"I haven't had a chance to see these 42 seconds, what are they?" he asks.
Well, it's pretty simple. The scene shows Sam Shepard and a beefy colleague (probably named Vinny, or Bull) knocking at Ray Liotta's door and throwing him about -- first through the window and then through a door.
"I can tell you that the worst is yet to come for Ray," says Dominik. Is he swimming with the fishes? "You just have to see the movie."
The film's shotgun-enforcing star in the underworld flick, Brad Pitt, is not featured. But he and a whole gang of others -- Liotta, James Gandolfini (who knows a thing or two about roughing folks up) as well as Pitt's fiance Angelina Jolie -- are expected to walk the Cannes red carpet for the film, which is one of the festival's sure hits.
It does seem strange that we haven't seen a trailer for this movie in an era where constant trailer previews are the new norm in terms of unveiling a movie. "We're a little behind the eight ball on that," says Dominik. "We only finished the picture last week."
Dominik did explain that the movie's name change, from Cogan's Trade, was to help out Pitt. The movie always going to be Killing Them Softly he insists, which is how Pitt's character describes his low-key killing method.
But Dominik, who directed Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, says he didn't want that key "softly" line to have too much emphasis in the dialogue.
"There's a danger that the actor might make a meal out of the line," says Dominik.
So for a long time the movie was referred to as Cogan's Trade.
"Brad's character calls what he does 'killing them softly' --- with a minimum of fuss," says Dominik. "It sounded like a movie title to me. Cogan's Trade kind of sounds like a Clint Eastwood title to me from 1972."
(Copyright © 2012 USA TODAY)