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I bought 15 Minutes mainly because it stars one of my favourite actors Robert Di Niro and I have yet to see him in any film which I would consider poor. I bought this for around 5.00 which I considered would either be a hit or miss affair but for 5.00, it wouldn't hurt too much if it was the latter.
The plot of the film centres around two east european ex cons who have after being released, arrive in America to confront one of their ex partners in crime. When they demand their share from the heist they committed together he pleads with them that he doesn't have it and in a fit of rage he stabs both the former partner and his partners wife to death while his sidekick captures it all on camera.
In order to hide the crime, the apartment which is home to the former partner is torched. At first this simply looks like an arson and so the local arson investigator is called in to investigate but after discovering the bodies, he then calls upon the help of Eddie (Robert Di Niro). Eddie is the celebrated iconic cop in this district and it from this starting point that an unlikely alliance begins. There is a clash of personalities between the two of them but after a spate of further murders, the pair's bond becomes stronger as they put aside their differences to stop these two men.
After failing to gain from the bank heist the two east europeans are convinced that their road to fame and fortune lies in their 15 minutes of fame. Which is why every murder is captured and every killing is more daring until the film takes a shock twist.
I thought the acting was excellent in this film, Eddie plays a seasoned cynical cop with great gusto and energy. Meanwhile Jordy (Edward Burns) plays the no nonsense tougher than he first appears, arson investigator in very convincing fashion. There is a very good on screen chemistry between the two of them.
Meanwhile the two east europeans play the role of sociopaths very convincingly to, conveying a sense of depravity, cruelty and human indifference with realism and bite.
The plot hangs together well and the storyline is stepped to allow for both the intensity of the build up to explode with a brutal murder. It becomes a game of cat and mouse but one where the mouse becomes increasingly bolder.
The director has assembled a good team of actors and there is a definite edge to the film. The script takes on surprising twists later on which you wouldn't have anticipated.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Robert Di Niro but then this is something I would expected given the legendary status he has attained. However even the supporting cast to a good job of maintaining the films momentum and I can't really identify a weak link in this film.
If I had one reservation about the film, it would be the ending which could have been constructed a little better and more thought could have gone into it, but this is nontheless a fine film.
When two bodies are discovered in a burnt out flat under mysterious circumstances, fire inspector Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns) is sent to investigate. When he arrives, he finds the most famous cop, Eddie Fleming (Robert de Niro) in New York is contaminating his crime scene. Two unlikely partners thrown together in an ever heightening game of cat and mouse, they try to track down the Russian and Czech nationals responsible. For Burns (nice name for a fire investigator), there is a romantic twist to the story, the only witness to the double homicide is Czech prostitute, and she is very frightened, he is the only person she will trust with her secrets. This may seem to you like a normal cops and robbers film, but it has a twist, the actor you would expect to be the main star is murdered by the foreigners when he gets too close, and they film his execution. This sparks fury in Burns and when he catches up with the leader, he loses control of his responsibilities as a protector of the peace and takes him to an abandoned warehouse to kill him. Of course, the law prevails and he comes to his senses, but the million-dollar question is, why do they film all of their homicides? The pair were over from their respective countries to collect the money they are owed for a bank job. When this does not go to plan, they look to other means to get their cash. Filming their crimes and then selling the footage to a blood thirsty news caster seems a good plan to them, which is what happens. The DVD has a few extras, such as interviews and cut scenes. If you haven?t yet seen this film it is certainly worth a look. I enjoyed it very much and have my own copy of it now. You should too...
This is a thoroughly enjoyable roller-coaster ride of a movie, and I am a big fan of film in general, and also of De Niro, but being a movie buff who due to a busy lifestyle and not agoraphobia, I do most of my film viewing at home on DVD or VHS, and hardly ever at the cinema, or at least for the last couple of years anyway. So somehow, while shopping in the sales immediately after Christmas 2001, I spotted 15 minutes on DVD in W.H.Smiths without ever having heard of it. I was amazed to find out it was a recent production, and stared not only Robert De Niro and Edward Burns, but also the fantastic Kelsey Grammer. I found the film totally engaging. I was drawn straight into the plot instantly. To cut it down to basics, it’s about a famous, high profile New York Detective ‘Eddie Flemming’ (De Niro) who has a partnership with a ‘Tabloid TV’ news reporter (Grammer) who covers his every case, when tipped off by the Detective. Edward Burns is an Arson investigator who believes he is entitled to do “everything cops do.” He carries a gun, and a short is less than rational, and after a double homicide come arson attack becomes interested in the Detective. When two Eastern European gentlemen arrive in Ney York they become very interesting in the way which the media controls the country, and the idea that “Nobody is responsible for what they do” if Television says so, leads them to participate in some very suspect activities. (Not to give away too much) This film certainly has a point or too to make about the American media, and the special features on the DVD go into more detail than the film. There is a great documentary on Tabloid TV featuring Jerry Springer, and the disc also includes detailed filmographies of the key people involved. It’s an action thriller in almost every sense but there is no Die Hard style heroic victory and happy ending. It takes a couple of dar
ker-than-the-norm turns, but has a couple of laughs too. The cast is wonderful and the film is definitely a must see.
