Tuesday, February 14, 2023

New England neo-noir

Last night I watched Tom Selleck in one of his Jesse Stone films. He did nine as TV movies and I think they are his best work. They have been described as "neo-noir." I find them easily re-watchable. From an appreciation:
One of Tom Selleck's most acclaimed performances came from his starring role in the Jesse Stone TV movies.The character comes from a series of detective novels by late author Robert B. Parker, with Stone being a former LAPD detective fired for a drinking problem following a painful divorce. The first Jesse Stone TV movie was Stone Cold, which aired in 2005, and found the character as the police chief of a New England town with a lot of secrets. The movie proved to be a ratings hit with CBS airing another seven movies between 2006 and 2012. ....
Even if you don’t pay attention to the credits to note that Selleck is a producer of the Stone adventures as well as an occasional co-writer of them, you instinctively know the actor is in full control. .... It’s not that Selleck needs to dominate the proceedings; it’s that we want him to — we revel in the idea that he’s offering himself up to us a middle-aged man who’s both tired but still sharp, weighed down with melancholy yet buoyant with hope that he can right a few wrongs before he has to hang up his baseball cap. ....

It’s clear that Selleck connects to this character on both an intellectual and gut level. He’s made Jesse more complex at every opportunity, even at the risk [of] alienating some viewers who might find the pace slow or the themes depressing. Me, I find the deliberate pacing a luxurious pleasure, a respite from the frantic cross-cutting and end-every-scene-with-a-climax style of network storytelling. ....
I've purchased most of them on Amazon Prime because I do like to re-watch them but, of course, many can also be streamed free or rented. If you do decide to watch them, watch them in order.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.