INSIDE MAN (2006)

dir. Spike Lee. Denzel Washington is Keith Frazier, a New York City detective, tasked as the officer in charge of a hostage situation in a large bank, negotiating with mastermind bank robber played by Clive Owen. One of my favourite heist films. I love the music in this film from frequent Spike Lee collaborator, composer and jazz musician Terence Blanchard – he also made the stirring, epic soundtracks for 25TH HOUR (2002) and BLACKKKLANSMAN (2018). Denzel Washington and his partner Chiwetel Ejiofor are excellent as the two lead detectives. I love when a police procedural contrasts the cerebral detectives, with the gung-ho uniformed officers/SWAT teams. Fantastic to see a few alumni of TV series ‘The Wire’ , especially Peter Gerety (played Judge Daniel Phelan), and James Ransone (played Ziggy Sobotka). Jodie Foster is chilling and charismatic as the amoral corporate fixer, I’d love to see her in more corporate shark roles. Spike Lee said he was inspired by Sidney Lumet’s DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975), and while it doesn’t reach the same emotional heights of that film, it’s an incredibly watchable thriller, with a delightful cast.

BLACKKKLANSMAN (2018)

dir. Spike Lee. Epic filmmaking. The story of undercover cops working together to infiltrate the KKK, the white cop in person, and the black cop on the phone would be unbelievable, if it wasn’t true. Like so much of Spike Lee’s movies, he somehow manages to craft moments of laugh out loud humor, from the most heartbreaking settings. A real ensemble cast performance. Very cool to see Isiah Whitlock Jr. channeling his earlier role in ‘The Wire’. Reminds me to rewatch Spike Lee’s MALCOLM X (1992). The ending is breathtaking.