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The Negotiator
By Pamela Garza

Samuel L. Jackson
Kevin Spacey
David Morse
(the late) J. T. Walsh

Directed by: F. Gary Gary
Rated: R for violence and language
Length: 140 minutes

Someone has waltzed away with the entire retirement fund so that the Chicago Police Dept. is left holding nothing but alibis. Danny Roman (Jackson) is blamed for the theft and for the murder of his partner, who had gotten too close to finding out who the culprits were.

In order to locate the missing funds and the real bad guys, Danny takes a roomful of hostages. He demands Chris Sabian (Spacey) for the Negotiator, because he knows that right now he can trust only strangers.

Danny has to find proof of his innocence before the FEDs order a full breach of the hostage room. The countdown begins.

Any adjective that conveys 'the best' would work in describing the performance of Mr. Jackson. This man is an acting machine. All the director has to do is set the dial for what he wants, and Mr. Jackson delivers. (Not like D. W., who has only one setting=dull.)

Mr. Jackson goes through the gauntlet of emotion with tireless passion. And though he's got the potential to steal every scene, he allows the character actors to shine, which endears him to us even more.

With a dazzling script and Kevin Spacey, this is a video to own and watch over and over again. You could even say, it should have made it to the Oscars. I know that doesn't say much, considering what I saw mulling around in the Academy's hallway last year. Anybody ever think of changing out the Rasberrys with the Oscars? Just a thought.

Anyway, did you know that Mr. Jackson made more movies in the late 20th century than ANY other actor? With a record like that, you'd think he'd get some credit. But then again the really good actors rarely get their due. It's a Hollywood thing.

Four Bags of Popcorn.

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