The selling point of Josh Becker's high-concept heist picture is a gimmick: the film is shot in one long, (seemingly) unbroken take à la Hitchcock's Rope. The necessary cuts are actually hidden in whip pans and covered in ... more »darkness, but for all intents and purposes it looks like a real-time You Are There thriller, and Becker has obviously put a lot of thought into making it look smooth and effortless. Would that he put that much energy into the collection of neo-noir clichés that make up the script. Bruce Campbell (from Sam Raimi's Evil Dead films) stars as the square-jawed street-smart crook sprung from jail only to heist the warden's illegal skim from the prison laundry. His plan is plotted down to the minute but, naturally, begins to unravel almost immediately. If a junkie getaway driver, a stolen van, and a crime scene cased by proxy isn't bad enough, the bickering criminals blow their cover in front of hostages with a juvenile case of name calling, hardly the work of a criminal mastermind. Played for comedy it might have worked, but Becker presents the improbable escapes and a hokey romantic subplot in all seriousness. With only Campbell's disarming tough-guy performance and Becker's technical bravura to carry the film, Running Time comes off as an adolescent's idea of a Tarantino movie: naive, implausible, and contrived, a neat idea undone by a bad script. --Sean Axmaker« less
"Josh Becker's Running Time is certainly one of the best film's I've seen in a long time. It's a crime caper with a gimmick-this film is seemingly shot in one continuous shot. While this makes for an interesting watch, Running Time has a lot more going for it than just that gimick.Bruce Campbell turns in one of his strongest performances to date here as Carl, a convict just released from prison with one last heist to pull off. He and his partner in crime (Jeremy Roberts) assemble a crew to assist in the heist and before you know it the robbery it botched and Carl is running for his life. Running Time's story written by Josh Becker (who also produced and directed) boasts nothing terribly original in terms of the actual plot, but his dialogue is sharp and brings all of his characters to life. Campbell really displays range in this film creating a wholly believable character who is struggling to make things right in his own life. It would be great to see this fine actor cast in more dynamic roles such as this one. Although Running Time clocks in with a running time of 70 minutes, there's enough talent, humor and suspense in here for ten Hollywood productions. Josh Becker has always made great and interesting films, I anxiously look forward to his next project, Running Time was one of the best films I saw that year and it never gets old. Give this film a shot, it's as good a crime film as any made in the 90's and one that demands a larger audience."
Scott Leopold | Dayton, Ohio USA | 06/28/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You could definitely do worse with 70 minutes than watch this fun Bruce Campbell film. While all the cuts are not nearly as seamless as you may have been led to believe, you don't notice the majority of them. The pace is consistent and well-suited to the plot, and the acting is generally pretty good. If you're a fan of Bruce Campbell, this is definitely a must-see. If you're not, it's still worth a look."
Sweaty, nauseating, lovely
Agent Nick Castle | washington, dc | 01/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Running Time" was Becker's take on Hitchcock's 1948 "Rope." Becker's film is a technically more difficult shoot as it proceeds in real time and in a 360 degree on-set world, requiring the coordination and excessive efforts of actors, director, cameraman, sound crew, etc...I am amazed at how well it turned out. From the cumbersome love scene to the display of ineptitude within the Laundromat, everything about the film was geared to put the viewer on edge. With hidden cuts and genius camera work, the action was relentless and the viewer was never able to predict where the movie and/or characters were headed. I highly recommend watching the film and then immediately listening to the commentary-you'd be amazed at how much went into making the story/editing seamless.
Briefly, the film begins with Carl's (Bruce Campbell) release from prison 5 years early for good behavior. He is met by Patrick (Jeremy Roberts), a high school chum and raging idiot with whom he plans to steal the dirty warden's money. As a gift, Patrick brings a local prostitute (and Carl's ex-girlfriend) along for the ride-Janie (played by Michigan chum, Anita Barone) quickly rekindles their old flame...so to speak. After dropping Janie off, they pick up their new driver (the ever irresponsible junkie-genius) and their safe man, Carl's old cell mate. The adventures in suspense, failure, frustration, and life lessons ensue. DVD extras include hilarious commentary by writer/director/producer Josh Becker and star, Bruce Campbell. Score by Jo LoDuca (as usual). "Running Time" is a wonderful addition to any Bruce Campbell or Josh Becker collection and for anyone who loves the continued efforts of independent filmmakers."
Fun independent flick.
Julie Johnson | Scottsdale, AZ United States | 05/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're as sick to death of Hollywood big budget nonsense as I am you will want to see this movie. Creative, exciting, and it stars Bruce Campbell. Good DVD perks."
An interesting curiosity...remember ROPE?
Donald E. Strong | Mesa, AZ USA | 04/01/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like Hitchcock's ROPE, running time is told in real time and was designed to look as though it were all created with a single, stunning shot.Also like ROPE, it gets tangled up in its own device.I can understand why someone would want to make (or act in) a film like this--the technical and performance challenges require one to be at his sharpest during principle photography. At the other end, well, there's almost no editing to do: you shoot the thing, pick the reels that work best together, and get to work on the soundtrack.Between my curiosity about the technique and my fondness for star Bruce Campbell, I picked this one up at a local used DVD shop.The plot's pretty standard crime fare--the most interesting twist is that Campbell's character, who starts the film in prison, is back on a job before the ink on his parole papers has dried (it's real time, remember). But the technique is the real star of this show--it's a guarantee that the unblinking camera, wandering and watching, will draw your attention away from the story. In my world, though, camerawork is supposed to support the story, not distract you from it.The performances are good all around and suitable to the format (no exceptional gaffes or line flubs), but in the end, I think the average viewer will simply write this off as an interesting way to burn an hour and fifteen minutes."