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The Insider (1999)
An absorbing film-drama
From scene one, this film delivers a long slow burn as the tale of power and corruption unfolds. There is little action, but the film is steeped in an atmosphere of tension and high drama. The direction by Michael Mann is masterful, an object lesson in how to frame shots and let silence, as well as words - and music - work for the story. Al Pacino is once more the great actor of early films such as 'Scarecrow', instead of the theatrical performer of recent films. Russell Crowe shows his solid 'ordinary guy'character as more tortured through losing his family than any of the macho scenes he portrayed in 'Gladiator.' A superb film.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Short-changed by an unfinished project
The BWP started out well, and set up a believable scenario, and the Mary Brown character was superb. There were some good moments too, such as the 'We're in America - this can't happen' bit, and Heather's breakdown was really moving. But the jerky camera looking at out-of-focus twigs leaves and stones soon became irritating. Then it suddenly ended, with no climax or explanation after 80 minutes or so. Where is the rest of the film? Admission should be half-price for this unfinished project.