Plot: What’s it about?
Millions of packages and letters circulate through the United States Postal Service, but so few incidents occur involving dangerous ones that people seldom worry. But even with the rigid and thorough inspection services, some dangerous packages and letters do make their way through the system and to their destinations. The most infamous of these types of dangerous mail are the mail bombs, which of course explode when opened. The bombs maim or even kill those who open them before they ever knew what happened and the Postal Service is always on the watch for them. So when a mail bomb is detonated by a couple in the suburbs, the Postal Service sends their best men to crack the case and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Two U.S. Postal Inspectors are dispatched, the experienced Frank Hughes (Louis Gossett, Jr.) and the rookie Alex Urbina (Jonathan Silverman) who seem to have the skills to bring this case to a close. The evidence seems to point toward the couple’s son who has a history in munitions, but perhaps that conclusion is just a little too simple…
I wasn’t expecting much from this movie when I saw it focused on postal inspectors, but when I learned of the full storyline my hopes went up a little. The concept of a race against time with a postal bomber seems to be a good one in my opinion and the actors involved were names I recognized, so I was eager to plop this one into my player for a spin. As you might know this movie was a Showtime original picture or something along those lines, and to be honest many of these made for television films end up stinking the place up. So while I was looking forward to the feature, I was also bracing for the worst. I’ve seen the movie now of course and I can tell you this is not your average made for cable movie, this is head and shoulders above that crowd to be sure. This one sports some terrific performances and more suspense than you can shake a stick at, both of which combine to create a solid overall movie. It isn’t without flaws by any means, but it does make for a worthwhile way to spend an hour and forty-two minutes. I recommend this movie as a rental to those looking for a suspense movie and if you’re a fan of the film by all means pick up this disc, it’s worth the asking price.
This film was directed by Brad Turner, who has directed a wealth of television projects including a sequel to this movie, which I hope turns up on this format soon. I was quite surprised with how well composed this film is and the visual style is very effective at all times. Even though Turner’s work to this point has been limited to television projects, I think he has strong potential as a feature film director and look forward to his future work. Turner directed episodes for such television programs as Dead Man’s Gun, The Outer Limits, Poltergeist: The Legacy, and Stargate SG-1. The leads in this film are played Louis Gossett, Jr. and Jonathan Silverman, who turn in splendid performances and play off each other very well. Gossett (Iron Eagle, Diggstown) provides the solid base for the film, while Silverman (Weekend At Bernie’s, The Odd Couple II) offers a comedic edge which balances things out. These two carry the bulk of the movie with no problems and I look forward to the sequel, in which both reprise their roles. The supporting cast includes Tobias Mehler (Disturbing Behavior, Bordello Of Blood), J.R. Bourne (Futuresport), Greg Thirloway (Big And Hairy, Inspectors 2: Shred Of Evidence), and Laurie Paton (Switching Channels).
Video: How does it look?
The Inspectors is presented in the original 1.33:1 or full frame aspect ratio, which looks much like you’d expect from a made for television movie. The visual presentation is strong in every aspect, but lacks the polish of a feature film in some areas. Even so this transfer is very good and shows no serious problems in terms of source print or compression errors. The colors are vivid and stream across the screen free from all errors, with flesh tones looking natural and consistent as well. The contrast is stark and sure also, with deep shadow layers and no detail loss I could ascertain.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release includes an audio track recorded in “ultra-stereo” and I am not technically graced enough to tell you exactly what that means. All I can tell you is that this movie sounds very good on this release, which is all I need to know really. The music fits the tone of the movie and sounds good in this mix, never overpowering the other elements. This film has some effects though none are speaker shaking, so the front channels handle it all quite well. The dialogue is crisp and clean also, with no volume problems I could locate. You’ll also find Spanish and French audio tracks as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release contains interviews with actors Louis Gossett, Jr. and Jonathan Silverman as well as a real life Postal Inspector Dan Mihalko, who served as a technical advisor for the movie. The interviews are very short but offer some insight into the film, which is always welcome. I think this film would be a perfect candidate for a director’s commentary track, but sadly that feature is absent from this release.