Tag Archives: True Detective

True Detective’s AT&T Ad

You know those faux-adorable AT&T ads where the spokesman interviews a table full of kindergarteners? Well, what if that spokesman was Rust Cohle from True Detective

You gotta hand it to the actor – that’s a damn fine Matthew McConaughey impression.

 

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When True Detective meets Game of Thrones [SPOILERS]

—SPOILER WARNING—

This may go without saying, but if you aren’t caught up on either Game of Thrones or True Detective, stop reading now and go finish them. Seriously, what are you waiting for? DO IT!!! You’ll thank me.

* * *

Now, for the rest of us… We don’t get to see much of that video Rust Cohle shows to Marty Hart in the storage unit, but  based on his horrified reactions we know it must be pretty gruesome. Well now we know: it was the Red Wedding…

 

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Brad Pitt in Season 2 of True Detective?

It’s far from a done deal, and may very well not happen, but it seems there’s real interest in casting Brad Pitt for True Detective’s second season.

The first season, which just wrapped up a few weeks ago, was a smash success in every instance of the word. That season’s stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson have already confirmed they will not be returning. That leave a vacuum that can only be filled with rampant speculation.

Still, if this happens, it would be excellent news. If nothing else, I believe Se7en proves he’s up to the challenge. It would also be just another sign that the film industry is recognizing the small screen’s recent knack for high quality filmmaking, as more and more big names in film are moving to TV.

Brad Pit in Se7en

Brad Pit in Se7en

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GrabBag – Marvel, DC Nab Same Release Date; also, Potential Star Wars Casting

grabbag

Another week, another GrabBag full of screen-related flotsam. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

  • Famous People in Fiction is a 2-part series of pictures comparing historical figures to their more well-known movie incarnations. Something about that title doesn’t seem exactly right to me, but no matter. It’s fun to see all various actors that played the same roles lined up side-by-side. Part 1. Part 2.
  • It’s a long way off but apparently DC and Marvel are battling over my 35th birthday (May 6, 2016) for major tent-pole film releases. Marvel has held that date for a while for an as-yet-unnamed film (probably Captain America 3). Meanwhile DC just pushed the new Superman/Batman back to that very same date. There’s still plenty of time for one of the studios to back down, but if neither does it may be an interesting experiment to challenge the old standard “one movie per demographic per weekend” model. That, and I’m likely to have an awesome birthday weekend!
  • Speaking of tent-pole blockbusters, Variety gets a look at some of the actors being considered for the new Star Wars movie.
  • The theater projection instructions for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel are a fun read. (Click the image to see a full-screen version. Sorry about the blurry quality.)

GBH projection inst

  • And finally, T Bone Burnett’s music for True Detective was truly inspired. Listen to the song from the end of the finale …

That’s all for this week. Tune in next Friday for a new GrabBag!

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Review – True Detective, Season 1 (HBO)

true_detective_matthew_mcconaughey

If you haven’t seen True Detective yet, you owe it to yourself to address that. Don’t have HBO? Whatever. Find a friend with an HBOGO account. Find a torrent. Sign up for one of those cable promos they’re always offering and then cancel it when you’re done. I don’t care; just do what you have to.

I’m serious, I’ll wait…

OK, if you STILL haven’t watched it, I’ll keep this spoiler-free. But just know that there’s nothing I can say that will convince you more than just watching the first episode. This show gets its hooks in you quick and never lets go.

Rust Cohle and Martin Hart are cops on a 17-year quest to catch a serial killer in southern Louisiana. That’s about all you need to know about the plot going in. I don’t want to spoil the wonderful way it spools out through the 8 episodes. It’s Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s instantly iconic characters that draw you in.

Rust is the ultimate eccentric skeptic genius. There are shades of Spock, Locke*, and Sherlock**, but that doesn’t even begin to describe him. Ultimately he’s all McConaughey – another knockout performance in his recent “McConnaissance” win streak. This may have even influenced his recent Oscar win; several episodes aired during the voting period. Even if it didn’t, the last scene of the final episode proves how much he deserves that trophy. Harrelson, meanwhile, has been having his own “Harrelssance” of sorts. (Check out most of his work since 2009’s The Messenger.) In less deft hands, Hart could be a thankless role: the straight man to counter all the crazy. But Woody reveals a man in many ways as damaged and destructive as Rust.

As the title suggests, classic tropes of true crime and murder mystery figure heavily into the narrative. But the genre is a structure. It sets the stage for a masterful script that will surely inspire not just filmmakers and storytellers, but modern day philosophers for a long time to come. As fantastic as the actors are (and all the actors are fantastic, not just the leads), they have the benefit of expertly constructed characters to start with. The dialogue, though often hard to understand (watch with subtitles if you can), is stunningly crafted and infinitely quotable.

The technical crafts are top form as well. The cinematography is gorgeous. The soundtrack by T Bone Burnett is haunting. And from Cohle’s sparse apartment (complete with an eyeball-sized mirror) and surprisingly arranged storage unit, to the house of a demented hoarder and an overgrown labyrinthine fortress (of sorts), the set design is truly inspired.

But the real genius is that, while it transcends its genre trappings, this show never becomes so arty that it loses sight of what makes that genre so enjoyable. As dark as it gets – and make no mistake, it gets pitch black at times – it never loses that feels of excitement and anticipation and, dare I say it, yes even fun.

As I write this review it occurs to me that most of it could be used to describe another groundbreaking TV show about a murder mystery from almost 25 years ago. Actually they don’t feel all that similar. True Detective eschews the soapy melodrama that Twin Peaks revels in, and ultimately I think the newer show is a bit more accessible. But lined up side by side, there are surprising similarities.

Then again, maybe it’s simpler than that. As Rust Cohle explains, “It’s just one story, the oldest, light versus dark.”

_____
*Lost (ABC)
*Sherlock (BBC)

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Who is True Detective’s “Yellow King?”

The 8th and final episode of True Detective airs this Sunday on HBO. I’ll save my review until it’s over, except to say this: If you haven’t seen it yet, stop what you’re doing right now and go watch it.

If you’re caught up with the show so far, you’ll find this Yellow King Theory quite… insightful. I won’t give away the video, but I can tell you it does NOT reveal any potential spoilers for the show.

Also…

If you have been struggling to understand the show’s dialogue (I use subtitles when I can), Community‘s Joel McHale and Jim Rash (Jeff and the Dean) are here to help. Ok, not really.

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