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Review: “Oberst is cold as ice”

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ASSASSINS is a short film that inspired a feature film. The feature is set for a 2016 releaseHere’s the short, with Bill Oberst Jr. as the character he reprises in the feature. Mike Bonomo directed both: 

Mike Thomas at Matchflick.com reviewed it:

Movie Review by Mike

Assassins: You Have the Gun, I Have the Power

Favorite Movie Quote: “Is that it?”

“Sometimes, it’s just the words.

Nathan (Bill Oberst, Jr., in an uncharacteristic three-piece suit), walks in on Walter (Vincente DiSanti), who is sitting in the bathroom, definitely distraught. What follows when they meet at the kitchen table is a demonstration that a gun does not give you power.

Nathan, though apparently weaponless (we know he’s not – we see his gun), with just words, forces Walter to remove the gun from his intruder’s head. Nathan then strikes up a conversation correlating sex and death. He explains, in measured tones, using volume to make his point, how reality never meets expectations. Again, he has the power.

In your gut you know one of them will be dead by the end, but you’re not entirely sure if Walter wiil “man up” in an act of desperation, or relinquish the power to Nathan, as he has for the entire short.

Roll Credits.

ASSASSINS is my very favorite genre of drama – the cat-and-mouse two-person dialogue. No explosions, no special effects, no nudity (two dudes – thank God!), just two persons, one victim, one victimizer. Bill Oberst, Jr., the one man who you would never want to meet in a dark alley, is cold-as-ice Nathan, the seasoned veteran, far more experienced than his “charge.” Vincente DiSante is perfect as the pitiful/pitiable Walter, the grasshopper to Nathan’s teacher. The dialogue is more a monologue, with Walter chiming in when he has the strength to muster up a response. We see flashbacks of Walter inaugural hit, a crime of passion, not of professionalism. we’re not entirely sure if Nathan was there to teach him, or teach him a lesson. It’s a sad, tense tale, almost like dropping a mouse on a hot plate, and watching him squirm. The Victim (Citlyn Sabrio), seen only in flashbacks, was the assumed “hit.” You try to find the twist, but there is really none. This was a very linear tale told in camera angles, close-ups and the coldest monologue I’ve heard in a long time.

As unaccustomed as I am to reviewing shorts, my usual grading system is shot to hell (sorry, bad pun). Instead, I’ll strongly recommend you take 10 minutes out of your life and enjoy some solid, no-gimmicks acting. Once this short is available, any fan of Bill Oberst, Jr. will see a side of him that is a refreshing change of pace. This is his movie, and every thing else is scenery.”

Assassins

AUTHOR - Bill Oberst

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