Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|88 Minutes |
+ BD Live
Actors: Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Ben McKenzie, Leelee Sobieski, Amy Brenneman
Director: Jon Avnet
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
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Stale and overdone Pacino vehicle
A. Kazimierczak | Maine, USA | 10/11/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"88 Minutes is a tried and true "whodunit" shock/thriller clone that may entertain briefly but is at best a guilty pleasure. The story is a Hollywood teaser line: A renown forensic psychologist (Pacino) testifies against a serial killer and then 9 years later on the day of the killer's execution gets a phone call that he has 88 minutes to live.
This may be enough to get Hollywood producers frothing at the mouth and shelling out money, but this is a classic case of a movie that should have stayed a trailer-- the concept fits best into a 30-second package. Watching this movie is like eating a stale doughnut: You see it in the box with all of yesterdays crumbs and think, "That can't be very good, but I want it." You eat it. And then you regret it until the next stale doughnut comes along.
There are 3 main problems to this movie:
1. Pacino plays Pacino: Like Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino is getting old (sorry, but it's true). This movie showcases that by juxtaposing him with a class of young co-eds that he supposedly teaches psychology to and having him flirt with them in a decidedly "dirty old man" way. Never in this movie do you think "This is Dr. Gramm, the brilliant and famous forensic psychologist." No, this is Al Pacino stumbling around and yelling into a cell phone every five minutes. As the plot unfolds (more on that later), Pacino combats the killer with cantankerous "hoo-ha!" instead of a psychologist's keen insight. And after the movie nobody even remembers his character's name; it's just Pacino. That might be ok, except that it's an old, grumpy Pacino who refuses to be filmed opposite a female over the age of 25.
2. The Plot: This is an Agatha Christie whodunit with all the investigating stripped out and replaced with shock/gore. It starts with the initial murder which has that sicko-rapist creepiness, and then once it gets going with the "88 minutes" it's just one red herring suspect after another (complete with altered flashbacks and ominous music when you see them).
3. Lack of Characters: There aren't any characters in this movie. Period. There's Pacino playing himself. There are a bunch of vapid co-eds. There's a generic serial killer with no personality (other than he likes to kill/rape people). And that's it. Pacino gets a tragic backstory, but it's the same family trauma crap we see in every crime protagonist. Everyone else is just window dressing: victims, suspects, people for Pacino to say "Hoo-ha!" to on the cell phone (I think at its core this is a cell phone commercial).
In short, unless you really like Pacino and cell phones and wonder how much Hollywood makeup can make him look like a leading man again (similar to the morbid curiosity of watching the last Indiana Jones movie), don't rent or buy this movie."
Worse than my 2nd grade creative writing assignment
Cordless Iron Man | Curacao | 10/15/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, this was terrible. Almost impressively so. Red Herrings? Hah, mildly pink tadpoles is more like it. There alleged twists and potential suspects are so thin that it only occured to me after the fact that I was supposed to take them seriously.
It's never a good idea to have the main character be a complete moron. My favourite scene is the one where he spies a suspicious character for the 4th time (he'd chased him the 3rd time but lost him) and just watches him walk away without doing anything. ("Hmm, you got away this time mystery-man because my car is this way, and you're walking that way...")
I have a long list of scenes from this movie that I love to hate. ("I wonder where he went after the party." Oh wait, he was at the party? So that guy was your ex? Perhaps we should have established that before moving on to where he went after the party?) But I can't go into them all here because it's only fun if you've seen the movie and want to laugh along with me. At the movie.
My favourite though, is the alternate ending. True enough, there is a additional scene in the alternate version but, if you choose to watch the alternate ending (which would likely be, as I did, immediately after having just watched the regular ending) you will first have to watch the entire last 6 minutes of the movie. Yes, 6 minutes. 360 seconds. I could make a movie of my face watching it and call it 360 seconds, my face was so contorted in disbelief that they would actually show the entire final 6 minutes with no changes whatsoever (not one) and then tack on a 2 minute section. I don't mind the 88 minutes, or the 2 minutes, it's those 6 minutes that killed me.
My 2nd grade ('3rd Form' as it was known in those days in that place) creative writing assignment was actually a lot better than this movie, I'll have to tell you about it sometime. It involved frogs, cowboys and, oddly enough, a crazy-haired Al Pacino."
