[watching] What have you seen recently?


Rune Priest
Strike - Lethal White: Interesting visual style, reminiscent of 50s film-noir at times. Otherwise a shuffling, bloated beast of a series that proceeds nowhere very much. Sort of thing that could have been wrapped up in two episodes or a ninety minute film if it wasn't for the endless digressions into the character's personal lives that just kill any sense of pace it might have had. Is it a crime story, or is it a soap?

Toast of London: Struggling actor sitcom with Matt Berry. Rude, crude and quite remarkably foul mouthed. Nothing remotely clever about it, but it does make me laugh (I'm slightly ashamed to say).


Rune Priest
A Walk Amongst the Tombstones: Liam Neeson in post-Taken latter day Charles Bronson mode going after a pair of serial killers. Read the book by Lawrence Block many years ago, it remains vividly in my memory as a well sicko installment of his Matt Scudder PI series. As for the film it's got a real 8mm vibe about it. Pretty grim for mainstream Hollywood fare, and does the right thing dumping Scudder's tart-with-a-heart girl friend, but wimps out at the end: In the book the drug dealer guy exacts some seriously biblical style vengeance on his wife's killers, a scene subsequently nicked by David "Gritty Bafta" Peace in his debut novel 1974. Regardless, I can only recommend it to those of you with strong stomachs.

I wouldn't have minded this being the first film in a series adapting the early Scudder books which do a really good job of conveying what it's like trying to be an alcoholic who just happens to be a private detective. Alas, it seems not to be.
I saw that a while ago with no background on the books and really enjoyed it. I can definitely second the recommendation.
The early books are really good - I suspect Block or someone he knew had serious trouble with the drink. I lost interest in the later ones which increasingly started to read like low rent Thomas Harris (that's before the man himself turned into a low rent Thomas Harris).
Bit late to the party, but made a start on watching Manhunt: Unabomber. Two episodes in, and despite being based on a real life case, it seems to take most of its cues (including its title) from Manhunter, the 1980s film adaptation of Red Dragon: Burned out investigator yanked from retirement by his superiors, poking around the crime scene so as to enter the killer's mindset, gory grime scene photos, white coated forensic types doing science stuff in the lab, consultations with an incarcerated madman, plus the inevitable uneasy homelife made worse by the nature of his work.

Paul Bettany's mumbly voice overs bring an air of eccentric menace to the proceedings, they're remiscent of Steve Wright's zoned out DJ in Reservoir Dogs, but on the whole this strikes me as a derivative drama, albeit competently done, rather than anything outstanding. It's probably enough to keep me watching though.
Last edited: