Monday, June 15, 2009

Jason watches THE LAST LULLABY

Cinequest and the Camera 3 team up again to bring a theatrical release to a great film that I missed in the festival.

THE LAST LULLABY is a story that in different hands could be a flashy, stylized, "cool" flick about a hitman. Instead director Jeffrey Goodman steps back, lets the substance of the story count more than they style, and builds a careful, quiet, character driven story about killing people. Tom Sizemore stars the hitman, Price. The story opens with some of the only flash you'll see. A woman is kidnapped by some violent thugs. Price "rescues" her, only to collect his own ransom (and outwit her father, who is obviously some sort of organized crime boss). That score is his retirement, but size months later he's a bored, restless insomniac so when the crime boss contacts him with a job, he's game. There's a woman, Sarah (Sasha Alexander) that he needs killed in 10 days (something about a grand jury and she's the only witness. That becomes very important later). Price goes about it slowly, spending a couple of days on reconnaissance. But at some point, possible when he beats up her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, his heart opens and he finds himself conflicted.

I loved the quietness, simpleness, non-embellishedness (if that's a word) of it all. It's ostensibly an action story, but there are no explosions. It takes place in a small town which could be anywhere. Price isn't a hitman because it's cool (maybe he started that way, but not anymore), he's a hitman because it's his job. Very well done.

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