The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
Message
Author
User avatar
kaujot
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 6:28 pm
Location: Austin
Contact:

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#51 Post by kaujot » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:02 am

There will be a special circle in hell reserved for Warner's.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#52 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:35 am

Jeff wrote:As part of Warner's ongoing effort to get Domino to go Blu, the Soderbergh commentary will be a Blu-ray exclusive.
They're gonna start calling my home next, I hope

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#53 Post by knives » Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:07 am

I curse Warners with diabetes.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#54 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:49 pm

Good thing I was already planning on going Blu. ONE OF US, ONE OF US, ONE OF US

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#55 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:20 am

This is not a new thing, the commentary on Ocean's Thirteen was a Blu-Ray exclusive a couple of years ago.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#56 Post by domino harvey » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:27 pm

Yeah, but no one cares about Ocean's Thirteen, so this is the first time it became An Issue

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#57 Post by swo17 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:33 pm

I've heard the Blu-ray of The Informant! will also exclusively have a much better looking version of the movie on it than the DVD. Those bastards!

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#58 Post by domino harvey » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:44 pm

I can't tell if you're joking, but the recent complete shit standard-def releases like Duplicity are what told me I had to upgrade, if just for newer films. It's not fair, but that's life

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#59 Post by swo17 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:15 pm

I was just referring to the normal difference between DVD and BD, though I have noticed what you mention on some DVDs, and I wouldn't put it past them.

unclehulot
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:09 pm
Location: here and there

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#60 Post by unclehulot » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:41 am

Ironically, the copy of the BluRay that I got as a rental from Netflix (with a big "rental" plastered on the disc) is a stripped down movie only version, which doesn't even include the commentary....so the commentary turns out to be VERY exclusive!

User avatar
HistoryProf
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:48 am
Location: KCK

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#61 Post by HistoryProf » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:19 am

Just thought i'd add a vote of confidence for this. I absolutely loved it - and wasn't really expecting to not knowing much going in. I'm not a big Soderbergh fan at all, but this was a fantastic film. Smart, funny, and just captivating from start to finish. I agree with all the accolades above, and curse all the criticisms :)

User avatar
lacritfan
Life is one big kevyip
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#62 Post by lacritfan » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:47 pm

unclehulot wrote:Ironically, the copy of the BluRay that I got as a rental from Netflix (with a big "rental" plastered on the disc) is a stripped down movie only version, which doesn't even include the commentary....so the commentary turns out to be VERY exclusive!
My Netflix Blu rental copy didn't even have a chapters page. I was re-watching it and wanted to jump to a scene and had to hit the Next button 20 times. Also couldn't skip past the 10 trailers.

Loved the film though. For me somehow the color palette evoked corn-lysine-high fructose and the artificial-ness of the whole thing. Couldn't help but imagine Matt Damon using William H Macy as an inspiration.

HarryLong
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:39 pm
Location: Lebanon, PA

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#63 Post by HarryLong » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:52 am

Also couldn't skip past the 10 trailers.
I wonder if this isn't going to become more & more the case. When I rented that most recent Harry Potter film there was no way to get past the endless promos for HP tie-in crap. The FF button did not work; the Next button did not work; the DVD Menu button did not work. All just prompted that little "no entry" thingie. I have since encountered other DVDs where the FF and Next buttons won't get you through the commcials, but at least the DVD Menu button did.

User avatar
aox
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:02 pm
Location: nYc

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#64 Post by aox » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:50 am

domino harvey wrote:I can't tell if you're joking, but the recent complete shit standard-def releases like Duplicity are what told me I had to upgrade, if just for newer films. It's not fair, but that's life
That interesting. I never saw the SD release of it, but apparently The Dark Knight had similar issues. I read in numerous articles that the film looked awful on the SD, while being practically reference quality in Blu. Was that deliberate? I don't know. And without diving into conspiracy theories, I wouldn't put it past Warner either.

User avatar
cdnchris
Site Admin
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#65 Post by cdnchris » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:55 am

I must also throw in my praise for this film. I blind bought it, something I don't do very often anymore, I've already watched it a few times, and I think it's one of the best films from last year. I loved every aspect of it, the look, the colour, even the music, and found the film fairly playful, but it didn't make light of Whitacre's issues. And how Damon wasn't nominated for this is beyond me. Though I'm sure Bridges would have still won I feel Damon could have been a serious contender if he had been nominated for this film instead.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#66 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:08 am

I really feel that a la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Zodiac, etc... this is going to go down as one of those Oscar no-shows that ends up being remembered as one of the best films of the year it was released. I certainly consider it to be the most underrated film of 2009.

