88 Minutes

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In Short: To its and our own detriment, the movie’s a bad liar. It’s actually 108 minutes

Cast: Al Pacino, William Forsythe, Amy Brenneman, Alicia Witt, Deborah Kara Unger, Leelee Sobieski, Neal McDonough, Benjamin McKenzie

Plot Outline: Al Pacino is Jack Gramm, super profiler and professor in forensic psychiatry, based in Seattle. Today is the day his most famous capture, “the Seattle Strangler” Jon Forster, gets executed. But someone’s been killing women all over Seattle using the Strangler’s modus operandi. And then Gramm gets an anonymous phone call telling him he has 88 minutes to live.

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Trivia: According to the IMDb, the moment Gramm gets the phone call telling him he has 88 minutes to live, the film has eighty-eight minutes left of its running time, including credits. The film hasn’t received a release date in the States, but it has been released on dvd in Brazil. The film was originally set to be directed by James Foley, but was replaced by Jon Avnet. Foley’s gone on to make Perfect Stranger, which gets released in two weeks time.

The Good: Premise, a time-set thriller, has been tried before (24 does it great; Nick of Time, with Johnny Depp, not so great), and could be fun if done well. Also, Pacino isn’t shouting! Pacino is a great actor, but he’s always been better when he’s not shouting. There’s this monologue he does in a car halfway through the movie, where he does much with the inept script, and manages to give a numb sadness to his character that you hadn’t noticed before.

The Bad: Aforementioned sadness might just be him realizing what a crap film he’s stuck in. This is a ten little indians-thriller, where we have to guess who the killer is while the suspects get killed off one by one. Problem is that, one, guessing who is too easy, two, the suspects aren’t that interesting, three, the showdown/finale manages the feat of being dumb, unbelievable and underwhelming. And how seriously lame is it to have film called 88 minutes be 108 minutes long?

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The Ugly: You know it’s going to get ugly if you see Leelee Sobieski’s name in the credits. I am sorry, but the poor girl has never been in a good film in her life. I think the film must have used a blue lens, because everything seemed blue, blue and depressing, and not in a good way.

Recommended to: Never-say-die Pacino fans. If you’ve already seen every thriller ever made, and really, really feel like watching a thriller, then go rent Inside Man again.

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35 responses »

  1. To its and our own detriment, the movie’s a bad liar. It’s actually 108 minutes

    Similar to my own reaction when I saw 15 Minutes.

    I was all set to debate your Leelee Sobieski statement, as I was sure she had been in some good stuff back in the day. But I guess you’re right. I didn’t see My First Mister, which got some decent reviews when it came out, and if one really wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, one might point out Eyes Wide Shut. It’s a stretch, though.

  2. Never did see 15 minutes. Keep putting it off. Think it’s the Ed Burns factor.

    one might point out Eyes Wide Shut. It’s a stretch, though.

    Considering all she did there was prance around in her underwear, yeah. But all right, I’ll restate it to “she has never been good in a film”. I’ll keep the original up there, though.

  3. The problem with Eyes Wide Shut is that it’s a Kubrick film. Are you supposed to judge it as any other film?

  4. But I like when Al Pacino shouts rants…he does it better than most.

    Of course it is usually a symptom of an empiness of script because it all leads to this grand sublime shouting match…but oh what a shout.

  5. hello

    How can i get a copy of the film 88 Minutes to view? Any ideas? Looking to see if a product requested for the set actually made it in the film.

    thanks,
    julie

  6. Hi Julie,
    I watched it with a friend at his place. He downloaded it (yes, he’s horrible). Also he who took the pics from the film.
    Otherwise, it’s out on DVD in Brazil. Also Israel.

    Just out of curiosity, what product specifically? Only overt product placement I saw was a Porsche.

  7. i thought it was a very good movie. i am very good at predicting thrillers and i predicted this from the time (spoilers!) she pretended to be attacked (end spoilers). it was fast paced and that kept me going. overall i would give it a 8/10 rating.

