The Insider
Other
Review by Chuck Arrington | posted June 18, 2000
M O V I E
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version

Synopsis:

The high price of integrity. That's what the Insider is all about. Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, a top scientist for one of the largest tobacco companies in the country, is fired. Firing however, is not all the tobacco company plans to do to Dr. Wigand. After a chance meeting with Lowell Bergman, a producer for 60 minutes, he receives an invitation to the corridors of power of his former employer. When there, he is reminded of the confidentiality agreement & the contingencies that lay in place should he choose to break that agreement. Not one to be pushed around, Wigand refuses to sign the newly enhanced version of his severance agreement & is put on notice that severe repercussions will be the result should he talk with anyone concerning his employment. Obviously feeling their talk had little impact, the Tobacco Company begins scare tactics of the worst kind in its attempt to frighten Wigand into silence. Add to that mix an unsupportive wife & two children with health problems & you have a volatile situation ready to explode. Refusing to be bullied, Wigand goes to 60 minutes & tells his story. Needless to say, big tobacco is unhappy & they use every legal/illegal maneuver to shut Wigand down & cover their tracks. What was to be a temporary alliance becomes a lengthy battle Wigand & Bergman on one side & Corporate America on the other. A true story, The Insider pulls away the glossy finish of this industry's exterior & exposes it's filthy, cancerous & corrupt center. The Insider is top-drawer entertainment/storytelling at it's best!

Audio:

The audio was presented in a 5.1 digital platform. More than enough to convey the tones this film produces. There is great use of the surrounds, the sub is sparsely used but, when it is put to use, it's really, really good! The dialogue is clean, crystalline even. The surround effects are great & overall, the audio is sweet. Although a commentary is listed as a feature, there is no such animal on the disc. I would have really enjoyed hearing Pacino's & Crowe's insights on this film but, I guess, I'll just have to wait until a Special Edition is rendered & then hope the features included are actually on the disc!

Video:

The video is a beautifully rendered widescreen presentation. I noticed no errors of any kind. The colors were true, flesh tones accurate & the blacks were deep & solid. Rock solid picture, easily reference material.

Extras:

Here's where the whole truth in advertising thing really gets me. In addition to the listed commentary that doesn't exist, there's also something called "inside a scene". Where is it? It's certainly not on the disc. So, without the commentary & without the inside a scene feature, you are left with a movie only disc with a trailer for the film. In a word, that kind of mis-labeling…sucks.

Overall:

The Insider is an incredible piece of filmmaking that holds you solidly from start to finish. The fact that it's a true story is even more compelling. Pacino, Crowe & Plummer are at the very top of their game in this thriller & nothing slows the momentum of this film. Highly recommended!



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