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Blu-ray Review: Michael Mann’s Masterful ‘The Insider’ Makes HD Debut

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CHICAGO – There are still a stunning number of films from the ’90s and ’00s not on Blu-ray but BVHE recently corrected one of those oversights by releasing the stellar “The Insider,” one of the best films of arguably the best year for cinema in the last two decades — 1999. In a year that included “Magnolia,” “American Beauty,” “The Matrix,” “Three Kings,” “Fight Club,” “Toy Story 2,” “The Iron Giant.” “All About My Mother,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Election,” “Being John Malkovich,” and many more, “The Insider” went overlooked by too many people and certainly by history. With perfect technical elements, stunning performances, and perfect direction by the great Michael Mann, this is a spectacular film.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

The film has actually been digitally restored, not just transferred to the HD form, and it looks great. I forgot how detailed Dante Spinotti’s Oscar-nominated work was here or how tight William Goldenberg’s editing (he actually just won the Oscar for “Argo”). As with all Mann films, “The Insider” is a fine-tuned machine. He doesn’t waste a shot, line, angle, or beat for 157 minutes. And the Blu-ray includes a commentary with Oscar winners Al Pacino and Russell Crowe, a must-hear for fans of either actor.

The Insider was released on Blu-ray on February 19, 2013
The Insider was released on Blu-ray on February 19, 2013
Photo credit: Touchstone

Synopsis:
Experience the celebrated film The Insider on Blu-ray for the first time with a new digital restoration. Nominated for 7 Academy Awards (1999), including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, this gripping true-life drama features an astonishing cast, including Oscar winners Al Pacino (Best Actor, 1992, Scent Of A Woman), Russell Crowe (Best Actor, 2000, Gladiator) and Christopher Plummer (Best Supporting Actor, 2011, Beginners).

Witness the incredible chain of events that pitted an ordinary man against the tobacco industry and dragged two people into the fight of their lives. When former tobacco executive Dr. Jeffrey Wigand agrees to blow the whistle on the alleged unethical practices within the industry and forms an alliance with veteran 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman, he starts an all-out war that could cost both men their reputations… and much, much more. Relive every unbelievable twist and turn like never before on Blu-ray.

Special Features:
o Production Featurette - Audio Commentary With Al Pacino And Russell Crowe
o Inside A Scene

“The Insider” stars Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Chritopher Plummer, Diane Venora, Philip Baker Hall, Lindsay Crouse, and Debi Mazar. It was written by Eric Roth & Michael Mann and directed by Mann. It was released on Blu-ray on February 19, 2013.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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