Plot: What’s it about?
“New York Minute” might just be a metaphor for how fast this left theaters and is now on DVD. The ill-fated comedy stars, as we all know, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. These twins aren’t without their charm and they’ve been in the news lately as one of them (and for the life of me I don’t know which one) either has a cocaine addiction or an eating disorder (or both). We’ve grown up with these little girls, who are now on the cusp of adulthood, from the TV series “Full House” and later in their direct to video movies. I have to admit that this is the first movie I’ve watched with these two in it and if this is like the rest of their others I have to ask: what’s the big deal? The two girls are attractive, I’ll give them that. They’re great marketers too; they have everything from a cosmetics line to a clothing line. It’s no doubt that millions of girls out there want to be just like these two identical twins. It’s a strange world we live in when two girls that just turned 18 are worth over $100 million dollars. Anyway, back to the movie…”New York Minute” was, I think, their attempt to say “Hey, we’re not children anymore.” If that’s the case, fine. But to be considered serious actresses, they need to hone their talents first and that Identical Twins thing has just about worn out its welcome. The movie is ranked at #85 on the IMDB list of “Bottom 100” movies ever made. Now that’s saying something!
That said, “New York Minute” is a knock off of a much better movie – “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. We meet the two twins, Roxy (Mary-Kate Olsen), the free-spirited one who constantly thinks of new ways to ditch school. And then there’s Jane (Ashley Olsen), the Ivy League wanna be whose speech later on in the day (the movie takes place in the span of a school day) is “the most important day of my life”. We quickly learn that their mother is dead, though we don’t know how or even why we needed to know that in the first place. Their father is caring, though somewhat naïve. He’s a doctor and doesn’t even have time to eat the breakfast that Jane made for him. For shame. As fate would have it, Jane’s speech is in New York City as is a music video shoot that Roxy is ditching school for. The two share a train only to get kicked off when they don’t have tickets. Now this is when it gets really bad…through a random act, a microchip (that looks like a media card) is dropped into Roxy’s purse. We find out that it contains millions of dollars worth of pirated music and movies. Andy Richter plays Bennie Bang, a limo driver whose sole purpose is to get the chip back. Lest we forget, there’s also Nassau county Truant officer Max Lomax (Eugene Levy) and his sole purpose in life is to catch Roxy ditching school. Max, whose real goal is to be an NYPD officer, is a walking stereotype of what we think a Truant officer is. Through thick and thin, the two manage to outwit and outsmart the “bad guys” as well as meet a few boys along the way. The girls, being identical twins, eventually have to switch places – we know it will happen. I don’t really feel that I can recommend this unless you’re a 15 year old girl. I think I chuckled maybe once, but that’s it. Paper thin characters, bad special effects and a cast of characters I’d like to forget don’t add up to much. At least the girls still have their $100 million to fall back on.
Video: How does it look?
For as bad as the movie is, I was totally impressed by the video quality of “New York Minute”. I noticed not one bit of grain, artifacting or piece of edge enhancement anywhere. The movie takes place during the day, so 90% of the shots are very bright and vivid. The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer sets the bar that much higher for day and date released. Then again, the movie is only 90 minutes long and the features aren’t that plentiful so the dual-layered disc has plenty of room. Each and every scene looked crisp and clean. I kept thinking to myself that surely something would creep up, but nothing ever did. The good news is that this is reference quality, but the bad news is that it’s this movie…
Audio: How does it sound?
For a teen comedy, “New York Minute” has a surprisingly active Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There are several songs, including a remix of a Jason Mraz song that I like, that sound very good throughout. I found that some of the surround effects added some “thoomp” to a few scenes as well (such as when the girls are in the “House of Bling”). Dialogue is clean and natural with no sign of distortion at all. Clearly, this is an active soundtrack and one that is sure to please.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As far as supplements go, there’s nothing too special here. We have two alternate endings, though the included ending is a hybrid of these two. And there’s also some outtakes. The included featurette is the standard EPK variety and doesn’t shed too much light on things only “How much fun…” the movie was and etc. A photo gallery, set to music no less, and the original theatrical trailer are also included. No doubt there is a fan base for the girls and this movie, but for the life of me I don’t know who or where they are. Technically this is a great disc, but getting through the movie may be the more difficult challenge.