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Columbus Day

Columbus DayHe has messed up his life big-time.
  But clever thief John Cologne now has
  just one ambition — to carry out one
  last heist: to pull off the ultimate deal on
  Columbus Day that will get him out of
  the business, back with his wife and
  reunited with his estranged daughter
  and grandson. Even if it kills him
...

HAVING STOLEN A BRIEFCASE from dangerous gangster Jimmy Espinosa (Lobo Sebastian) who even killed his own mother known to contain something that the crime boss wants, John Cologne (Val Kilmer: Batman Forever; True Romance; Heat) has to use his ingenuity to evade both the Police and Espinosa's henchmen in order to stay alive.

At stake is the love of his former wife Alice (Marg Helgenberger: CSI; Erin Brockovich; Species), his daughter Alana (Ashley Johnson) and her son Eddie (Miles Platt) — and John is determined to take this one last chance, vowing to do whatever it takes to retire to Miami and to get them back in his life.

But when fellow criminal Leonard (Mark Kelly) tries to make off with the briefcase, John gives chase and finds himself faced with an impossible dilemma that could wreck his chances of pulling off this once-in-a-lifetime deal.

Most of the action takes place in and around the lovely Echo Park, where John conducts business from a telephone kiosk to avoid the risk of unsafe cell 'phones. He calls his friend Manny (Richard Edson), Alice and also girlfriend Cheryl (Ivana Milicevic) before attempting to sell the merchandise back to Espinosa through his friend Max (Wilmer Valderrama).

But his actions will see somebody killed and somebody betraying him and John will have to move quickly before he finds himself under fire, under pressure and out of time on the last day of his criminal life.

In the park he meets a young black boy, Antoine (Bobb'e J Thompson), whose incessant questions at first irritate John. But the inquisitive and lonely boy becomes an important part of John's attempt to cheat death and John concerns himself with both Antoine's life and that of pigeon-feeder Paul (Jack McGee), a widower who lost both his sons in Vietnam.

How do Espinosa's men know where John is going to be? There is just one loose end that Cologne has neglected to tie up and it is going to cost the life of someone who matters to him. With both Espinosa and the authorities closing in, will John be smart enough to see the game through?

Columbus Day is an absorbing, well-composed thriller with a twist: a heart-warming quality threaded throughout, this exciting film tracks a master-thief's final and dangerous heist and his last chance to get his family back. The part played by the charming Bobb'e J Thompson — the insecure Antoine — is woven cleverly around the plot with the dialogue between the boy and John being especially of note as Antoine cries out for attention. Accusing John of being a drugs dealer, he says: "Shouldn't use drugs — it can make you irrational."

Beautifully photographed and with a fine cast, Columbus Day also works well against the background of life in the park and perfectly captures the feeling of being part of the action. Using the poem El Dorado, which Antoine recites to John, is a clever touch.

The original music is composed by Michael A Levine; Director of Photography is Julio Macat, ASC; Produced by Dana Brunetti, Kevin Spacey, Evan Astrowsky and Fred Roos. Written and Directed by Charles Burmeister.

The gripping and suspenseful Columbus Day will be released on DVD by DNC Entertainment on 20 April (2009). Catalogue Number: DNC 1017 | RRP: 12.99 | Certificate: 15 | Running Time: 87 Minutes.

"Columbus Day is an absorbing, well-composed thriller with a twist: a heart-warming quality threaded throughout, this exciting film tracks a master-thief's final and dangerous heist and his last chance to get back his family"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar

Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer is one of the most recognisable box office names over the past fifteen years, having starred in many major films and received huge critical appraisal for roles such as Jim Morrison in The Doors, Doc Holliday in Tombstone and Iceman in Top Gun. He can currently be heard as the voice of KITT in the 2008 remake of the popular television series Knightrider.