Daily Archives: August 10, 2015

True Detective -Season 2 Finale – TV Review by Special Guest Jake Hatcher

By:  Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye

True Dick

True Dick

The name’s Hatcher.  Jake Hatcher.  I’m a gumshoe.  A sleuth.  A shamus.  A private dick.

And as of late, a coerced scribe for Bookshelf Q. Battler’s joke of a blog.

Not to put my employer down, but I’ve seen milk cartons with a higher readership.

Let’s take a minute and shoot the bull about True Detective.  The second second season just wrapped up on HBO and there were more twists than a road designed by a blind man.

I’m required to warn you this review has more SPOILERS that you can shake a stick at.

Trailer – True Detective – HBO

Like most capers, it all begins with a murder.

The City of Vinci.  It’s a factory town.  Lot of big business, but only a handful of people actually live there.  That means the cops and the local government pretty much act with impunity, free to wrangle their devious deals without any oversight.

And like most mysteries, this story begins with a murder.  The city manager, a real pervert’s pervert, is put on ice.  A special task force is put together to figure out the whodunnit.

It includes:

  • Rachel McAdams as Ani Bezzerides – Hubba hubba.  Even though they try to ugly her up so she looks like a real downtrodden broad, she still makes this gumshoe’s ticker skip a beat.  Hell, I still haven’t stopped thinking about how this dame wore the hell out of that dress in Southpaw.  Bezzerides’ pops ran some hippy dippy commune and growing up on it made for a tough life.
  • Tayler Kitsch as Paul Woodrugh – A highway patrolman who takes a bad rap when he pulls over a speeder.  Turns out its some floozy actress who puts the frame job on him.  She makes a false claim that he tried to get the goodies just to get out of trouble because she’s had one too many run ins with the law before.  His bosses put him on the special detail so he can lay low for awhile, but the case allows him to do anything but.
  • Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro – a real mean so and so, a drunk bastard to boot.  Beats up people at the drop of a hat.  I kinda liked him.  (Well, except for the corruption part.)  Ray’s wife was raped years ago an he turned to mobster Frank Semyon to hand over the perpetrator. Unfortunately, Ray pays for that info with his soul as he ends up becoming Frank’s lapdog for the rest of his life, using his position to further Frank’s criminal interests on account of Frank now having something to hold over Ray’s head.

Frank, played by Vince Vaughn, is a crooked club and casino owner whose duked his way out to the top of the underworld ranks.  He’s experienced success late in life and like most folks who’ve had that happen, it’s hard for him to be happy about it.  He’s bitter that it took so long and his worst fears are met when he discovers that the city manager had been looting all his money behind his back.  It’s up to Frank to find out who the manager was working with.

I’m a straight arrow when it comes to the letter of the law, so I don’t care for it when a bad guy is glorified.  However, Vaughn steals the show and the writers try to get the point across that sometimes folks like Frank, born into bad circumstances, see their only way to the top as being a life of crime.

To the show’s credit, it’s also made clear that Frank could walk away at any time and leave the degenerate life behind.  His wife Jordan, aka Kelly Reilly, begs him to take the money they have left, forget about revenge, and call it quits, but Frank just can’t do it.

I can relate.  My third ex-wife, Connie, often tried to talk me out of dropping the gumshoe game.  She wanted to move to the sticks and start a bed and breakfast.  I came up with a million reasons why that wasn’t feasible but the real one is that I’d of been bored out of my mind.  Sometimes you get to the point where you’ve pummeled so many criminals that you don’t know what you’d do without another one to smack around.

But I digress.

Overall, it was a decent program with a lot of action and intrigue.  Also, there’s the occasional bare set of bosoms.  It’s not like I try to notice things like that, but I can’t help it.  I’m a detective.  I notice every detail.  No matter how big.

One criticism might be that the plot is a bit convoluted.  I watched the whole thing and had to stand on my head and spin before it all made sense.  You’ve got land deals, murder, a cold case from 1992, some impropriety in Afghanistan, sometimes it all ties together, though you need a flowchart and a slide rule to figure it all out.

