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The Insider


The Insider is a long look at just how little power any of us "not so influential people" can have. We are told all our lives "stand up for yourself", or my favorite big person lie…"never be afraid of the truth." Yeah, okay tell that to Dr. Jeffrey Wigand (Russell 'Yummy' Crowe). This poor guy stood up for himself, and all the world, when he decided to take on, not City Hall, but worse! A way more powerful political force, the feared and dreaded tobacco industry. The senate tobacco hearings scene reminded me of that Martin Short character ('It's funny you should say that…I never said that, why would you say that, funny.') that bold face denies ANY wrongdoing.

You can see the proverbial shoe heal heading for the unsuspecting bug's scurrying backside from the get go.

Anyway, Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), producer of segments for 60 Minutes convinces dear Jeffrey, discreetly, to come on and tell his secrets about the shady cig and cigar industry.

Well, duh. What did Jeff think the good old boys were gonna just let him mouth off. Please. This movie was chock full of thrills and fast turns. Dr. Wigand is a brave man. But, alas, just a man.

His past is scrutinized. His marriage is tested. His conscience beaten to a bloody pulp. What will he decide? To share with anyone who'll listen, the knowledge about toxic chemicals the tobacco honchos are introducing into our lungs, that enhance our addictions to the already Keith Richards' like affect of nicotine? Does it really need enhancing?

This whole movie was riveting. I heard through the Concord grape vine, Mike Wallace (played buy Christopher " Hammer Films? I don't know anything about any Hammer Films" Plummer) was pissed at his portrayal. I don't get it. He was human. The movie seemed honest and fair. Bergman, well, this guy thanks to uberlord Pacino, is looking like an American hero.

And poor pounchy Dr. Wigand? Well, Crowe portrayed him with such heart and soul, I suspect he feels a tad vindicated for all the h-e-double hockey sticks those sleazy bastards put him through in real life- as this based on what this boor sonofabeech went through.

And the Academy Award for Best Actor(should) goes to…Russell Crowe? Well, okay, I can understand that. Till LA Confidential when my immediate circle of friends were given 'video rental' homework (for the very same thought) including but not limited to, Romper Stomper and Rough Magic, they didn't know either. Russ is big down under in Australia. Yep, he's Australian- NOT like those phony Outback Steakhouses dreamed up at a business cocktail meeting in Manhattan at Rudy's Bar. This Aussie manly-man is quite a talent and super swell on the retina. When you see this just remember he's not 52 years old at all. Nor is he that, um, robust. He's like 30 something, a big, strong On The Waterfront type. Why, I wonder if I can call him a Russell 'Stud-muffin-toasted-with-marmalade-firm-thunder-thighed-banana bread' Crowe and still be considered a lady? Who knows? But I'd love to meet his Platypus…no really. Evidently the Hunk-a-snarus Rex is Mr.Animal. Yeah, and not a murdering pig like that psycho Ted Nugent. That dick, don't even get me started on him. Where was I? Crowe is a talent so focused he seems Puma-ish watching a few gazelle by the watering hole. Paced and focused with a definite goal, mate, the Australian rare golden tailed Oscar-elot. We'll be seeing alot more of him- I'd bet my vegamite sandwich on it.

And then there is…Al Pacino. Say it with me A-l P-a-c-i-n-o. Nice huh? This guy just amazes me, and I don't even wanna jump him. Odd but true. Way back in another decade he was sprung upon us. Full of energy and a unique directness behind wild eyes. Deep and concentrated, I get all excited when I see his name on a Marquee. I can't think of one disappointment EVER in him. I own like every movie-except Cruising (what was that?) he's made. Doesn't he seem like he'd be fun to kick back with in some seedy East Boston eatery, maybe ad Isabella Rosselini, order a huge bowl of Spaghetti family style, a nice jug-o-Merlot and wolf it down while Dino blares from the other room?

I have to mention under rated Debi Mazur. Why isn't she a bigger star? She's like my all time favorite chick babe squared! She's fab in anything she's ever been in. Even that SUCK bag Frogs and something movie…But she was and always is acting perfection.

Well, I guess American Beauty and The Insider will be nose to nose at the Oscars. Granted, we still have AA's favorite letterman Tom 'American Pie' Hanks' contender The Green Mile, and Denzel 'Sparkle eyes' Washington in The Hurricane is not to be tossed just yet.

Eric Roth and Michael Mann wrote one exceptional film here, enjoy!

Snack Recommendation: Nicorette Gum
Starring: Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Debi Mazur and Christopher Plummer.
Directed By: Michael Mann



Keep Your Eye On This Crowe Fellow Folks | Emily Blunt Review's The Insider

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