Thursday, July 7, 2011

365 Movies Day #100 "Sinners and Saints"

Epic badassery is the only way to describe this film by my friend and talented director, Will Kaufman. If you'll remember, the very first film we talked about was one of Will's, "THE PRODIGY". It was his first feature and we'll come back to that here in a bit. Also, we touched on "THE HIT LIST" where Will made Cuba Gooding Jr. look like a total badass. As fantastic as the fight scenes were in "The Prodigy" for such a small budget and as interesting as it was seeing Cuba whoop some butt, "Sinners and Saints" destroys both films as one of the coolest flicks I've seen in years.

Important to take note, that as I write this, the film has yet to see wide release. I was lucky enough to catch it at a Dallas premier. So, why should you be excited to see this film.

First, let's talk story. Set in New Orleans right after Katrina, the film follows Detective Sean Riley, played by Johnny Strong. Strong is straight up Clint Eastwood in this flick. He just exudes "Don't screw with me" in a way that you don't see enough on film these days. Strong has had some great roles in films like "Black Hawk Down" (Shughart) and "The Fast and the Furious" (Leon), but this is definitely his powerhouse film. You may also recognize him as the lead singer for the band, Operator. Here's a video from his band:

The film opens with an amazing gun battle involving Riley, his partner played by Kim Coats ("Sons of Anarchy" and fellow "Black Hawk Down" vet) and my buddy Holt Boggs (star of "The Prodigy" and contributor on my article on how to work on accents for the actor found HERE. Such attention to detail is given to tactics and making every scene involving weapons perfect, partly owing to the use of real life special forces folks like Sonny Puzikas(Spetznaz) and amazing fight choreographer and martial artist Ron Balicki ("The Prodigy").

Riley's brother, played by Boondock Saint, Sean Patrick Flannery, arrives in town with a team of badass mercs hot on his trail and its left to Riley to save him at all cost. The merc team consists of an amazing cast including Costas Mandylor ("Saw"), Louis Mandylor ("The Quest" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"), Bas Rutten of UFC fame, and "The Prodigy" vets Mark Hanson and Jay Moses and both Ron and Sonny.

Rounding out a fantastic cast is Tom Berenger (recently mentioned "FASTER", Jurgen Prochnow from "IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS" and "THE KEEP" ( I told you we'd talk about him at #100), Jolene Blalock ("Starship: Enterprise"), Method Man and another talented "Prodigy" vet in Matt Beckham.

Some of the most menacing moments captured on screen and like "The Prodigy" it borders, in parts, on horror and continuously delivers blows to your adrenaline. Wonderfully shot with an excellent score, it's clear that Will Kaufman is destined to be one of the greatest action directors around.

In honor of the film and this being the 100th post on the blog, I am kicking off a contest with this post where I will be giving away FIVE copies of "THE PRODIGY". Winners will be selected at random and all you have do to enter is 1.) Follow my blog (worth 5 entries) and/or leave comments on any of the blog posts on this blog (no spam and worth 1 entry each). Contestants may have as many entries as possible. Names will be entered into a system and assigned a number for each entry and a random number generation process will determine 5 separate winners. If you've already commented or followed me, you are automatically entered for the drawing!

Winners will be announced here and via facebook/twitter on 21 July! Also, winners will receive "Sinners and Saints" post cards featuring Johnny, Costas and Sean. Spread the word and thanks for your support!


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