User avatar
Jeff
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#67 Post by Jeff » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:27 am

mfunk9786 wrote:I really feel that a la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Zodiac, etc... this is going to go down as one of those Oscar no-shows that ends up being remembered as one of the best films of the year it was released. I certainly consider it to be the most underrated film of 2009.
I love Eternal Sunshine and Zodiac, and while I wouldn't put The Informant anywhere up near the same best-of-decade stratosphere that I'd put those two, I liked it a lot, and definitely think will age well and gain something of a following. Eternal Sunshine didn't exactly get skunked at the Oscars like the others. It won best original screenplay and Winslet was nominated for Best Actress.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#68 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:59 am

Giving a visually innovative film like that the shaft in every category but Screenplay was ridiculous. Of course, all these films have an earlier-in-the-year release date in common, which probably contributes to their being ignored. But this sort of thing seems to have been happening a lot lately.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#69 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:29 pm

I've rewatched this old favorite a few times in the last couple of months, trying to organize my thoughts away from simply drowning in pleasure at this creative exhibition of the farcical shades in psychosocial engagement that Soderbergh projects onto the screen. I've got an idea of why it hits me so hard, drawing upon the Coen brothers' comprehension of social life as a omnipresent philosophical joke, but one that includes extra attention to how psychology is the secret ingredient that befuddles us repetitively as we try to match our skills with others in a sometimes impossible fusion of identities, which compromises actions toward unexpected consequences.

Soderbergh exposes the absurdity of narcissistic human behavior through gentle touch and whimsical humor. The golden color palette dresses this up as the warm expression of mood that it is, and ironically contrasts with the unsuspecting terror of Mark’s manipulative lies and the monotonously sterile, banal corporate ethics content. How all the characters respond to Mark’s unreadable focal point reveals the insanity of the act of 'trusting' in the first place, flipping the structure of corporate-political drama-thrillers on its head in that it’s not the fleshed-out human protagonist who must draw all our empathy as he traverses cold-hearted systems including law enforcement, but the opposite, where Mark is the enigma of pathological liar while the background characters remain doe-eyed and bewildered, and in the process they are the ones that we actually search for to attach our sympathies to.

That is, if they were more developed. Instead of providing an audience outlet, Soderbergh chooses a wobbly objective branch for us to settle on and watch the outrageous antics of human beings trying to play catch-up with each other and themselves, drenching us in a flood of inane destabilization that has never felt so comfortable. Most of us have met someone like Mark Whitacre before in our lives; and speaking for myself, while it’s a rare occurrence, there is nothing more frightening than forging a relationship with this personality disorder type only to eventually realize the trail of dishonesty they have consequenced others with, and even worse, believed their own lies as they've gone along even til the bitter end. It’s as unfunny as any human portrait can be, but Soderbergh actually takes this authentic social disease and expands it to demonstrate the irrationality of socialization and the fragility of trust itself - a concept that we place all of our weight upon when hiring, sharing, or welcoming another unknowable human being into our lives; yet validating their necessities in creating a functional milieu. It’s not didactic but instead a presentation of existential absurdism, and in the process Soderbergh humanizes all parties, including Mark, for being flawed and yet apparently considerate. Even Mark half-believes he is helping and sympathetic, hiding behind thick defense mechanisms in denial, suppression, and rationalization, which might be sad or maddening in another movie but here fits in the grey space of subjective reality bleeding into others’ lives, unapologetically because he doesn’t know what to apologize for.

This may be my favorite Soderbergh film (certainly his best comedy), for so many reasons, like its wild structure that uses blocking applied to narrative, the wittiest of dry humor, and moody shifts that manifest as Mark’s own bipolar symptoms and shake the audience up the same way as anyone whose sat in the room trying to consult with a person with a narcissistic personality only to emerge from the meeting dazed and confused, while somehow staying grounded to a playful tone. And yet it’s Soderbergh’s ability to find the existential joke of life amidst all the chaos that sells this home. Maybe we should all stop taking life so seriously, or simply just accept that there are two completely polarized ways to look at any situation, no matter how serious it appears to be. The situation is made out to be ridiculous but this isn’t a condescension that teases its characters (as the Coens have been accused of, and can sometimes act in accordance with) as much as an evenly distributed cocktail of flaws and affirmations that doesn’t discriminate against any one person and instead produces irony upon irony, proposing that these are the layers of fabric that comprise our realities. It’s brilliant, and another film that can be read as oddly humanistic, or at least unselectively compassionate by embracing the broad punchline that damns nor saves anyone from the wrath of the limited positions we are in, unless of course we recognize and embrace the gag ourselves. Ah, the power of perspective: Soderbergh's specialty, never expressed better than here.

Aside from all that analysis though, has there ever been a more wonderful exploitation of the ridiculousness of the human mind than Damon’s nonsensical internal monologue?

nitin
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:49 am

Re: The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

#70 Post by nitin » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:31 am

Makes a great double bill with Burn After Reading IMHO.

Post Reply