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This is such a poor movie, it is unbelievable. Especially considering
it has such a solid actor like Al Pacino. Fans of his will wish they
never saw it.
Al plays the role of a psychologist consultant for the police who is also a teacher of forensic psychology. The movie starts the day a serial killer who was convicted based on his testimony is about to executed. But it is a bad day for Al's character because there is new evidence that suggests he helped convict the wrong man. Oh, not only that, but he receives an anonymous phone call telling him he has 88 minutes to live.
Al Pacino plays a hardcore guy in most of his films, that is usually what makes them great. It seems like they tried to do the same thing with this movie and accomplished the opposite. His character is surrounded by bimbo 20-year-olds throwing themselves at him and guys with leather jackets for him to beat up. But it just ends up feeling like a desperate attempt to prove he "still has it." The only thing floating this movie is a gimmick for a plot (the whole 88 minutes to live thing) which sort of ends of being a subplot anyway. Al Pacino fans are going to hate me for saying all this until they see it for themselves.
I will not discuss any of the plot point of the film, as I do not wish to spoil any "surprises", but I will say that it's a sad state of affairs that a movie of this caliber is considered even nearly good. The characters are one dimensional, the plot trodding on all-too-familiar themes, and the acting is abysmal. Al Pacino, who used to be a fine actor, sleep walks his way through this movie and delivers the exact same performance as he did in "Two For The Money", "Insomnia", "People I Know" and "Simone" (I will admit I liked him in "Merchant of Venice"). This movie is not superb...it's not even good. Al, this is a wake up call to please return to the realm of acting instead of collecting the first paycheck that comes your way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Al Pacino is one of those few actors whose career is so decorated and
quality that you literally would see the biggest piece of crap in the
world just to see what he would do in it. Over the years I've watched
boring (Simone), long and preachy (Angels in America), and just bad
(Oceans Thirteen, Two For the Money) movies primarily because he's the
Godfather, Lt. Frank Slade, Serpico, and Scarface to me and he always
will be. He embodies greatness and respectability, even in crap, and so
I keep going back. 88 Minutes is not crap though, it's less than crap.
It's amateur night at the script-o-rama.
Pacino plays Dr. Jack Gramm, a college professor who also works with the FBI as a forensic psychiatrist. When he receives a phone call telling him he only has 88 minutes to live, he must use his powers of analysis to save his own life. One possible suspect is Jon Forster (Neal McDonough), a serial killer who feels Jack manipulated the jury into sending him to death row. In addition, he also includes a woman he had a one-night stand with and a disgruntled student he slighted into his investigation.
The script by Garry Scott Thompson is embarrassingly, abysmally awful. It's so startlingly, unconscionably bad that after the first couple scenes, I was fascinated with the depths it was willing to sink too. Start with the tasteless opening scene. A woman is hung by her legs while a man cuts and rapes her. It's an appalling and uncomfortable thing to watch and above all it's not even necessary to show it. Moving on, the Pacino character meets with the D.A investigating the Jon Forster case in the next scene. It should be intense but the introduction of milk and cookies kills the momentum almost immediately.
The movie is a mess with background characters, all of which are underdeveloped and made to look like suspects. I understand the concept of adding red-herrings but when everyone from Jack's students to the campus security guard seem to be hiding something, it just gets absurd. And why does the killer try to kill Jack by blowing up his car and shooting at him before the 88 minutes are up? And why does Jack, a Forensic Psychologist, seem so skilled in handling a gun and acting like a cop? And what exactly is the killer trying to do here, frame Jack for murder by planting evidence or actually kill him? And why does Jack's teaching assistant (Alicia Witt) feel the need to bring up wanting a relationship with him right in the middle of them running for their lives? And why do we constantly need to be reminded of the death of Jack's sister by constantly flashing back to a little girl running on a beach. And of all the names you could have picked, why on Earth would you name a character Guy LaForge. This screenplay is just inconsistent and nothing is credible, even the initial threat is laughable in its execution And if you think you've already reached your ridiculous quota, just wait for the ending. It's an out-of-the-park homerun as far as retarded goes.
