At any price, it's a steal...

Sleep eludes me once again. I’m watching 1959’s ‘Anatomy of a Murder’. It’s a smart and sometimes funny movie that was released the year I was born. I always like using my birth year as a point of reference. Had my mother seen a particular movie or heard a particular song while she was carrying me?

I saw another smart and funny movie earlier this evening with my wife. It’s called ‘The Inside Man’ and one of the stars was the man who everyone (including myself) thinks would’ve made a dandy James Bond, Clive Owen. From the first time I saw him, in 1998’s The Croupier, I knew Owen was a pip. The guy oozes charisma and sex appeal like a sieve, even in black and white, like last year’s Sin City.

I knew from the very first preview that I wanted/needed to see The Inside Man. Denzel Washington, another featured player, never fails to deliver, and Jodie Foster looked interesting. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Spike Lee’s movies, but then again I haven’t seen too many of them.

The driving force for my wanting to see The Inside Man was that it was a heist flick. Not being a career criminal myself, it’s fun to live vicariously through those I see on television and the movies. (I’ve got high hopes for Andre Braugher’s new series ‘Thief’) This weekend was the first chance we had to go to the movies. Both Valarie and I want to see ‘V for Vendetta’ but I’ve been doing my best to keep a blind eye to reviews and television interviews about The Inside Man because I wanted to know as little as possible.

I had a funny kind of feeling that The Inside Man would be a puzzler that would have me guessing from frame one, which turned out to be the case, and if I’d seen Denzel Washington on Jay Leno and he showed a clip of him hanging to the roof of a runaway bulldozer, I knew the whole time I was in the theater I’d be setting there waiting for the bulldozer scene.

Clive Owen owns the movie from start to finish. Denzel Washington plays his role with an easy comfort, and Christopher Plummer turns in a great performance. Jodie Foster was good, but I’m still recovering from the sting of having recently seen Flightplan. Plus, I’m always nervous that Foster is going to take her clothes off. All told I don’t she’s appeared naked all that many of her films, but I think I’ve seen them all. I don’t think that Jodie Foster is an ugly woman, not by any stretch, but there’s this element of familiarity with her, so I always feel like I’m seeing my sister or cousin naked.

The Inside Man was not what I was expecting but everything I want in a movie, with a bare minimum of credibility gaps. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys an intelligent heist flick.

Prior to the movie I saw the first preview for The DaVinci Code that made me interested in the movie. I thought the book was pretty damn silly, but it could make for a fun thriller. Director Ron Howard has managed to polish a few turds into gems, so time will tell.

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