[VIDEO REVIEWS]New Releases Are Running Out of TimeNew August releases reviewed this week are a drama and a thriller.
Directed by John Herzfeld. Starring Robert DeNiro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer, Karel Roden and Oleg Taktarov.
All it takes is 15 minutes to become sick of the message that the public has a voracious appetite for sensationalized crime news. The title of the movie is taken from Andy Warhol's endlessly repeated predication that with television, "everyone will have 15 minutes of fame."
Emil Slovak (Roden) and Oleg Razgul (Taktarov) are two Eastern European thugs with an obsessive desire for fame and fortune, particularly of the television kind.
They watch Robert Hawkins (Grammer) host a television show about a killer who was found not guilty due to insanity, then sent to a mental hospital, declared cured and soon thereafter released. The killer subsequently made a fortune writing a book about his experiences.
Hawkins is a sleazy character who books stars for his show based on the TV dictum, "If it bleeds, it leads."
Inspired, Slovak and Razgul go on a murder spree with a video camera in hand.
Meanwhile, Eddie Flemming (DeNiro), a New York City homicide detective, is the darling of the local TV news shows. He is always ready with a quote for journalists and courts the media to promote himself and the police department. When a homicide is covered up by a fire, Flemming teams with Jordy Warsaw (Burns), a low-key arson investigator who shuns the media machine.
As the two try to catch Slovak and Razgul, the media hounds get scent of the story. Reporters exploit each new detail, obscuring the truth.
"15 Minutes" tries to be provocative, but is too long and not too convincing. The killing spree becomes a senseless string of gory images.
SEVEN DAYS TO LIVE
Directed by Sebastian Niemann. Starring Amanda Plummer, Sean Pertwee and Nick Brimble.
In 1976, a couple disappear from their small town. A concerned group of neighbors and a policeman, Carl Farrell (Brimble), check out their antiquated home and find the corpse of Marlene Kosinski and her traumatized husband, Frank.
Twenty-three years later, a city couple, Martin Straub (Pertwee) and his wife, Ellen (Plummer), move into that same country home. The two are trying to put their lives back together after the accidental death of their son.
But from the moment they move in, strange things start happening. Mrs. Straub drives by a road sign that says she has seven days to live, and the next day hears a radio announcement that says she has six. She has a nightmare in which she is chasing her dead son into a swamp; that morning, Mrs. Straub wakes up to find mud in her bed. Her neighbors are kind, but aloof, and something is amiss.
Mr. Straub, a burned-out novelist, does not believe her, but starts acting erratically himself.
by Joe Yong-hee