The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 18, 2002 - 9
Nolan's 'Insomnia' makes for a worthy DVD
Courtesy of WarnerBros.
I can't wait for "Scooby Too." Let's hope Scrappy makes a cameo.
By Douglas Wernert
Daily Arts Writer
We're all fans of everyone's favorite
canine, Scooby Doo. Everyone, when
they were a youngster, remembers
watching the animated adventures of
Mystery Inc. and singing the infamous
theme song (Scooby Dooby Doo,
.where are you?). However, the big
screen version of "Scooby-Doo" fails
to live up to the intrigue of its two-
dimensional counterpart, and the blame
falls squarely on two factors: Bad writ-
ing and the mere fact that Freddy
Prinze Jr. is in the movie.
The plot is simple: The crime-bust-
ior will cause little children to laugh
with delight, but on the other, Fred's
speaking of Ebonics when he gets
brainwashed will cause teens to roll
their eyes in disgust (don't forget, it's
Freddy Prinze Jr. that's talking in ebon-
ics). The best and most memorable part
of the movie is the bodily-noises con-
test between Scooby and Shaggy. If
that's the best they have, they should
have stuck to animation.
As with most recent DVDs, this one
comes loaded with extras, some of
them actually worth your time. One
that many will love is the Outkast
music video for "Land of a Million
Drums," but an alternate animated
opening sequence, all
access footage of the sets
and Mystery Inc. van and
Y DOO more behind the scenes
rD documentaries are also
: **** worth checking out.
When you pop the DVD
in your computer, you
can then play some
Bros. games that will keep
your little sibling busy
By Ryan Blay
Daily TV/New Media Editor
In Christopher Nolan's remake of
"Insomnia," Detective Ellie Burr
(Hillary Swank, "Boys Don't Cry")
says, "A good cop can't sleep
because he's missing a piece of the
puzzle. And a bad cop can't sleep
because his conscience won't let
him." Burr's quip aptly sums up
L.A. Det. Will Dormer (Al Pacino,
who unquestionably deserves an
Dormer is a protypical good cop,
save for a pending investigation by
internal affairs in Los Angeles. So
he and his partner, Eckhardt (Martin
Donovan, "Malcolm X"), go to
investigate the muder of a local 17-
year-old girl in Nightmute, Alaska.
Once in Alaska, the baggy-eyed
Dormer loses sleep when the sun
refuses to stop shining. He develops
insomnia, revealed brilliantly by
slick director Nolan ("Memento")
via hallucinations and shots of
Dormer awake before the alarm
clock goes off in the morning.
As the local hotel keeper (Maura
Tierney, "News Radio") explains it,
people are either born in Nightmute
or they go there to hide. As Dormer
and Eckhardt continue the investiga-
tion began by Burr and the other
local detectives, the two partners
have a falling out over the troubles
in Los Angeles. Soon after, while
chasing down a suspect in the mur-
der, Dormer shoots his partner in
the bright, hilly and snowy town.
Was it on purpose?
Pacino is simply brilliant at por-
traying the methodical but troubled
detective, one who inspired Burr
through his casework. Dormer is a
complex character, pushing Burr to
investigate the shooting of Eckhardt
while keeping secrets about the
While Pacino has been, through-
out his career, more often than not a
master thespian, it was Robin
Williams (as writer Walter Finch)
who received more publicity for his
darker role. Yet of his three dark
roles this year ("One Hour Photo"
and "Death to Smoochy"), this is by
far his finest and meatiest role.
Williams can indeed play serious
characters without going over the
top or falling face first into tearjerk-
er roles. As the cunning Finch, he
matches Pacino's Dormer nearly
blow for blow, leaving even Swank's
The DVD edition of
this movie is a must,
not only because the
film will remain as one
of the year's 10 best,
but also because of the
extras. Director Nolan
took an odd turn and
did his commentary in
the order which the
scenes were filmed, so
solid performance a bit in the back- sion first, folowed by a scene from
one might see the chilling conclu-
surprisingly dull conversation
earlier on. This is
clever, but one should
note this and wait until
seeing the movie all the
way through before lis-
tening to Nolan's take
on the filming of his
"Day for Night," a
documentary on the
creation of the film,
and "180 Degrees," a
between Pacino and Nolan, are less
than adequate, but the amusing
addition of "Eyes Wide Open," a
look at the world through insomni-
acs' eyes, is solid. Interviews with
doctors and suffering insomniacs is
a welcome addition to an otherwise
mediocre list of extras.
Just as the supporting cast of the
film (including Nicky Katt, "Full
Frontal") helps keep the film from
slowing down, the supporting extras
on the DVD make this disc worthy
ing gang, composed of
golden boy Fred (Freddy
Prinze Jr., "She's All
That"), the damsel in dis-
tress Daphne (Sarah
Michelle Gellar, "Cruel
Intentions"), the brainiac
Velma (Linda Cardelliti,
"Freaks and Geeks") and
goofy scaredy-cat Shag-
gy (Matthew Lillard,
decides to go their separate ways. How- for a w]
ever, they reunite on a trip to a theme want to
park near Spooky Island where the see the;
owner (Rowan Atkinson, "Mr. Bean") pose a s
convinces them his park is haunted. Scooby'
After some hilarious hijinx, love inter- the who:
ests (when did Fred and Daphne Ther
become a couple?) and the kidnapping when yo
of Scooby, the gang has to band togeth- the DVI
er to keep Scooby from being sacri- erable ar
ficed so the souls of the world will member
remain intact. eight or
Aside from an incomprehensible ic. For ti
story, the writing is just plain horrible. watch C
It's almost as if the writers couldn't ed repe
decide on their intended audience. On contest,1
one hand, Scooby's outrageous behav- They als
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