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LA LINEA: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Salazar (Andy Garcia), the sick and dying leader of Tijuana Mexico's powerful Salazar Cartel, has passed the reigns to his violent and unstable second in command, Pelon (Esai Morales), sparking an internal struggle for control of the Cartel. Pelon goes against Salazar's advice and attempts to make a deal with Afghani Terrorists, giving them access to the US smuggling routes in exchange for heroin. The US authorities secretly hire Mark Shields (Ray Liotta), a professional assassin, to kill Pelon. But his demons catch up with Shields and he is forced to deal with the psychological effects of his violent past - in a city where violence is the only law.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
An unexpected and unexpectedly wise political sentiment opens proceedings when the ailing and retired crime boss Salazar (Andy Garcia) tells his newly promoted right hand man Rene Pelon (Esai Morales) that for America to win the war on terror it should do nothing. Step out of its way and the fundamentally flawed system will shut itself down; "nature has a way of correcting itself," he adds. Good advice. And it has a bitter resonance at the end of the film, when the twist is revealed.

But the relevance of this exchange is the core of the story about drug runners dealing with Afghani heroin suppliers whose motive is as much political - to destabilise and hurt American society - as it is commercial.

Ray Liotta gives a complex and melancholy performance as the troubled shooter Mark Shields, a character that offers more than the usual profile of a hitman. Andy Garcia is reliably interesting as the retiring and dying cartel boss, and Valrie Cruz is terrific in a small but important support role. All the supports are excellent -and well cast for physicality, but also for character.

The plot is action driven, but there is interest and layers of complexity worked into the screenplay to make the film thoroughly engaging.

Published May 14, 2009

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

LA LINEA: DVD (MA)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Esai Morales, Armand Assante, Valerie Cruz, Danny Trejo, Bruce Davison, Joe Morton, Jordi Villasuso, Kevin Gage, Gary Daniels, Michael Delorenzo

PRODUCER: R. Ellis Frazier, Geoffrey G. Ross

DIRECTOR: James Cotton

SCRIPT: R. Ellis Frazier

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Miguel Bunster

EDITOR: Miklos Wright

MUSIC: David Torn

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Derrick Hinman

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: none

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: All Interactive

DVD RELEASE: May 2, 2009






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