Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My "Inside Man" review

For anyone who knows me, or reads this horseshit blog enough to get an idea of how I am, I have always pretty much been a loner. Besides the things you obviously do by yourself like self gratification, I eat alone, go to concerts by myself, and lastly go to the movies with me, myself, and I. Not to be mean or anything, but I can't stand the cow-like chewing of popcorn, the wrestling of the armrest, and the constant "What did he say?" questions when you usually attend a flick with someone else. But this time, because an old friend of mine is an even bigger Spike Lee fan than I am, I felt he would respect the sanctity of the movie theater and not make me want to punch him in his fucking sternum. So I thought.

I picked up my friend and for the first few moments in the car we had a decent conversation going, like this possibly being Lee's most commercial flick, the great career ahead of Chiwetel Ejiofor, and who could win in a fight between Tony Soprano and Jack Bauer. Unfortunately, the last topic I named almost had me throw his ass out of my car when he asked "Who would win in a fight, Tony Soprano or jack Bauer?" But before I could answer he said, "Tony would beat Jack's ass, that's obvious!!" Giving him a puzzled look I said, "How is that "obvious"? Jack is a highly trained agent with weapons skills, and a shitload of fighting disciplines in his repertoire. If their was a contest for late night sandwich making, or cutting up a dead body, Tony would win hands down. But a fight, Jack would beat the canole out of that motherfucker!!" The next few minutes, as we approached the theater, we had a heated debate about two fictional characters that maybe a group of 7 year old's would have been interested in.

As we get to our seats, my friend calling me a "prick" and me calling him a "product of inbreeding", I seriously thought my movie going experience would be ruined due to me disobeying my "going to the movies by myself" rule. But as the movie got started I realized that I was seeing something special, quickly forgetting about my 32 year old ass having a rather adolescent argument.

This movie, definitely Lee's most commercial movie thus far, is about how a gang of masked men take over a Wall Street-style bank in what seems like a simple robbery, but quickly turns into a hostage situation. The plan, as stated by Clive Owen's character(Dalton Russell) at the beginning of the movie, has been planned with perfection. From them neutralizing the camera's, their knowledge of where everything is, and how they deal with the hostages, it's obvious that they had their shit together. Denzel is brought in, negotiating only because the lead negotiator is on vacation, as a tough cop with a charisma and sense of humor usually not seen in movies like this.

Suddenly things take a swift turn when Jodie Foster's character is brought in on behalf on the banks chairman, to secure the contents of his safety deposit box, exactly what the robbers wanted in the first place. You don't really know what Foster's job is, but you get the feeling that her character is like a Karl Rove, "I'll bury a dead body, even kill a mouthy hooker just to cover your ass" type of person. The rest of the movie seems like a cat and mouse game between Washington and Owen, built in with plot twists and funny lines to please anyone who can honestly call themselves a movie lover.

With Lee's signature score in the background, the "Spike Lee shot" that he uses masterfully a few times during this film, his subtle dis of 50 cent in the movie, and dialog that flows effortlessly, it proves to everyone that Lee is on e the top of his game. Even though Spike didn't write this film, or the screenplay, he had his fingerprints all over this film. Like when a Sikh gentleman was let go by the robbers and was harassed by the police who thought he was a "arab". When he was going on about being harassed to Denzel's character, having his civil rights violated, and how he gets checked at the airport constantly, Washington's character says, "But I bet you can get a cab though!!" You can't tell me that wasn't Spike Lee at work. Also, in the brilliant "subtle casting" department, an actress named Marcia Jean Kurtz is in this movie. This is only relevant because this flick is being compared to "Dog Day Afternoon", is even mentioned during the film, and she was a cast member in that film.

But I will say this though, Spike Lee has it nailed when portraying black characters in film, something that all other film-makers should take notes from. He doesn't make black folks look foolish and stereotypical like those fucking "Madea" flicks, and he doesn't unconsciously cater to the racists out there by making his African American character's noteworthy professions an integral part of the movie("Something New") By witnessing Denzel's command performance you can see that Lee gets how to, flaws and all, depict African American characters with strength and pride without being heavy handed and corny.

4 1/2 stars

P.S I still think Jack Bauer would beat Tony's ass though.

23 comments:

foXXy said...

ok im only threw the first paragraph and i have to say i know EXACTLY what you mean! i prefer being alone, most of the time.

sunday nights i watch Grey's Anatomy, my sister and cousin have started watching and sure enough, every frick'n time i miss SOMETHING and it's like "you know what, I dont have many shows I give a shit about but this one, this ONE god damn show, if you're going to watch it with me stfu."

i hate people.

Enrique Treviño said...

First of all, Jack Bauer would kick Tony Soprano's ass, no question.

