Articles

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2013

ARTICLE INDEX

 “The Insider" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook

movie-february-2013-theinsider

Synopsis

Lowell Bergman, a producer for 60 Minutes, receives an anonymous package containing documents from tobacco company Philip Morris.  He seeks out an industry expert to decipher the technical documents and finds Jeffrey Wigand, a recently fired Biochemist who worked for Brown & Williamson, another tobacco company.  Things quickly get out of hand as former employer Brown & Williamson find out their ex-employee is talking to a 60 Minutes producer.  They apply legal pressure as well as scare tactics including death threats.  After producing a segment exposing the tobacco industry, CBS execs pull rank and demand a re-edit that cuts out Wigand’s interview.  Wigand’s marriage falls apart and he is left depressed and confused.

 

Specifications

  • Disney / Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • 1999, Color, rated: R, 2 hours 37 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Starring: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer
  • Directed by Michael Mann
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Some

Commentary

When discussing the career of Michael Mann, The Insider usually does not come up first.  However, it is such a well crafted film that it begs to be mentioned along with Heat, Collateral, and The Last of the Mohicans.  The real life characters portrayed by Crowe and Pacino are full of depth and emotion are up there with their other top performances.  The story is gripping and well told with just enough suspense thrown in to keep things moving.  The Blu-ray release has taken awhile to be produced, but I am thankful that we at least get a high quality version of this terrific film.  If only there was at least one audio commentary track included.. guess I can only look at this cake.

Technical

Michael Mann’s leading choice for photography, Dante Spinotti, has brought forth a brilliantly filmed moving picture. This new Blu-ray release finally gives this movie the proper presentation.  The image is crisp with tons of depth and Spinotti and Mann’s use of color is beautiful, to say the least.  
 
The sound mix is nearly all upfront and dialog heavy. There really isn’t much to critique here other than to say dialog was clear and well leveled.

 Extras

7 minute featurette on the production and a theatrical trailer. Yup, that's it.