Maybe that’s director Nic Pizzolato’s point.  Sometimes the answers to mysteries aren’t handed over all wrapped with a nice shiny red bow.

Word on the street is there have been some complaints that this season wasn’t as good as the last.  To that, I’d point out that the idea is that each season rolls with a new group of detectives in a different locale.  Thus, each season is like watching a whole new extended movie, so it’s hard to compare one film to another.  Just because you really like one movie, aka season one, doesn’t mean the second movie, aka season two was terrible.

They were just different.

Ahh, Rachel McAdams.  What a foxy broad.

Jake Hatcher is the Bookshelf Battle Blog’s Pop Culture Detective, sworn to solve 100 pop culture mysteries.  Sometimes he even shares his own tales of daring do in LA’s seedy underworld.  If you have a pop culture question, put Jake on the case.  Tweet questions to @bookshelfbattle or leave them in the comments.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: Informant Zero (Part 3)

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES…

Part 1      Part 2  

AND NOW THE POP CULTURE MYSTERIES CONTINUE…

After leading us through a door and down a dark hallway, the cowboy screeched his Segway to a halt in front of an elevator.

He pushed the down button.

“Here, buckaroos, is where I leave you.”shutterstock_239019796

“OK then,”  I said.  “Happy trails, pardnah.'”

“Before I go…the rules.”

“The rules!”  the cowboy repeated loudly.  “You’ll follow them to the letter if you don’t want to get thrown out of here.  Rule Number One.  Do not ask Informant Zero his name.  If he wanted you to know, he wouldn’t refer to himself as Informant Zero.”

“Makes sense.”

“Rule Number Two.  Do not touch Informant Zero in any way, shape, or form.”

“But I like touching shadowy underworld characters,”  I said.  “It’s a condition.  I can’t help it.”

Delilah tugged on my sleeve.  “Now is not the time, Mr. Hatcher.”

The cowboy squinted at me, attempting to discern whether or not I was joking.  Obviously I was, but he let it go.

“Rule Number Three, do not remove Informant Zero’s disguise.  He takes a number of precautions to hide himself from the world, and he needs to keep it that way.”

“Kinda redundant, Jack,”  I said.  “Touching him would be required to reveal him.  You could have stopped at number two.”

“NO, YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED AT NUMBER TWO!!!”

This guy was like a ticking time bomb, the slightest provocation set him off.

His comeback didn’t even make sense, but I didn’t want to rile him up any further.

“We like Informant Zero,”  the cowboy said.  “We want to keep him around.  People are only allowed to conduct business with him when they follow the rules, capiche?”

“I don’t know what you’re trying to…”

Another tug on my sleeve from Delilah.

“We capiche,” she assured our guide.  “We very much capiche, thank you Mr. Redacted.”

“All right then,”  the cowboy said as the elevator dinged.  “As long as you kemo sabes capiche.”

The doors opened and we stepped inside.

“Enjoy your visit and tell old IZ I said hello.”

Just before the doors closed, I snuck in a, “Go suck some cottage cheese ya’ sick bastard.”

And just before our descent, I heard a fist pound the metal doors, followed by an, “OW!!!  SON OF A…”

“Mr. Hatcher, that was quite uncalled for.”

“I’m sorry Ms. Donnelly.  I just didn’t like the cut of his jib.”

“Well you’re going to have to get used to jibs of all different shapes and sizes if you’re going to make it in this world.  The days when everyone marches to the tune of the same drummer are long gone.”

“Tell me about it.”

Like a trip to Veracruz, it was a long ride.

As we continued to plummet deep below the Earth’s surface, Delilah piped up again.

“Mr. Hatcher, were the olden days really that good?”

“Not at all,”  I said.  “Everyone foisted their personal beliefs on you and threatened to ruin you if you didn’t comply.”

“So why are you in such a hurry to get away from the present?”

I didn’t skip a beat.

“Because everyone foists their personal beliefs on me and threatens to ruin me if I don’t comply.”

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