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The Insider (1999)
A Great Movie, Very Underrated, Due To Poor Marketing
Russell Crowe at his best as a Kentucky tobacco executive in Eric Roth and Michael Mann's masterpiece, "The Insider," is one of the most underrated American films ever. Not only is it important historically for its political implications - not about tobacco, but about conflicts of commercial interest that control freedom of speech along the airwaves in the U.S.- it is a great story and it is true. Disney had no idea how to market "The Insider" and essentially sold it as tobacco movie and it is so much more. Pacino gives a grand A plus performance as a Long Island Jewish producer and halfway through the movie I forgot he was Al Pacino. Even better Christopher Plummer masterfully captures the full essence of Mike Wallace. Gina Gershon could turn lust from a stone as always. Michael Mann seems to always pull strong performances from his actors, and Eric Roth who brilliantly adapted "Forrest Gump" did the same here with Mann. Though long, "The Insider" is never boring and a movie all Americans should see twice to make sure they fully comprehend regardless of how you feel about the tobacco debate.
Bad News Bears (2005)
Paint the mustouche on the Mona Lisa why don't you?
I generally am a Richard Linklater fan and consider Mr. Thorton one of the finest actors and writers we have. I'd like to kick them both dead on in the nuts for this one. The original was a structurally flawless piece of work and their version was horrendous and stupid. Everything the original did with grace, skill and humor they trampled over needlessly. Every time they changed Lancaster's original script they did so without tact and screwed up the rhythm of the piece
See the original. It remains a masterpiece and one of the greatest sports movies ever made. This is a cheap remake that should have never been made. So many great scripts and premises have been screwed up, why not remake those and start with JJ Abrams original screenplay of "Regarding Henry" another movie where a top notch director did not do his best work. Now that should be remade how Abrams envisioned it.
He's never written anything better, nor have most of the rest of us.