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Guest Movie Review: Insomnia

Lobo Note: As promised, I took this years' Oscar e-ballot contest winning couple (the Minks) to the movie of their choice and bought them beverages and snacks. In return, they got to write a guest review. These two winners also won last years Oscar contest - unprecedented. Here is the long awaited review...enjoy!

Story: This movie was a remake of a Norwegian film that starred a bunch a people with umlauts in their names. The American version starred three academy award winners (Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank.)

The movie is set in Alaska where during the time of year when the sun is shining pretty much the whole day. A murder takes place and Pacino, who's a hotshot detective from L.A., is sent up there to assist in the case. However, he and his partner are currently being investigated by the internal affairs department for planting evidence or manufacturing evidence or some cop-style malfeasance. His partner is about to roll on the whole crew and Pacino is trying to keep him from doing it. During that process, they are both sent to Alaska. They set a trap for the killer and as he shows up a chase ensues. But during the chase, the killer gets

lost in a fog and Pacino accidentally(?) shoots his partner. The killer (Williams) witnesses the whole thing and as his partner is lying in Pacino's dying arms he accuses him of shooting him on purpose and then dies. Williams now uses this as leverage against the detective and they develop this twisted, codependent relationship by keeping each other's secrets. Hilary Swank is a young police officer in Alaska that knows all of Pacino's work and idolizes him. She helps with the

investigation and the killer is finally identified. But Pacino is forced to play both sides. All the while, he is unable to sleep due to his torment and the lack of

darkness...hence, Insomnia. His sleep deprivation finally makes him a little crazy. We don't want to ruin the rest, but we suggest seeing the Norwegian version as

it has to be better than this one.

Acting: Top notch cast. But Williams was just a wuss and we wanted to see him as a Lector-like psycho. Pacino was his usual great Pacino, but you could take a conglomerate of all his cop roles and roll them up in one, keep them awake for a week and presto...Insomnia. Hilary Swank was good but we still couldn't figure out why she dumped Steve Sanders. Seriously, Sanders has all this money, and she's a single mom. Puh-leze.

Critters: Maybe a caribou or two. Wait a minute that was the opening scene of Northern Exposure. Scratch that.

Food: Who can eat when you can't sleep.

Visual Art: Great scenery.

Blatant product placement: None.

Soundtrack: Haunting.

Opening tiles: Hitchcocky.

Theater Audience: On a beautiful 80 degree Northern California day, it was sparse at best.

Sappy factor: Nil

Quirky meter: Double nil.

Squirm scale: Watching Pacino toss and turn made you a little uneasy.

Predictability level: Very high.

Tissue usage: Like last year (remember, we won last year, too) only for our buttery fingers.

Oscar worthy: Oscar the grouch maybe.

Nit picking: To many nits to pick.

Big screen or rental: Cable.

Length: Under the two-hour rule, but not far enough under.

Mink Squeals: 4