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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 75:57)
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    Hebrew, English - Hearing Impaired
  • Featurette

The Insider

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 152 mins . M15+ . PAL


When 60 minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) is given some interesting information about a tobacco company deceiving the public, his instincts make him pursue the story. He needs to find someone to verify the documents he has obtained and after some research he finds someone. Senior chemist Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe) has just been sacked and although there appears to be no legitimate reason, his loyalty to his confidentiality agreement is strong. Bergman asks Wigand to look over the documents that have come into his possession and Wigand agrees, maintaining he will not discuss any aspects not covered in the documentation due to his commitment to uphold his agreement with his former employees.

When his former employees learn of his talking to 60 Minutes, Wigand is summoned to the tobacco company and threatened to sign an even more restrictive contract. Wigand tries to convince them that he had no intention of telling any secrets and is upset at their persistence, however they are adamant that he signs. What follows is the story of Jeffrey Wigand the whistle blower and the obstacles raised by the big tobacco companies to stop him telling the world the truth.

"I told the truth!"

The Insider is a powerful film and that it is based on true events makes it even more so. It is a film that relies heavily on the performances of its cast and they shine here. Russell Crowe received an Oscar nomination for his role in this film, however the performance of Pacino is of his usual standard and surely warranted a similar accolade. The entire cast is impressive, especially Christopher Plummer as reporter Mike Wallace and, with terrific direction from Michael Mann, the end result is a quality film. With a long running time of over two and a half hours it is never boring and this stellar cast and an interesting script keep the viewer both entertained and intrigued throughout. You may come away hating tobacco companies or even hating whistle blowers, either way you will come away feeling that you have seen an impressive film.


Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and 16:9 enhanced, this transfer is superb. Sharpness is spot on and detail is excellent. Colours are also exceptional with no problems of over saturation. Edge enhancement, grain and aliasing are all welcome absentees and the layer change located at 75:57 is well placed between scenes, causing no disruption.


Audio comes in the single Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix and is of a similar quality to the video transfer. Dialogue is always clear and sound in general is well balanced. All speakers are used effectively, although being a dialogue driven film the majority of sound is kept across the front channels, with the rears being used mainly for music ambience and occasional directional effect. There are no problems with synch and the subwoofer is not bounced around the room, but is used effectively for ambience.


Sadly the only extra supplied with this release is a production featurette which is a collection of interviews along with footage from the film. It has a running time of 7:06 and although it is quite interesting, it comes across more as a promotional tool.


Overall this is an excellent drama with superb performances from its leading cast members. The script is well written and it is beautifully shot, all delivered well with an excellent video and audio transfer. The only disappointment here is the lack of extras, making this more a rental release than a retail one. Whichever you decide to do, rent or buy, this is a film that is worth seeing.

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      And I quote...
    "The coupling of Russell Crowe and Al Pacino is superb in this gripping drama."
    - Adrian Turvey
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS305
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-29S55AT 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DE685
    • Speakers:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SAVE815ED
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