[Marxism] Spike Lee's 'Inside Man' Spike Lee's 'Inside Man'

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 27 06:59:58 MST 2006

(Perhaps I contributed to placing this movie at Number One because
I went back Sunday night to see it for the second time. It both got
better, and I was able to see some of the flaws in it more clearly.
I may come back in a week or two to discuss what's at the political
heart of this most remarkable picture, where what you see is very
different from what you get, and that's a good thing in this case!

When I REALLY like a movie, I enjoy going back to see it again with
full knowledge of how it ended, so as to look at it from different
points of view. Again, the political underpinning of the movie is
revealed at about the half-way point. The resolution is thoroughly
satisfying. Try to get there soon. You'll be glad you did. Take my
word for it! It's unusual for me to find myself loving the first-
place film in the country. It'd be easy to complain about one or
another script flaw, but over all the execution is excellent as is
the photography and music. An outstanding entertainment as well as
having a good political line.

As yet I haven't seen "V for Vendetta", but it tall you something
about the national mood of the moment that the pictures which come
in first and second at the box office combine entertainment with a
hard political message.

Walter Lippmann

>From the Los Angeles Times
'Inside Man' steals the weekend
The Spike Lee-directed heist thriller earns about $29 million in its debut, 
while 'V' drops into second place.
By R. Kinsey Lowe
Times Staff Writer

March 27, 2006

Reflecting on the surprising strength of his new movie directed by
Spike Lee, producer Brian Grazer said Sunday morning, "I've had some
unique professional victories, and this is one of the top." "This"
was the far-better-than-expected $29-million estimated opening for
"Inside Man" - the year's second-strongest movie debut.

Universal Picture's $45-million heist thriller also marked
opening-weekend career highs for Lee and Denzel Washington and
second-best opening weekends for costars Clive Owen and Jodie Foster.

The No. 1 box-office ranking surpassed marketing prognostications
that the movie would likely pull in a figure in the teens or, at
most, the low 20s.

Given all the handwringing over the sluggish state of the box office,
Nikki Rocco, president of distribution for Universal Pictures, said
she was glad for her studio's sake and "happy for the business."

"Inside Man" appealed to a broad demographic spectrum, according to
theater exit surveys that Universal said the studio conducted in
L.A., New York, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta.

About 68% of audiences were age 30 and older, and males accounted for
54% versus 46% female. Additionally, 63% of audiences in the surveyed
locations were white, 21% African American and 10% Latino.

"Inside Man" included Lee's pointed observations about ethnicity and
society yet still represented something of an unexpected departure
for the director. It's his first genre film, and it's also the rare
time Lee did not serve as a writer on a project he directed.
("Inside" is screenwriter Russell Gewirtz's first produced script.)

For a business in which the path from development to finished film is
frequently torturous, Grazer said, this one was relatively easy. "I
had wanted to work with Spike since 'Do the Right Thing.' " As it
turned out, the two were meeting on a separate project when, at the
end of the discussion, Lee "whipped out the script for 'Inside Man'
and said, 'What about this?' It was rather theatrical. He's like
that. He had read the script independently," Grazer recalled.

Grazer expressed interest but stopped short of a firm commitment,
"and when we walked to the elevator, he turned to me, grabbed me by
the wrist, looked me in the eye, and said, 'Brian, I promise you'll
have a good time on this.' . That sealed it.

"The thing about Spike - he either discovers great people or has the
ability to attract great people," Grazer said. That quickly proved to
be true, as Washington, Owen and Foster signed on in short order.

For the year, "Inside Man" ranks just behind the $30-million opening
by Tyler Perry's "Madea's Family Reunion."

Last weekend's top movie, "V for Vendetta," took second with about
$12.3 million, declining about 52%. The total for "V" is about $46.2
million. Debuting at No. 3, the video-game thriller "Stay Alive,"
which Disney opted not to screen for critics, took in about $11.2
million. Another film withheld from critics, Lionsgate's "Larry the
Cable Guy: Health Inspector," opened at No. 7 with an estimated $7.1

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian
theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures
will be released Monday.

1. "Inside Man," $29 million.
2. "V for Vendetta," $12.3 million.
3. "Stay Alive," $11.2 million.
4. "Failure to Launch," $10.8 million.
5. "The Shaggy Dog," $9.1 million.
6. "She's the Man," $7.4 million.
7. "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector," $7.05 million.
8. "The Hills Have Eyes," $4.25 million.
9. "Eight Below," $2.7 million.
10. "16 Blocks," $2.2 million.

Copyright C 2006 Associated Press

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