This episode of Justice & Doom Movie reviews, Now Streaming: BRAWL ON CELL BLOCK 99.
A former boxer (Vaughn) loses his job as an auto mechanic, and his troubled marriage to wife is about to expire. At this crossroads in his life, he feels that he has no better option than to work as a drug courier. He soon finds himself in a gunfight between police officers and his own ruthless allies. When the smoke clears, Bradley is badly hurt and thrown in prison, where his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground.
Writer/Director S Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK) film BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99.
Now Playing Movie Reviews podcast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe from The HMC. Review by Sarah Mason.
Legendary filmmaker Walter Hill first heard the story for his latest revenge thriller THE ASSIGNMENT in 1978. But it would take almost 40 years and many projects in between (THE WARRIORS, ALIENS, Tales from the Crypt, Deadwood) to bring Denis Hamill's original story draft, Tomboy, to the big screen.
Hit man Frank Kitchens (Michelle Rodriguez), double crossed by his client mob boss Honest John (Anthony LaPaglia) undergoes gender reassignment surgery against his will at the hands of a sadistic surgeon (Sigourney Weaver) who seeks revenge for the death of her brother. Aided by his nurse girlfriend, Kitchens sets out for revenge.
THE ASSIGNMENT is not a great film but its consistent action and strong performances, keep you intrigued throughout it's relatively short run time (1h 35m). Editor Phil Norden uses comic book style stills to move the story along from act to act. It's a kitchy but effective technique giving the film a cult classic charm.
Rodriguez performance is strong particularly in the second act when she loses the obvious and distracting male disguise. Weaver's scenes with Tony Shaloub, who plays a psychiatrist tasked with the doctor's diagnosis, are some of the best moments of the film and certainly the highlight of the script.
One could argue that THE ASSIGNMENT is both timely, and suffering from horrific timing. Though I don't think Hill intended the film to serve as social statement or lacking empathy he perhaps, should have considered the consequences. What Hill does do, he does well, good ol' fashion action, THE GETAWAY, 48 HOURS, to name a few. And that is what this film is, a B action film with a A cast. HUMAN CENTIPEDE meets SIN CITY if you will. Loyal fans of action films and Hill will surely dig it. If you can overlook the bad PR, which you should, it's worth a watch. 6/10.
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This week on The Harold & Maudecast we review M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, Split. 7.5/10 on our Justice & Doom movie meter. Split stars James McAvoy, Betty Buckley and Anya Taylor-Joy. For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, including producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.
In addition to Split, we review Shyamalan's, The Visit, which was the top grossing horror film of 2015. We also examine Shyamalan's vast body of work from The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, The Happening and more. Take a listen!
Writer/director/producer Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs with Split, an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film.
While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.
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