Judge Eric Profancik wonders if you can get your money back from a consignment shop?
In this business you don't go legit… You just go!
I feel bad. I feel bad because I'm about to write a rather disparaging review that was submitted to The Verdict via our "Promote Your Release" program. You know the people who submitted this DVD to us have the utmost confidence in their work, and they thus believe that we will give them some positive feedback to use to promote said film. Unfortunately, that is not what is going to happen. Sorry. I certainly hope I can find a few words of encouragement to sprinkle in here and there; but my overall experience with this movie was not a positive one.
Facts of the Case
Based on real life events with the names and places changed to protect the innocent and the not so innocent…
Tommy is an East Coast drug dealer working for Detroit Mike. After a failed "rip-off murder," Tommy and his wife Yoli decide to hightail it to Southern California. He wants to retire from the drug biz, but he needs to work a few more deals to have enough money to move on. But his success in those last few deals bring him full circle, back in trouble with Detroit Mike with his new boss, Moses. Things spin out of control and the body count rises as Tommy tries to protect the love of his life and stay out of the line of fire himself.
I did not enjoy this movie for three reasons: the story, the acting, and the production. That pretty much covers everything, but let me be more specific. To enhance my argument, I will be quoting extensively from the movie's official website (link provided to the right).
So, what is there?
"Authentic Language straight from the streets that simply rings out
"A body count of 14 on screen murders."
"Consignment has the longest and most exotic strip scene of any
"A love story with a real ending (you don't see that much anymore
So, why is the acting so bad? Is it just the actors aren't very good, or are there other motivating factors behind this problem?
"Some scenes were re-written on set before they were shot."
"4 actresses were replaced for the role of Yolanda. The last on her
first major day of shooting. [sic] Stream Gardner stepped in to replace her that
"With a limited budget and no outside funding, the filmmakers worked
with what they had, looked past what they didn't, and made it happen with a
dedicated cast and crew grinding out long hours to see it all come
"Storyboards were not used, breaking a major rule of
What truly nagged and annoyed me throughout Consignment is the result of the following two items:
"Consignment consists of 110 scenes that were shot in 11
The massive problem with Consignment is the lack of any flow to the narrative. The story is lost in the sea of 110 scenes. Consignment does not feel like an unfolding drama; instead, it feels like a series of related vignettes spliced together to form the thinnest of ideas. One scene did not seem related to the next. One scene did not flow naturally from one to the other. It was poorly edited, scene after scene, connected together. Technically, every scene does have a beginning, middle, and end. However, each scene is so self-contained that you can feel every beginning, every middle, and every end. It shouldn't feel like a stream of scenes. Every scene shouldn't feel completely staged and end with a lingering shot or a pull away. We shouldn't realize we're switching from scene to scene. We just shouldn't notice.
But I did notice every scene, and it caused me to take note of the myriad other problems with the production. Many shots had bad framing, bad lighting, or bad cinematography. Again, as with the acting, I felt the production had an amateurish feel. What's with the unnecessary zooms on people? Did you not have a camera stand for all shots? And I really shouldn't be able to hear the cameraman walking on gravel as he moves forward for a close-up on a character. (Yes, that one's incredible nitpicky; but it helps point out how one problem caused my heightened awareness to other flaws that normally would not have stood out.)
Let me toss out four final, minor points before moving on to the DVD itself. First, I love looking at a hot woman, but there are too many booty shots in the movie. They're there just to be gratuitous, and one or two would have been sufficient for that cause. Second, the sound effect for the cell phone rings was too loud. It was consistently jarring and startling. Third, the slow motion effect used at the end when Carmelo is in meltdown mode and drinking is unnecessary. It's so unlike the rest of the film that it stands out, not adding to the moment but again distracting the viewer. Perhaps if it didn't last so long it wouldn't have been so bad. Lastly, and this is probably more than a minor point, but what is the point of Consignment? We watch Tommy do his thing, but what happens? Why did we just invest an hour and a half with this character? I guess it's just supposed to remind us that this movie, inspired by true events, is a slice of reality and things don't always work out as planned.
"Killer story, picture and sound quality through out."
The hits just keep on coming as we move on to the technical discussion of the DVD. There are problems with both the video and audio transfers on this disc. The better of the two is the video, which appears to be a 1.85:1 non-anamorphic print (based on my personal deduction and no readily available technical specs). I'm not happy to see the movie has not been given the anamorphic treatment, but since it's a self-financed independent movie, I won't take too much offense. On the whole, the video looks pretty good with just an occasional problem. Colors are accurate and realistic, blacks are fairly rich and precise, and detail, contrast, and sharpness are good. The problems that did crop up are some graininess during night scenes, a few moiré patterns, and two instances where the video locked up—at the one hour mark and almost at the very end of the film. Also, the opening scroll is almost unreadable, with the text experiencing some type of artifacting or distortion as it moves. Faring much worse is the simple PCM stereo track. This track is wildly inconsistent, with the audio fluctuating throughout the feature. I was constantly turning the volume up and down, trying to keep up with the sound. At times, I couldn't hear or understand what was going on; the next, it was blaring at me. On top of that, some dubbing work was needed to even things out, make things more intelligible, and to get rid of all the annoying background sounds (dogs, planes, crickets, and so forth). Sadly, there are no subtitles included.
The DVD comes with only one bonus item, three deleted scenes. These are actually more of a blooper/deleted scene combo, and the only one of note is the third scene, which I presume is this: "Some scenes got so hot they had to be cut to make the movie suitable for retail and rental outlets. Those scenes will only be found on 'Consignment-Hardcore Street Edition'." This third scene is called "The Threesome" and you can figure it out for yourself, though it's not "that hot." It's less suggestive than the oral service scene from the film.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
I come back to the "Promote Your Release" program that started all this, and I still wish I wasn't so negative on the film. Maybe it's because I'm not necessarily the specific target audience, but films require a few universal qualities to appeal to an audience. As such, with a weak story, wanting acting, and numerous technical difficulties, it's hard to find the diamond in the rough with Consignment. Hence, I'm truly at a loss for positive things to say about the film. The best I can say is, Sid, you've finished two films and you're working on you're third. Keep your drive and ambition alive and work on honing your behind-the-scenes skills. Consignment could have been a much better, stronger film with some finesse during postproduction.
"We don't want you spending your money on our movies if they don't deliver on the goods. We want to put out movies you can watch over and over again. We don't want anyone to ever feel cheated or bored after watching one of our movies. We think you'll be satisfied enough to pass the word along to your friends that Slice Of Americana Films drops ultra-hot movies.
The goal of Slice of Americana Films is to create movies for movie lovers by movie lovers."
With that being said, I was bored, did not enjoy the film, and will never watch it again. Based on everything I've said, I cannot recommend this disc for purchase (which is only available at the official site). I'm sure there's a niche out there for this film, but I don't believe the average Verdict reader is among them.
Consignment is hereby found guilty of a whole bunch of stuff.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Slice of Americana Films
• Deleted Scenes
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