Regarding "Inside Man".
Spoiler alert: One of my favorite scenes was the civil rights scene you point out. I also loved Jodie Foster's character, incredibly confident and she wouldn't flinch even when she sees the diamond from Paris.

I liked how Owen taunts Washington so much that he hands him a diamond without Denzel noticing (I forgot the characters names).
The Albanian scene was also quite funny, nice comedy relief in the middle of the movie. The guy not wanting to call his wife. The wife getting all her parking tickets.

And yes the score was good. Really good movie.

Amadeo said...

Tony would get some good hits in, but he'd eat concrete in the end.

Mocha_Grl said...

Jack vs. Tony??? Is that really an argument? Shit, I don't even think Jack would break a sweat taking him out.

Have yet to see Inside Man, hopefully this weekend. Thanks for the review!

Luke Cage said...

Okay, but why are those 2 guys even being mentioned in the same sentence? Jack Bauer & Tony Soprano??? Tony Friggin' Soprano? Geez, what an insult to CTU's finest. But loved the movie review. I usually don't read reviews before I've seen the movie, but dammit HC you did a good job not giving anything away. Kudos man. Dog Day Afternoon is one of my all time favorite flicks. And it was good to see Denzel & Spike reunite for a 4th movie and take box office platinum with $29 mill in it's opening week!

Jerry MaDick said...

I support Jack Bauer in any fight, really. Further, I think he could slice up a mother fucker better than T. S. too. I'll even give odds on it, yo.

Bauer is like today's Luke Skywalker of hero-dom.

*Still, the Soprano's is an awesome show.

chele said...

Thanks for the review. I wanted to see the movie last weekend but couldn't get myself together. I'll definitely check it out.

foXXy said...

In defence of Tony, don't you think one punch from him could knock someone out? I mean, eventho Jack's all special agent trained, you get hit hard, you go down no matter what, right?

DP said...

Jack Bauer would put a good hurtin on Tony in a fair fight, but you know damn well Tony wouldn't fight fair.


Inside man was phenomenal, but I try not to say a whole lot because its so easy to tell too much.


Grey's Anatomy is the ONLY show I watch on the regular. soon it will be leading into Desparate Housewives and not the otherway around.

Created by a sista to top it all off.

Mia said...

You think the 50 dis was subtle?

I saw the movie by myself and have come to the conclusion that Spike Lee is a genius!!!

Not only would Jack kick Tony's ass, but he would bring the entire Family down in, well, 24 hours.

Mia said...

You think that the 50 dis was subtle?

I saw the movie by myself and have once again come to the conclusion that Spike Lee is a genius!!!

And not only would Jack kick Tony's ass, but he would bring down the entire Family down in, well, 24 hours!

The Future said...

Chuck Norris would throat chop both their asses

The Holywriter said...

Being alone for movies is grand

mel said...

Perfect. Just as I hoped! I can't wait to see it. You should also see V for Vendetta - I think you'd love it.

tamara said...

Now, I don't mind seeing movies with other people (mostly because I'm normally the person asking 'what did he just say') but I had to see this one solo. C'mon, Spike? AND Denzel?? Sheeeeeit...

Anyway! The point that I wanted to make, besides agreeing with everything you had to say like everyone else on your jock, is that the thing that stood out to me was how fantastically shot it was. I mean, he was working with a BANK and I still sat there in awe of the choices he made. Excellent film!

spchrist said...

I saw the movie on Saturday and I would give it a 8.5 on a 10-point scale. Spike and Denzel make a winning combination.

Joints and Spike said...

Movies by yourself is the only way to go unless you are going with someone else who is a true film buff and understands the stfu and don't be late rules. You definitely need a spoiler alert on your review LOL That being said -since I've just come from seeing the movie anyway-I agreed with you on all your points. That was definitely one of Spike Lee's better moments. I love all of his work; with the exception of Summer of Sam, wtf was up with that movie? Did you see She Hate Me, and if so, what were your thoughts?

DJ Ho said...

I think Jack would win, until Tony called in the rest of the Soprano family. You know Tony would never fight fair.

Jerry MaDick said...

I still have to go with Jack beating the Soprano family. Even when he's being held by Bobby and the others are approaching. Somehow that guy finds a way.

That's not to say I would be heartbroken were the Soprano's to off Kim first though. She they could get. And good riddance.

Brea said...

Everyone needs an adolescent argument every now and then...

Slow Metamorphosis said...

This is sounding better and better to me. I might have to go check this out this weekend. Thanks

ChiChi10 said...

I'm feeling your review, but you need to stop hatin on Madea. LOL

We is cool like that. You don't want me to tell her you talking junk, so she can bust out her piece!

I liked your review. I want to actually go see this movie.

Reel Fanatic said...

Enjoyed your review, but didn't care at all for Inside Man .. maybe my standards for Spike are so high, I just couldn't help but think throughout that he should be doing so much more than this