Newest Reviews
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Weapon, The
Godzilla vs. Kong
Love and Monsters
Young Wives' Tale
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
  Running Time Heisty Retreat
Year: 1997
Director: Josh Becker
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Jeremy Roberts, Anita Barone, William Stanford Davis, Gordon Jennison Noice, Art LaFleur, Dana Craig, Curtis Taylor, Bridget Hoffman, Jules Desjarlais, David Kirkwood
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Carl (Bruce Campbell) gets out of prison today after a five year stretch and the warden (Art LaFleur) could not be happier since he has seen a great improvement in him after arriving all that time ago as a punk with no prospects. As they sit in the warden's office enjoying cigars as a small celebration, Carl is asked what he plans to do now, and replies that after his experience in the jail's laundry room he will be going into that business on the outside. The warden is very pleased and sends him on his way, but what he doesn't know is Carl has a heist planned, one which he has been scheming for all this time. Not only that, but the crime will take place within minutes of his release...

Appearing to shoot a film in one take is something that the director of this, Josh Becker, was well aware had been tried before in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, though Andy Warhol's lengthy experiments in the sixties owed something to that as well, and soon after Running Time was made a movie made in one actual ninety minute take was crafted in Russian Ark, but that was exploiting the ability of digital camerwork. In this case, Becker was forced to break up his effort into various takes where the cut was hidden by clever editing to give the illusion that what we were watching was in one continuous shot, much as Hitch had done. But there's a problem when that was sold as the production's chief selling point.

Which was that unless you were engrossed in the plot, you're going to be spending most of the movie distracted looking for those cuts and how they were disguised. In one way this was to the film's benefit as you would be offering it your full attention, spotting the bits where the actors would get close to the camera and it all would go black for a second, or noting the whip pans between them which would also hide another edit, but that might well mean unless the narrative was truly strong you would be losing interest in the usual aspects of watching movie that would traditionally engage: character, emotion, humour, stuff like that. Fortunately, Becker had his old pal Bruce Campbell for his leading man, a performer who could bring all of that to the table.

Becker and Campbell had first worked together on a feature with The Evil Dead, that seminal no-budget horror that shook up the eighties, and you could tell they were comfortable with each others' styles which was just as well with the criminal antihero the centre of attention for the full seventy minutes. Maybe Campbell didn't get much of a chance to show off his comedic skills, though he has the odd funny line, but he was charismatic enough to carry a storyline that was rather anaemic for a movie genre that had, by the nineties, been done to death and was still being flogged by indies and majors alike. If this was the decade where everyone in the industry seemingly wanted to give a heist a try, then you really needed something to stand out from the pack.

Running Time was most like one of those fifties B movies with its brief, er, running time and conventions of the plan going wrong and a dose of romance for the protagonist as we had to feel he had something to lose, and the love of a good woman was as useful as anything to that plot. In this case she was Janie (Anita Barone), the prostitute Carl meets in the back of the van of his partner in crime (Jeremy Roberts) and has a surprising quickie with only to realise they went out together in high school until an unfortunate break-up and haven't spoken since. She gives him her card on her exit from the vehicle, which will come in handy for the finale, then it's on with the robbery, though the masks the criminals use don't really conceal who they are too well. Naturally nothing goes to plan, which should have amped up the tension but it was what we were expecting after seeing quite a few of these movies before, so it was catching those cuts we were most entranced by. Yet ambition on a low budget was not to be sneezed at, and this was too short to outstay its welcome. Music by Joseph LoDuca.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1266 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: