Tuesday, January 19, 2010

tm Does the QT 20 Part 5: The Insider

1999, Directed by Michael Mann.

Mid-way through this movie, my wife says “Hey, this movie reminds me of that realllly slllooow movie Al Pacino did with Robert de Niro.”. Truer words have never been spoken. That movie was Heat, also directed by Mann.

This movie concerns a big tobacco company executive (Russell Crowe) that blows the whistle on the tobacco industry lie that nicotine is not addictive and then focuses on how the news show 60 Minutes (the producer is played by Al Pacino, Mike Wallace played by Christopher Plummer) gets involved – threats of lawsuits jeopardize journalist integrity, the ordeal that Crowe’s character goes through to get out the truth and how it affects him, his family, etc.

I like it – you’ve got great acting from Crowe as the tightly-wound and jumpy mid-management corporate guy trying to do the right thing even though he knows it’ll screw him over. And it’s a relief to know that Pacino can still act without all the yelling that he’s been doing lately. The movie is suspenseful despite basically being a court case. There’s a bit of cloak’n’dagger and the merest hint of violence but the movie moves slowly and deliberately, single-minded in telling the story and telling the story about the people that told the story.

The dvd extras are manky – a production feature-ette and a breakdown of one scene. Not that I’d sit through a commentary of a 2½ hour movie, but this movie clearly demonstrates patience and planning that would be nice to see and hear.

tm sez: 8/10

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