Archives for posts with tag: police procedurals

Back in 2005, when there was more of a distinction between theater movies and TV movies, longtime television star and second-tier cinematic leading man Tom Selleck began TV movie franchise based on Robert B. Parker’s detective novels. Although formulaic, “Jesse Stone: Stone Cold” benefits from Parker’s rich dialogue, as well as Viola Davis and Mimi Rogers in supporting roles. Selleck gets to play something familiar (a sleuth, this time as a small-town Massachusetts police chief) yet not (one with a drinking problem and a sordid past). It’s good, as far as TV movies go, back when there was a distinction.

In the middle of “The Devil’s Own” (1997), Brad Pitt mentions that a story he just told doesn’t have a happy ending because it’s not an American story, it’s an Irish one. I’ll let you find out for yourself which kind of story this film is, but the ending disappointed me. An IRA commander (Pitt) goes undercover in the U.S., living with a cop (Harrison Ford) and his idyllic, Irish-American family while trying to conclude an arms deal. There’s plenty of great performances amidst the irony (wife Margaret Colin particularly shines), but the plot doesn’t go out with a bang.

It’s tough when you’re watching a simple-yet-elegant opening credits sequence and you know that’ll be the best part of the movie. But that’s where we are until we finish digesting the massive backlog of Bruce Willis dirty cop flicks. In “Gasoline Alley” (2022), he’s joined by Devon Sawa, who’s possibly being framed for a homicide, and Luke Wilson, punching above this film’s weight as a glib detective who knows who isn’t the murderer but doesn’t know who is. Willis is Wilson’s partner. Sawa turns amateur sleuth in this sloppily constructed police procedural. Kudos to second unit director Robert Laenen, though.