The Insider

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * * )

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Alright, lets get this out of the way. The Insider is a hell of a movie. I am not a big into politics or even current news. I didn't know that the freeloader, Elian Gonzalez, was grabbed by one of Reno's hit squad until a day later while the rest of the world was setting tires on fire or lying on the ground because they don't have much else to do. Being able to remove politics lets me truly enjoy a movie like The Insider. Once again we are treated to a very strong introduction which is really becoming both important and common. It was so strong that I had to check the package again to make sure I was watching the right film. We are thrown right into the action of a crack producer for 60 minutes played by Al Pacino. This role was one of the best jobs I have seen him in since Scarface. Right along beside him is Russell Crowe of LA Confidential fame. His role as the man trying to do the right thing even though his whole world is falling apart is just excellent. Sure he doesn't play Russian roulette with a perp or making out with Kim Basinger, but he is still chasing people down with golf clubs and running around his back yard with a .38. The beginning dialogs between the two characters as they play a subtile chess match with words really bring them to life. The DVD is a marvel. The picture is a strange aspect ratio that looked like a 2.35 to 1 but higher up on the screen. It was 16x9 enhanced and was so sharp that it really reminded me that all enhanced DVDs are not equal. The color of the film is subdued, but that doesn't take away from the amazing clarity. The sound is recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1 and does a good job though some of the dialog is harder to hear. There is no commentary track but there is a making of feature and another little documentary. Politics aside, this is truly an excellent movie. The acting by the two leads in itself warrants seeing the film, and the rest of the story holds up to their mark. Definitely a must see.