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Inside Man
DVD disk
Aug 22, 2006 By: Quigles
Inside Man order
Director:
Spike Lee

Actors:
Denzel Washington
Clive Owen
Jodie Foster

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A criminal mastermind sets in place the perfect bank robbery, only to be confronted by an equally intelligent detective who refuses to back down.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I have no doubt in my mind that if David Fincher had directed this film, I would've loved it. He is the master of mainstream filmmaking, packing all the right punches when it comes to building suspense, keeping the audience engaged, and then delivering a knock-out climax. Spike Lee, on the other hand, isn't quite as capable. Sure, he gets plenty right with INSIDE MAN (such as the awesome sense of style), but he also gets a lot wrong. Some people may disagree, arguing for some of the more indie-style production choices. Personally, I felt they completely detracted from the movie watching experience.

Lee makes some odd choices here, such as with the bizarre music selection (which only occasionally works), that annoying shaky-cam style appearing every now and then, and an onslaught of racial/political commentary thrown in every 15 minutes (totally unnecessary and off-putting). He's also terrible when it comes to, as I like to call it, the "art of the reveal". This is when a movie has something to hide, and then slowly builds up the mystery until it can finally be revealed during the climax. This is where INSIDE MAN falters the worst. The film divulges way too much information early on, making the ending feel almost dull since there's no real surprise to be had. Hell, I was able to figure out the movie's basic plotline from the trailer alone - wait, scratch that - I was able to figure out the movie's basic plotline simply by seeing Spike Lee's name attached on the poster. Any casual film lover will probably be able to do the same.

Despite some of the obvious problems with the film, it's still a pretty damn entertaining experience. Denzel Washington and Clive Owen shine as always, bringing plenty of their patented coolness to the proceedings. They are, without a doubt, my two favorite aspects regarding this movie. And then on top of that, there is also plenty of great dialogue and clever ideas thrown our way, which really helps to pull in the audience and get them invested in the picture (ironically, this makes the ending all the more lackluster). The movie also has a genuine sense of wit, making enjoying the film a whole lot more rewarding. But even with all that great stuff, it's still hard for me not to fall back on the idea of how outstanding this movie could've been had someone else helmed the production. While it may not seem like it, I am all for trying something new with a genre... but that only applies when it involves actually improving on it. And in this particular case, I think the "heist" genre, so to speak, doesn't need any help.
THE EXTRAS
There aren't very many extras presented here, so be ready for a Special Edition in the near future.

Audio Commentary (with Spike Lee): While I may not agree with the choice of Spike Lee as the director of this film (as well as some of the stuff he's said in interviews), there's no denying that he comes across as a very interesting and likable guy. In this commentary, he does a great job of delivering fun tidbits our way and keeping us informed on the various areas of productions (including getting the script, casting and working with the actors, etc.).

The Making of Inside Man (10:21): While this featurette does play out like your standard promo-piece "making of", there is also some quality footage worth watching spread throughout. Most notably, there are some cool behind-the-scenes videos of the actors having a read-through of the script, as well as some clips of them working on the set.

Number 4 (10:09): A cool, easy going conversation between Denzel Washington and Spike Lee as they celebrate their fourth time working together since MO' BETTER BLUES, MALCOLM X, and HE GOT GAME.

Deleted Scenes (24:39): The first (very large) portion of these deleted scenes involve Denzel's character having further investigations with the hostages, while the second has a collection of "breaking news" segments discussing the bank robbery. I found the first collection of clips surprisingly interesting, as they add a little background behind some of the other goings-on behind the bank heist.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I feel bad ragging on this movie, as it is actually pretty damn enjoyable. It just annoys me knowing that the movie could've been so much better... [Insert more David Fincher praise here]... Well, regardless of some of the poor directing choices, the movie is still loaded with a knockout collection of actors, a clever script, an interesting premise, and an excellent sense of style. That was easily enough for me to forgo the rest of the movie's shortcomings and just enjoy the ride. I suggest all of you do the same.
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