Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The I Inside|
Actors: Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Polley, Piper Perabo, Stephen Rea, Robert Sean Leonard
Director: Roland Suso Richter
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Ryan Phillippe (GOSFORD PARK, CRUEL INTENTIONS) leads a hot young cast in this riveting psychological thriller. When Simon (Phillippe) awakens in the hospital after surviving a near-fatal accident, amnesia has erased the l... more »
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A True Mind Twister That Requires Viewer Participation
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE I INSIDE is a very fine film that deserves a wide audience. It ranks up there with 'MEMENTO', 'THE SIXTH SENSE', and 'JACOB'S LADDER' as the sort of intelligent film that demands intensive participation on the part of the viewer to catch all of its nuances and possible plot variations.
Based on a play Michael Cooney who also wrote the screenplay and directed with considerable finesse by Roland Suso Richter, the story involves a bizarre mix of altered circumstances surrounding the hospitalization of Simon Cable (Ryan Phillippe in a performance that is the finest of his career and promises much more from this actor) whose circumstances for awakening under the care of one Dr Jeremy Newman (Stephen Rea) are nebulous. Dr Newman who slowly reveals to Simon that he is suffering from acute memory loss due to trauma and possible poisoning (he had undergone cardiac arrest and was resuscitated) and yet warmly reassures him he will soon return to normal. In essence Simon has 'lost' two years of his life, finding through the blur of amnesia that he has a wife Anna (Piper Perabo) who secretly reveals to him that there is a murder in his history that is part of an evil 'plan'. He also encounters Clair (Sarah Polley) who claims they are lovers. Simon is informed that his brother Peter (Robert Sean Leonard) is dead: Anna supports the premise that Simon killed him. The ingredients of the mystery of the lost two years are set in motion.
The connection between the past in 2000 and the 'present' in 2002 is slowly revealed in mind-boggling flashbacks and re-runs of possibilities: apparently the misdeeds of 2000 included an auto accident which resulted in Simon's hospitalization in the very place he finds himself in 2002 and in which his brother Peter died. Tense confrontations and secrets begin to surface and even the concept that if we re-enter our past we can change the future is presented convincingly. Yet how this all plays out is the magic of this fine film. There are so many avenues that could represent the 'true story' of Simon's life and his amnesia-altered past two years that it is truly up to the viewer to decide how this film ends!
The performances are all fine: Ryan Phillippe is superb, capturing all facets of this deluded young man and finding the strength of character in his Simon portrayal that makes us willing to identify with him at every turn. The photography by Martin Langer is moody and atmospheric without resorting to the usual fright tactics. The musical score by Nicholas Pike enhances every frame. But it is the terse direction of Richter that makes this thriller sail into the ranks of the truly fine films of this genre. Grady Harp, March 05"
Simply put: A blatant cheat with zero payoff.
Alexiel | United States | 10/03/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This movie has a strong sense of "Been there, done that before." No, I'm not talking about the characters, I'm talking about the audience. It's kind of funny, I was reviewing the C-grade horror movie "Soul Survivors" the other day, and, perusing the other reviews, everyone seemed to be in agreement that the movie had far too many cheats and poor explanations. In actuality, I think it's just easier to rip apart low-budget horror movies than movies with more ambition, like "The I Inside," because this movie has far more cheats and dead-ends never explained than "Soul Survivors." "The I Inside" also attempts to do far more than "Soul Survivors," with much loftier aims, so it fails in a more spectacular way.
"The I Inside" stars Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Polley, Piper Perabo, Robert Sean Leonard, and Stephen Rea. The casting is good, I think. First of all, I don't think Ryan Phillippe can play an out-and-out good guy. Even when he tries to cover it, he just comes off and looks like an obnoxious brat. It's really not his fault, but it's there. But in this movie, his casting works, because he is a privileged, rich... well, brat, for lack of a better term who may not be the nice guy that he seems... if you think that's a clue he's really bad though, you'd be wrong too. As for the rest of the cast, I like them. Sarah Polley has slipped a little in recent years, but looking over her body of work she is still one of the most impressive actresses of her age, I think. Stephen Rea is great in pretty much whatever he does, and Leonard is a guy I liked since "Dead Poets Society" and recently reaffirmed his talent in the surprising "Tape." Piper Perabo is surprisingly good too - I'd like her in a shallow sort of way from some of her movies like "Lost And Delirious," but was not overly impressed.
Anyway, the story goes - Phillippe's character, Simon Cable, awakens from a horrible accident. He thinks it's 2000, but in actuality, it's 2002. He seems to have amnesia about quite a number of things. His doctors tell him it looks like he may have been poisoned. He meets his wife, she leaves, he finds out she's not his wife, and meets another woman, his "real" wife, and finds out she may not be what she seems either. Then a vanishing medic tries to kill him, and from there things get truly weird. To go on would be to divulge too many spoilers.