Maybe 15 minutes will wind up being a guilty pleasure for you. Maybe you think a film title that references Andy Warhol's famous quote (". . . we'll all be famous for 15 minutes") has a chance of being fresh and innovative. Maybe you'd also like to buy an ownership share for the Brooklyn Bridge?CHEAP. 15 Minutes is a crass, over-ripe, somewhat disturbing film that you might quietly or secretly enjoy watching but never admit to liking in mixed company. It's the type of film a Michael Winner (Death Wish) or Larry Cohen might have delivered to audiences in the late 70's if they were given a big budget and were able to attract a star like DeNiro to the project. Maybe Walter Hill should have done a film like this around the time of Natural Born Killers or the superior Man Bites Dog. However, neither Hill nor Cohen would have staged the lame ending of this film in the incompetent manner it's done here. The film is interested in delivering much more than a fast-paced action film, and it insists on repetitiously hammering home it's overly familiar messages about media irresponsibility, and how criminals manipulate our justice system to attain a cult of celebrity. Can you say O.J.? Can you say Bernard Getz? Most of the movie's messages though are rooted in 1957's A Face in a Crowd and have been explored in a much more successful way in 1976's Network or Taxi Driver or Man Bites Dog or if you absolutely insist Natural Born Killers. There's a very slimy manipulative exploitive feel to the film that would make Michael Winner or Larry (Kids, Bully) Clark proud. There's some dark comic moments that work on a trash cinema level, but the film is too well made, too polished, and too careful about how it presses those buttons (and it has its unforgivable ending ) to recommend except as a curiosity item to watch the entertaining performances. Robert DeNiro has a few nice moments
in the film, but he's not doing much of anything here you haven't seen him do in better films several times before. The film really lets him down. Ed Burns' role and performance is too overly poised and manufactured to be believable but he's got a very entertaining charisma and you won't feel the need to hit him with an over-ripe tomato until the lame ending. The film however focuses way too much on it's repellant bad guy characters who play screwed up foreigner psychopaths with all the conviction of Pacino's Cuban Scarface but minus the fun and audacity. What we are given here is several brutal misogynistic scenes (even a gruesome shower scene reminiscent of the chainsaw scene in DePalma's Scarface). It's ugly stuff and since the characters alternate between playing clichéd gruesome psychopathic serial killers and dumb and dumber comic relief, you'll feel like you'll need to take a shower to wash the film's scum off your skin. Add to this mix Kelsey Grammar playing both a host of tabloid t.v. talk show in much the same way he plays Frazier. I can tell you the film isn't boring. That sound like faint praise to you? You bet it's faint praise. DeNiro shouldn't be making trash like this, and film-makers shouldn't assume it's as easy to push audiences' buttons as writer/director John Herzfeld (who previously mimicked a combo of Quentin Tarrentino and John "Red Rock West" Dahl with 2 Days in the Valley) thinks it is. Michael Winner got away with this sort of thing in his original Death Wish film, Don (Dirty Harry) Siegel might have been capable of making a film like this work, but you need a lot more originality and freshness when you make this type of film, then is on display here. Oh Herzfeld has done his homework. He's cast the film very well, he's written some strong-- good for the previews-- kinds of lines for his actors and he's paced
it fast and furious enough that many might forgive its Monument Valley sized plot-holes. He even has a scene where DeNiro talks to himself in the mirror which parodies our memory of him talking in the mirror in some other film you might have heard about. The scene comes early in the film and works. . . too bad it's lost in such a worthless film. The film's bad guys have been constructed with a top ten list of the most entertainingly despicable traits and bad guy tics a movie buff could ever list. I mean you've even got the scene where the main baddie chews a handful of aspirin (ala Robert Blake from In Cold Blood) and cackles and laughs in the tradition of Richard Widmark and Snidely Whiplash. Sometimes the bad guys are dumber than the crooks you've seen in Three Stooges shorts and at other times they border on criminal masterminds. Whatever works at the moment they seem to hurl at the audience hoping some of it will entertain. The movie wants to be liked though. It wants to deliver a fast paced roller coaster ride to knock your socks off and give you some things to think about too. It tries to push a lot of buttons about media irresponsibility, and justice system hypocrisy. It pretends it's messages are fresh and oh so very very important which makes them so stale the stench emminating from the screen almost demands you take a fresh air break. I'm not going to spoil a couple of the film's surprises on the off chance you don't already know what they are and you are still curious enough about the performances or about the controversy or about the new DVD features you're going to watch this film. I will tell you though that while the twist might be a bit of a surprise, the ending is a cop-out that is sure to disappoint anyone that has ever watched an action film ever before. The setting of the finale is staged in such a ridiculously contrived fashion where most of the film's charac
