Two Weeks DVD: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

A well made film that deals with the various processes we go through when we lose someone.
  • OVERALL
    4.0
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
A well made film that deals with the various processes we go through when we lose someone.
THE BAD
The fact that it seems like this movie was ignored by the world at large.
THE FEATURE
Two Weeks is the story of children denying that they are going through the crisis of losing their mother. When it seems like Anita (Sally Field) is going to be passing on to the great beyond, her children Keith (Ben Chaplin), Emily (Julianne Nicholson), Barry (Thomas Cavanagh) and Matthew (Glenn Howerton) all come home to see her off. However death isn't on anybody's watch and it looks like rather than meet for a quick "hello" and "who gets what," the family is forced to deal with one another just as their mother had always wanted. As they starts to talk they realize how much their mother had held them together and it soon seems to dawn on all of them what her eventual absence is going to mean. Also looked at is the idea of what happens when this person dies? What are these people going to inherit? Who is going to be in charge of taking care of the finances and everything else?

This movie very bravely tackles subjects and ideas that it doesn't seem like we really ever want to think about. The reality of the situation is that were going to lose people but oftentimes it's easier to not have discussions about monetary and other matters while they are alive. The truth is that it is much harder to get things in order, to prepare for the burial, to handle their affairs when they aren't around as opposed to when they are. Two Weeks is the kind of film that meets the process of dying and living head on.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary Track

Director Steve Stockman and Dr./Self Help bookwriter Ira Byock sit back and discuss this movie. Stockman talks about what a pain in the ass making an indy movie is and that is why he loved seeing the Fox logo before his film. He discusses where this movie was shot and also talks about how the film lampoons the very self help books that Byock writes. Stockman talks about how the video scenes with Sally Field were shot in order and that enabled him to take the character of Anita through the dying process. Overall, he and Dr. Byock tell very interesting stories about this production as well as grief and dealing with loss.

Deleted Scenes

Group Discussion Guide

Essentially this is a series of questions that are meant to help people accept the eventuality of death. I only had time to give this a cursory glance but I like the way that director Steve Stockman has made this DVD very personal. I found out from the commentary track that he lost his mother, and I think he saw this film and this DVD as a way to help himself and others cope with the horrible tragedy of losing a parent.
THE VIDEO
Widescreen. This movie doesn't have many camera tricks and specialized shots but for the story it's telling it really doesn't need them. I found that for simply being a burned DVD, the powers that be have done a very solid job of maintaining the look of the images. This movie seems like it was shot with flat, almost sterile lighting and this really helps, I feel, get us into the theme of what is happening. Death is nothing if not a cold process and the fact that this "family film" doesn't shy away from that makes it all the more real.
THE AUDIO
Once again I don't have the packaging to really give you any of the audio specs. However, I watched this movie on a pretty small DVD player, with a screen that popped up, and everything sounded fine. Stockman really seems to be trying to tell a very fluid story here. He doesn't mess around with audio tricks that might get us deeper into the characters. He merely presents the characters and their situations on screen and lets that idea put across the story, the drama and everything else.
THE PACKAGE
Fox sent me this burned DVD in a white envelope. Once again I cannot really talk about the packaging because they didn't send me anything to talk about.
THE FINAL WORD
I recently lost my mom in July and this movie was rough for me for many reasons. I didn't have the kind of drawn out good-bye that the characters in this film had. I don't know what is better or worse I just know that losing a parent is bad. In my case my mother went into the hospital and less than 48 hours later she was gone, when just a few days before she had been going to work. Despite the differences in circ*mstances I still found that Two Weeks very much worked for me. What a lot of people don't understand is that life does go on (it's just very different whether you acknowledge it or not). You might be suffering a crisis and you'll pass somebody who has their own life and everything is just fine. The reality of all our situations is that we're all a phone call or a health problem away from entering a crisis. I don't think it's ever easy no matter how much you prepare for it. The best thing it seems one can do is simply try to live as much as they can and show the people in their lives how much they mean to them.

Two Weeks, from what I have seen, is the first film from Steve Stockman. I honestly hope he can put as much of himself into every movie he makes because that is what makes what he did here so special.

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