STUDIO: Warner Bros.
MSRP: $27.98 RATED: PG
RUNNING TIME: 90 Minutes
• Blooper reel
• Alternate endings
• Behind-the-scenes slideshow
• Making-of featurette
• Trailer

Generally speaking, when at their best, movies serve to provide a couple hours of entertainment, a brief diversion from daily rigors.

But on extraordinarily rare occasions, thanks to an inexplicable celestial occurrence, some combination of skill and serendipity results in something so purely transcendental that it causes one to reconsider the very nature of cinema… and even life itself.

Please touch my left ear. Please touch my lef– Oh. Oooh. Uhhhh… aaaaaaaahhhh…

The Flick

It becomes evident from the breathtaking tracking shot during the opening credits of New York Minute that this film will indeed be nothing short of exceptional. But realistically, no amount of prior notification could allow sufficient preparation for such an incontrovertibly blissful experience.

Prim and proper Jane Ryan (the exquisite Ashley Olsen) is preparing for her big day in Manhattan, where she’ll give a speech to a foundation that could secure her a scholarship to Oxford. However, her hard-rocking antithesister Roxy (the ravishing Mary-Kate Olsen) has aspirations of a different sort, capriciously opting to neglect the day’s studies in favor of attending Simple Plan’s music video shoot (and, let’s not kid ourselves, who wouldn’t?) in the city. After the imaginative but harmless deception of their widowed dad (sexpert Dr. Drew Pinsky), the sublime siblings are off to the Big Apple, unaware that they’re in for the most significant day in their young lives. And ours.

That’s pretty pathetic, dude. My telephoto work has grabbed way more flattering shots.

Alas, Roxy’s proclivity for abandoning class has drawn the attention of tenacious truancy officer Max Lomax (Eugene Levy), who is shadowing their every move. After a snafu on the commuter train, the girls find themselves suddenly stranded without a means of conveyance. Fortunately for them, limo driver Bennie Bang (the mercurial Andy Richter) offers to take them into the city in luxurious style. However, unbeknownst to the girls, Bennie is the adopted son of a family of Chinese gangsters (he insists on speaking broken English, to uproarious effect), and he’s been tasked with delivering the valuable microchip that was slipped into Roxy’s bag without her knowledge.

The titillating tandem blonde beauties escape Bennie’s oily clutches, but Jane’s planner was left in the limousine during the chaos, and she can’t deliver her crucial speech without the information contained within. The film chronicles the manic hours that follow, in which the girls attempt to compromise with the villain, elude capture by the steadfast Lomax, meet a pair of cute boys, uncover an international bootlegging operation and pay a visit to fashionable Harlem, all while learning precious lessons about themselves and each other, and leaving a lasting impression on the lives of every fortunate person whose path they cross.

"What are you talking about? I don’t even know what ‘phallic imagery’ means!"

The binary brilliance of the angelic Olsens is resplendently captured by director Dennie Gordon, whose previous teen wrangling on Amanda Bynes’ What a Girl Wants has elevated her proficiency to unprecedented levels. This evocative endeavor cleverly acknowledges many examples of modern and classic cinema from Hitchcock to John Woo, and yet miraculously surpasses them all. Lomax’s hunt of his quarry makes ingenious parallels to classic gumshoe tales, but the hard-boiled Levy makes Humphrey Bogart seem like a creampuff by comparison. A martial arts clash on a subway platform makes the climactic Neo/Smith rumble in The Matrix look like a makeup counter slap-fight, while a car chase through Manhattan is so intense that the late Ronin director John Frankenheimer actually clawed out of his pine box simply to beg for another opportunity. And the film’s untouchable artistry incorporates such an effective use of split-screen that Brian DePalma now wishes he’d never even attempted it.

The starlets themselves have never been so scintillating or so deserving of their icon status, tackling the film’s inventive "Murphy’s Law" series of events with effusive verve, infectious charm and impeccable comic timing. Like effulgent beacons, the very presence of these teenage goddesses virtually necessitates that the cast surrounding them (including Riley Smith, Jared Padalecki and SNL regular Darrell Hammond) deliver their finest performances, resulting in Oscar-caliber work from all involved.

Fans of Cullen Blaine rejoiced at the news that the sequel to R.O.T.O.R. was finally heading into development.

But it’s the stimulating philosophical aspects that make the film so resonant. Assuming their minds haven’t already achieved a higher consciousness, Lao-Tse and Jung and their ineffectual ilk are likely spinning in their graves at the maddening reality that these luminous identical sisters offer more enlightenment in 90 minutes than they achieved with entire lifetimes of hypotheses. Skimming over notions set forth by everyone from Nietzsche to Kant, New York Minute fearlessly delves into a profound exploration of dualism and existentialism and, most importantly, Taoist balance — the cyclical opposing forces of yin and yang. Point of fact, the film is so dense with relevant symbolism it would take a hundred viewings for a mere mortal to decipher even a fraction of its fundamental potency. But the most apparent message is ultimately one not just of tolerance, but of unadulterated love… and there’s nothing more vital to the soul than that.

If there’s any justice, you’ll see New York Minute take its rightful place along with The Godfather and Citizen Kane on the AFI’s top 100 American films.

Masterpiece now seems like such a small word.

10 out of 10

One of Ashley’s previously hidden talents was her somewhat unnerving ability to craft balloon animals from a single piece of sugarless Bazooka.

The Look

Although their true seraphic radiance could never conceivably be properly exhibited through something as prosaic as the digital format, this is as close to these incandescent deities as most of us simple humans could possibly imagine.

10 out of 10

The Noise

The mellifluous tones that spill from the magnificent lips of this divine duo is enough to make one wish never to hear sound again, for fear of nothing ever meeting its equal.

10 out of 10

One of Conan O’Brien’s dark secrets: his rise in hosting power also came with a strange desire to seal his former sidekick in a hermetic chamber beneath his Obsidian Fortress.

The Goodies

Ninety minutes with the Olsen twins is not enough. This quite obviously doesn’t need to be said, and now I feel a bit stupid for even having typed it. But the filmmakers know this as well, and have magnanimously offered a sampling of further ecstasy that includes a blooper reel, a pair (naturally) of alternate endings, a slideshow of behind-the-scenes photos and a 14-minute featurette.

But, as grateful as I am, it’s not enough. It’s not enough.

10 out of 10


The Artwork

Britney who? Lindsay wha? Hilary hey? They can all retire, as their services are no longer required.

10 out of 10

Overall: 10 out of 10