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88 Minutes/Desperate Measures/Arlington Road [3 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Desperate Measures
Although he enjoyed great critical success with crime dramas and slice-of-life pictures, director Barbet Schroeder continued dabbling in the thriller genre with this action-oriented film. Andy Garcia stars as Frank Conner, a widowed San Francisco police officer whose young son Matt (Joseph Cross) is suffering from leukemia. Without a bone marrow transplant, Matt will die, but Frank isn't a donor. In fact, the only potential match is prison inmate Peter McCabe (Michael Keaton), a psychotic but charming serial killer. At first, McCabe refused to participate despite Conner's pleas, but eventually, the convict relents and agrees to the procedure. It is all a ruse, however, as McCabe has discovered a clever way to escape the confines of the operating room where Matt's oncologist, Dr. Hawkins (Marcia Gay Harden) is scheduled to perform the transplant. Faced with the dual nightmare of his son's deteriorating condition and a mass murderer on the loose in a major metropolitan hospital, the frantic Conner finds himself bending and even breaking the law to bring McCabe down and save Matt's life. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Arlington Road
In this tense thriller, a man begins to suspect his neighbors are not what they appear to be -- and their secrets could be deadly. Michael Faraday (played by Jeff Bridges) is a college professor whose wife, an FBI agent, was killed in the line of duty by members of an extremist right-wing terrorist group, leaving him to raise their nine-year-old son by himself. One day, he saves the life of a boy he sees on the street. The child turns out to be the son of his new neighbors, Oliver and Cheryl Lang (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack). Michael soon becomes friendly with the grateful Langs, who seem as cheerfully bland as anyone could hope from denizens of suburbia. But the better Michael gets to know Oliver, the more he becomes convinced that something isn't quite right; Oliver seems almost too clean and perfect, and Michael begins to notice that small details in Oliver's stories don't quite add up. The question is whether Michael's well-founded paranoia about the radical right is getting the better of him, or are the Langs up to something a lot more sinister than their cheerful smiles and manicured lawn would suggest? Ehren Kruger's screenplay for Arlington Road won the Motion Picture Academy's Nicholl Fellowship prize in 1996; the film was the second directorial effort for Mark Pellington, who debuted with Going All the Way. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

88 Minutes
Jon Avnet directs Al Pacino in the thriller 88 Minutes. Pacino plays university professor Jack Gramm, who occasionally assists the FBI in matters of forensic psychiatry. His recent testimony against a freshly convicted criminal seems to be the reason he has gotten a scary phone call informing him he will die in 88 minutes. As with the like-minded thriller D.O.A. (both the original and the remake), the protagonist must use his skills in order to track down who has hatched this evil plot and hopefully prevent his own demise. Alicia Witt and Leelee Sobieski co-star as the professor's star students. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Michael Keaton
    Michael Keaton - Peter McCabe
  • Andy Garcia
    Andy Garcia - Frank Conner
  • Brian Cox
    Brian Cox - Jeremiah Cassidy
  • Marcia Gay Harden
    Marcia Gay Harden - Samantha Hawkins
  • Erik King
    Erik King - Nate Oliver
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