No doubt many of us have heard Andy Warhol's assertion that everyone will be famous for a quarter of an hour: a person commits some heinous crime and gets his face all over the cover of every major newspaper and on the nightly news, but then disappears into the annals of history. So, the movie "15 Minutes" plays off of this idea. It portrays a Russian and a Czech coming to New York to deal with a man who owes them money, but then find something even better: they murder people and videotape their delicts. Needless to say, the media is only too happy to make hay of it.Now for the movie's aspect that I didn't like. I am getting a little tired of movies making Russians (and in this case, also Czechs) the bad guys. I know that geopolitics was dominated for over forty years by the Cold War, but aren't we through portraying Slavic people as villains? I spent autumn, 2005, in St. Petersburg, where I lived with a local family (and I enjoyed it there very much); I then spent autumn, 2006, in Yekaterinburg, where I lived with a local family (I enjoyed it there very much). So I don't care if we get a little unnerved by anything that Vladimir Putin says (you gotta admit that Bush's plans to stick missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic is gonna scare people there); we should treat Russia as our friend.But anyway, it's otherwise a really good movie. Starring Robert DeNiro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammar and Kim Cattrall.
15 MINUTES is an acceptable modern-day crime thriller that takes time out to satirise the media and take a look at people's penchant for their '15 minutes of fame' which if everything is even more prevalent than it was fifteen years ago when this film was made. Although it features a headlining role for Robert De Niro, given his limited screen time he often feels like a supporting player in his own movie, with the hard-working Edward Burns as the main lead.The scene-stealing roles are given to Karel Roden and Oleg Taktarov, who excel as a pair of East European immigrants who arrive in New York and begin a crime spree. The story as it unfolds is resolutely gruesome and fitfully exciting, with some great set-pieces to enjoy, particularly a fiery one towards the climax. The casting director has done well to bring of interesting performers in, including the likes of Avery Brooks and Vera Farmiga, while Kelsey Grammar seems born to play the weaselly tabloid reporter.
Tabloid TV host Robert Hawkins (Kelsey Grammar) rides along with his drunken friend Detective Eddie Flemming (Robert De Niro). Arson investigator Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns) uncovers two people murdered in a deliberate fire. He finds witness Daphne Handlova (Vera Farmiga). They follow the crime spree by two eastern European criminals who become enamored with their new American media world.The movie seems to be trying to make a point about tabloid journalism. The problem is that it's so heavy-handed and fake. The performances are broad and the characters are cliché. The jabs are not sharp. It's almost a satire except people get brutally murdered and it's not funny. Any compelling points are shouted down by the characters. The criminal duo could be in a violent comedy. The pairing of De Niro and Burns could be a dynamic cop duo. There are some good possibilities but there is simply so much of everything. 2b1af7f3a8