suspense DVD and movie reviews and previews from - curled up with a good dvd
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Inside Man - suspense DVD review
Inside Man rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe
Director: Spike Lee   Studio: Universal Studios
DVD release: 08 Aug. 2006   Runtime: 129 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Subtitles (English, Spanish, French), Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 5.1), Commentary by Spike Lee, "Number 4" and "The Making of Inside Man" featurettes, Deleted scenes

With a script written by Russell Gerwitz and directed by Spike Lee, Inside Man stars Denzel Washington as New York City Detective Keith Frazier, thrown into a hostage negotiator situation at a Wall Street bank robbery. The bare minimum in plot divulgence: Clive Owen portrays Dalton Russell as a wise, super-slick-talking bank robber who pulls the heist of a lifetime as Frazier attempts to talk him out of it. Throw in Jodie Foster as the mysterious yet highly intelligent Madeline White, a character not explained in any way but a fixer of all problems. And last but not least, the token evil bank owner Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer). The less you know, the better, because the movie essentially is a build-up to a less than stellar finish.

First off, before the negatives spew forth, the movie does open with an air of being a good caper flick. But that energy quickly dissolves when Dalton and his gang waltz right into the place; the guards will notice the ohhh so annoying lady talking too loud on her cell phone, but not Dalton, who doesn't appear to be all that stealthy to my eyes. The script could have used a few more rewrites, but I can let that slide as well because too many chefs having their hands in making the stew have destroyed many a script. In other words, the life would have been sucked out of this if it was there to begin with. That leaves the performances. William Dafoe, Christopher Plummer, and Jodie Foster don't add a lick of authenticity to the movie. The flashy cast just meant that there was a little bit more money behind it. Denzel Washington playing that cross between sleuth and street savvy detective makes him relatable; he has love and career troubles, but it doesn't make for a better movie, that is a better movie for the deep thinking movie aficionado.

With all its faults, the movie does work on the surface level. It entertains! If you don't think too hard about the plausibility factors and just watch strictly for what it is supposed to be, it delivers. For all the armchair critics who want to knock the film for various reasons, there is much to agree with. But people go to see movies (as well as critics) and you could do much, much worse than Inside Man. With a forty-five million dollar budget and a combined domestic and foreign box office of over one hundred and eighty million dollars, Inside Man is a proven solid commodity. With only a small amount of Spike Lee-isms -the boy and his video game, the Sikh with his turban, and of course a dollop of racism between the un-politically correct police officer and Washington's character - the film doesn't get lost in a message or theme. Some would say it doesn't do much of anything, but Inside Man turns out to be a decent movie good enough to kill a rainy afternoon.
reviewed by Bobby Blades
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