Detective Fiction (2003)
Rick goes off the fantasy deep-end in this week's left-field Aladdin-themed episode of Castle...
This review contains spoilers.
8.17 Death Wish
If last week’s episode, Heartbreaker, was an excellent example of one of my favorite types of Castle episodes, then this week’s Death Wish, is one of my least favorite. And that’s because it invalidates an important part of who Rick Castle is.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell where Nathan Fillion ends and Rick Castle begins. And that’s been entirely intentional. The role of Castle was designed, let’s face it, to take the larger-than-geek-life charisma of Fillion and deliver it to a more mainstream audience without diminishing what we geeks love about Nathan.
Whether you’ve seen him on a stage at a panel, giving an interview, or had an autograph or photograph session with Fillion, you’re likely to report the
Warning: this review contains spoilers.
2.8 Omega Station
The extended running time of this final episode of True Detective seemed, at first glance, to offer the possibility of unpicking the untidy web of conspiracies and connections that the preceding seven episodes had revealed. That is the traditional purpose of mystery finales, from Agatha Christie to Scooby Doo, with every variation of crime, noir and whodunnit in between. That it would not do so became clear very early on in Omega Station, when we spent an apparent age with two couples reflecting grouchily on where they’d come from and what their futures held for them. It signalled the problem not because such musings are inherently uninteresting but because they promised more of the same circuitous navel gazing that has plagued this season since episode one.
As a Brit and a lover of cinema, sometimes it’s good to take the time to fully appreciate some home grown talent. I’m a lover of cinema from all over the world, but British cinema can often be overshadowed by American cinema, with its size 14 shoes and imposing figure (and full wallet) it often casts a big shadow over the rest of the world. However we Brits have contributed our fair share of great films and most certainly our fair share of great thespians. Perhaps one of our most successful home grown talents is Maurice Micklewhite (that’s Michael Caine to the layperson).
Caine, one of our most prolific and successful exports has had over 50 years of big screen outings and as well as being hugely successful as a Hollywood character actor, has led a great deal of Britain’s most iconic films.
Warning: Here Be Spoilers...
Martin Deer: Hi Rian how ya doing?
Rian Johnson: Good man, how are you?
[Rian proceeded to ask my about myself, we'll skip that part...]
Rj: Before I got in to film school all I did was make movies and I feel I learned more doing that than I did in film school.
MD: A lot of people say that, that just being creative and getting something done you learn so much more.
Rj: I think it's true man, it's true. Film school absolutely has its advantages, it's great to have the time and space to watch a lot of movies and talk to people about movies and make a lot of movies but at the end, you go to film school you,
Jeffrey, having followed Frank to a building, sneaks inside at night to confirm that it is, indeed, where Frank lives. The shot only lasts a few seconds, and serves as a bridge between what has just come before (Jeffrey’s cloaked, nighttime pursuit of Frank) and what will come after (the scene at Arlene’s Diner with Sandy as he recalls to her witnessing the actions of the Yellow Man, the Well-Dressed Man, and Frank).
The frame is pure Expressionism as Jeffrey finds himself searching for Frank’s name on the mailboxes in a low-angle shot whose shadows and lines run in a weirdly menacing way from left to right. The black door, the oblong bank of mailboxes, the shadows on the wall, the window above Jeffrey’s head with its faintly frosted panes, the fluorescent light; all of this adds up to a moment of quiet turmoil.
Following the enormous success of The Killing, the Danish detective series that made subtitles an essential part of Saturday nights on the sofa, BBC4 is once more looking to Copenhagen with Borgen, a political thriller with a female lead that could make Danish coalition politics as interesting to UK viewers as Sarah Lund and her jumpers.
Fans of The Killing will certainly notice similarities between the two programmes: both of Lund's deceased sidekicks have roles and there are stylish Scandinavian interiors, Machiavellian political shenanigans and a focus on determined women operating in largely male worlds. Both shows are made by Dr, the Danish national broadcaster.
But that is largely where the similarities end. The unrelenting rain and gloom of The Killing are occasionally nudged out in favour of glimpses of sunshine, would-be
New technologies have been largely beneficial for television: digital images make it seem as if we saw programmes of the past through cataracts.
Technical advances, though, have been problematic for an aspect of one genre: exposition in crime fiction. In ITV1's recent Lynda La Plante drama, Above Suspicion, Kelly Reilly's Anna Travis or her colleagues frequently found things out by googling.
One of the reasons crime has been such a powerful strain of TV drama is that the structure of a classic whodunnit contains a blend of surprising verbal information ("Now I think of it, the Colonel mentioned at breakfast that he'd had an upsetting letter") and visual detail: the flash of a purple garment with unusual buttons. These perfectly serve two central elements of TV drama: dialogue and close-ups.
But once the cops are checking out the
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