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15 Minutes (Infinifilm Edition)
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Emil Slovak, a Czech National (played by Karel Rodan), and his friend Oleg Razgul, a Russian National (played by Oleg Taktarov), who met in Prague, decide to travel to America, the land of opportunity. Emil wants to hunt down his old crime partner, who took all the money from the robbery he was jailed for, but Oleg is infatuated with American Cinema and wants be a filmmaker.
Immediately upon arriving, Oleg steals a video camera from a store and they are off to confront Emil's old partner and get their money back. But while Oleg films the event, Emil discovers that his portion of the money was already spent, and he kills his friend and friend's wife. Unfortunately, there was someone else watching the murder. Daphne Handlova had been staying with her friends, and fled the apartment after witnessing the murders. An illegal alien herself, she does not want for the police or the killers to find her, but leaves her purse behind in the apartment where Emil discovers who she is.
The apartment is burned to cover the bodies, "A Bohemian Barbeque" says Oleg, which calls in not only successful homicide detective Eddie Flemming (Robert De Niro), but Fire Marshal Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns) to the scene.
Emil and Oleg get away, but while Emil obsesses with finding Daphne, Oleg obsesses about filming their "Trip to America", killings and all. He believes he is making the greatest movie ever. They begin to watch New York's hot and exploitive news show called "Top Story", anchored by shady newsman/reporter Robert Hawkins (played expertly by Kelsey Grammer).Read more ›
Vacationing Europeans Emil (Karel Roden) and Oleg (Oleg Taktarov) have come for a hefty sum of money, but when they arrive at the apartment of Emil's friend Milos, and discover the money gone, they kill Milos and his wife, all the while videotaping the murder with a stolen camcorder. The one witness to the crime flees, later falling into the hands of homicide detective Eddie Flemming (Robert de Niro), and arson investigator Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns), who met at the scene of a fire set the make the murder appear as an accident.
Since we know the identity of the killers, we know this is not a mystery thriller. Instead, the movie becomes a touch more interesting by introducing the media and all its propaganda tools. Oleg has a fascination for movie-making, and Emil's growing interest for the way in which Americans easily get away with murder and make money from it send the two of them on a murder rampage that gets the attention they want and the promise of money they desire. Watching the news and tabloid shows only fuels their goals, as does the promise of a hefty sum of money from Top Story anchor Robert Hawkins (Kelsey Grammer), in exchange for their videotapes for his show.
A major key to making the issues this movie addresses work is a credible cast, something this film is never without.Read more ›
The film follows Burns' arson investigator, and DeNiro's cop (both in characteristically fine performances), and their attempts to catch two eastern bloc travelers who find out that America is great because nobody is held responsible for their actions and even those who become criminals can be famous. Thus, they commit crimes on videotape and give the tape to Grammar's sleazy tabloid show host and plan on making money with movie deals they hope will be offered for their case. The ramifications of these actions are then explored.
This film really explores the aspects of one's "15 minutes" of fame in this modern world dominated by video and tabloid television. I thought I had never heard of writer/director John Herzfeld until I found in the disc's commentary that he directed the equally original "2 Days in the Valley." His use of the first person camera techniques of the criminals is in sharp contrast with the rest of the film and provides a solid realistic quality. Grammar's tabloid host is a smarmy character that he plays up quite nicely and it's nice to see him in an atypical role.The film is a nice blend of suspense thriller and story with an underlying message about the state media today. In th world where the line between the news media and tabloids has become blurred (think Gary Condit or OJ Simpson), this movie hits the tabloid phenomenon right on the money.
The DVD is really great too. It has a fantastic menu screen that mimics a CNN Headline newscast complete with stock ticker and everything.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie that doesn't let you turn away. Really a solid all around performance from everyone, especially the 2 Czech Actors. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Michael Stasky
This was a pretty interesting movie. It was also the first time that I saw Vera Farmiga in a small, early role. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Gary Gilfoy
Great seller. Very fast shipping. Great deal for the money. Very happy with it.Published 18 months ago by Thomas E. Welsh
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