Movie Review: Inside Man; Heist TV Show & Ocean’s 13

For the wife’s birthday, went to see Inside Man with Clive Owen, Denzel Washington and Jodi Foster. As you can tell from my earlier post about heist movies, I LOVE this sub-genre. Heist movies, for the most part are so much fun. I love seeing new entries. I was underwhelmed recently by the movie Firewall with Harrison Ford. A limp, home/invasion, bank heist movie that really went nowhere for me. Paul Bettany as the robber was the only thing to save the movie. Harrison Ford continues on his rapid decent into mediocrity. But I digress. Inside Man is everything I ever wanted. Cool, smart mastermind, clever plan and interesting backstory. There is a lot going on, but it’s unbelievable how Clive Owen’s character is one step ahead of the police. The backstory and the ending are very cool and interesting also.

The performances also add to the wonderful script. Clive Owen is perfect as Dalton, the mastermind behind the bank robbery. He continues to impress me with his roles. Jodie Foster is great as usual with the hauty, smugness of her character Madeline, someone used to getting things done…discreetly. Denzel disappoints a little bit, but I fully confess to not really being a fan of him anyway. His character complements Owens’ Dalton nicely.

I was very suprised this is a Spke Lee movie. There’s lots of smart humor and really good action in this script. The ads and trailers I’ve seen do not play up the fact that he directed it, nor does it seem like his usual fair (of which I am also not really a fan). If this is how Spike can perform when not preaching about the ghetto, then consider me interested from now on. This movie had me entertained and out-guessed from the beginning and I applaud Spike and the other actors for finally putting a good movie out in a so far slow movie season.

Speaking of the heist sub-genre of movies, Steph and I watched the TV show Heist on NBC Sunday night (I had TiVo’d it. It actually aired last Wednesday).

It wasn’t bad. It had elements of Ocean’s 11 mixed with Out of Sight. Some of the dialogue I thought was trying too hard. The two main characters, Mickey and James, are having a discussion and they talk about topics no one on Earth would have regular conversations about like Mother Teresa and famous historical dates. For me, it was trying a tad too hard to be smart. You can have witty banter without having the characters off-handedly discuss the content of Mother Teresa’s letters and the date of the last Mongol invasion. Unnecessary.

Other than that, the show was very slick and executed itself very well. The heist in this episode was just the initial job to raise some money for the big heist to be executed later. After this first heist, I am definately interested in how they pull off the next heist.

Reading reviews of this show, I saw some online criticism that the heist depicted in the episode would have had to have too many things go right to realistically pull off. I say, if you watch and enjoy heist movies, you have to realize going in that timing and execution is everything. Of course everything has to happen with an insane, supernatural sense of execution and timing, otherwise it would be boring. But that’s just me.

I was not a fan of the lead, Dougray Scott, going into this (he was originally cast to play Wolverine in X-men but had to decline when filming on Mission Impossible II ran long), but he performs admirably here. As does the rest of his team. Check out pics from this series here.
The female member of the heist team, Lola, is HOOOOOOOOOT. I’ll definately tune in (with my TiVo at least) next Wednesday to see where this goes.

I’m in a heist state of mind, so, here is some news about Ocean’s 13. Filming starts by the end of the year and all the boys are back. The girls, however, will not be returning. I say yeah! for no Julia Roberts, but NO! for Catherine Zeta-Jones. Oh well. This is one of my favorite franchises so I’ll be there regardless.

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