I just bought this on DVD last week, and was overall impressed with it. I'm somewhat biased since Michael Mann is one of my all-time favorite directors (pushing that bias somewhat, I hope hope hope the CC puts out a SE of The Insider soon). Other than some of the things that date the film visually, I found it to be effective all the way to the bloody climax.
Mann is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time as well. I just love his work -- esp. his urban crime thrillers.
I think that Thief
is an interesting film in his body of work in that its the purest form of his archetypal protagonist: the loner who is also a consummate professional and tries to achieve his dream of a family and a normal life but is destined to see it slip through his fingers because it causes him to betray who he is. Great film.
James Caan is excellent and brings his customary intensity to the role... arguably his last greatest one to date. James Belushi is quite good too -- who woulda thunk? Thief
were definitely his finest moments.
I too would love it if Criterion would do an SE of The Insider
. It's my favorite Mann film to date. I mean, it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility -- they do have a relationship with Buena Vista. Someone needs to plant the idea in Mann's ear seeing as how he's been revisiting his movies on DVD with special editions (I quite enjoyed the one for Heat
). Just imagine the possibilites... Mann commentary, a Pacino-Crowe track and a Wigand-Bergman track... plus, the 60 Minutes Wigand interview... ah, the possibilities!