Sunday, January 19, 2020     Volume: 20, Issue: 46
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: MAGIC FOR HUMANS
BINGEABLE: NATHAN FOR YOU
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BOMBSHELL
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CATS
DARK WATERS
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOLITTLE
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
FROZEN II
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HAEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
KNIVES OUT
LIKE A BOSS
LITTLE WOMEN
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RICHARD JEWELL
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
SPIES IN DISGUISE
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE CURRENT WAR: DIRECTOR’S CUT
THE GRUDGE
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
UNDERWATER
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES

UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA


Where is it playing?: Blu-ray, DVD, Amazon Prime, iTunes

What's it rated?: R

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Two LAPD homicide detectives are dispatched to Nightmute, a small fishing town in Alaska, to assist with an ongoing murder investigation. One half of the duo, Detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino), looks exhausted from the moment we meet him. We soon come to realize he’s become drained due to a recent scuffle with internal affairs. Perhaps an escape from the hustle and bustle of LA will do him some good?

“I think you’ll find things are a lot more straightforward here,” Nightmute’s police chief, Charlie Nyback (Paul Dooley), assures Dormer.

“Good guys, bad guys, and a lot less public relations. ... Except for this,” Nyback says as he hands a case file to Dormer. Inside the folder are photos of a 17-year-old girl’s rotting corpse. This is Kay Connell, whose body was found wrapped up in garbage bags at the town’s dump. Dormer’s sleep deprivation is about to become a whole lot worse. And the town’s perpetual daylight isn’t going to help either, thanks to Alaska’s midnight sun (the film takes place during the summer).

This is the initial setup for Insomnia (2002), director Christopher Nolan’s (Memento, The Dark Knight) American remake of the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name. I’ve seen both, but the remake much more recently, and if I’m being honest, much more frequently over the years. What keeps bringing me back? Pacino vs. Robin Williams. It’s that simple. It’s the celebrity showdown I never guessed I would have needed in my life. How Nolan ever thought that pitting Scarface against Mrs. Doubtfire was a great idea must have been divine intervention.

Without giving away too much of the mystery that unfolds, Williams plays Walter Finch, a local author who becomes a suspect in the case due to his “mentorship” with the deceased, who aspired to be a writer someday. Dormer is pretty much convinced Finch is the killer from the get-go, but a certain event takes place early on in the film that forces Dormer to tread lightly, as Finch is the sole witness to said event. In other words, Genie’s got some dirty deets on Michael Corleone.

The cat-and-mouse relationship between Pacino and Williams is at the heart of Insomnia, but the film’s other body parts are nearly just as meaty. Hilary Swank gives a stellar supporting performance as Nightmute detective Ellie Burr, as does Maura Tierney as a hotel owner who Dormer confides in one night, his seventh without sleeping a wink. Add to the mix an unsettling but beautiful score, cold, calculated direction, and an eerie, morbid atmosphere ironically drenched in sunshine, and you’ve got Insomnia. (118 min.) 

Caleb Wiseblood




Weekly Poll
How do you feel about the proposed Strauss Wind Energy Project near Lompoc?

It'll kill way too many birds.
The county needs to significantly increase its renewable energy production.
I'm concerned about the birds, but climate change will kill a lot more.
It doesn't matter. This project will fizzle out just like the last one.

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