Monday, April 18, 2011

I Didn't See the Devil

Gaaah! You go spend one weekend out of town and completely miss your chance to catch Jee-woon Kim's I Saw the Devil in St. Louis. Crap. Just, crap. Those kooky Koreans are churning out some of the most creative mayhem in pictures these days and I haaaate to have missed that one. Did catch up with The Good, the Bad, the Weird and The Chaser in the last couple of weeks, but that's only going to tide me over so long. Let's see, if I wanted to go to the pictures this week it was gonna be uh... Jonathan Hensleigh's Kill the Irishman or Duncan JonesThe Source Code. Ended up seeing both.

Irishman was perhaps the most enjoyable puffy-beefy-red-faced-middle-aged-white-guys-with-lousy-hair-cuts-beating-on-each-other-period film since Mulholland Falls. Irish had plenty of faults, but remained enjoyable all the way through and Source was definitely of a piece with Jones' first film Moon - trippy sci-fi Philip K. Dick-ian fare that didn't make you feel retarded for hiking your plausibility skirt and just going with it. Criticizing either film for their science means you're just missing the point... I mean, would you do that with Star Wars?

Had a few posts over at Ransom Notes recently. The first was inspired by Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller character - the same one portrayed by Matthew McConaughy in The Lincoln Lawyer and also Connelly's latest book The Fifth Witness. Had to do with defense lawyers and how the tide of popular entertainment has seemingly shifted hard out of their favor in the last fifty years. So if ya feel like getting all ponderous and leaving a comment go here. The second was a recognition of the late great Sidney Lumet and had a rundown of some of his crime films beyond just Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon and y'know, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Got one to add to the list, praise me for remembering or lambaste me for leaving off? Go here. The third was a quick summation of some mystery award noms.

Tuesday I'll be headed to the St. Louis County Library HQ to see Philip Kerr, the author of one of my favorite PI series ever, the Bernie Gunther books. Seriously, go check that shit out now. The first three titles are collected in an omnibus called Berlin Noir and they will kick your ass. I'll be posting further on Kerr at Ransom Notes, tomorrow.

Wednesday I'll be providing my vocal talents (cough) to a multi-media presentation of a graphic short by Tim Lane over at Subterranean Books. If you live in St. Louis and you're liking the crime stuffs, check out the extra curricular activities hosted by Subterranean. Tim's event will be a monthly one, (if you attended our graphic novel N@B w/ Tim and Matt Kindt, you'll know about what to expect), plus Scott Phillips is teaching a writing workshop on Tuesdays and hosting the BYOB event once a month with Paul Friswold - I participated in that one last week reading from George V. Higgins' The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Good fun.


JJ Stick said...

There's always been that conflict between the accused and those who defend them on the one hand and the pursuit of justice on the other. Over the years we have become more skeptical about the government and yet more certain about the effectiveness of our law enforcement. The proliferation of crime solving through forensics TV gave us the belief that solving crimes and finding the guilty are all the logical outcome of a scientific method. Defense attorneys are rarely portrayed as heroic. Back in the day, defense attorneys and PI's were the check on corrupt and inefficient police and government agents.

Haller is a throw back, a heroic defense attorney. Most top notch criminal defense attorneys have a prior life in the prosecutors office where they learn the ropes and the procedures. Haller at one point notes that his job is making sure that the prosecutors and the police have done their job. That's why cops and prosecutors hate good defense attorneys, it is a work product review. No one like someone looking over their shoulder.

I just saw The Lincoln Lawyer and while I loved the book, I liked the movie. It was a quality cast but some of the players were under utilized. While the movie kept close to the novel, it was compressed, so the novel's slow reveals became impossibly quick, cutting the tension. That said, I think the book and the movie are worth anyone's time and I hope to see Haller back on the big screen.

jedidiah ayres said...

I think Connelly deserves a better treatment than Blood Work at least.