Guns for Hire (2015)
|Year Of Production||2015|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Donna Robinson|
Jeffery Dean Morgan
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
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.
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.
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.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras.
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.
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.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 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 Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|