DVD Review: Answers to Nothing

Answers to Nothing DVD boxSTUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTOR: Matthew Leutwyler | CAST: Dane Cook, Elizabeth Mitchell, Julie Benz, Barnara Hershey, Erik Palladino, Miranda Bailey, Kali Hawk, Mark Kelly
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 2/28/2012 | PRICE: DVD $19.98
BONUSES: commentary, deleted scenes, music videos
SPECS: R | 123 min. | Drama | 2.40:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 Dolby Digital audio | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Answers to NothingIndependent film Answers to Nothing follows in the footsteps of Crash and Magnolia, weaving a number of losing related storylines set in Los Angeles.

There’s Dane Cook (Mr. Brooks) and Elizabeth Mitchell (TV’s V), a husband and wife who are trying in vitro fertilization to have a baby. Desperate for a baby, Mitchell is turning a blind to the fact that Cook is having an affair. Cook, meanwhile, is troubled by the way his mother (Barbara Hershey, Black Swan) sees her life with rose-colored glasses.

And the connections…

Cook is a psychiatrist treating Kali Hawk (Bridesmaids), a black woman who hates black people. Mitchell is a lawyer representing Miranda Bailey (The O in Ohio), who’s training to run a marathon with her handicapped brother. And Mitchell is friends with Julie Benz (TV’s Dexter), a detective who’s on the case of a missing 11-year-old girl. Finding the girl is the obsession of school teacher Mark Kelly, who seeks help from police officer Erik Palladino (The New Daughter).

The main theme of the stories and ultimately the film is redemption. Most of the characters have done something bad in the past and now they’re trying to get past it.

The most touching story is that of Miranda Bailey, who gives a commendable performance as the devoted sister who has given up her own life to care for her brother, who’s now in a vegetative state. It’s predictable, but touching. The storyline about the hunt for the 11-year-old girl has a good, thrilling ending, and it’s great to see Hawk in a role so different from her ditzy character in Couples Retreat.

The other stories are interesting too, but don’t have too much oomph. All in all, Answers to Nothing might not be the kind of movie you’ll watch over and over, but it’s a fine way to spend a couple hours if you like your entertainment quiet and thoughtful.

The DVD has a commentary track with writer/director Matthew Leutwyler, co-writer Gillian Vigman and director of photography David Jones, some deleted scenes with an alternate ending and two music videos.

The deleted scenes are worth a look. Some extended the story in nice ways, but be prepared that one of them is very gross, albeit also funny.

In their commentary, Leutwyler, Vigman and Jones are conversational and fun, talking about how they created the nice opening, their decisions about the script, lighting, locations and more. One tidbit, Benz was a last-minute addition didn’t read the script, but joined the film based on the cast.

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.