“88 Minutes” Gunk GUNKY GUNK!

Genres: Drama and Thriller
Running Time: 1 hr. 48 min.
Release Date: April 18th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for disturbing violent content, brief nudity and language.
Distributors: Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by: Jon Avnet

JJ Rating: D-

Dr. Jack Gramm’s (Al Pacino) expert testimony during a trial put Jon Foster (Neal McDonough) away. It is major news when he is trying to get a stay of execution within the 11th hour. Dr. Gramm receives a call that tells him he has 88 minutes to live. 88 Minutes.

This is the weekend of bad acting. Alicia Witt, which I’ve seen before and have not had this thought, was horrible in this movie. Her overly exaggerated shock and fright were so over done that I just wanted her to die. But no, Al Pacino saves her here and there and over there. She just won’t go away. Just bad acting. The subtly that makes some actors good just was not something she could even begin to produce in this film. She made facial expressions that made one think that someone had farted in her presence.

So there must have been good acting? Maybe. Leelee Sobieski was pretty good and Benjamin McKenzie was good for the short period he was in the film. He is untapped awesomeness just waiting to be harvested. Neal McDonough was my favorite in the film. He had a small role and was most memorable for the fierceness in which he played it. Al Pacino was alright, nothing spectacular like his hair, which seemed to need it’s own zip code. It was like a 80’s tease throw back or something.

Director Jon Avnet directed Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) and if I had known that prior, should look next time, I would have known the crap I was in for. But Sky Captain was at least visually appealing, until it became tiresome. He needs to get better. It’s been 3 years, what the hell--he got worse.

The movie’s title, 88 Minutes, is a clever name once you see it and hear what it’s significance is. That is the only clever thing about this film. Everything else is such child’s play. If you didn’t figure out what was going on at the beginning then maybe I’m just too smart, but I highly doubt that’s the case. It’s not much to ask for people to actually put forth some sort of effort in making a movie that is interesting and thought provoking, while being entertaining. The premise was interesting, but the execution (har har) was crap on a stick that monkeys toss at you at the zoo. My scrapped story ideas were better than this.

88 Minutes is only good to see a few actors do what they are paid to do; act. Other than that it’s not worthy of much else. It’s underdeveloped and should have been aborted. Just plain gunk.

3 out of 4 movies I saw.

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