Review: ‘THE ASSIGNMENT’ flips the script on your average action flick.

THE ASSIGNMENTDirector Walter Hill gives the revenge film a modern neo-noir twist with this electrifying thriller. Hitman Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez) is given a lethal assignment, but after being double-crossed, discovers he’s no longer the man he was.  Having been surgically altered, Frank now has the body of a woman. Seeking vengeance, he heads for a showdown with his assailant (Sigourney Weaver), a brilliant surgeon with a chilling agenda of her own.

The film is structured in a Sin City meets iZombie format with graphic novel transitions and narration. The premise is interesting and certainly engages your attention without pause. The Assignment has caused some stir in the transgender community, as our hero/villain’s view of his/her transition is on the rather negative side. That being said, if you woke up the opposite gender, you might be a tad peeved as well. The action is tempered with monologues from Sigourney Weaver‘s character. My only complaint there? I wish there had been more visual to back those stories up as some run at quite a length.Michelle Rodriguez does a great job with both genders, keeping the masculine edge once she wakes up a woman. Without prior knowledge of the plot, you may think that a very thin Oscar Isaac had tackled the first half of the role. It’s pretty uncanny. Her past work in action films is on full view with her natural handling of weapons and aggressive presence. `It’s a pretty fearless performance. Weaver as Dr. Kay has an eccentric air to her speech patterns and carriage, even when she’s in a straight jacket. Tony Shaloub as Dr.Galen is a perfect foil for Weaver and the appearance by Anthony LaPaglia is casting heaven. On the whole. The Assignment is different in a good way. Engrossing and lively, you can’t go wrong. Check out the trailer below.

In Select Theaters and On Demand April 7th

 

Directed by: Walter Hill
Screenplay by: Walter Hill, Denis Hamill
Story by: Denis Hamill, Walter Hill
Producers: Said Ben Said, Michel Merkt
Cast: Michelle Rodriguez, Tony Shalhoub, Anthony LaPaglia, Caitlin Gerard, Sigourney Weaver
Distributor Saban Films, Lionsgate
Release Date: Ultra VOD on March 3rd, in select theaters April 7th
Running Time 95 minutes

Rating

Synopsis:

R

Director Walter Hill gives the revenge film a modern neo-noir twist with this electrifying thriller. Hitman Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez) is given a lethal assignment, but after being double-crossed, discovers he’s no longer the man he was.  Having been surgically altered, Frank now has the body of a woman. Seeking vengeance, he heads for a showdown with his assailant (Sigourney Weaver), a brilliant surgeon with a chilling agenda of her own.

DVD Review: ‘THE SPOILS BEFORE DYING’ is another hit for Funny Or Die and IFC


THE SPOILS BEFORE DYING 

Starring Michael Kenneth Williams, Maya Rudolph 
and Kristen Wiig

Available on DVD as of June 7, 2016

The Spoils Before Dying” showcases an all-star cast including, Michael Kenneth Williams (12 Years a Slave, RoboCop, “The Wire”), Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live,” Bridesmaids, Big Hero 6), Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live,” Bridesmaids), and Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense, Pay It Forward). Produced by Funny Or Die with executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Nate Young, Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, “The Spoils Before Dying” was written by Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont (who also directed). “The Spoils Before Dying” is the second book, based on fictional famous author Eric Jonrosh’s (Will Ferrell) first best-selling epic novel The Spoils of Babylon. Season two from the “Spoils” franchise premiered on IFC on July 8, 2015, and includes six half-hour episodes.
maya rudolph and michael KENNETH WILLIAMSThe series centers on Michael Kenneth Williams as Rock Banyon, who becomes the prime suspect in the double murder of his occasional lover Fresno Foxglove (Maya Rudolph) who is found dead with another man. Panicked, Rock splits for Mexico where he reunites with his one-time big band singer Delores DeWinter (Kristen Wiig). With 72 hours to clear his name or fry in the electric chair, Rock and Delores embark on a dangerous quest for the truth that takes them into an abyss of sex, drugs, betrayal, and of course, jazz. While his world crumbles, Rock’s hard-charging manager Alistair St. Barnaby (Haley Joel Osment) pressures him to record a mainstream jazz album.

will ferrell TSBD stillFunny Or Die can pretty much do no wrong in my opinion. Following up on the 2014 The Spoils of Babylon, The Spoils Before Dying is another total win. If you haven’t seen the first season in IFC, imagine a Sin City narrative combined with the Rodriguez/Tarantino Grindhouse schlock and add in the compressed timing of an SNL Digital Short (sort of, each episode is 30 minutes). Tough in our age of binge-watching, you can happily run through the entire series in the time it would take you to watch any other film, half as fun. The mock commercials stuck into the episodes are as completely tongue-in-cheek as the rest of the production. kristen wiig TSBDThe performances are off the rails hilarious. Will Ferrell reprising his role as Eric Jonrosh is pure insanity. His oftentimes linear thinking combined with overindulgence and narcissism is pitch perfect. Michael Kenneth Williams is a breath of fresh air as he takes on his role with (almost) complete seriousness. We all knew Maya Rudolf has a set of pipes on her, but I had no idea that Kristen Wiig can sing. And when I say sing, I really mean SAAAANNNNNGGGG. The songs are unapologetically ridiculous AND maintain gorgeous melodies. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Haley Joel Osment, who steals each scene he appears in with total commitment and one over-the-top accent. With appearances by Tim Robbins, Kate McKinnon, Molly Shannon, Michael Sheen, Chris Parnell, Tim Meadows, to name a few,  you simply cannot go wrong with this series. The Spoils Before Dying is now available in DVD. Check out the trailer below!

Michael’s Review: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’- But is it A Film to Die For?

sin city 2-main_poster

It’s been nine years since Robert Rodriguez helped bring Frank Miller’s graphic novel Sin City to the big screen. A stylish, visually groundbreaking film that thrilled audiences and turned a little known comic into a household name while grossing over $150 million globally.  After announcing the sequel in 2006, each year brought questions as to when we would see the elusive film. Rodriguez and Miller had one hell of a time getting this sequel into theaters. Nine years is a long time to keep an audience waiting for a sequel. Was Sin City: A Dame to Kill For worth the wait? Read More →

Car Noir: ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ & the 1948 Tucker

Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller & Mickey Rourke with a new 1948 Tucker built by Rob Ida Concepts

I immediately recognized the Tucker while watching Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. The fenders and three headlights are unmistakable. As a kid, the whole family went to the theater to see Tucker: The Man An His Dream about the car maker who went up against The Big Three. My dad was never so excited to see a movie (besides perhaps Jurassic Park). I also did a high school report on the car, bringing in the original advertisements that were in magazines in 1947 from my dad’s collection.

Read More →