Guns for Hire (2015)

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Due Out for Sale 24-Aug-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy thriller None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 78:56
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Donna Robinson
Studio
Distributor

Eagle Entertainment
Starring Michele Hicks
Ever Carradine
Ben Mendelson
Jeffery Dean Morgan
Raffaello Degruttola



Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Coby Brown
Will Golden


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Beatle (Michele Hicks) is a lesbian tow truck operator and an assassin. As Guns for Hire commences she is being interviewed by Detective Holt (Raffaello Degruttola) about a murder which apparently occurred about seven years ago, and the events are gradually revealed by flashbacks during this interview.

     The story starts when Beatle impounds the car of Athena (Ever Carradine) for unpaid parking tickets. Athena is broke and borrows money from her shady one-time employer Kyle (Ben Mendelson) to pay the parking tickets. However, Athena reneges on her deal with Kyle and when she meets Beatle again she makes Beatle a proposition; rather than being murdered by Kyle, as Athena expects will happen when he catches her, Athena will make her life assurance policy over to Beatle and when the change becomes effective in a week Beatle will kill her. In the meantime, Athena needs somewhere to stay so she moves into Beatle’s flat and a romantic relationship starts to form. Will Beatle still be able to complete the contract? Meanwhile, Kyle is not prepared to let Athena, Beatle or the money go, so he tasks his murderous henchman Bruce (Jeffery Dean Morgan) with finding them. Bruce tortures Beatle’s occasional lover, the stripper / whore Carla (Sarah Shahi), and Beatle’s shrink (Orlando Jones) to find Athena and Beatle but when he arrives at their flat things don’t quite turn out as expected.

     Guns for Hire is a film that so wants to be a smart black comedy / thriller and so it includes hip dialogue, fractured storytelling, quirky characters and a couple of twists at the end. It is the only film of director / co-writer Donna Robinson, whose intentions are not matched by the film’s execution. At one stage Beatle says to the detective “you’re all over the place”, and this sums up the film as it really does not know what it is; a The Usual Suspects backwards mystery, a psychological thriller, a black comedy or a romance. That the film pulls off none of the above is a result of a stodgy script, uninspired direction, flat dialogue, cheap looking sets and some wooden acting, especially from Ever Carradine. It was originally called The Adventures of Beatle and, indeed, had a long gestation; principle photography occurred in 2006 yet the film was only released, direct to video, in 2015, which pretty much says it all.

     There are the kernels of good ideas in Guns for Hire and towards the end the film does start to build interest and momentum as Athena delves into Beatle’s character and childhood; these scenes are touching and effective, and promised, in a twist, a resolution that made sense out of what we had seen up to this point. If Robinson had left the film there it could have been reasonably satisfying, but she doesn’t and has to throw in another twist that, to me at least, was stupefyingly silly.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Guns for Hire is presented in 1.78:1, close to the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     Shot on film, Guns for Hire looks fine and has natural but muted colours (mostly scenes are interiors). Contrast and brightness is consistent, skin tones natural and blacks solid, although shadow detail is somewhat indistinct.

     There is nice light film grain but no marks or artefacts.

    There are no subtitles provided.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps.

     The audio is front oriented. But this is fine as Guns for Hire includes a lot of scenes of two people conversing so it is good that the dialogue is clear and easy to hear. Effects were limited to a couple of loud gunshots; even the music, by Coby Brown and Will Golden, was sparsely used although it was effective in the scene when Bruce confronts the two women. Other than during the opening music I did not notice the subwoofer, but nor was it required.

     Lip synchronisation seemed fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 1 US release of Guns for Hire includes the film’s trailer, but I hardly think that makes it worth importing.

Summary

     There is a very satisfying feeling when you reach the end of a film where the twists were set up and executed properly and you think “wow”; The Sixth Sense or The Usual Suspects anyone? Guns for Hire is an indifferent film but was in the middle of providing an interesting twist and an explanation that made sense of what we had seen until then before turning it all on its head. Yes, looking back there was some set up but for me the end was really was very silly, although others may not have the same response.

     The video and audio are fine. There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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