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Insomnia: Wide Awake Thrills

  Crescent Blues Movie Views

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Will Dormer (Al Pacino), wide awake L.A. police detective extraordinaire, knows things about the mental workings of cold-blooded killers. But, when he goes north to Alaska to investigate the brutal murder of a young local girl, he begins to lose sleep. And small wonder --that little evidence fabrication stunt he pulled back in L.A. to get a murderous scum-bag convicted, stirred up the jackals in Internal Affairs.

Hap (Martin Donovan), Will's partner in crime-scene manipulation, wants to come clean with Internal Affairs and save what remains of his shaky career. Internal Affairs needs dirt, and they'll keep digging until they bury someone. Intimidated, Hap grows a conscience and decides to roll over on Will.

But the current murder investigation gets in the way. While pursuing the murder suspect in a blinding fog, the exhausted Will mistakenly guns down his rat fink partner. Luckily for Will, Hap spills his guts in the fog before he can spill his guts to Internal Affairs.

But how can Will divert suspicion? Where there's a Will, there's a way. So Will, the tormented crime scene expert, makes the accident look like the work of the murder suspect. Will the real scumbag please stand up and show us your badge?

Ellie (Hilary Swank), young, idealistic investigator, follows Pacino around like a puppy follows a pork chop. She feels in awe of this famous criminologist, and wants nothing more than to lap up every morsel and crumb of knowledge he makes available.

Pursuer becomes pursued when Will and the murder suspect begin their convoluted game of cat and mouse. Will Will finger the killer before Internal Affairs fingers Will? Will Ellie learn to overlook the chinks in her hero's tarnished armor? Or will Will find himself working the Canadian Rockies in hot pursuit of that dastardly villain, Snidely Whiplash?

This tense, well-developed crime drama called Insomnia will definitely keep you awake. I give it a solid "B."

Dixie Says: I stayed up all night thinking about Insomnia. Great story, fine acting, wonderful cast. This movie kept me guessing all the way to the end.

I loved Al Pacino. But did you notice his fingernails? At first they appeared dirty. Then I thought, "maybe he just needs a manicure." Finally I realized --he's growing a fungus! Pacino may be aging well, but he needs to treat those nails.

Hillary Swank, trading her bad boy image for a more feminine role, delivered a powerful, focused performance. I've never seen her act more like a woman, except, maybe that time she acted like a woman acting like a man.

The supporting cast did a great job. And Robin Williams, who normally pole-vaults over the top rung in every role he plays, actually delivered a fine performance. He didn't even chew up too much of the snow covered scenery.

I enjoyed this movie enough to buy it. (I also bought Coma, Titanic and Sleepless in Seattle.) Well, I need a nap, so I give this movie an "A" for Alaska.

Don & Dixie Mitchell

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