Media Update 7/18/18


Bosch

I was always a fan of the hard-boiled detectives from film noir. Reading these stories about troubled yet dedicated gumshoes always caught my fancy. It is a little troublesome that a lot of these stories were written at a time when it was easier to be openly racist. Still, I do like the adventures of detectives trying to unravel a mystery. This is the feel of this show. Adapted from novels written by Michael Connelly, Bosch is a flawed but righteous character who really lives his job as an LA homicide detective, Hollywood division. Harry Bosch is played by Titus Welliver with a lot of intensity but also a little bit of humanizing, sarcastic humor. Jamie Hector plays his partner, J. Edgard, a more level head to balance the aggressive Harry. There is a great supporting cast including Lance Reddick, Amy Aquino, Troy Evans, and Gregory Scott Cummins. All of whom work for the police because that is pretty much every scene of the show since Harry does not have much of a personal life. He just has the job. The show is very driven toward solving the mystery but it also covers a lot of the politics and legal problems the police face. It has pretty good pacing and allows some slower scenes to let you breathe in and contemplate where the mystery might be going next. I was pleasantly surprised and I recommend it.


Serpico

I have never really watched any Al Pacino movies as they were really not a big thing in our household and I was a little too old for his heyday. The Al Pacino I saw was a belligerent parody who shouted and had wild eyes. I was interested to watch some of his earlier work to see what all the fuss was actually about. And so, I popped in a DVD of Serpico while I exercised. Of course, the movie is on the long side so it took me about three days to finish it. I was glad that I watched it in installments. The plot stretches out over years as Frank Serpico’s police career unfolds. The movie follows Serpico as he deals more with police corruption than any actual crime. He develops a methodology and philosophy where he becomes close to the community so that he can be an effective undercover agent. Pacino is very understated but strong in the role. He has such a quiet intensity that I found myself hanging on every word and studying every expression. He was also such a likable character that I felt for his every misfortune and anxiety. While there are plenty of great supporting actors, they flit in and out and there are too many to name. The real co-star was the city of New York where we see three of the five boroughs represented throughout the movie. It is also a real snapshot of the seventies and a time when police corruption was more blatant but just as brazen. It was an interesting movie to watch after following the Gun Trace Task Force trials in Baltimore. I definitely recommend it but strap in for a long, dark story.


Murder on the Orient Express

I have read a little bit of Agatha Christie but mostly Miss Marple and not many stories about Hercule Poirot. I think this is the only story that I have read of the Poirot stories which makes sense because it is probably the most iconic of Christie’s stories. Unfortunately, that also means that the ending is the one most often spoiled of all of her stories. Still, it is a good story and worth the journey for the ending. Of course, I will not spoil it here just in case you are lucky enough to have avoided spoilers for this long. The movie is star-studded. It begins with Kenneth Branagh as Poirot and he gives a quirky but shrewd performance. We also get great performances from Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Daisy Ridley, Olivia Colman, and Leslie Odom, Jr. All of whom weave a fairly intricate mystery that is fun to watch unfold. So many stories have been sourced from this one that it is impossible not to be somewhat impressed by it. The movie also has some beautiful cinematography and all of the costumes are definitely on point. The movie is nothing exciting but it is a pleasant indulgence of a now familiar story. I recommend it.

Music of the Week;

Death Grips – Eh

Twin Shadow – Patient

Imagine Dragons – Thunder

Galantis – Hunter

The Strypes – You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Detective Stories Adapted From Books”
– I watched more The Flash Season 4
– I watched more Arrow Season 6
– I watched more GLOW Season 2
– I started watching NCIS Season 15
– I started watching Blue Bloods Season 8
– I watched more Supergirl Season 3
– I watched more Agents of Shield Season 5
– I watched more Barry Kramer on YouTube

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