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Inside Man (DVD, 2006, Anamorphic Widescreen)

Spike Lee, Clive Owen, Denzel Washington | Theatrical release: 2006 | Rating: R (MPAA)
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Movie synopsis
His time as a director may have seen Spike Lee gently creep away from the controversial material that made his name, but he hasn't lost his eye for creating an entertaining spectacle; INSIDE MAN is a deliriously constructed crime caper designed to keep audiences guessing right up until the final moments. The plot, written by Russell Gewirtz, works from a devilishly simple premise and spins off on a number of interesting and creative tangents. Detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) and his partner Bill Mitchell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are sent to deal with a hostage situation at a bank in lower Manhattan. Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) is a masked man holding a number of people hostage in the bank while its chairman, Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), worries about a secret document he has hidden in a safety deposit box in the vaults. Madeline White (Jodie Foster) is a sassy power broker who Case hires to enter the melee in order to get his mysterious object out of the box and out of the bank. As Gewirtz gradually confounds viewers' expectations by threading neat twists and turns into the plot, Lee briefly--perhaps too briefly for hardened Spike fans--returns to the racial themes he overtly tackled in his earlier work. The director uses a number of visual tricks to keep the action humming, such as spectacular overhead shots and grainy, darkly hued posthumous interview clips with the hostages, but INSIDE MAN is essentially a fun popcorn movie executed with an intelligence usually lacking in the genre. While many of the themes--cops are racist, people in power are corrupt, the innocent are persecuted--may be hackneyed, it's testament to Lee's stature as a filmmaker that he manages to pull an engrossing and enjoyable romp from such ostensibly standard subject matter.

Product Details
  • Edition: Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: R (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 025192884726

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:DVD
Display Format:Anamorphic Widescreen

eBay Product ID: EPID54616757

Editorial reviews

3 stars out of 4 -- "Denzel Washington energizes the movie....[He] has the kind of star quality other actors would die for: unfakeable cool."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (04/06/2006)

"[Lee's] most polished and satisfying work in years....[Foster delivers] her wittiest, most relaxed performance in ages..."
New York Times - Manohla Dargis (03/24/2006)

4 stars out of 5 -- "While he slaloms around the plot's slippery hairpins, Lee relishes the interplay of character that pulses through Russell Gewirtz's screenplay, and a pedigree cast helps him to tweezer out the tensions and innuendos."
Uncut - Adam Sweeting (05/01/2006)

"Lee orchestrates the high-stakes drama with a slick adrenalised urgency that wouldn't be out of place in a multiplex actioner."
Sight and Sound - Kevin Maher (05/01/2006)

"Exceptionally well written with clever twists and witty dialogue by first-time screenwriter Russell Gewirtz, INSIDE MAN is adroitly executed by director Spike Lee."
USA Today - Claudia Puig (03/24/2006)

3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he first half's a gripper, twitchy and tense with plenty of nods toward modern urban anxieties..."
Total Film - Matthew Leyland (08/01/2006)

3 stars out of 5 -- "Lee has managed to assemble a fantastic cast, with everyone from relative newcomer Ejiofor, to old-hand Plummer and especially Washington, as the slyly intelligent Frazer, making an impression."
Ultimate DVD - Chris Piene (08/01/2006)

"It's smart, twisty, and talky." -- Grade: B+
Entertainment Weekly - Missy Schwartz (08/11/2006)

4 stars out of 5 -- "With a knowing nod to Lumet's DOG DAY AFTERNOON, Spike Lee shows he can deliver a straightforward heist thriller."
Uncut - Chris Roberts (09/01/2006)

"The screenplay, by Russell Gewirtz, operates confidently in action mod but is always willing to pause for an oddball encounter, a rambling story or a great, tossed-off joke."
Wall Street Journal (01/15/2010)

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Created: 11/15/06

Maybe its me...

Review For: Inside Man (DVD, 2006, Anamorphic Widescreen)

Maybe its me but I dont feel complete after watching an open-ending movie; especially those movies where the end is left open for a sequel. Inside Man is clearly could be one of these movies, but Denzel in a sequel? Has Denzel ever done a sequel? If so, let me know the title so I can review it. The Inside Man overall has its good and bad characteristics, but its still a definite add to the DVD collection.

Since I am a long-term Denzel fan, I felt compelled to purchase The Inside Man when it was released - but I was kind of skeptical in buying it because of mixed reviews that I have read, not from professional critiques but from the general public. (See Yahoo and Rotten Tomatoes) Most say that it was an excellent action suspense movie, others say the opposite. What do I say?

I say that Denzel is always at his best in films because he bathes himself in not only the script but the character. I suppose that being from the East Coast gives him the advantage at playing a Northeastern slick-talking detective. Proof of this is shown in his performance in damn near all his classics - He Got Game, Malcolm X and Mo' Better Blues and oddly enough Training Day. What more to say, Denzel is the man, he proves it consistently.

Clive Owen on the other hand seems to have the same boring persona in many of his recent flicks - very relaxed, slow when speaking, almost as if his mind is always on another planet. (See Derailed, Sin City, The Rich Man's Wife) In Inside Man, he is all of the previously listed but at the same time very witty. Honestly, to rob a bank, you have to be, right? Somewhat, watch the movie for more details. To a degree I enjoyed his character.

Why exactly did they include Jodie Foster into the equation I am clueless on - maybe to balance the testosterone within the script is my guess. Her character really didnt provide much spice to the script, nor did it take anything away. Maybe she was added to the list of high paid actors to boost the "I want to see that" ratings among movie goers. The DVD cover states that she is a "...broker with an agenda" but when you watch the movie, the agenda doesnt do much to liven the film up. They could have done with out her character or boosted her agenda a few more notches.

From a director stand point - this wasnt a typical Spike Lee film. The only thing typical that can be singled out is the infamous "floating" scene that Spike incorporates in all his films. But outside of that this was a typical cop movie that had little action to keep you awake, and more events that force you to think (or possibly fall asleep). Dont get me wrong, I love a movie that causes one to think, but only to a certain degree in cop movies. I mean c'mon, even CSI balances out the science from the blood spilled - so I would think a multi-million dollar film would do the same. All things considered, Lee did a good job at stepping out of the box in this film and should be respected regardless.

In the end - there really is no closure, Denzel's character realizes that he has something in his possession that keeps him linked to the man he was chasing (Clive Owen), thus the open ending comment from earlier. Sequel? Very much a possibility, but I will more than likely not watch this one on opening night either. For Denzel fan's, despite mixed reviews, add this one to your collection as he is always great, but if you are looking for a lot of gun fire and action - dont look for The Inside Man to satisfy your adventure needs.

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