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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Drama > Thriller > Hate Crime > In The Electric Mist (2008/Image Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

In The Electric Mist (2008/Image Blu-ray + DVD-Video)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-/C+     Extras: D     Film: C+



James Lee Burke is a noted Mystery writer, so it is no surprise that his work would eventually become the subject of a feature film and more so than a TV movie.  His writing is so good that it attracted no less than French director Bernard Tavernier (Coup De Torchon, ‘Round Midnight) and that attracted some of the bets actors around in this tale of murder, then and now, in New Orleans.  Tommy Lee Jones is very good as former, struggling alcoholic Dave Robicheaux, a police officer faced with a crazy new murder that digs up a very old one.


The new ones are brutal and grizzly and as he investigates, a slacker actor (the underrated Peter Sarsgaard) seems to have found the remains of an older murder victim (a hate crime from the Old South) turned up by Hurricane Katrina!  This leads Robicheaux on an odyssey that brings him face to face with enemies old and new, including John Goodman especially gritty and thankless as a gangster type.  Until the end, the puzzle and performances work, but the payoff does not, which disappointed me a bit.  However, it is ambitious, has a smart screenplay by Jerry & Mary Olson-Kromolowski (of the underrated The Pledge) and when you get a story that gives you all this, Mary Steenburgen, Ned Beatty, Buddy Guy (who also participates in the music) and John Sayles, it is worth your time to check it out at least once.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is softer and noisier than expected despite being shot in Fuji 35mm film by Director of Photography Bruno de Keyzer.  I thought the anamorphically enhanced DVD was soft because of the format, but the Blu-ray reveals more noise and grain and it seems to be beyond the film stock.  The DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) lossless 5.1 mix on the Blu-ray is better than the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in both formats, though this is a dialogue-based film.  Still, there is interesting ambiance in the surrounds and Marco Beltrami delivers one of his more interesting scores.  A trailer is the only extra, but this deserved a bit more.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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