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“Checkmate” is a film about a bank heist gone wrong. Sounds simple, right? Well, the outcome hinges on the six major figures at play. Vinnie Jones and Danny Glover are playing a game of chess that seemingly controls the massive bank robbery. The robbers at play are dumb, but they seem to realize the importance of what they’re after. Meanwhile, Sean Astin shows up as a Priest/Assassin who brings the pain. Some have tried casting shade on the flick, but I’m telling you not to miss out.

There’s something magically Ed Wood about a film that wants to ape Post Tarantino crime aesthetic and hang fantasy upon the set-up. Is there always clarity to the matter? No. But, neither did most of the great pulpy films like this from the 50s-70s. I appreciate the unique approach taken here and I wish other smaller films could be just as playful.

The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is fairly typical for standard definition. I say that a lot, but we’re at this weird point in the nearly 20 year lifespan of DVD. It either looks like garbage, not amazing or great. That’s not a ton of wiggle room to wow someone over in an age of 4K, HD, Streaming and YouTube user generated content. I’d say OK DVD, underrated movie. Do what you want with that.

Release Date: 9/8/15

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