By Roger Longenbach
Nov 09, 2009 10:45 PM EST

The Negotiator Blu-ray Review

The Negotiator Blu-ray Review
Purchase  Blu-ray | Digital HD
On November 10, 2009, Warner Bros. is releasing the 1998 crime thriller The Negotiator on Blu-Ray. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, J.T. Walsh and Paul Giamatti, this movie is an intense psychological crime thriller and will make you think throughout.
Samuel Jackson(Star Wars, Snakes on a Plane) plays Lt. Danny Roman, a hostage negotiator with one of Chicago's HBT (Hostage Barricade and Terrorism) teams. He's also on their Police pension Board of Directors. Early on, his partner tells him someone is stealing from the pension fund, and is promptly killed, while Danny is framed for it. Additional evidence is planted making it look like Danny stole the money, so his attorney advises him to take a plea bargain. Because he knows he is innocent, Danny decides to take a drastic step to prove his innocence: he takes people hostage in the Police Internal Affairs office, to bring all the players in this drama to the table. To make sure he isn't just killed, he demands that a specific hostage negotiator be brought in, someone who isn't part of the plot...Chris Sabian, played by Kevin Spacey. Then the real fun begins.
Samuel Jackson and Kevin Spacey both deliver extraordinary performances in their respective roles, and regrettably they weren't recognized for their achievements. From the subtle facial expressions of Samuel Jackson (especially when you can't see half of his face), to Kevin Spacey's anger at the appropriate times. For those two alone, you should see this movie if you haven't already.
But they're not the only ones. David Morse plays the leader of the HBT team (with my favorite quote of his: "Don't tell me $&(#*%* copy! Pull the $&#(%*&%) trigger!"). And what looks like a pre-CSI gathering, Paul Guilfoyle plays Danny's partner Nathan, and Robert David Hall plays Sgt. Cale Wangro.

Now for the Blu-Ray copy of this movie: The transfer is excellent and the sound is crisp, especially with the Dolby Digital TrueHD audio. There are two special featurettes, both of which are good viewing, especially if you are into the crime genre, as they go into the world of the real hostage negotiators.
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For more information about The Negotiator visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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