People I Know
Eli Wurman (Pacino) is a New York press agent with only one customer left, Cary Launer (O’Neil). One night Cary calls him and asks to bail out an upcoming actress, Jilly Hopper (Leoni), and escort her to her hotel. After getting Jilly out of jail, she doesn’t want to go to her hotel directly though and Eli finds himself forced to follow her to some illegal afterparty for the rich and famous. Once there, Jilly makes some dubious remarks about exposing the organisation but Eli doesn’t really take notice and afterwards he brings her to her hotel where he falls asleep in the bath tub, completely exhausted. When he wakes up, Jilly lays in her bed but what he doesn’t realise is that she’s actually been murdered during his sleep.
When little later, Eli is working hard on his next benefit he finds out that Jilly has been killed and that the police are looking for him. That doesn’t stop him, however, from continuing his work as dedicated press agent and he starts to think about how he could get some of the people he saw at the afterparty to visit his benefit. But the rich and influential don’t let them be played so easily and Eli soon finds out that he may well have gone out of his league…
Sound and Vision:
People I know is a low-budget movie but with stars like Al Pacino and Kim Basinger you can still expect something good and Universal doesn’t let us down. The image quality is very good, compression errors are absent and so is grain. I didn’t spot anything disturbing in the image and that’s how it should be.
The soundtrack doesn’t really come to life but that’s more because of a lack of heavy action and special effects than of technical problems. The dialogues are always very well understandable, the surround speakers are subtle used for some extra atmosphere and the subwoofer hardly ever needs to come into action but does when it has to. Nothing special but sufficient.
There’s only one extra but it’s an interesting one where we get to see the press conference of the movie at the Indies festival. Pacino, the director and the screenwriter answer questions from journalists that are sitting in the audience. It isn’t like any promotional “Making Of” but you do get quite a good picture of how the movie was made and it’s interesting to see these people in a different way.
People I Know is made with a small budget but can lean on a great cast (Pacino rules as Eli) and an interesting storyline. There’s not a lot of action and this certainly isn’t a no-brainer. The movie requires you to pay attention and take note of the different political influences. Also, Eli isn’t your typical hero. On the contrary, he’s a washed down press agent who hardly has enough clients anymore to keep his business running. All this makes it an interesting movie for people who are looking for something different.
Technically things are very much ok (although a movie like this doesn’t run on special effects and doesn’t really need a DTS track for instance) and although there’s only one extra, it’s a very good one.