It is 6:25 pm
When it comes to my movie watching,I have only a couple of outlets because of my budget. I don’t buy new releases unless it’s a special case. The last film I paid full price for was “Jurassic City” because my very talented friend Monique Parent had a starring role and it looked like a lot of fun (and it was,see my review!).
The two outlets I use are Dollar Tree (hence Dollar Tree Theater) which is always a hit and miss gamble because you never know when they’re getting new movies in. And their selection is all over the map as well…sometimes it’s a very good batch with a lot of “name” movies that have been released within a couple of years and some are much older that while new,are hogging up warehouse space. Many are indie films that only played in art houses and won’t be carried by a big retailer because of the limited shelf space.
I have found quite a few gems this way and so when Dollar Tree gets a shipment,it’s like a little treasure hunt.
The other outlet is Family Video when they do a 10 for 10 sale. They sell a lot of their DVDs for 1.99 or 2 for 3.00 but when they have a big sale,those titles are only a buck provided you buy 10. Because Family Video is much more current,the selection can be really good provided you get there early enough for the sale. Sometimes I can’t get there until Saturday and have to pick over what is left. And because I have to get 10 titles in order to get the sale price,I have to take chances on titles I know little or nothing about.
And this brings us to “7 Cases”,a interesting yet flawed little British crime thriller written and directed by Sean J. Vincent.
The story is about two men,Mitchell and Floyd,who after pulling a heist,are trying to make their escape when they crash into a car,killing a woman and her two kids.
Now,15 years later,both men are in their late 40’s with bleak futures. Floyd can’t find a job and Mitchell is working at a retail store eking out a living.
Floyd sees Mitchell and after watching him at a distance for a while “runs” into him a pub. Over a pint,the men discuss how brutal their lives have become since being released from jail. Only because of some quirk in the law,they are not held accountable for the crash,only the robbery.
Floyd starts telling Mitchell he has a score set for for 500,000.00 minus 10,000 for a getaway driver. Mitchell debates it hard but in the end,decides to throw in with his old friend.
The heist goes flawlessly and the driver leaves the two men in a safe place until the heat dies down enough for them to escape.
During the night,the seven cases of money is taken and a cassette player is left in its place…..with instructions to Floyd and Mitchell. Someone has taken their cases of cash and has booby trapped them to people they know,including loved ones. The rules are simple,they can have either the cash or walk away. There is a catch,there is a time limit and if they attempt to disarm the traps,the two men and the victim all will die via bomb…the husband of the family that was killed has cooked up the perfect revenge..
While I was quite hooked on the plot,watching it unfold was a different story. While watching these men talk about their mistakes and then compound them by going back to crime,you sense their desperation. Despite being heavily armed,they are not violent men and robbing a check advance company has a bit of a Robin Hood mentality to it. You feel for these guys…..until they start to get those cases. This is where the movie went off the rails. With the very first victim,the entire cast becomes instantly unlikable. Floyd and Mitchell simply become greedy despite their telling each trapped person how sorry they are yet taking the cash and running away.
Lawson,the man behind the scenes,is simply a evil man using the excuse of his lost family to steal the money for himself,his killing of innocent victims make his no better and in fact,much worse then Floyd and Mitchell are. There is nothing learned here,only that 490,000 is worth killing for.
Even in the SAW movies,which “7 Cases” is clearly influenced by,even Jigsaw had somewhat of a moral code….twisted but it was there.
The two men who played Floyd and Mitchell…Dave Vincent Phillips and Paul Cooper do a fine job with the script they are given. Long time Hollywood veteran Steven Berkoff is usually very good as a heavy but here,he comes across as insane and destroyed. If director Vincent had left him like that while filling in a bit more of a backstory,it would have worked. But by having him change his motive in the end,sinks his character.
The music for “7 Cases” was scored Jon Atkinson and it’s a kick ass score. The music carries the film through some of the dead spots effortlessly and helps ratchet up the tension considerably. He is a talent to keep a eye on in the future as is Sean Vincent.
This director has a lot of promise and I am looking forward to his next project!
The extras on the DVD are decent,a good interview with Sean and a great blooper reel that shows how much fun the shoot was despite the subject matter…
So while we both gave this a thumbs/paw down,the cheetah and I are digging our British films!!
Let me what you think of this review in the comment section,Paladin and I love the feedback!
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