15 Minutes Reviews
worth a watch!
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Robert DeNiro plays the head of a police force, but he's also a local celebrity with his face everywhere from newspapers, to People magazine, to his own coffee franchise (I made up one, guess it). The woman from the NBC show 'Providence' with the gigantic Jersey hair plays the reporter that fawns over him and the girlfriend that reports him. She's meaningless. Kelsey Grammar plays a heavy-handed out for blood journalist of a tabloidy TV show that panders to our primal desires of violence. The show is seen as exploitative and possibly subversive - not to mention in poor taste. You may be asking how does Edward Burns get caught up in this? Well he's an ace arson investigator that crosses paths with mega-star DeNiro. But see, Burns' character HATES the media. Quite a contrast, eh?[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Burns and DeNiro form an unlikely team and go through the rigid "Buddy Cop Movie" drill that's been played numerous times before. They dislike each other, they tease and try to show up one another, they come to respect and appreciate the other and work as a team. Yawn.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]DeNiro phones in a performance in like none he has ever done before, even 'Rocky and Bullwinkle'. Grammar hams up his overkilled role. Burns is his typical atrociousness. If you look closely you'll find the actor who played the older brother in 'Family Matters' a.k.a. 'The Urkle Show' in this flick. Man, his career time with Jaleel White must be paying off.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]The real spirit of the film is in its two debut actors who also serve as the villains. These two are from Eastern Europe and search for old friends that seem not so friendly anymore. Some altercations happen and a killing spree begets them trying to rub out the lone red-headed witness of their murders. Along the way they discover they can sell the videotapes of their crimes to the top bidder and make a fortune. The two baddies are fun to watch and a joy to see whenever they return back to the screen. They seem to punch up '15 minutes' particularly during the tedious dead spots. These two actors seem to be the only life of the film, and it's a terrible shame when we must veer off back to our lame storyline with Burns. credit this as another case of the villains being far more interesting than the heroes -- the 'Austin Powers' syndrome.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]The major dissapointment of '15 Minutes' is what it looked like it would be. With the early teaser trailer it looked like it would be a scathing satire on media and our glorification of criminals as heroes. When the full length trailer came out it dropped to looking like another crazy serial killer flick. Sadly, it never rises above this. There are a few moments with some bite but '15 Minutes' gums it along as far as satire is concerned. It's more concerned with a standard by the book plot. The whole notion of using the videotapes and selling them to Grammar's TV tabloid doesn't even show up until twenty minutes before the film is over![/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]'15 Minutes' is a thriller that tries to be smart and savvy but tries to be by staying under standard conventions. The very ending to this film could have gone in a million different ways, some very satisfying, but it goes the predicatble action-thriller way. Yawn. That's what you'll be doing a lot with '15 Minutes' - regaining lost sleep.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: C[/color][/font]
The point of the film is to satirize our cultural obsession with violence and celebrity, whereby people will do anything to become famous. The usually suave Kelsey Grammer is sleazy and smarmy as a low life TV station manager willing to do anything for the story and a video tape of a murder.
Another concept that makes the film interesting is the idea of "planned insanity"... that anybody might be able to get much less for their crimes if they can somehow convince everyone they weren't in their right mind at the time of evil.
Not bad, some intense scenes and violence. Like the cast and concept, but just didn't seem to be possible in the real world for things to happen the way the movie wants.