88 Minutes of Unthrilling Thriller
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 04/27/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I am a little surprised to see "88 Minutes" theatrically released in America. The film also managed to reach No.4 at the box office chart. After all the film has Al Pacino, perhaps the only reason the film didn't go straight to DVD. But maybe it should have.
"88 Minutes" starts with one unnecessary murder scene and one insipid courtroom scene after that, both of which would tell us what kind of film we are going to see. A "killer" Jon Forster (Neal McDonough) is caught, and in his trial Al Pacino's character forensic psychiatrist and college professor Dr. Jack Gramm gives a testimony, which decides the fate of the accused - death sentence. Unfortunately, nothing is believable, convincing and most importantly thrilling in this terribly directed opening part.
And the film gets worse from there. Cue to nine years later. Jon Forster is going to be executed today, but another murder (with a similar MO and a video tape, too) shocks the authority. Then Jack, who believes it is a copycat case, receives a threatening call telling he has only 88 minutes left to live (accompanied with "tick-tock"). The persistent messages never stop (some of which Jack receives in written form) and Jack starts to take them seriously.
Sadly, none of us would because of the film's utter silliness. I cannot write in detail here, but things get more and more preposterous as the contrived story goes on. I know any thrillers need suspension of disbelief, but mine just ran out when I saw overacting Al Pacino's character running wild holding a gun in the city of Seattle. Also, according to the conclusion, the criminal (or criminals?) are so smart and resourceful like John McClane that almost anything is possible.
You probably know this, but "88 Minutes" employs a unique narrative gimmick similar to the one seen in, say, "Nick of Time"; that is, from the very moment Jack is told that he has only 88 minutes left to live, the film runs exactly the same amount of time - 88 minutes, which feels much longer than it actually is. The concept of real-time "88 minutes" is rather pointless because a good thriller would make us forget its running time. But this does not happen here.
The film's cast includes Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski and Deborah Kara Unger. The supports (which also include William Forsythe) are interesting and I know they are all talented, but I'm afraid Jon Avnet's badly-directed film would only make us believe otherwise. I wish that his next film "Righteous Kill" starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino would be a better one."
Hall of Shame candidate
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 02/10/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"In "88 Minutes," a gimmicky crime thriller directed by Jon Avnet, Al Pacino plays Jack Gramm, a forensic psychiatrist and university professor whose testimony played a crucial role in the conviction of a serial killer nine years earlier. Now, on the day the man is to be executed, Jack receives an anonymous phone call informing him that he has only 88 minutes to live. Could it be that the doomed-to-die convict has found a way to exact his own form of personal vengeance before heading off to that great big penitentiary in the sky?
Now, upon getting this message, does Jack drive himself to the nearest police station and have himself put under protective custody, as any reasonable and sensible person would surely do? Heavens no. Instead, he races all over metropolitan Seattle, systematically confronting everyone he views as a possible suspect - which, it turns out, is pretty much any person who is in any way involved with his life - while the ticking clock brings him ever closer to his prescribed end.
Gary Scott Thompson's mess of a screenplay stretches credibility beyond the breaking point, throwing so many red herrings and plot inconsistencies at the audience that we simply give up trying to make any sense out of it. Plus, in any story in which literally every single character (including Jack himself) is, at one point or another, a possible suspect, we know we're being played for fools and our resentment towards those who made the film begins to boil over in a serious way. In the final analysis, there's really no way to keep such a scenario from becoming more and more laughable and ridiculous the longer it goes on. In fact, the best line in the film goes to one of Jack's students who, after her ex-boyfriend has been shot and killed, an entire apartment building evacuated due to poisonous gas, and Jack's car blown to smithereens, all in the space of a few minutes, casually mutters, "What next?" It`s the same question the eye-rolling audience has been asking itself throughout the course of the movie. And to top it all off, the final confrontation scene is so preposterously staged and absurdly overacted that it feels almost like a parody of a crime thriller denouement. This may not be the worst script ever written, but you sure gotta' give `em props for trying.
It's no exaggeration to suggest that this supremely idiotic thriller may well stand as the undisputed nadir of Pacino's otherwise long and distinguished career. Just know that these are 88 minutes (actually 107, if you count the entire running-time of the film) out of your life that you will never get back."