YOU KILL ME:DVD
Frank Falenczyk (Ben Kingsley), the hit-man for his Polish mob family in Buffalo, New York, has a drinking problem and when he messes up a critical assignment that puts the family business in peril, his uncle Roman (Philip Baker Hall) sends him to San Francisco to clean up his act, under the watchful, reporting eye of Roman's stooge, Dave (Bill Pullman). Frank starts going to AA meetings, gets a [gay] sponsor (Luke Wilson) and a job at a mortuary where he falls for the tart-tongued Laurel (Tea Leonie), who is dangerously devoid of boundaries. Meanwhile, things aren't going well in Buffalo where an upstart Irish gang is threatening the family business. When violence erupts, Frank is forced to return home and with an unlikely assist from Laurel, faces old rivals on new terms.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A sweet black comedy about a professional killer from Buffalo whose gangster uncle makes him join Alcoholics Anonymous in San Francisco, falls in love with a down to earth saleswoman and cleans up his act so he can be a neater killer. So it's not dead straight, but that's what to like about it.
A wry and dry tone makes this an entertaining and engaging comedy with black edges, expertly delivered by director John Dahl and marvellously performed by a top cast. Ben Kingsley is terrific as Frank, the minimalist pro killer whose Polish crime family is being squeezed out of Buffalo by the Irish gang working with the Chinese. That's the backdrop for a story about making amends, which Frank finally intends to do.
He is beautifully supported by Tea Leonie as Laurel, the woman he meets at a funeral, while he's working as a part time mortuary assistant in between his AA sessions. Both characters are well written and they match well, surprisingly enough. Bill Pullman offers great support as the man keeping an eye on Frank for his uncle, and Luke Wilson nicely underplays his role as a gay alcoholic helping Frank. Also tops is Philip Baker Hall as the heavy uncle.
It's fun and enjoyable, without being superficial or simplistic, with some sharp dialogue and a touch of gang action.
Published 24, 2008
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YOU KILL ME:DVD (M)
CAST: Ben Kingsley, Tea Leonie, Luke Wilson, Dennis Farina, Philip Baker Hall, Bill Pullman, Marcus Thomas, Scott Heindl
PRODUCER: Carol Baum, Al Corley, Mike Marcus, Eugene Musso, Bart Rosenblatt
DIRECTOR: John Dahl
SCRIPT: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jeffrey Jur
EDITOR: Scott Chestnut
MUSIC: Marcelo Zarvos
PRODUCTION DESIGN: John Dondertman
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Image gallery; trailer
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: All Interactive
DVD RELEASE: April 2008
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.