Movie Details: View Here
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital Stereo
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Run Time: 108 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
Mark Whitacre is secretly rolling tape during a meeting of corporate honchos who are illegally fixing the price of food additives. Meeting after meeting, Mark rolls tape after tape. He's sure the tapes will make him a U.S. hero. What went wrong?
What must the pitch have been like that got this film made-even with a well-respected director like Soderbergh and an A-lister like Damon: "Listen guys ... it's a true story of this bi-polar guy who tattled on his major corn company to the FBI for price-fixing ... and it's funny!" Fortunately, the pitch worked and enough people must have believed in what they heard to give the project the go-ahead, and what resulted is a very good, very entertaining, though sometimes unbalanced film that plays better on DVD than it did on the big screen.
Straight out of the park we meet Mark Whitacre (Damon) who, in the early 90s, started some covert ops working with the FBI to bring down his company (that does something with corn) for shady price-fixing. This secret spy work goes on for almost three years, and Whitacre sneaks hundreds of hours of recordings for the FBI to bring down his employers, but all is not as it seems, and he's got a few "things" going on himself. What it all comes down to is that this is a story of the reality one man creates and how he maneuvers in that reality when it falls down around him.
Matt Damon can do it all-action, drama, comedy. He manages to pull off just about all of that here in a way that would have been a challenge for other actors of his generation, and he does it almost unrecognizably. His Whitacre is the perfect combination of "normal guy" charm and sincere incredulity when he finds himself stuck in his web of crazy lies, and his inner monologues are by far the best part of the movie. The supporting cast, especially Scott Bakula as the agent trying with al his might to help the informant who turns out to have some issues, is spot on, and kudos to the set designer folks, everything looks authentic. What's missing is a consistent tone throughout. Whitacre's inner monologues are hilarious, but there should be more of them, and though Damon nails his complex character's many levels, the movie itself sometimes seems confused as to its purpose. New reveals and secrets are shocking, but they don't always get fully explained. The issue here is there's an unsure balance of genres that runs through the whole 100+ minutes, and though in some ways this underscores Mark's actual state of mind, it's still distracting.
Though the film itself is better served in the thoughtful arena of the small screen, the DVD doesn't offer anything Special in its Features, just some Deleted Scenes that, while good, aren't much of an Extras package for a release that could've really used a commentary, a background featurette-anything, really.
An interesting blend of genres that shows us a movie doesn't need to try so hard to be funny, and even with a noticeable lack of balance, it's nice to watch something that members its viewers have a brain.