face as Vian does some truly sweet things, but there are more than enough times where I was completely taken out of the movie and wondering just why characters did what they did. By the time the 3rd act came about it had lost all semblance of believability, with a heavenly appearance that made no sense and a saccharine sweet ending that left me with a slightly sour taste in my mouth.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=51425[/img]The 480p DVD encode for “Any Day” is pretty decent, with some solid colors and decent detail, but for a modern day film it looks like it definitely cut some corners making it to the silver screen. Detail is pretty good, but long shots show more than a bit of softness and some heavy compression artifacts that really made the image look a tad mushy. Macroblocking is present in most scenes and I noticed some heavy aliasing and haloing around characters in brightly lit scenes. Contrast looks good, though, and the burnished colors look more than appropriate for the low budget film. Blacks are the most impressive, with good shadow detail and delineation.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=51433[/img]The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is quite pleasing for a drama. It has a surprising amount of low end to the picture which gave my subs a little more workout than I was expecting from it. Dialog is naturally locked up front and the majority of the track stays up there in those front 3 speakers with a decidedly drama “ish” front loaded track. There’s some nice use of ambient noises in the surround channels when needed, but a bulk of the heavy lifting is left to those three mains. A solid audio experience, it does what it’s asked and does it quite well, with the only limitation being the front heavy mix that was given in the theaters.
“Any Day” isn’t a horrible movie, but it is in no way a good movie either. All over the place in terms of acting, tone and plot, it just meanders around looking for the next cliché to inhabit. I did have to admit that I am proud to have finally watched a movie where Sean Bean doesn’t die, but I can’t say that I’d ever want to see the movie again, or even enjoyed too much what I did see. The DVD itself is pretty solid, with decent video and a rather good audio score, but it’s definitely barebones with no extras and a single audio track. Unfortunately I didn’t find enough entertainment value in the movie to even recommend as a rental. Skip it.
Starring: Sean Bean, Kate Walsh, Tom Arnold
Director: Rustam Branaman
Written By: Rustam Branaman
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Anchor Bay
Runtime: 100 Minutes
DVD Release Date: August 4th, 2015
Buy Any Day DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
More about Mike