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NEGOTIATOR, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson), newly married to Karen (Regina Taylor), is the best hostage negotiator in the Chicago Police Department; his style is brash, risky and action driven. But when his partner Nate (Paul Guilfoyle) is murdered while investigating fraud, there is circumstantial evidence and Roman is arrested. In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, Roman takes the Chief of Internal Affairs Terence Niebaum (J.T. Walsh) and staff hostage and requests that respected negotiator Chris Sabian (Kevin Spacey) who uses his intelligence and persuasive skills, be brought in to mediate.

Review by Louise Keller:
Negotiate a copy of this thriller that is a combination of character driven drama and high class action. It's a riveting plot that never strays and Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey deliver superb performances. Much of the drama is played out with tight close ups; Jackson and Spacey use their eyes to great effect as the psychological tussle increases in intensity.

Jackson and Spacey deliver in different ways - Jackson is explosive and emotional, Spacey, intelligent and calculating. All the cast is superb - J.T. Walsh, in his last role, is memorable as Niebaum, while David Morse (Beck), Rifkin (Frost) and Paul Giamatti (Rudy) each bring different colours and textures to the jigsaw. The dynamic of the differences between the hostages alone, is entertaining.

The characters are firmly established from the outset, incorporating touches of real and surprising elements that engage. Watch for the scene when we first meet Kevin Spacey's character at work negotiating a rather surprising human situation close to home. It's a strong script that expertly brings together carefully studied and developed characters, grounded by their depth and rounded out by complexities and human frailties. The balance between psychological intrigue and action is expertly handled; Gray's direction maximises the tension, aided by a rhythmic, soundtrack and terrific production values.

Gripping, powerful and engaging, The Negotiator creates its own genre, combining powerful mind games with big budget spectacle and characters we genuinely care about.

Special features include an on-location featurette plus theatrical trailer.

Published March 5, 2009

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

NEGOTIATOR, THE: DVD (M)
(Germany/US, 1998)

CAST: Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, Ron Rifkin, John Spencer, J.T. Walsh, Siobhan Fallon, Paul Giamatti, Regina Taylor

PRODUCER: David Hoberman, Arnon Milchan

DIRECTOR: F. Gary Gray

SCRIPT: James DeMonaco, Kevin Fox

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russell Carpenter

EDITOR: Christian Wagner

MUSIC: Graeme Revell

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Holger Gross

RUNNING TIME: 139 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 22, 1998

SPECIAL FEATURES: Featurette: On Location; Interactive Menus ; Scene Access ; Theatrical Trailer

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

DVD RELEASE: March 4, 2009







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