“Justified” Episode 3

So far, the weakest of the three episodes.

But, self has decided that what makes this series so much fun to watch are the set pieces, such as the one that opened Episode 2, when the man who’d been shot in the chest —  miraculous survival! — in the previous episode, Boyd Crowder (turns out he was Raylan’s childhood friend), was talking about how he put off activating the morphine drip because he wanted his head clear for his talk with Raylan. Also, the scene where Raylan is escorting a convict to another prison, and Raylan and the convict get into a barbed conversation about “kin,” which (naturally) winds up leading to a scuffle, and Raylan cracks the man’s head into the steering wheel. Also, the scene where Raylan gets locked into a storage room by an escaped convict and they politely bid each other good night. (!@#!). Also, also —

Self, that’s enough! You’re posting about Episode 3, if you’ll remember?

Well, then, Episode 3 was rather slow, at least compared to the first two. Raylan again kills a man: that makes it 3 for 3.  One man killed per episode.  Self doesn’t really mind, though.  Perhaps Raylan Givens should keep killing one man per episode.  That would show that the producers aren’t afraid to be accused of following a formula!  Way to go, producers!

Self’s favorite scenes were these:

  • Raylan meets a snitch at a restaurant, and the snitch gets Raylan to try some chocolate-y, frothy thing (looks like a Starbucks Frappucino) that supposedly has an egg in it.
  • Raylan and Ava play pool:  Everything in this scene is double entendre, if you get self’s drift
  • Raylan shows “black Mr. Clean” how a duel (with pistols) should go down.

Another Read the rest of this entry »

Anthony Lane on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

This movie is currently showing in Menlo Park’s Guild:  hubby and self saw it a few weeks ago, but, alas, the post in which self gave her response to the movie vanished without garnering a single view.  Now, self reads with more than the usual interest a review of same movie by Anthony Lane in the 29 March 2010 issue of The New Yorker.  He seems to like it.  At least, more than self did.

This is how he summarizes the plot:

First, we get a prologue in which Blomkvist (played by a suitably dour Swede named Michael Nyqvist) is “found guilty of libel in an unconnected matter” (unconnected to the main mystery, that is, which is to find the missing grand-daughter of a wealthy industrialist) and is “sent to jail.  (The sentence is delayed for six months, which gives him time to solve the case of the disappearing girl).  Second, Lisbeth” (the heroine, the one with the dragon tattoo —  not to be confused with another girl with a dragon tattoo in movie “Hitman,” which they keep playing over and over on F/X, presumably so that fans of Timothy Olyphant can have him on demand, 24/7 if they so desire), who “has unspecified convictions in her past, has a new probation officer, who forces her to provide sexual services in return for a financial allowance” (This is the part that totally confused self:  She kept turning to hubby and asking, “So she’s an heiress???”  She didn’t get the fact that the man with access, apparently, to all of Lisbeth’s earthly wealth was her probation officer. But that’s because these days self is punch-drunk stupid from lack of sleep. But when did you ever hear of a probation officer doling out money as if he were administering a trust fund?)

Anyhoo, the probation officer keeps making disparaging remarks about Lisbeth’s sense of personal hygiene, yet seems to love running his porcine fingers through her (Amy Winehouse-type) black hair.  Not to worry, for Lisbeth “turns the tables, and basically rapes him back.  This frees her up to resume control of her own money, which buys her a new laptop, which allows her to hack into Blomkvist’s own computer  —  for no apparent reason other than sheer nosiness  —  all of which inspires him to take her on as his deputy.  Got it?”

Having never read the book on which this movie is based (The only Swedish mystery writer self has read is Henning Mankell), self has no way of judging Lane’s assertion that author Larsson “is concerned, to the brink of obssession, with cruelties of every stripe.”  But self didn’t like this movie for the same reason she didn’t like Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days,” which contained plenty of scenes of women’s sexual humiliation.  Really, self doesn’t need to sit through a movie to be reminded that women are being abused every day, all over the world!

Oh, oh, but what’s this?  Anthony Lane states that he, too, during “a single winter,” “feasted” on the collected works of Henning Mankell!  Which reminds self of the summer when she, too, feasted, though summertime is a much nicer time to feast on neurasthenic Swedish mystery writers, because then one can with greater facility distract oneself from the unrelenting mournfulness of the Swedish climate.

Then, Lane states that the pivotal moment in the movie (Spoilers ahead!) is when Blomkvist pins up a row of photographs on a cottage wall (Very cozy:  Blomkvist and Lisbeth share the cottage and of course the bed), and Lane knew, he just knew that “half of them would turn out to have been Nazis.”  Why?  Because they were all blonde???

Hubby professed to like the movie.  Sometimes he says things just to get self’s goat.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

NYTBR 28 March 2010: A Short List

Here are the books self is interested in reading after perusing The New York Times Book Review of 28 March 2010:

1.    After reading Pamela Paul’s review of Laurie Abraham’s The Husbands and Wives Club:  A Year in the Life of a Couples Therapy Group:

  • Laurie Abraham’s The Husbands and Wives Club:  A Year in the Life of a Couples Therapy Group

2.   After reading Malena Watrous’ review of Gabrielle Zevin’s novel, The Hole We’re In:

  • Gabrielle Zevin’s The Hole We’re In

3.    After reading Jane and Michael Stern’s review of Stephen Fried’s Appetite for America:  How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West:

  • Stephen Fried’s Appetite for America:  How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West

4.   After reading Marilyn Stasio’s “Crime” column, the following mysteries:

  • Denise Mina’s Glasgow-set Still Midnight
  • Cornelia Read’s latest thriller featuring Madeline Dare, a “renegade socialite from Oyster Bay, Long Island,” Invisible Boy

The End!

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