I was going to review the acting but since this is running longer than I expected, I just want to say that Pacino sleeps through the role and gets his paycheck and Leelee Sobieski is one of the cheesiest and phoniest people I've ever seen act. She should be acting in "Ogre 2" on the sci-fi channel, not anywhere near Al Pacino. "88 Minutes" is a movie of stunning badness. I found it hard to even keep track of all the ridiculous things that happen in it. It's still early but I would be surprised if I saw a worse movie this year.
This movie uses time to create some urgency and a fairly fast pace to
keep interest. These devices are used effectively so that combined with
Al Pacino and a decent script we have an interesting thriller.
The story is a bit extreme, but the pace really did help me not to question that (too much) in the final analysis. The character played by Al Pacino is unsympathetic even though he harbors a terrible past that haunts him. That changes as everything falls apart around him in just over an hour. His struggle to find a killer that he believes will kill him, as well as others, overshadows his obnoxious ego. Has he met his match? Does he have some moral issues that either way are going to be his downfall? It makes for a pretty interesting plot.
This isn't the best psychological thriller...but, it's respectable enough to warrant a solid 6 and that is due to Al Pacino largely.
I actually had pretty low expectations for '88 minutes' since Al
Pacino's parts in 'two for the money' and 'ocean's 13', for instance,
didn't exactly impress me, but it turned out I had more good things
than bad things to say about this film after watching it.
In '88 minutes' Al Pacino plays Dr. Jack Gramm, a forensic psychiatrist known for handling cases of serial killers. This time, a convicted psycopath is hours away from his death and raises doubts on Jack's veredict on him, claiming he's innocent, and Jack receives a call warning him he has 88 minutes to live.
In the first place, the initial scene is absolutely unnecessary and predisposed me into thinking the film was going to be a huge mistake, where Al would be behaving like a young man, which is kind of ridiculous at his age. But it wasn't so; it was an isolated scene.
The plot is well built, coherent, and there are no unbelievable facts in it. The atmosphere around the time fading until Jack's death is overwhelming; there isn't a moment in which the viewer won't be excited, waiting for the next move.
Al's acting isn't special; at times I felt like he was numb, sleep-walking, with no reactions whatsoever, but his acting does get better throughout the film, as the suspense gets more intense the interesting part is he does show that old energy from his classic films every now and then.
What really doesn't do it for me, actually, is that, lately it seems that, with very few exceptions, Al's characters not only have pretty much the same personality, but the same looks. He's always tan and wearing black, even in real life ! It sucks because to me, one of the greatest things about Al is his great capacity in characterization. He gets deep into every little detail in his parts, which is why each character looks and acts so different from one another. It seems like that's been lost lately.
Overall '88 minutes' is a good thriller, but I'd recommend it mostly for Pacino fans.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Al Pacino has been a great actor. Maybe the best of his generation, but when was it? Watching 88 Minutes I kept wondering why he was unable to close his mouth. Well, he seems to have problems to use his jaw muscles to just "close his mouth". And when he tries to run or jump stairs, what we see is just an old man limping badly. Worst of all, he is no more able to act with any credibility. He tries to look young and full of life, but really looks like an rippled alcoholic. But the worst is, of course, the movie itself. Inane plot ("You'll die in 88 minutes but I will try to kill you before..."), bad cinematography (have you noticed how many phone calls there is in this movie? 30? 40?), filming clichés (everytime there is a car trip, the car is filmed from above. How original!). And Pacino is surrounded by very pretty (and young) girls who are in love with him. How pathetic. If you really like the "real" Al Pacino, don't even think to watch this film. You might be pushed to think that extraterrestrials have replaced him with a bad copy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hard to believe an actor of Pacino's stature could end up starring in this mess! The "plot" barely makes sense, and the roster of suspects makes it obvious right off the bat who the "mystery psycho" will turn out to be. Pacino is a Professor of "Forensic Psychiatry" (a specialty of dubious believability at best) who apparently works at a University with only one finished building where every student takes his class, and they all park in the same garage. Set in rainy Seattle, the biggest mystery here is why it is pouring on Pacino's speeding taxi, but once it rounds a corner an exterior shot shows a sunny day complete with pedestrians apparently staring and pointing at the film crew. Another head scratcher involves Pacino's ever changing hair length, style, and color all during an 88 minute period--guess he made a few stops at Supercuts in the midst of solving his own murder.