ters are together again that I wondered if I was watching a sub-par message laden episode of t.v.'s Mannix or The Mod Squad instead of a major motion picture. Perhaps it will ultimately serve as a one stop education to film-makers of how not to stage an action film ending for modern audiences too sophisticated to believe such ridiculousness. As you find it impossible to resist the temptation of at least renting an over-the top, wanna-be controversial, action flick with DeNiro ask yourself if you really want to see a non-essential DeNiro performance in a film that tries to be part 48 Hours, part Natural Born Killers and part Lethal Weapon? How bad do you want to see an excitingly staged foot chase through the streets of Manhattan, and a well done trapped in a building-on-fire scene? Do you crave seeing cameos from Charlize Theron in a black wig -as an escort service madame? Kim Cattral as a network vice president? David Allen Grier playing an insulting stereotype of a Central park mugger essentially for comic relief? Do you need to see real life lawyer, Bruce Cullen (whose voice sounds just like Danny DeVito) playing himself ? Is watching Kelsey Grammar playing a slimy, immoral oily producer/host/field reporter of a reality t.v. show essential to your film-going experience resume'? Can you suspend your sense of disbelief to not be bothered by the idea that the host of a top rated reality show would be allowed (or even want ) to tag along with a homicide detective as he tries to make what promises to be a very dangerous life threatening arrest? Can you over-look how police procedures are adhered to one minute and then grossly violated the next, to serve the conveniences of a script setting up the next action sequence? Get the idea? SO (in the spirit of a famous obnoxious New York area t.v. ad) , WHAT'S THE STORY JERRY? : As the film begins we quick
ly meet our villians as they pass through customs at their airport. We recognize them as criminal Mutt and Jeffs right from the start. There's the Czech Emil (Karel Roden) who's a genius compared to his partner, the Russian Oleg (Oleg Taktarov). Quickly Oleg who dreams of being able to make a film like It's a Wonderful Life sees a sign in a 42nd street electronic store advertising a digital video camera and faster than you say America's Funniest Home Videos he somehow steals the camera and begins filming everything Emil and he do. This includes visiting a Russian immigrant who managed to avoid arrest and keep the money from a robbery they all participated in, presumably in Prague. Well Emil goes nutzoid when he learns his share of the money is gone and as he brutally kills the man and his wife, Oleg films it all with the video camera. Oh yes, there's a witness who barely manages to escape leaving behind her purse so Emil and Oleg can figure out who she is. To cover the double murder, Emil and Oleg set the apartment on fire. This eventually leads to our main good guys meeting each other. There's celebrity Homicide detective Eddie Flemming (Robert Deniro) and anti-media circus fire marshal Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns). Yes, Jordy Warsaw later declares himself a polish-American so the film-makers can't be accused of seeing all Eastern Europeans as slimy criminals. Homicide Detective Eddie was made a celebrity by reality show producer and host Robert Hawkins of Top Story (Kelsey Grammar). Top Story is a show that makes the worst of A Current Affair and Hard Copy look like 60 Minutes. I guess it works because it's become such a tired cliché it needs no further explanation right? This is lazy screenwriting that counts on lazy easily amused audiences to put it over. Eddie and Jordy butt heads slightly at the burnt out apartment crime scene because Eddie shouldn't be investigating the sce
ne as a homicide until the Jordy, the fire marshal investigates it for arson. But everyone quickly realizes it's a homicide and an arson. Eddie makes a no-comment to the t.v. reporters and Jordy is berated by his boss for letting Eddie grab the publicity. Media image is EVERYTHING. Meanwhile in a cheap hotel room, Emil and Oleg are over-dosing on Roseanne Barr hosted t.v. talk shows, allowing for Emil to spout off lines like: "I love America, no one is responsible for what they do!" Emil comically tries to find the meaning of 'self-esteem' in his dictionary and gets mad again at his partner for speaking to him in Russian rather than in Czech or English. They go through the witnesses' belongings and find a card from an escort service. Quickly Emil figures out what this means and he requests the escort service send over a Czech or Russian girl hoping it will be the witness he wants to meet. A prostitute arrives at the hotel room but it's not the witness and things quickly get out of hand and Emil winds up brutally killing the proudly topless prostitute (in the shower) while Oleg films it all. Through another convenience, Eddie and Jordy wind up at this crime scene together and realize something is up when its discovered the room has been registered to a Frank Capra, yet evidence shows two people were involved in the prostitutes murder. And Frank Capra obviously didn't sleep there. Emil and Oleg are just a few steps ahead of Eddie and Jordy who are hot on their trail. In fact Eddie and Jordy realize a few scenes later that some suspicious characters are filming them from across the street. Why it's Emil and Oleg and now it's time for a genuinely exciting and well filmed foot chase through Manhattan. Emil and Oleg slash and shoot their way through the streets of New York and barely escape capture. Emil and Oleg realize they are going to get caught, so they decide
they better stack the deck so an insanity plea can be entered for them. What insane thing do they next plot to do? Why kidnap a famous person and find someone in the press to help them get famous for doing that. The film isn't campy enough to enjoy on that level and I wound up finding myself disliking it nearly as much as that 95 debacle with Raph Fiennes and Angela Bassett called Strange Days. The excuse the film makes for showing too much of the brutality and violence is of course the film's message which at this point is obvious and dated. It may come as no surprise to you when I mention that this film was originally slated for release in 1999. It was a problematic film for any studio to market--it's too violent and gruesome for kids and too familiar and cliché'd for grown-ups. Cast and Crew: Cast Robert DeNiro, Edward Burns Kelsey Grammer, Avery Brooks, Melina Kanakaredes, Vera Farmiga, Karel Roden, Oleg Taktarov, Charlize Theron, David Allan Grier, Kim Cattral, Bruce Cullen Written by John Herzfeld Produced by Keith Addis, David Blocker, John Herzfeld, Claire Rudnick Polstein, Nick Wechsler (I) Directed by John Herzfeld Score by Anthony Marinelli & J. Peter Robinson DVD STUFF Visually the film is presented with a minimum of noticeable defects or flaws. The film's gritty feel which includes some muted colors is intentional. The picture is crisp and clear and the black levels strong which is evident with the details you can easily see in low-light scenes. Every once in a while you might notice the edge enhancement, but most probably will not. There is an exciting audio mix on this film. You really 'feel' the sound of the city in the audio mix. The dialogue is almost always easy to hear. The sounds utilize the full spe
