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15 Minutes of fame ... apparently, we all get them. Mine was probably when I was just a few months old, and got my thumb and 3 fingers stuck down the plughole ... the storyline ‘Bathtime Blues for Tom Thumb’ was on the front page of all the local newspapers the next day! Anyway, now that I have made a complete prat of myself, I guess I better get on with the review for Robert De Niro’s latest Hollywood venture ... 15minutes ...

15 Minutes
Movie
De Niro plays a hot shot detective, who over the years has gained a degree of celebrity status as a result of a series of successful high profile cases. Accompanying him on his latest case is an experienced news reporter played by ‘Frasiers’ Kelsey Grammer. His motto is ‘If it bleeds, it leads’, so when he learns about Flemming’s latest Jamaican serial killer suspect, he just has to tag along to try and grab those precious headline stories.

Meanwhile, 2 men (played by the superb Karel Roden and Oleg Taktarov) arrive at New York’s international airport in search of fame and fortune ... even if this involves a series of murders to achieve. The film soon becomes a race against time for Flemming, not least because one of the murderers targets ... is his ...

15 Minutes is a great thriller, which was quite surprising to me, as I had read review after review basically slating the film. Most of this was down to the portrayal of the media in the film, though it really isn’t too far from the truth in my opinion. Take for instance the fact that videos of various executions have been available to buy from your local shops for a few years. Would it really be that much more of a step to display a murder on television? I think not.

The cast is super. Robert De Niro is on top form as ever, and really brings Eddy Flemming to life. Not only does De Niro portray the tough side of his character well, he also conveys the soft and likeable side, which really helps draw you to him. I was also very impressed by Edward Burns, who I had never seen in a film up until now. Burns plays an arson investigator who accompanies Flemming on his murder investigations. Although Burns is there primarily as a typical cop ‘pal’, he does bring enough to the character to add that extra dimension to the script, which often results in a couple of standoffs between the two leads! The actors that steal the show though are without a doubt Czech actor Karel Roden and Russian actor Oleg Taktarov. These 2 guys truly bring their characters to life, and despite how horrible the characters are, they really are a joy to watch on screen. Solid performances all around.

15 Minutes
Overall, 15 Minutes is a really fun adult thriller. Despite the violent murder scenes, the film never oversteps the mark in regard to the violence. The film also offers a number of great action sequences, particularly the apartment explosion, in which you can almost feel the heat amongst all of the tension! I was also quite surprised by the amount of humour evident throughout the film, which is particularly noticeable towards the end, with a pretty laughable conclusion!

Video
I currently own the R1 copy of 15 Minutes, and I was very impressed with the transfer on my first viewing of the film. It would appear that EiV haven’t let us down either, with vibrant and sharp colours throughout. The film is presented anamorphically in its original aspect ratio of  2.35:1, and remains sharp throughout, even among the many darker indoor scenes. Overall a top-notch transfer that wont let you down.

Audio
Audio wise, you get a DTS track as well as 5.1 surround. In my opinion, the DTS track offers a little improvement in bass over the traditional 5.1 sound, but not by much. Both tracks provide a perfectly acceptable amount of bass, which is evident mainly during the action scenes, and during the early musical numbers. Overall, it’s not going to break any boundaries by any means, but that’s down to the type of film more than anything.

15 Minutes
Extras
Many of you will know that New Lines’s release of 15 Minutes was part of its Infinifilm range of titles. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, EiV were forced to drop this particular feature at the last minute, however you will be pleased to know that everything else on New Line's release has been ported over to the region 2 copy. So what do we have?

First up, you get a feature length commentary by 15 Minutes' director John Herzfeld. This is an informative track, which helps clarify any questions that you may have had regarding certain parts of the film. I have to admit, I was asking a few questions to myself having seen the ending, however the commentary helped answer those. He talks a lot about the actors in the movie, particularly praising the work of De Niro and Karel Roden.

Next up, are a couple of short 10-15 minute documentaries entitled ‘Does Crime Pay’, and ’15 Minutes of True Tabloid Stars’. These 2 documentaries offer an interesting point of view, particularly the ‘Does Crime Pay’ feature. This documentary feature's a discussion on crime and the celebrity status associated with it, and features opinions from a variety of  detectives, directors and TV hosts. ’15 Minutes of True Tabloid Stars’ on the other hand, features a look at today’s tabloid television, and features interviews with Jerry Springer, Maury Povich and more. Although interesting at first, this documentary didn’t really offer anything of particular interest to me, as it never goes into very much depth.

Next up we have some deleted scenes, with optional commentary. I have to admit, I was ‘very’ impressed with the quality of these deleted scenes. In total you get 6 deleted scenes, the longest running to almost 4 minutes with the other scenes running to around 1 minute. The best scene is without a doubt the ‘Lost Chase Scene’ which features a pretty groovy chase through the streets between Edward Burns character and one of the murderers. This scene does carry a little more nudity than the rest of the film too, so be warned!

15 Minutes
Another interesting addition to the 15 Minutes' feature list, are “Oleg’s Video’s”. The film revolves around the murderers filming their devious acts via a standard video camera, and this feature presents the full footage of the murders filmed by the camera. This feature comprises of 2 of the murder sequences with each running to around 5 minutes.

Following up on the feature list is a ‘God Lives Underwater’ music video entitled “Fame”, which is a bit too heavy for my liking! This runs to around 3:30. Next, we have some rehearsal scenes, which seem to focus mainly on Edward Burns. Although the scenes are pretty rough (you can see the crew standing all around, setting up camera shots etc) it is really interesting to see the concentration from the actors despite all that is going on around them. Very focused acting. You get 5 of these rehearsal scenes in total, some quite a bit longer than others. Each scene, features a small box in the bottom right corner, which plays the finished scene in the film. Completing the features is the theatrical trailer for 15 Minutes. Overall, a pretty comprehensive amount of features, which should keep you going for a while.

15 Minutes
Overall
Overall, 15 Minutes, is a ‘must see’ movie in my opinion. Although it does nothing particularly new with the genre, it does have a bit of a pop at the media which is always good, and features some solid acting all around. The DVD is also a very polished package, though many people maybe slightly disappointed with the lack of Infinifilm.


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