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Thin Air (2000)
Good day, having read all of Robert B Parker's works, I was dismayed to learn of the casting of this movie and appalled when I actually saw it.
Not to be unkind to the two stars, Joe Mantegna, who is a fine actor and I saw him on Broadway years ago, however, he fits the description of Spencer, like I am taking a space shuttle ride. Mr. Mantegna, is too out of shape and frankly a little to tubby to play the role of a jock former boxer turned P. I. who works out on a daily basis! Like Ms. Harden, he doesn't do humor well. After all, more than once, one of Spencer's nemesis says, "your not half as funny as you think". This is true for this production only it wasn't meant the way the original remark was meant.
To a lessor degree I think the same of Ms. Harden. She is a great actress, but her acting was flat and frankly boring. She also is not the extremely glamorous Dr. Susan Silverman, as described by Mr. Parker's books. She is supposed to. Look like Rita Hayworth, yet brainy and funny. The lines were delivered as if she was a waitress reading the daily specials. There also is supposed to be a humorous edge to Dr. Silverman, Ms Harden's glib attempt at humor was awful.
The sad part about all of this is that Mr. Parker has repeatedly complained, to a mutual friend that he was never happy with he casting, the scripts or plot development of the original series. Yet, he wrote the screen play, produced this and therefore had in put in the casting! I think he should stick to writing great books and leave the movie casting and screen writing to someone else.