Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Spike Lee's INSIDE MAN

I was hoping for more. The suspense in this film is a bit tepid despite great performances by all the actors. It could have been a much tighter, smaller, maybe even black and white film. Instead it's a big production with excessive visuals that ends up causing the viewer to ask, "Is that all there is?" But there's not much there, here.

Look, I knew I was going to see the film no matter what. It's got Jodie Foster in it. I'll watch her in anything.  Denzel Washington is the main man, and he's always fun to watch. But Clive Owen spends 90% of the time behind a mask, and Willem Dafoe is totally wasted. Christopher Plummer adds a major touch of class, but by half the way through we know that Things Are Not As They Seem and the film devolves into a politically charged set of undercurrents that just are not as dramatically engaging as they might have been had they been handled differently.

I was immensely pleased to hear the song "Chaiya Chaiya" from Dil Se during the beginning credits on a big theater sound system. (Click here for a possible web version of the Dil Se performance on YouTube.) The music conjured in my mind images of Dil Se's fantastic musical production number as the opening credits of Inside Man give us a tour from Brooklyn into Manhattan. At the end credits we get a reprise of Chaiya Chaiya but, unfortunately, it's a mix with a superfluous rap segment overdubbed in parts. Sacrilege!



David Cronenberg’s SPIDER

David Cronenberg’s SPIDER

Phil Morrison's JUNEBUG