ctrum of your speakers and the attention to the audio on this disc is nothing short of impressive. DVD Extras: To sound like Andy Rooney for a moment. You ever notice how they seem to really add some interesting bells and whistles to mediocre or below average films? New Line's Infinifilm DVD system's first public appearance was on the recently released Thirteen Days--It elevated that above average film into a DVD worth adding to your collection. In it's second outing, Infinifilm is wasted on a below average film that's just too mean spirited a mis-fire to be something most will want to keep. In fact the Inifinifilm stuff comes off a little desperate given the content. Oh it's interesting, but it's sloppy and rather trivial. There's no real historical basis for the film, so we're left with detailed social commentary about the film. That's appropriate for a genuinely worthwhile and ground breaking controversial film like a Face in the Crowd, or Network or even Man Bites Dog?but in support of a sloppy mis-fire like this one? If you choose to watch the film with the new innovative Infinifilm feature, then you get prompts during the film to push buttons which bring up snippets of interviews, or a deleted scene, or Access to video being shot by one of the bad guys. You can then go right back to the movie where you left off. I like the idea of Infinifilm quite a bit. However it can be improved. I wish you could push one button and have the various features just pop up for you. The pushing of various buttons and aiming of the remote isn't what's exciting about Infinifilm at all. If you chose the Inifinifilm feature than I wish the features would just pop up during the film, play, then we would go back to the film to watch it where it left off. You could design it so if you didn't want to watch a particular pop up that appears that you push a button to skip over it. Or
you could give viewers a choice or manually clicking on the extras and pop ups when prompted or just letting the DVD run all the features. For more complex features you could have prompts for button pushes if technically necessary. I enjoyed the facts and trivia subtitle feature a great deal as well. There was some very interesting and fun information contained there. Now it is possible to access the featurettes, music video, Oleg's video feature on their own as well. 15 Minutes of Tabloid Stars is a 15 minute long (isn't that clever?) little piece where folks like Jerry Springer or Maury Povich defend what they do or accuse others of being sleazier than they are. Does Crime Pay consists of statements and interview snippets from all kinds of people who have become much more famous because of reality/tabloid t.v. People like Gloria Allred, and Mark (I found OJ's glove) Fuhrman pop up here to say pretty much what you would expect them say. It's interesting that once in a while the journalists are inacurate with facts such as the Son of Sam killer's name being 'Sam' Berkowitz. * The way these features are edited for the Infinifilm experience means that if you choose to watch them on their own, they fade to black every 10 to 20 seconds and then continue. This makes for an odd viewing experience to say the least. I guess you could say the Infinifilm process is a bit clunky at this point. A good idea, but it needs a little fine tuning, a little more work, and it should be used not to get to people to want to collect lousy movies, but to enhance the experience of watching very good ones. The 6 deleted scenes can not be played all at once. You have to watch them one at a time, go back to the menu and then watch the next one. If you want to watch them with Herzfeld commentary you have to go back through the process all over again, deleted scene by deleted scene. What
a pain. The deleted scenes are also utterly extraneous. The DVDROM features on the disc are what you would expect. You can toggle between the script and the film, you can access various website links. New Line has produced an impressive package. Why they did all this for such a lousy movie I couldn't tell you. COMMENTARY TRACK: Director John Herzfeld's feature length commentary has some interesting information in it, but sometimes John is unnecessarily describing what we are watching (and can see for ourselves) and sometimes he sounds a bit bored and tired,-- but if you are interested in decisions he made as a writer and filmmaker he does a good job explaining it for you. His commentary on the deleted scenes however is useless. FINAL WORD: I understand completely if the prospect of a decent DeNiro performance makes this film an irresistible temptation that may be impossible to resist. It's an ugly film though and for most of its running time it's too well acted and filmed to enjoy as camp. If you aren't disgusted with it, I guess you can say it's not a boring film. You can also waste more time by checking out the DVD that comes packed with some brand new innovative features. The features however don't quite have the sizzle you might wish they have. The film is an empty rather ugly experience and features that discuss the themes of the film feel like as much fun as watching political analysts analyze a run of the mill speech. * * *Christopher Jarmick,is the author of The Glass Coccon with Serena F. Holder a critically acclaimed, steamy suspense thriller. For information on Author readings/signings or availability of special autographed editions of the novel email: glasscocoon@hotmail for details. * * * Original portions of this review Copyright© Christopher J. Jarmick 2001. The above work is protected by international copyright law.
