Thursday, April 17, 2008

Planet Hollywood hotel and Pacino

Usually the advanced screening is a fairly muted affair: some cineplex cancels the 7:00 showing of one of its underperforming movies so that the screening room can be used to show local critics the latest studio offering. The critics, in turn, can write reviews that get published before the movie's release date. Meanwhile, a few hundred civilians (myself included) obtain passes to fill up the room. This is how I see a movie early.

Occasionally there's something called a world premiere. It's a red carpet affair where celebrities, studio people, and other VIPs congregate to sell the film as an event. This happens in Los Angeles and New York all the time, and does happen on occasion here in Las Vegas. The term "world premiere" is a misnomer; for many major studio films, a few test screenings or advanced screenings have already taken place. (I've seen quite a few films before their "world premiere.")

I attended my first world premiere last night when we won tickets to see 88 Minutes at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino (formerly the Aladdin, if you haven't been here recently). For those so inclined, there's a chance to catch a glimpse of the movie's stars on their way in. In this case, that would include Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski, and Benjamin McKenzie. (Amy Brenneman and Neal McDonough were scheduled to be there, but I don't think they were. Wire Image has posted pictures here.)

Not considering myself the starstruck type -- though I'm sure there are exceptions -- I was not so inclined. We went to our (assigned) seats in the mezzanine where I read a book and amused myself compiling a short list of

Things NOT to say when you first meet Al Pacino
1. "Whoo-ah!" (That's how the script spells it.)
2. "I loved you in Meet the Parents."
3. "Listen, I've got some ideas for The Godfather Part IV if you..."
4. "Could you ask Neal McDonough if NBC is bringing back Boomtown?"
5. "Hold on. I'm looking for the scar on your face."

Feel free to add on in the comments. Anyway, we ended up seeing a few of the stars anyway as they stood up during the movie intro. So I guess that was a bonus.

As for the movie itself? Yikes. Pacino plays a brilliant forensic psychiatrist (is there any other kind?) whose persuasive testimony drove a jury to convict McDonough's character. Fast forward to the day of execution, and events happen that suggest Pacino got the wrong man. Meanwhile, he gets a mysterious phone call: "You have 88 minutes to live." The rest of the movie takes place in real time as he tries to track down the culprit when everyone's a suspect, etc.

If making this movie can be considered a crime, then I would finger the script as the criminal. It runs the gamut from unspeakably bad to hilariously bad. The actors do their best, and there are some clever moments, but you can tell early on that you're in for an experience that's anything but thrilling.

I'd count the implausibilities, but those who post to the film's IMDb page have already begun compiling "88 stupid things in this movie." Pacino himself looks tired, which is part of his character but is more likely how he felt while filming.

For a better example of real drama in real time, check out Shakespeare 24.


Reel Fanatic said...

Even this movie is as craptastic as you make it sound (and I'm sure it is), there's still definitely something to be said for attending a movie premiere at a casino .. I'm jealous!

movies said...

Hey , It is great to know about this film. It looks like you people enjoyed lot in movie premiere...I missed it :-(. I am feeling envy from you ...