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The Independent Critic

Alex Emanuel, Alex Alessi, Catherine Blades, Gabriel Rush
Alex Alessi, Jeff Stewart
Alex Alessi
112 Mins.
Random Media

 "When Everything's Gone" Gets Random Media Release 
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In the new Random Media release When Everything's Gone, a man named Rory (Alex Alessi) has survived a devastating plague. Having been in hiding for over a year, Rory remains troubled by the loss of his brother (Gabriel Rush) as he begins to explore the world that is left. Discovering a man, Casper (Alex Emanuel), and his daughter, Rosie (Catherine Blades), the three forge a team of sorts while each having to confront their pasts as they embark on a journey to search for other survivors in hopes of building some semblance of a future. 

Described as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi/thriller, When Everything's Gone is more accurately a much more rare post-apocalyptic snorer. There's a sense of universal importance that smothers the dramatic impact of When Everything's Gone, a film that far too often has the look and feel of a faith-based post-apocalyptic endeavor without the, well, faith. When Everything's Gone tries hard, really hard, and everyone here seems to tap into the vision for the film but it just never quite gels together into a cohesive cinematic whole. When Everything's Gone isn't a bad film. It's also not a particularly good one. It looks, in fact, quite beautiful from beginning to end with William Donald Kauffman's pristine lensing being a stand-out amongst an otherwise mid-range flick across the board. 

It's important to note that while When Everything's Gone didn't click for me, the film experienced quite a bit of success durings it festival journey before being picked up by indie distributor Random Media. The film screened at fests like Garden State Film Festival, Silicon Beach Film Festival, Erie International Film Festival, and a few others. It seems likely that some folks will be drawn to the film's more meditative approach to the post-apocalyptic theme, an approach that looks inward and attempts, with mixed success, to explore the inner-life of surviving global devastation. 

While this approach is admirable, for this journalist it simply didn't effectively come together with too many production aspects seeming to move in slo-mo from an oppressive score that feels as if it belongs in a different film to a production design that simply never convinces and remains inconsistent with the film's thoughtful, introspective dialogue.

The film's ensemble cast tries gamely with Catherine Blades shining most brightly here as Rosie, whose storyline seems to serve as the key link between characters and whose presence is a consistent welcome on the big screen. 

It's hard not to admire ambitious filmmaking. When Everything's Gone is ambitious filmmaking. Co-directed by Alex Alessi with Jeff Stewart based upon Alessi's script, When Everything's Gone aims high and while the film doesn't quite get there for me I'll always be in favor of adventurous, risk-taking cinema. If you're up for a more introspective, meditative exploration of the post-apocalyptic theme, When Everything's Gone may still be worth giving a chance. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic