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My take: The Informant! (2009)

HD Goofnut
03-25-2010, 10:21 PM
http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/images/post/12/12213/original.pjpeg
Title: The Informant! (2009)
BD-25 Single-Layer Disc
Video: 1080p/VC-1
Audio: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (originally 1.85:1)
Subtitles: English and Spanish
Run time: 108 minutes
Studio: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment
Rating: R
Region Coding: Region Free
Equipment used for review: HP 2159m 21.5" 1080p LCD, Logitech X-540 5.1, & ASUS SBC-06D1S-U External BD Drive

Cast/Crew Info:
Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre
Lucas McHugh Carroll as Alexander Whitacre
Rusty Schwimmer as Liz Taylor
Tom Papa as Mick Andreas
Rick Overton as Terry Wilson
Melanie Lynskey as Ginger Whitacre
Thomas F. Wilson as Mark Cheviron
Scott Bakula as Brian Shepard
Joel McHale as FBI Special Agent Bob Herndon
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

My take: (the breakdown)

Now I went into this film expecting a dry historical comedy and that's exactly what I got. The Informant! centers on a man named Mark Whitacre and his role as VP of Production and a lysine company known as ADM. When Mark discovers that the several members of the company are participating in worldly price fixing he decides to go to the FBI to help them build a case against these men. Now think about it, Mark is making $350,000 a year, has a great wife, and three good kids, so why would he want to mess that up? He decides to spend 2.5 years of his gathering audio tapes of the back room deals between ADM and other companies that have lysine based products from 1991-1995. The problem is that no one knows when Mark is telling the truth and when he is lying. This one is certainly worth a rental and some may even like it enough to purchase it. Due to language this one is not for children.

As you can see from my screen captures below this film looks like it was made during the early 90s. The entire presentation has a hazy look that was actually rather distracting even though it was intentional. Contrast is also overblown to kingdom come. Each time there is a lamp or sunlight showing through a window it looks as if the heavens are opening up. Besides these two strange aesthetic choices made by the director everything else shapes up quite well. Colors are well saturated and flesh tones are accurate. Grain is rather minimal and I didn't notice and any noise or other anomalies. Other than the intentional hazing fine detail is well done, but that is of course when you can see it.

This title receives a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track, but if you have a 3.1 setup or less you're fine. Nothing makes it to the surround channels at all except for some brief spouts of the musical score. There are no discrete or any other effects to speak of in the surround channels. Dialogue is the main component to this mix and it is usually well prioritized, but can be hard to hear during some of the soft spoken scenes. Your sub doesn't really have anything to do so you'll be discouraged if you expect some loud bangs.

We get two extra features with this Blu-ray and only two. The first is an audio commentary with Soderbergh and the second is a six minute compilation of four deleted scenes presented in 1080. The scenes were deleted for good reason and the commentary is decent.

Movie: 6.5/10
VQ: 7.5/10
AQ: 7.5/10
Supplements: 1.5/10
Final word: Worth A Rental

The screen captures below have a resolution of 1024 x 576 to keep the page from being distorted and to help with load times. As always thanks for reading folks.
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a321/sardaukar1/PDVD_039.png
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a321/sardaukar1/PDVD_040.png
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a321/sardaukar1/PDVD_041.png

OCgamer
03-26-2010, 08:30 AM
What a crappy story! I suggest passing the main character is a nut. Nothing in the story worth the time.

tvine2000
03-26-2010, 03:22 PM
i know directors have in mind a look of the film before they start shooting,but whats the point with this movie. what ever happened to a great story.it seems to me directors are going way out of there way these days, to get a look, and forget theres a story to be told!

Nevada_MO_Guy
03-26-2010, 06:52 PM
What a crappy story!
whats the point with this movie.
You guys do know it is based on a true (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Whitacre) story?

http://www.life.com/static/ugc/712/ugc1019712/watermarkcomp.jpg
Life.com Linky (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.life.com/static/ugc/712/ugc1019712/watermarkcomp.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.life.com/image/ugc1019712/in-gallery/36832&usg=__RjDX9ejEHc8FTRHDVWc6H9ldWDk=&h=594&w=468&sz=31&hl=en&start=26&sig2=P1nonWof4aYLnRwMVULUzA&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=SlH5RnthcRK4ZM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=106&prev=/images%3Fq%3DMark%2BWhitacre%26start%3D18%26um%3D1 %26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rlz%3D1G1TSNB_ENUS358%26ndsp %3D18%26tbs%3Disch:1&ei=VlatS_exHI2QNumD8LgP)

This movie is on my "to checkout list", thanks Goof for the review. I might skip the bluray and just go DVD on this one, because of the hazy look.

marcallo
03-27-2010, 10:18 PM
Loosely based on a true story. I find it most impressive that Matt Damon gained like 30 pounds to do the role. And then lost it all in a few months to go do his next movie. I wish I could do that geez...

GLOW
03-30-2010, 03:04 PM
The way this movie was presented/told/advertised was stupid, the tone was just OFF. Soderbergh can't make a comedy to save his life either, he needs to stick to drama. It's a shame, he's a talented filmmaker but this movie just made me shake my head. When the most sympathetic characters in a movie are FBI agents, there is probably something wrong. (I realize this was the point but.....)

PFC5
04-02-2010, 09:43 PM
Loosely based on a true story. I find it most impressive that Matt Damon gained like 30 pounds to do the role. And then lost it all in a few months to go do his next movie. I wish I could do that geez...

Well I am sure you or anyone could drop weight much quicker if they had a personal trainer and that is ALL they had to do for a couple months. ;)

We all have that pesky thing called work taking up way too much of our time. :lol:

JMS
04-06-2010, 03:15 PM
Loosely based on a true story. I find it most impressive that Matt Damon gained like 30 pounds to do the role. And then lost it all in a few months to go do his next movie. I wish I could do that geez...
Well I am sure you or anyone could drop weight much quicker if they had a personal trainer and that is ALL they had to do for a couple months. ;)

We all have that pesky thing called work taking up way too much of our time. :lol:
Took the words right out of my mouth PFC5.

I just couldn't connect with this movie for some reason. Maybe it's because the movie wanted to be a caper flick one minute, and a Coen Bros-style dark comedy the next -- and was not doing a very good job at either.

marcallo
04-08-2010, 01:21 PM
So I just watched this movie. I don't want to spoil anything. So only read this if you have seen it and respond in a spoiler please.

Maybe the real life version of the story is significantly different. I wonder though. The guy has this scam going since 1992. He's able to take in 11 million or so dollars. Why turn evidence then? He had no reason to. I realize he was an ill man and a pathological liar, but the part where he starts spilling his guts to the feds seems completely out of character. Why was an obviously bad man trying to do good?

HD Goofnut
04-08-2010, 02:41 PM
So I just watched this movie. I don't want to spoil anything. So only read this if you have seen it and respond in a spoiler please.

Maybe the real life version of the story is significantly different. I wonder though. The guy has this scam going since 1992. He's able to take in 11 million or so dollars. Why turn evidence then? He had no reason to. I realize he was an ill man and a pathological liar, but the part where he starts spilling his guts to the feds seems completely out of character. Why was an obviously bad man trying to do good?

You got me on that one. It's probably one of the reasons I didn't think this movie was worth watching more than once.

JMS
04-09-2010, 06:54 AM
You guys do know it is based on a true (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Whitacre) story?

http://www.life.com/static/ugc/712/ugc1019712/watermarkcomp.jpg
Life.com Linky (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.life.com/static/ugc/712/ugc1019712/watermarkcomp.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.life.com/image/ugc1019712/in-gallery/36832&usg=__RjDX9ejEHc8FTRHDVWc6H9ldWDk=&h=594&w=468&sz=31&hl=en&start=26&sig2=P1nonWof4aYLnRwMVULUzA&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=SlH5RnthcRK4ZM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=106&prev=/images%3Fq%3DMark%2BWhitacre%26start%3D18%26um%3D1 %26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rlz%3D1G1TSNB_ENUS358%26ndsp %3D18%26tbs%3Disch:1&ei=VlatS_exHI2QNumD8LgP)

This movie is on my "to checkout list", thanks Goof for the review. I might skip the bluray and just go DVD on this one, because of the hazy look.

Is this guy Russell Crowe's brother?

marcallo
04-09-2010, 07:49 AM
I think my wife was STILL mad at me this morning for making her watch this movie yesterday. LOL I say it's worth a shot, but I like dry dark humor. His inner monologues throughout the whole thing were most amusing to me. Especially in light of the "twist" ending. I still wish I understood his motivations more. Ahh well, chalk it up to a bad script I guess.

Nevada_MO_Guy
04-09-2010, 08:27 AM
Maybe the real life version of the story is significantly different. I wonder though. The guy has this scam going since 1992. He's able to take in 11 million or so dollars. Why turn evidence then? He had no reason to. I realize he was an ill man and a pathological liar, but the part where he starts spilling his guts to the feds seems completely out of character. Why was an obviously bad man trying to do good?
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Whitacre) it was the wifey. :)
It was initially Whitacre's wife who forced Whitacre to become a whistleblower in 1992 by threatening to go to the FBI herself if he would not have informed the authorities of ADM's illegal price-fixing activities.

marcallo
04-09-2010, 08:41 AM
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Whitacre) it was the wifey. :)

You know what, they did show that at the beginning, but he could have let it die. Always the damn wife. LOL

sunney
04-15-2010, 09:32 PM
The movie is not as corky as the commercials seem. It gets dark and darker (and funnier) as the movie moves. It's like eating salt and sweets.. a feeling of apathy and love builds for the main character.

bra1234
04-17-2010, 09:12 AM
Well;

Having lived in Decatur Illinois for the past 20 years this was one of the city's biggest black eyes at the time not withstanding the Staley's Lockout Caterpillar strikes and firestone debacle (can anyone say ford explorer)

Whitacre basically was being interviewed for stealing from the company, and when it looked like he was going to be able to get away with it his wife freaked out and told him he either told on the company or she would.

Government promised to not hammer him for stealing from the company if he turned informant (when some of the original interviews were played on the news he actually thought he would be taking over ADM when this all went down).....Well the government lied and put him in prison for a little tour of duty in minnimum security prison....An ADM exec went to prison and the company paid a 100 million dollar fine (the largest levied at the time)

At the stockholders meeting after this whole incident hit the fan raw numbers showed that gross revenues (not net) for that year were 16 billion dollars...Most of the people here loved the fact they actually did filming here but everyone agrees it's a pretty bad movie....