    (Edited by Nick for spoilers)

  8. Variety more than agrees.

    “88 Minutes” can’t even live up to its title. With 19 — count ‘em, 19 — producers, including director Jon Avnet, ensuring that every aspect of the film, from the script to the star’s haircut, is ludicrous in the extreme, the picture easily snatches from “Revolution” the prize as Al Pacino’s career worst. Available on DVD in some territories as early as February 2007 and rolled out theatrically in France and elsewhere beginning in May of last year, this gape-inducing fiasco is getting a token domestic release that at least saves its star the indignity of a dump straight to homevid.

  9. I actually saw the trailer for this for the first time yesterday. Not surprised it’s bad but the trailer isn’t terrible.

  10. Yeah, I liked Joyride, too. If you get the DVD, it has a track where you can choose the alternate ending, which is quite remarkable because the last half hour of the film is completely different. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film that actually filmed such drastically different endings.

  11. Oh yeah…The Joyride alternate ending…it was like another movie in itself! I think it was around 25 minutes long. (oh, i see you said this as well)
    Halfway through watching it I had to remind myself that this was the *alternate* ending…I was thinking, “Wait, didn’t they just do something different?”

  12. I’ve never watched the deleted scenes, but I remember hearing they re-shot about a 1/3 of the film after test screenings.

  13. I feel like seeing Joyride now, because of that. Might have seen it a long time ago, but can’t recall. Wasn’t Buffalo Bill the voice of the trucker?

    Still, worst case of studio re-shoot has to be Exorcist: The Beginning.

  14. The deleted scenes in Joyride are embedded in the main track. A little icon comes on the screen and you’re asked to click on it if you want to see the deleted scene that comes in that spot. Imagine my surprise (I had already seen the film in a theater months earlier) when I clicked on one and the deleted scene in question was about twenty minutes long and went right to the end of the film!

  15. 88 Minutes has a 2 rating on Metacritic. That is not a typo. It is the third lowest rated film on the site, ahead of only Bio-Dome and The Singing Forest, whatever that is.

  16. They’re still at 14% on Rotten Tomatoes (granted: only 21 reviews have come in).

    I have to say: I’m alarmed over how many folks have told me they want to see it. Reminds me of the inexplicable success of Vantage Point…

    Meanwhile, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is looking to be one of those films that attracts much internet buzz but mediocre real world interest.

  17. 88 Minutes has a 2 rating on Metacritic. That is not a typo. It is the third lowest rated film on the site

    That does not surprise me at all. It really was fucking awful.

    Vantage Point wasn’t that bad, though. I mean, it’s Rashomon compared to 88 Minutes.

  18. If it’s got 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, that means somebody liked it!

    EDITED to add: it’s got 3 “fresh” reviews, and ohmyfuckinggod one of them is by Andrew Sarris!

  19. “Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Amy Brenneman, Leelee Sobieski, Deborah Kara Unger”

    Wow, the film features virtually my entire roster of B-list celebrity crushes (circa 2000). Pac**o is as fu**able as ever.

  20. From Andrew Sarris review of 88 Minutes

    88 Minutes will add a little more luster to a career that has not been adequately appreciated

    To borrow an expression from Darshan

    facepalm

    The man is going soft.

    This must have been like reuniting with old friends for him, blinding him to the faults of what they were surrounded by.

    Seriously, the plot is like a bad episode of Cold Case.

  21. I’m trying to figure out what the stars in James’ post are? I mean, the f-word is already there. What are you hiding our eyes from?

    That was a great quote Nick: facepalm

  22. I’m trying to figure out what the stars in James’ post are? I mean, the f-word is already there. What are your hiding our eyes from?

    Yeah, that’s a keen observation. Must be a horrible word.

  23. There could be some weird, subconscious thing going on with my censoring of the word “able”. It’s probably a lack of self-confidence or faith in my ability to accomplish goals…

    …or I just wasn’t paying attention when I was typing.

    Ah, yes, beware el Pac**o

    After 88 Minutes, he will be lucky if I don’t censor his name down to
    Al P***** <—— now that looks dirty.

  24. The movie doesn’t make sense at all.
    Why Pacino bother to think about who’s trying to kill him? He can just take a nap, wake up and call his partner to go with him to meet the girl at the 88th minute and then kill her. Isn’t that more simple than running around stupidly for nothing???

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