This film has to go to my top 10 all time greatest film list, after fight club. Its all about two men who move to america who have just come out of prison. They go around with a video camera filming every murder that they do and they go so far as to try to kill some one famous as they found that there is more money in killing famous people then killing ordinary people. This builds up suspense and leads onto a very unexpected ending which will make you shiver with fear. Its very disturbing and is very well directed. If this is how the films of the future will be going then BRING IT ON we want to see more. Not to be missed and if you havent seen it yet then you have to see it. Its superb.
I was walking along the high street when this Muslim looking guy dropped his wallet.I ran after him and returned the item.He looked me deep in the eye and said,”Don’t rent anymore Robert De`niro movies”.I wish I had taken this guys advice. 15 Minutes is where Bobby De`niro is right now. We have gone from the Godfather and Taxi Driver to Rocky and Bullwinkle.It’s very painful to see one of Americas finest method actors reduced to prostituting in his own movies to bump up the box office. His own Tribecca production company has clouded his judgement through necessity to take movies to fund his studios rather than his Oscar count. Things have gotten a whole lot worse as the World Trade Center has just dropped in his yard. We can expect Honey ive shrunk the Godfather soon to make the payments. I would rather that than 15 minutes 2,which I presume would be called half-hour. This is a run of the mill tear em up through the streets of New York that the star seems to be hiding in these days. Bobby plays TV style detective like the one that equally good actor Kevin Spacey played in L.A Confidential, although that’s where the comparison ends between the two projects. Kelsey Grammar (Frazier) is the obnoxious primetime Jeremy Paxman of American TV, who runs a current affairs show that sometimes involves Detective De`niro. The idea is that the media friendly cop tips of the balding anchorman of an arrest and the film crew turn up for the nick, broadcast on primetime TV. Also in town are two nasty Eastern Europeans that are on an ethnic cleansing holiday from the Yugoslavian civil wars here in The Big Apple.Whilst in town they want to pick up some dollars owed, whilst they have been festering in a Checzk prison for a stretch. But the man holding the pennies has spent them all, well you know what they do in the Balkans if you’re a bad boy. They get a blood lust as the memories of th
e slaughter come rushing back. Bodies pile up and Eddie (Bobby) is on the trail. At this point we are introduced to Ed Burns the fire investigator. Because the first murders involved a fire and a crime scene under his durastiction. The two strangely team up to crack the trail of mayhem and murder, which the protagonists are recording on a mini cam. The asylum seekers have plans of their own on primetime TV and it won’t be a 15 certificate. Edward Burns who prefers to be called Ed has to be one of the worst and most boring actors ever to grace the big screen. Well the producer/star/bank roller doesn’t want any hot shot acting him off the credits in this fare. The love interest is weak and irrelevant for the main stars ,and gets in the way of the general running around ,and shouting. Ed,(the fire guy)over steps the mark after tragedy strikes and has to get his ass chewed out by a white!,and not black captain.Maybe they don’t have those fist slamming,obsenity balling negro mustachioed DAs in the NYFD. Anyhow he wants his badge and piece, or he’s busted down to traffic duty, err in the fire service, well i made that last bit up for the sake of cliché. The film throws up some talking points in glamorizing violence on TV and the peoples need to see it. But the plot is preposterous, as it is plausible with some really silly situations. Burns is almost invisible opposite the great De`niro who breezes his role. It’s the type of movie Dean and Sandra go to see before a meal at a Harvester.Bit of violence, bit of chasing and a bit of snoging. Oh and a tiny bit of plot which is a fag paper bigger then Burns thespian skills. A no brainier film to impress a no brainier girly with some no brainier sex to come. I think the word is formula date, formula movie Now how many of you girls would like to see Die Hard Four with me he he Oh and I borrowed this rental of me mate, yes I have friend
I watched this film on the strength of one thing - Robert DeNiro. I wasn't sure what to expect - a buddy cop movie with DeNiro as the mentor to Edward Burns (from Saving Private Ryan) seemed the most logical to expect. What you get is a very strange, disturbing, satirical piece on the American judicial system and the American Media, and how the two interact. DeNiro is a famous New York Homicide detective called Eddie Fleming, responsible for arresting some major criminals - and made famous by Kelsey Grammer's sleazy tabloid TV show, 'Top Story'. His fame is helped along by his reporter girlfriend interviewing him at every crime scene. Ed Burns is an Arson investigator called Jordy Warsaw, with a dislike for the politics of the job and the media. Their paths cross after an Eastern European couple are found burnt to death in their apartment. They were murdered by 2 guys, one Russian and one Czech who searched them out to retrieve some money from a robbery that one of them had been jailed for. Emil (the brains) and Oleg (the braun) locate the guy and his wife and Emil flips out when he discovers the money is gone. Oleg is constantly running around with his video camera and films everything. This leads to further chase scenes and murders (all filmed by Oleg) and eventually culminates in De Niro's murder being filmed (and consequently aired by the moral-free Kelseg Grammer). It is at this point that the judicial system is heavily parodied as Emil is caught and pleads insanity, sells the movie rights etc... I won't give the rest of it away but there are a couple of good twists towards the end. All in all its a very strange film, with some good acting - especially the guy playing Emil, his part reminded me a lot of Gary Oldman's in 'Leon'. Ed Burns also does well in what is essentially his first major role. DeNiro is convincing as the older detective but is only