Despite all of the horrific reviews it has received, I went into this film expecting a flawed but entertaining thriller. Nothing could have prepared me for the disaster this film is. The premise is pretty simple; forensic psychologist Jack Gramm (Al Pacino) receives a call saying that he has 88 minutes to live on the day that one of the men he put in jail is sentenced to die. This sloppy, horribly put together plot unfolds onward with bomb threats, exploding cars and suspicious characters every which way and it's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. The story is just ludicrous containing so many contrived details that I had to fight back the urge to bust into severe laughter. There's an ex-boyfriend that ultimately has nothing to do with the plot, sexual 'tension' with every single woman on screen and for some reason there are a bounty of young, immensely attractive females who want to bang Al Pacino even though he honestly looks like he's about to fall into his coffin throughout the entire film. And Leelee Sobieski gives what may just be the worst performance I've ever seen. Just terrible. Oh, and the twist? You know those thrillers where killers have sincere motives? Yeah, this isn't one of them.
Let me say this straight. This movie is such a calamity, so bad, so
dysfunctional, that I'm still wondering what went through those people
In my opinion, the last scene reflects what this nonsense is all about. Al Pacino, running and acting like a grandpa who is trying to look like a forty-year old, which ends of course into a total cinematographic tragedy. Worse than that, I'm truly convinced that he is aware of his pathetic appearance in this fragile movie and asks himself throughout the entire shooting "what the hell am I doing here?"
And if this was not bad enough, what is he doing out there staring with young actors that seem to come directly from one of those teenager horror B movies? Pacino seems completely uninterested, his dialogues and general acting deprived of the slightest intensity or wit. The last scene manages to bring all this sad spectacle together and, if we add the boring plot and especially the amateur editing, than I would suggest that we are in the presence of one of the worst movies ever.
Save your money and your nerves.
I think that what people read our reviews is to find out whether or not
the movie is worth the time or whether they should watch it so lets cut
the crappy "I need attention" reviews okay... Yeah its worth the
watch... it was fun and suspenseful to some people. Bottom line here is
that it will not bore you. Have time on your hands? Need to watch a
movie you haven't seen? then just got for it. You will not be blown
away but you will be entertained for the hour and 42 minutes it runs.
I mean truly, its a movie... Heres how I seen it, Did the movie entertain you through the time? yes. Was a bit predictable? yes. Did it at least attempt to come up with a good plot twist? Yes! I mean this is not Pacino's best, but a decent watch none the less. I may not watch this twice on my own but if a friend didn't see it, I'd watch it with them. This isn't being soft on the movie either, it's being realistic... It had a plot, wasn't in my worst top 10, though it wasn't in my best but truly, it wasn't as painful as most threatened. Yeah we all wish that we can see another God Father or Scarface but less we forget, Pacino's an amazing actor, NOT in any way shape or form A producer/ Writer. He played his character well but some feel the script could've been made a little batter or not at all... Sorry to say I think this had a better twist then Righteous Kill. The bad scripts are still scripts none the less, if anyone thinks they can do/ write that much better then maybe you should bring your ingenious script writing to Hollywood, till then, we will watch what we have. Not so bad of a movie OK, worth the watch in my honest opinion, please feel free to respond!
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