Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Debi Mazur and Christopher Plummer.
Directed By: Michael Mann
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.
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
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.
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?
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
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.
the Academy Award for Best Actor(should) goes to…Russell
Crowe? Well, okay, I can understand that. Till LAConfidential
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.
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?
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.
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.
Roth and Michael Mann wrote one exceptional film here, enjoy!
Recommendation: Nicorette Gum