really in it for the first hour and a bit. I won't kid you its a pretty violent film and at times is very unrealistic, and although in places it is billed as a black comedy - it isn't. It is a violent parody of the American legal system and its interaction with the media. I watched this on DVD and there were a lot of extras - deleted scenes, actual footage from the video cameras used by the actors and a couple of fairly long documentaries on the media and judicial system.
15 Minutes I bought this film on R1 DVD having not heard much about it, except it featured on of my favourite actors (DeNiro) along with John HerFeld and raised a few eyebrows when released in the states. That was enough for me, so my copy was ordered. Based around the well known saying of "Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes", this highlights how easy is it to become a household name if not all for the right reasons. The premise of the film is that a well known cop called Eddie Flemming (played by Deniro) team up with fire marshal Jordy Warsaw (Ed Burns) to solve a pressing case involving two tearaways called Karel Roden (Emil Slovak) & Oleg Taktarov (Oleg Razgul) who decide fame is what they crave, and a well-known murder will do the trick. The film is hard hitting, shies away from nothing and at time frankly vulgar, but this is no bad thing and suits the film well. There is a strong message behind this film that highlights the fall-downs of modern day America and the plight that its society faces. The oddity of this film continues with all you discover of it. Made in 1999, why it took more then two years from the date of filming to be completed to hitting out screens is beyond me, and you feel that despite the elements pointing to making this film a quality motion picture, they just knew it was never going to be a huge success. So who would this film appeal to? I would have to say those who like a crime/thriller, a good old cop chase and someone who has the stomach for a film that gives plenty of gore and graphics depiction. Running for two hours, this starts a little bit out of direction, but soon finds its way and from then on does not fail to impress. Moving from the crime caper type movie into a classical action genre, 15minutes was one purchase I certainly did not regret. With the acting of very high quality (DeNiro and burns make a great on-screen partnership), an interesti
ng plot backed up by a well developed storyline and a quite original concept, this is a frsh and gripping movie that I very much enjoyed. A fair bit of action makes this a great lads movie, that manages to put its political issues (that it urgently tried to stress) aside and deliver what is a very entertaining movie and a worthy purchase for anyone looking for that something a little bit different. Year of production: 2001 (Filmed 1999) Director: John Herzfeld Written by: John Herzfeld Main Cast: Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer, Avery Brooks, Melina Kanakaredes, Karel Roden, Oleg Taktarov ,Vera Farmiga, John DiResta, James Handy, Darius McCrary, Bruce Cutler, Kim Cattrall et al
Fifteen Minutes is the new thoughtful crime/thriller by John Herzfeld’s. It introduces some interesting points which will leave you thinking about how bizarre the world has gone! Fifteen Minutes is all about how easy it is to become famous in America for the wrong reasons. It stars Robert De Niro and Edward Burns. De Niro plays Eddie Flemming who is a well known cop who appears regularly on the television. The films starts off by introducing us to two people who have just arrived in the US. A Czech (Karel Roden) and his slightly strange Russian partner (Oleg Taktarov). They have arrived in New York with the intention of getting some money from a friend. Things all turn sour and this leads them to killing a few people. The two then decide after watching US television that it is easy to get away with killing people if you say that you are unstable. De Niro is joined by arson investigator Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns) to try and catch the crazed pair. I was really looking forward to Fifteen Minutes as I am a big fan of De Niro and there havent been many cop/thrillers released recently. I have to say that whilst this film introduced some very interesting topics I did not enjoyed it that much. I found some of the killing scenes a little creepy and over the top. Lots of the killing scenes are shown through a camcorder and you can see the havoc that occurs. Certainly not a film to watch if you are after a romantic evening in with your wife. I found the whole topic introduced in this movie to be very interesting. It is a sad world that we live in when criminals can get away with murder just because they say they are unstable. Also the thought that they can make money from crime is a horrible thought. In watched this movie on DVD and there were some good documentaries whichn show that the story in this movie is not so far fetched! People do actually make money from films and books even though they have murdered people. The two lead rol
es in this movie are played expertly by De Niro and Burns. You wouldn't expect anything else really. Fifteen Minutes was relatively slated when released in American just because of the whole topic. I can't help feeling a little disappointed after watching it. It could have been a lot better without some of the violence.
