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From its philosophical hitmen to its depiction of venal Hollywood types to its titular MacGuffin, the would-be comic thriller Silver Case wears so many cinematic influences on its threadbare sleeve that a tailor should be called in. This endlessly derivative, nearly unwatchable effort from debuting Italian director Christian Filipella is amateurish on every level, save for the presence of B-movie regular Eric Roberts and the great Seymour Cassel, the latter no doubt sadly pining for his days of working with John Cassavetes.
The well-nigh-incomprehensible plot has something to do with a jaded Hollywood producer (Roberts), known for some unknown reason as “The Senator,” sending a mysterious silver briefcase to an archrival (Brad Light), presumably for some nefarious purpose. But the case goes astray, winding up in the hands of two thugs (Brian Keith Gamble, Chris Facey) who spend most of their time engaging in witlessly profane Tarantino-like banter while they’re being pursued by the Senator’s minions.
Violent mayhem ensues as we’re introduced to several films’ worth of uninteresting supporting characters including a slacker Hollywood actor (Vincent De Paul) and a sleazy antiques dealer (Cassel).
Filipella, who co-wrote the screenplay, also served as photographer and editor, showing no discernible talent in any department. The choppily edited proceedings simply look terrible, and any sense of narrative cohesion is quickly lost amidst the endless cross-cutting. Although Roberts (who by now does this sort of thing in his sleep) and Cassel provide their usual level of professionalism, it’s sad to see their talents wasted in this dross, which is quickly headed to the bargain-basement section of whatever video stores still exist.
Opened: March 22 (Breaking Glass Pictures)
Production: Satyricon Pictures
Cast: Eric Roberts, Seymour Cassel, Shalim Ortiz, Vincent De Paul, Brian Keith Gamble, Chris Facey
Director/producer/director of photography/editor: Christian Filipella
Executive producers: Claire Falconer, Corrado Musso
Screenwriters: Christian Filipella, Jason A. White
Production designer: Philipp Fera
Costume designer: Salvatore Zannino
Composers: Roberto Boarini, Cody Westheimer
No rating, 87 minutes
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