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88 Minutes
DVD disk
Oct 6, 2008 By: Jillian Coyle
88 Minutes order
Director:
Jon Avnet

Actors:
Al Pacino
Alicia Witt
Leelee Sobieski

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Al Pacino plays a tortured and suspicious forensic psychiatrist or the FBI. On the day that one of the people he testified against is supposed to be put to death, he receives a phone call telling him he has 88 minutes left to live. He sets off on a hunt to find out who’s calling before they get to him first.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I know he used to have a great career, but why does Al Pacino keep getting work? Watch the incredible acting involved for him to look angry and confused through the whole movie. Beyond the fact that you can actually watch his eyes as he reads his lines off camera, at one point early on, you can even watch him fall asleep while “acting.” While there won’t be any awards given out to any of the younger actors either, the most disappointing part might be the script. This shouldn’t have surprised me since the writer, Gary Scott Thompson, has never written anything I’ve enjoyed (i.e. The Knight Rider, K-9: P.I. and Las Vegas). Every decision Pacino’s character made from the start seemed ridiculous and wrong. He gets about 10 threatening messages in a 10 minute span and tries to hide it from everyone around him. I know it’s a drama, and he works with the FBI and all that, but couldn’t they have made it slightly more believable?

The only thing that kept this film moving was the knowledge that he could only keep trying to solve “his own murder” (thank you horrible tagline writer) for 88 Minutes; unfortunately the movie went on for a depressingly long 107 minutes. This is a standard thriller with no surprises and no redeeming stylistic choices to make it even a little bit interesting. The rampant flashback sequences rarely gave insight into anything or anyone (the only exception being the sequence with his younger sister), and they were often repetitive. This movie is so formulaic that it almost feels like the writer and director stole story conventions from other movies and slapped them together without trying.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with the Director, Jon Avnet: The beginning of the commentary is Avnet admitting he was only interested in working on this film because Pacino was interested. Most of his comments seem trite or geared towards film students; even if you’re going to school to make films, skip this feature.

Alternate Ending: Most of the “alternative ending” is part of the actual ending. The only real difference is a big speech from Pacino to all of the other characters about the theme of the movie and how he’s grown. If you need more closure, watch the last two minutes of this feature, but it’s not worth sitting through another eight minutes.

Director’s Point of View: Actual line from the director about the storyline: “It’s pretty easy to follow.” This is a classic behind-the-scenes making of bit where the director manages to mention more than once that this was a low-budget film. A large part of it seems to be him justifying the movie, and the fact that this feature exists is surprising. It seems like a plea to not have this film held against him for future projects.

The character within: This is Pacino’s version of the point of view feature. If you’re a big Pacino fan, this one is all about him and his thoughts on the movie and making movies.

There are also Previews .
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Al Pacino needs to stop making movies so we can remember the good old days when he cared enough to put effort into choosing movies and acting. Skip this one unless you’ve run out of average, run of the mill thrillers and need a quick fix.
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