I remember sitting down after Jeopardy one night with my family with a bowl of ice cream. Yes, we played Jeopardy as a family but sometimes we would skip sit-coms and watch a movie. At this point in my life my film knowledge was starting to build. I remembered that it felt like a less powerful version of All The Presidents Men. I know that sounded like I was knocking it but it was almost there, and this is/will always be one heck of a film.
For those of you who decided not see this movie in 1999 its about the reach and hold of the tobacco industry. This film tells the true story of Jeffrey Wigand, a former tobacco executive, who decided to appear on the CBS-TV News show “60 Minutes.” As matter of conscience partially prodded by producer Lowell Bergman, he revealed that, the tobacco industry was not only aware that cigarettes are addictive & harmful, but deliberately worked on increasing that addiction. Unfortunately, both protagonists of this story learn the hard way that simply telling the truth is not enough as they struggle against both Big Tobacco’s attempts to silence them and the CBS TV Network’s own cowardly complicit preference of putting money as a higher priority over the truth.
The trump card of this film though comes in the form of Christopher Plummer playing one of the most visible news figures of the past 25 years, Mike Wallace. Wallace teeters on the edge of looking like a foul-mouthed, celebrity hungry, media hound who’s only thought is about ratings. However, before its over, he evokes the “integrity of Edward R. Murrow,” a line that gave me chills and made me pray for an Oscar Nomination.
The blu-ray audio and video quality are both amazing! The film looks and sounds great. However, there is a definite gap where special features should be. I was hoping for all kinds of documentaries, interviews with the real people and commentaries. All I got was a commentary with Pacino and Crowe and a small feature called inside a scene. This was completely disappointing,
All in all this is a very strong film. This film is intellectual, (which is rare in a film today), gripping, and fantastic in every sense of the word. This is by far Mann’s best work to date (well Thief may be better but it really depends on the viewer). What we can’t forget about this movie, for all its drama, and for the pointed view it gives us of the nature we bear, it’s a TRUE STORY. That’s what really makes it shocking.
Insider [Blu-ray] is available for purchase at DVD outlets everywhere.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Overall: 4 packs of smokes out of 5
Review by Bro’ B – Ben
We received product to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own.