The problem with this movie is two-fold. One, it's something a bad mix of "Memento," "The Butterfly Effect," and even "Soul Survivors," and "Mulholland Drive," yes. It's like a hasty grab-bag of altered reality movies/limited knowledge movies. In movies like these, you pretty much have a good idea of how things are going to unfold. You figure the things that seem intentionally confusing are going to be revealed when the movie ends and the viewer is able to connect the dots. Within the first couple of lines spoken by the doctor, you have a good idea of what the kicker is going to be. Then you go through the movie and think, "wait, that's far too childishly obvious, it can't be that, if it was *that*, then there would be a ton of stuff unaccounted for." Well guess what? Surprise! It really is *that.* There is a lot unaccounted for. Some critics and reviewers I've seen talking about this movie claim that everything has a good explanation. I disagree. I think if you really, really stretch the narrative beyond the breaking point, and give the creators more benefit of the doubt than you've giving anything in your entire life, you can foist a semi-plausible explanation on just about everything in the movie, but even then there are still glaring miscues. Among them, pointing them out so as not to give spoilers:
#1- The medic trying to kill Cable makes no sense.
#2- What Cable's brother did in the car makes no sense (you know when if you've seen the movie, it's the only thing of import he does in the car).
#3- What if the time was, say, 1:57 a.m. instead? What then? You'd have a mess, that's what.
All in all, maybe I'd recommend this movie as an exercise in getting a delicious little visceral thrill of being cheated or frustrated, or trying to play a game of fix the cinematic Rubik's Cube and try and account for all the problems and tidy up the explanation of the movie, but on its own merits, I cannot recommend "The I Inside," despite nice performances by the cast."
Decent story, but a little empty over all.
Ghost Writer | Somewhere | 04/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I can't imagine what it must've been like to see this as a play! It makes a pretty good hallucinatory film, but the dialogue is occasionally stilted. I'm not sure I would buy this, but recommend renting it for a look. I don't agree that it is better than The Butterfly Effect although there are certain similarities. I was impressed with Sarah Polley's performance, but found that Ryan Phillippe was better when he had really dramatic scenes to react off of rather than when he wasn't really in motion and just seemed bored or uncertain of his dialogue.
The first half of the film where you don't know who is really to be trusted, and what exactly is going on is quite well done though and that's why I give it 3 stars.
Also the ending is not a letdown, and the whole atmosphere is quite strong throughout. There's just those few dry moments where the acting or dialogue doesn't really seem believeable, and you know it's only there to support the direction of the story. That put me off a bit. I admit I won't forget alot of the scenes for a long time, so enjoy, and yeah maybe it will leave a more lasting impression after all. You'll wonder what kind of a world you might wake up to after your next nightmare I'll bet."
The game of life and death
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Immensely watchable, with a strong performance by Ryan Phillippe, the I Inside is a riveting enough ninety minutes. However, the film is also strangely forgettable, coming across as a kind of second rate, direct to video imitation of The Others, the terrific Nicole Kidman film that came out a few years ago.
The I Inside is a modest thriller that has enough weird, complex plot twists to keep the viewers involved, but the film tries so desperately to be a lot more than it really is. Obviously the highlight of the film is the gimmicky way the plot unfolds, and the fun for the viewer is trying to unravel the tightly woven and complex puzzle that is the story.
The film begins in a veil of whispers as Simon Cable, (Ryan Phillippe), a twenty something yuppie, jolts awake one night in a hospital room and is told by his doctor (Stephen Rea) he died for two minutes, his heart stopped beating, but he came back and survived. But now it's 2002 and a full two years of Simon's memory is missing. The doctor tells Simon that in order for him to regain his memory, he must put the pieces of the puzzle together, which, of course, is what we as the audience must do, as we watch the various seemingly disparate segments of the plot unfold.
It turns out that Simon has been married to Anna, (Piper Perabo), a nasty ice queen and he may have been the victim of a murder attempt, and, worst of all, he was in the hospital two years earlier, following the death of his brother Peter (Robert Sean Leonard). Coming into his room and disappearing without a trace is Claire (Sarah Polley), a mystery woman. Claire confesses her love for him, and tells him that he was responsible for what happened as well.
His doctor takes him for a routine MRI and when he is unscrupulously injected with a sedative, he wakes up in another hospital room talking to yet another doctor (Peter Egan) and learns that it's actually the year 2000, and his brother just died. It is here that he meets Mr. Travitt (Stephen Lang), a cynical hospital-patient roommate and heart patient who seems to occupy all of his visions. As movie goes, back and forth in time, poor Simon must figure out what is real, and what is a dream. He must also solve the issue of his brother's death, which continues to haunt him.
Considering that Simon's mind becomes a maze, a tangled skein of memory he must unravel, the plot is actually not too hard to follow, once the viewer gets used to the idea that he's traveling backwards and forwards in time. Still, as with all such nonlinear storytelling, the question is whether the story itself would be of any interest if it were told as a traditional narrative. It probably wouldn't because what evolves is a fairly derivative Daphne Du Maurier-like murder mystery.
The film doesn't always work because it relies more on slick production values to sell the thrills than story, but Phillippe gives a good performance as the panicky Simon, and he has an on screen charisma that is suitably impressive. It's all rather silly, although the ending does come as a surprising revelation and the seemingly incongruent plot twists sort of come together.
There are the usual spiral staircases, oblique camera angles, swirling photography, and suspicious shadowy personages, along with characters mysteriously disappearing and re-appearing. It's all done quite well, but none of it is particularly imaginative or original. Mike Leonard May 05.