I have now seen what I consider to be the first great film of 2001, which is the action thriller/satire "Fifteen Minutes". Writer/Director John Herzfeld, whose last movie was the wonderfully witty "2 Days in the Valley" crafts a rare kind of movie experience in a genre where you'd least expect it. The film follows two foreigners named Emil (Karl Roden) and Razgul (Oleg Taktarov). They have come to America for different reasons. Emil is intending to catch up with a former prison mate who promised him a share of money, and Razgul, a lover of cinema, wants to make movies. Razgul is so much of film lover, that he soon steals a home movie camera from a store, and begins filming his tour of New York. Emil's partner has denied him his money, and Emil acting on pure vengeance, brutally kills him and his girlfriend, all of which Razgul joyfully captures on film. They also set fire to the couple's apartment. It turns out, the two are very much insane, and intend on becoming celebrities in the process. Enter Eddie Fleming (Robert De Niro), a dedicated NYC cop who also happens to be somewhat of a celebrity as well. Tabloid news reporter Robert Hawkins (Kelsey Grammer) has witnessed many of Eddie's busts, and has put his name in the headlines as a result. Eddie even has the pleasure of being on the cover of People Magazine. Eddie is heading up the investigation of the murder. Investigating for the fire marshall's office is Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns), who doesn't care much for Eddie Fleming's flame, or for media news in general. "Fifteen Minutes" doesn't bore for a second, and it is constantly burning with tension right to the very end of the film, and there is much humor in the movie, too. I admired the romantic subplot between De Niro's character and a news reporter, played by Melina Kanakaredes from the television show "Providence". Who would ever thought that a cop and a news report
er could have a fling? The movie's action scenes are some of the best I've seen in a long, long while, including a foot pursuit of the two killers in traffic-crazed NYC, and a truly remarkable sequence involving Burns' character and a witness escaping a exploding apartment building, which I think ranks as one of the greatest fire escaping scenes ever, if there is such a category, hehe. The movie's climax is especially satisfying, which is surprsing to find in a film that is mostly dark and hard-edged as this one. "Fifteen Minutes" boasts some killer performances as well. De Niro is at his usual greatness, but the film really belongs to Edwards Burns, who actually has more screen time, and if this film is a hit, it will definately make a star out of him. Burns is already an accomplished writer/director, but his only breakthrough acting was in "Saving Private Ryan", and he hasn't done a film since then. Kelsey Grammer is another actor who hasn't made many films in a while, mainly because of his continuous success on television's "Frasier", and he is very convincing as a basket case of a news reporter. Then there's Karl Roden as the savagely demented Emil. Roden has a amazingly creepy presence in this movie, and he can scare you by just narrowing his eyes and cracking a hideous girn. The movie also has cameos from David Alan Grier, Kim Cattrall, and Charlize Theron. "Fifteen Minutes" is the best movie of this year so far, and for me, will end up as one of the ten best films of 2001. A brilliantly hard-edged thriller with some biting social commentary on news, murder, and the corrupt justice system which is most of the times capable of making nightmares really happen.
This thriller is a crossbreed taking elements of 39mm and Seven and putting them together to make a rather disjointed thriller. The basic plot :- Two Russian gangsters enter America to collect the loot from their last robbery for which they were imprisoned. They find their partner and he tells them he has spent the loot. One of the gangsters kills him and his girlfriend while the other catches the murder on video tape. There is a witness who they spend most of the film following and there are more murders which are filmed. The film title comes from they fact thay they hear that anyone convicted of murder in America who pleads insanity will not face the death penalty but will instead go to a hospital where they will be released when they are considered fit back into society. The plan is they will sell the video tape to a TV network and collect the proceeds once out of hospital. DeNiro plays a famous Cop who has appeared in many magazines and who is a great favourite of the television network. To say any more would spoil the plot.
