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Pawn [Blu-ray + DVD]
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Academy Award- winner Forest Whitaker and Golden Globe- winner Michael Chiklis reunite for the first time since "The Shield" for the most gripping crime thriller of the year: An all-night diner. A cop walks in on a robbery in progress. But what happens next - and what happened just before - will change everything you think you know. Now the building is surrounded. There are fingers on every trigger. And one very intense hostage situation is about to take some extremely shocking twists. Common, Stephen Lang, Nikki Reed, Jessica Szohr and Ray Liotta co-star in this shotgun blast of a drama about last chances, double-crosses and a deadly game of dirty deals where anyone can be a PAWN.
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Top Customer Reviews
Michael Chikls ever since the [Comish years ago]you have been nothing but bad
and i love it,it suit you to a tee and nobody can take that away from you,
Great Little Plot.I Love It.
Dolby True HD 5.1
DVD Dolby Digital 5.1
Runtime 88 minutes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
That axiom certainly applies to the cast of PAWN, a 2013 thriller, now available in a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack from Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Shot in fifteen days, primarily on a single set and location, PAWN is a low budget tense drama, filled with unexpected plot twists, that features not inexpensive actors like Michael Chiklis, Stephen Lang, Ray Liotta, Nikki Reed, Sean Faris and Forest Whitaker in memorable key roles.
To reveal much about the plot would lead to spoilers, so let's just say that it revolves around the hold-up of an all-night diner that goes terribly wrong. Indeed, just when you think that you've got everything figured out, the scene shifts backward or forward in time, and you are, once again, left wondering. PAWN, directed by David A. Armstrong from Jay Anthony White's well-crafted screenplay, is one of those deliciously plotted movies, like THE USUAL SUSPECTS, that demands a second viewing.
Chiklis, who co-produced the picture, is particularly powerful as the leader of the hold-up crew. Also making a strong impression is Stephen Lang, playing the diner's manager and, in a relatively brief role, Liotta, who has a mesmerizing metaphoric moment.
Suggestion: If you can avoid watching the trailer for PAWN before seeing the movie, do so. Like so many trailers these days, this one reveals too much of the plot and, as previously suggested, that can spoil the enjoyment of the picture itself.
The Blu-Ray/DVD contains a "Making of" featurette.
© Michael B. Druxman
I was VERY wrong on questioning the movie!
I will not spoil the movie. In my opinion even the trailer gives too much away. I will say it deals with a crime at an all night dinner, and the actions that occur right before, during and after the robbery.
I cannot stress enough how I got into this movie! It's one of those movies where you don't look at the time during it, but when it's over you say "hey where did the time go?!"
PAWN features a stellar cast that includes such heavyweights as Nikki Reed, Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker, Michael Chiklis, and Stephen Lang. Considering this is an extremely low budget movie filmed in just fifteen days, the cast list is rather impressive.
Part of the plot of the movie is revealed through a series of flashbacks that reveal a different part of the story told from the perspective of a different character (think RASHOMON or VANTAGE POINT). I occasionally enjoy this style of storytelling in movies and I liked how it was used in PAWN. Unfortunately, the device is thrown away about halfway through the movie and the last part of the movie is told in a more linear fashion.
Upon initially watching PAWN, I didn't think I was going to like it. The first few scenes left me disoriented and I wasn't sure what type of movie I was watching; I thought it was going to be a kind of heist movie, but after the first couple of scenes I thought I was watching some trippy time travel flick like DONNIE DARKO. However, once I got further along, I really started to enjoy the movie and began trying to unravel the tangled threads of the story myself. Although there are far better heist movies out there, PAWN is a better movie than I thought it would be and I'm glad I watched it.
The cast made the story work so well. Michael Chiklis was superb as a vicious gangster holding up a late-night diner (and check out his great British accent). Forest Whitaker is the cop who comes in to play a little chess with the manager. He catches on to the robbers, all hell breaks loose, and the scene suddenly shifts to a hospital room where Ray Liotta is questioning a patient who was in the diner. And in my opinion, this may be Liotta's finest performance since Goodfellas.
What you think you see isn't always what's really happening, which makes Pawn a fun film to watch, with all the twists that are thrown at you. And sometimes it's impossible to separate the good guys from the bad as the body count rises.
Pawn is a fine film with a marvelous cast and some of the most suspenseful action I've seen in a while. Also, don't miss the Behind the Scenes special feature, where the actors talk about their roles. It's worth watching, especially the revelation that the film was shot in only fifteen days.
Rated "R" for violence, brief use of cocaine, and plenty of F-bombs.
Chiklis plays a British thug (Why British? Who knows?) who leads a team on a late night heist on a popular midtown diner. Despite the lateness of the hour, the restaurant is packed with an assortment of innocent (and not-so-innocent) victims. When a local cop (Whitaker) enters the premises, the situation goes from bad to worse. But who, as they say, is zooming who? Who on the police force can be trusted? What was the goal of targeting the diner? And can anyone come out of this unscathed? I won't reveal anything relevant to the film's surprises other than to say that Faris quickly becomes the centerpiece of the hostage situation. As an ex-con caught up in the intrigue, is his presence at the diner merely a coincidence? That's a central question that haunts many of the principle characters as "Pawn" progresses.
While "Pawn" positions itself as a twisty and clever thriller, it really isn't as smart as I would have liked. The metaphor of the chess piece is revealed late in the picture, but it's not particularly convincing. As major secrets are uncovered, the connections grew increasingly tenuous or unbelievable. Structured as a narrative puzzle, I felt that I had seen this device used to better effect in other films. The screenplay has a lot of great ideas, but many are left unexplored or go relatively nowhere. I especially liked how one character (Reed) was held and then inexplicably released. She had seen many of the major players involved in a grand conspiracy at that point, but they let her go like it was no big deal. This is also one of those movies that relies on the plot device that there is such organized corruption in the police force and this equates to having murder-for-hire thugs on the payroll. All in all, though, "Pawn" is entertaining. I recommend watching it for the actors (it is better served through rental, though). About 3 1/2 stars, I'll round up for this being a solid enough straight-to-DVD endeavor. KGHarris, 4/13.