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Picks of the Week
Rachel's Pick: Inside Man
I decided to rewatch a lot of Denzel's movies for this episode, because most of his offering from the past 10 years I had only bothered with once, including Inside Man. I liked it after seeing it in the theater, but I was on a Clive Owen kick at the time and all but forgotten about Denzel in it. I'm glad I revisited it, because this is certainly one of his better performances in the last decade. As a hostage negotiator at a bank heist, Denzel brings a lot of surprising one-liner humor and wit to his role. Though Clive Owen's motivation for the heist is the main focus, the movie wouldn't have been nearly as good had Denzel played the lead cop as a complete straight man. There are still elements of the overall plot that are lost on me, but Denzel brings something extra that elevates it beyond a heist movie with a twist. I'm glad I gave it a second viewing to rediscover that.
Jess' Pick: Unstoppable
I was shocked at the simplicity of this movie's concept - a stupid railroad worker jumps off a slow moving train to hit a switch and then can't get back on the train. The rest of the movie is about stopping an unstoppable train. This movie pretty much only has originality and good acting going for it, but it's really refreshing that it actually has all it needs. Watching Denzel and Chris Pine eventually come to the rescue was exciting and nail-biting. Rosario Dawson is in charge of the signaling and does a good job making sure this movie doesn't go over the top with the craziness. She's pretty sure they can fix the problem before it gets out of control, which of course it does. But at a good pace. This movie doesn't have any right to be any good, but it's great. And for a Tony Scott film, it's remarkably short, under 100 minutes!