A somewhat entertaining film about a Czech and Russian who arrive in the great United States of America but are soon bored with it all and are reduced to watching daytime TV and picking up tips from chat shows. They decide that it the USA it looks easy to get away with murder basically just by claiming temporary insanity. So they go off on a trail of murder but are seen at the very first offence. Whilst committing these murders they video tape the whole sordid mess and of course when they turn themselves in they sell the video tape to a local TV station, where else would it happen. Chasing the two from the start are homicide detective Eddie Flemming (Robert De Niro) and Arson investigator Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns – no pun intended) who team up together although they are on opposite ends in the ways of personalities. The film on the whole is not very feasible and if it was not for the name of Rbert De Niro then I think the film would have sunk without a trace. There is some good footage of New York in the film and the soundtrack is quite good but unless you are a die hard De Niro film who likes unbelievable plots then don’t bother. 4 / 10 for effort and directing.
A movie called 15 minutes that takes 2 hours. How can that be? It's been a while since my last contribution to DooYoo due to work and a slight lack of inspiration. So what better way to "get back into the saddle" than try a new type of review (for me) and comment on a movie. During a recent visit to the USA, I had an evening free and decided to see 15 minutes as De Niro is the lead and it seems impossible to not enjoy a film of his. On a recent flight, I even enjoyed "Meet the Parents" which is pretty much as light a piece as he'll ever make. Anyway, back to 15 minutes. As is probably well known by now, the title is a reference to the idea that everyone will get their 15 minutes of fame. The hype leading up to the film suggests that it is this search for fame that leads to a series of violent episodes each worse than the previous to make the news. The other piece of hype pre-film, and I have to say one that passed me by before I saw the description of the film on DooYoo - it's supposed to be a comedy. Now, I have a fairly strange sense of humour (at least I think so) and I enjoy a good black comedy, but I can't recall one moment of the film that even vaguely made me think of "funny". There's some pretty dire dialog between De Niro and co-star Ed Burns, but it's really pretty poor stuff. More on that shortly. Overall, the story is fairly simple. A pair of dodgy east europeans (not a rasict view by the Americans, surely?), manage to enter the US through an Immigration Service that bears no resemblence to any I've seen before (the INS guy was friendly, entered into banter and never drew a gun when the visitors were clearly dangerous). By "acquiring" a video camera, one of the two decides to make a movie of their adventures in America. They then go on a violent tour of New York trying to track down some proceeds to a much earlier crime in europe. This part of
the story winds down without resolution fairly early on. Here's where my first problem with the film, or rather the hype, arises. The impression I had beforehand was that they went on their rampage to get on to TV. In fact, this comes much later, following one particularly nasty episode (about which I have to remain silent to protect the story) and then it is as a ploy to build their defence case. This is not a case of "what can we do now to get on TV?". However, the arguement about just when it is valid to show the "snuff" kind of material is an interesting one, but it's nowhere near the major plotline it had been made out to be. Now my second problem, as aluded to earlier, is that the film revolves around the efforts of the famous TV cop (De Niro) and his young sidekick from the Fire Department (Burns) to find the two villians. The way the pair get to work together seems so far fetched as to be rediculous. When they work together, they have a line in quick fire banter which is no doubt supposed to be the humour of the film. To me, none of it rang true and they really didn't do the film justice. There's a "relationship" of sorts between Burns and a girl on the run from the bad guys but nothing happens, so why bother? Similarly, there's a scene late on where Burns gets on his own with the villian, yet again, nothing really happens. One last problem - I would grant that De Niro is a good looking chap (I wish I could look like that when I get to his age!), but the slightly touched on romance between himself and a glamorous TV news reader probably half his age seemed over the top. Having got the negative stuff out the way, there is some good things to report on. The villians really are nasty (or at least one of them and I guess the other is too for just filming him at work). The action scenes are pretty good - especially when Burns has to work out how to escape from
an exploding building with the girl. The major violence scene (which can't be described to protect the story) is truely gruesome and painful to watch. It is well filmed with a lot of good use of shadows and suggestion. Frazier Crane (sorry, Kelsy Grammer) puts in a reasonable show as the TV show host, but he needs all the swearing he can manage to prevent us thinking of him as Frazier. Overall, it's not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. There are some interesting ideas which don't get fully explored; there are interesting relationships (De Niro & Burns, Burns & Girl) which aren't fully formed or finished. There are some good action scenes, but not enough to make it an out-and-out action movie. Even though the overall effect is slightly disappointing, De Niro is magnificent as usual and the action scenes are impressive. I'd probably give it a 7 out of 10.
A homicide detective and a fire marshall must stop a pair of murderers who commit videotaped crimes to become media darlings. Stars Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer, Avery Brooks, and Melina Kanakaredes.