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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2001!
15 MINUTES, 2001
Emil and Oleg are fresh out of prison from eastern Europe ( Russia or Czech Republic). They come to America to collect their share of a bank robbery that they got caught for. Within an hour of being in the country Oleg steals a camera, and they go pay a visit to their friend Vilmos to collect. When they show up and there is no money it leads to a violent outburst where Emil kills Vilmos and his wife with Oleg rolling the camera. A girl witnesses murder but flees. It the The first of many crimes perpetrated by the two.
Meanwhile famous cop Eddie Flemming (De Niro) and Arson Investigator Jordy Warsaw (Burns) are simultaneously called in to investigate a fire & homicide. After they leave the witness catches Jordy's eye, and he thinks she may be a witness so he gets her photo sketched and tries to track her down. Flemming and Warsaw start to team to try and save her, and catch these two.
Kelsey Grammer plays Robert Hawkins the host of Top Story, who is always in search of a gritty story because Americans are infatuated with violence. He does whatever it takes to get the story even if it means doing something tasteless, ruthless or heartless.
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I thought this film was fantastic, and very under rated. I thought the story was very creative and topical.
The media hungry culture has really taken over the last two decades and has only gotten worse. The blood lust and violence craved by audiences has also gone up which is an alarming and disturbing fact, but I thought this film hit both fronts very well. Also the American judicial system which by all counts is a joke and how people can exploit it for publicity, profit and fame. Also how cops have to be media darlings for press instead of worrying about their jobs, which is something that cops always haven't had to worry about. This film touched on a lot of problems regarding American media and legal system in an intelligent and disturbing way. I thought this was a very well written script which took your standard cop film to another level. It was gruesome, gritty, raw and very creative.
I thought De Niro and Burns were their usual terrific selves. Having two New York heavyweights added some authenticity but also it is interesting to see two great actors on screen together. It is great watching them work together to see how they play off each other and what they bring to the table.
I really thought the big stand out star who most impressed me was Kelsey Grammer. He played the stuffed shirt funny man Fraiser Crane for 20 yrs at that point so no one could see passed that character but he made this character great. He was a two face, vulgar and just an all around bad guy and I loved him. I also thought Karl Roden was a big hit in this film. He was smart, insane, and his mood and emotions flipped on a dime and you never knew what he was going to do or say next. Much like a sociopath, he was just fantastic.
This is one of the best films people did not see in 2001. Unfortunately It didn't make it's $60 million budget back, it made just under that and was considered a modest flop, On IMDB it is at a 6.1/ 10, Rotten tomatoes has it at a 31% calling it too heavy handed to be effective, to that I say some times you have to be a tad hyperbolic and make it a bit heavy handed to hammer a point home. But I didn't find it heavy handed at all, I just thought it was dark, violent, and gritty.. Everything that they call out the American media on being. It is a fast paced well acted and very well made film.