Screening Room
Interesting first episode, suspenseful, although a bit predictable. Kevin Bacon's acting is not the best he can give; very unequal, going from good and intense to sometimes bored and forced. On the other hand, James Purefoy plays the serial killer with the right balance of intensity and nonchalance. Could be the most interesting psychopath on screen since Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter.
The concept of a serial killer with a following is original, even if a bit stretched when you stop and really think about it. But, suspension of belief is called least for another two weeks.
I praise FOX for having the guts to go with a series like that in prime time. 
You can read more about the show and you can also watch the first episode, in its entirety, by clicking on the link above.
Let me know what you think of The Following.
22 January 2013

November 28th, 2011: I haven't written much in this section for a while! I've finally seen The Lincoln Lawyer and really enjoyed it. I think the whole cast did a great job. I've read the book as an ARC before it came out in 2005, so the details of story weren't fresh in my mind. Twenty minutes into the movie though, it all came back in a rush and I remembered what would happen. Despite this, I still enjoyed the movie, which is proof that it was well-done. If I see a movie without having read the book it is based on, I will rarely pick up the book afterwards, even if I really liked the movie. But after reading a good book, I often want to see the movie. So please, if you haven't read The Lincoln Lawyer, read it first and then rent it (or buy it).

(Update: in his August 2011 newsletter, Mark Billingham has announced that books 3 to 5 will be filmed soon). Mark Billingham's first two novels Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat have been adapted into TV movies, in a  Canada/UK production. After being aired in the UK last fall as a six-episode TV series on Sky1, they are finally available in Canada (on Movie Central in the West, and on The Movie Network in the rest of the country) as two 120-minute movies. Since early March, the two movies have been aired, often back to back which makes the experience more interesting. I've watched them on the same evening; having read the books many years ago, I can't say if there were many differences from the original stories, but it seemed pretty close to what I remember reading. As Mark Billingham's books get better and better, it would be interesting to see more of those being filmed.  
Have you noticed how Joel Kinnaman (Homicide Det. Stephen Holder on AMC's The Killing) looks like a young Jeremy Irons? And so far, Kinnaman would make Jeremy Irons very proud. Detective Holder is in fact my favorite character in the series. Kinnaman is a very popular Swedish actor (check out a fansite dedicated to the actor
Watch The Killing, on AMC every Sunday evening, or on the website at
All sorts of interesting sections, like an interactive visit of "Rosie's Room" where you can try to find clues; a "Suspect Tracker" where you can try to find the killer; a quiz, etc.
I've rented and watched this French movie written and directed by actor Pascal Elbé, who also plays in the movie"Tête de turc"is like a George Pelecanos or Richard Price story set in a rough suburb of Paris, where Turks and Armenians sometimes mingle, but most of the times clash in the streets, on football fields and anywhere else they cross paths, just as their respective countries are used to do, especially since the Armenian genocide during World War I. A genocide that Turkey always denied and still denies (they are against the word 'genocide' itself). During this genocide, other ethnicities were also targeted, including Greeks and Assyrians.  
Back to the movie: A Turkish teenager throws a cocktail Molotov at a car driven by an Armenian doctor. When the doctor ends up in a coma, the lives of many people are changed and linked by the ripple effects of the violent act: a mother who fights to keep her children; a man who falls into mental chaos after the death of his wife; a detective who's haunted by a family secret while he investigates the attack on the doctor (his own brother); and many others, while the authorities are trying to find a way to stop the escalating violence. 
The casting is perfect, except for the teenager's girlfriend who seems to always be in a hurry to say her lines, as if trying to speed up a perfectly paced movie. Fortunately, we don't see her too often.
Excellent directing by Elbé earned him a Best Director award (ex-aequo) at the Montreal World Film Festival, in September 2010. Not to be missed. 
(The ethnic issues and clashes in "Tête de turc" reminded me of those in another French movie, Jacques Audiard's "Un prophète"(from 2009). It's a prison movie in which Corsicans and Arabs are divided and try to own the control of the drug trade, both inside and outside the prison walls.)

For those of us who can't watch the original series in Danish (or dubbed in English for other European viewers) we have AMC and its US version. The first two episodes hooked me and already made me a fan. Everything is good; the atmosphere, the acting and writing, the directing and the cinematography, even the soundtrack is just right. Emotions are held back just long enough, and when they get out, you are as overwhelmed as the characters. Great acting from Michelle Forbes (Battlestar Galactica, True Blood), Mireille Enos (Big Love) and the brilliantly creepy Joel Kinnaman, a Swedish actor who makes his debut in America. We'll see him again in other movies, I'm sure. The rest of the cast isn't bad either. The first two episodes were intense and the series promises to get even better. The Killing is great TV.  
Read the book first. Then go see the adaptation of Michael Connelly's novel "The Lincoln Lawyer", which hits the big screen on March 18th, 2011. The author has been very enthusiastic about it, especially about Matthew McConaughey's interpretation of the main character (the lawyer of the title) Mickey Haller. 
After a huge disappointment with the movie version of "Blood Work", Connelly, arguably the best crime writer around, might finally get a well-deserved adaptation of his work. Also, with a new book involving Mickey Haller ("The Fifth Witness"--available in April 2011) this could be the start of a very profitable movie franchise. Funny when you think about it; Connelly has made a name for himself in the publishing world with his series of 14 crime novels starring detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch, but there is no movie yet based on the famous detective. In two other novels "The Brass Verdict" and "The Reversal" Bosch and Haller share the spotlight and both protagonists also make cameos (supporting role opportunities!) in other titles (ex. Haller steals the show at the end of "9 Dragons" --a possible supporting role Oscar for any good actor-- and Bosch helps out the lawyer in "The Fifth Witness"). Of course, there's the difficult task of finding the actor who could play Bosch. My choices would be Russell Crowe or Jeremy Renner (although Renner might be a bit too young if the movie is based on a recent novel). Any better ideas? (Me, I'd like to play Jack McEvoy in an adaptation of "The Poet"...just to co-star with whoever would play Rachel Walling! Although Renner might be a better choice than me for McEvoy. Might be).
"Winter's Bone", recently adapted into a movie that garnered a few nominations at the Oscars, has been available on DVD since October 2010, way before the Academy Awards evening. But read the book first.
What I want for Christmas!!! I know, we're only in April.

1 comment:

  1. Al Pacino 10-15 years younger is perfect Henry Bosch