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The Insider Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), French & Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 157 Mins.
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 19, 2013
  • List Price: $20

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Based on true events, The Insider is the riveting 1999 corporate thriller/docudrama from director Michael Mann (Manhunter) that tells the tale of tobacco industry whistleblower Jeff Wigand (Jeffrey Wigand). Shortly after being fired by tobacco company Brown and Williamson, Wigand, a research chemist, would come into contact with 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino). Bergman, working on an investigative report about people starting fires falling asleep smoking, would hire Wigand as a consultant to decode dense tobacco technical studies, but his keen sense as a newsman sniffs out a bigger story. Soon Wigand finds himself at the center of a legal storm, going against his nondisclosure agreement, and agreeing to do an interview disclosing to 60-minutes and Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) that the big seven tobacco companies knew about nicotine’s addictiveness but covered it up. CBS and Wigand then find themselves embroiled in a battle against big tobacco, forced to pull the interview before it even aired, Wigand facing the biggest pressures of them all – possibly losing his family, and his entire career. The Insider is a gutsy and powerful film that combines several topics. It covers the legal issues of freedom of the press, corporate ethics and personal scruples. It all unfolds like a thriller and docudrama with allusions to the classic Broadcast News updated to the late90s aesthetic. Pacino puts on a powerful, charismatic performance as the crusading newsman; edgy, wily, and ballsy. Crowe, meanwhile, is wonderfully out of character, intelligent, quirky, broken, and stressed. The film is wrapped in the perfect sheen that only Michael Mann could provide.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The 35mm source from the Kodak Vision 250D 5246 and Vision 500T 5279 film stocks looks fantastic in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Touchstone. Contrast is excellent while black levels are exceptionally deep. There are only some very slight issues with crush in some of the darker colors, but it doesn’t overtly harm the detail in any way. Grain levels are fine and textured with strong amounts of details on close-ups.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is very subtle. The panning across the front is effective and dialogue, limited to the center channel, is full and clear. The score is nicely balanced into the mix, but the overall the sound is dry with very subtle ambience and atmospherics in the surrounds.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

This is a barebones release with only the original promotional production featurette and theatrical trailer.

  • Production Featurette (1.33:1; SD; 00:07:05)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; SD)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

An all-out winner of a film about the events that broke the tobacco industry scandal of the ’90s, The Insider is great filmmaking. Closing out its decade of ’90s paranoia with a quintessential film about corporate power, greed, and problems with ethics in the media, this is one for the ages. It comes to Blu-ray with a transfer for the ages as well, belying its age.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
The Insider - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase The Insider on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B00AO686L0[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
The Insider - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase The Insider on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]


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