CHICAGO – Before 1998’s “The Big Lebowski” there was 1996’s “Kingpin”, the Farrelly brothers bowling comedy that didn’t have the narrative intricacies of the Coen brothers’ classic, but had plenty of jokes about middle-aged men playing the sport. Today finds the release of “Kingpin” to Blu-ray for the first time, coming with only one new special feature.
Film Review: Gripping ‘Wallander: The Revenge’ Shames Most American Thrillers
CHICAGO – Why can’t American studios make thrillers like “Wallander: The Revenge”? As a matter of fact, why can’t we make ones like the recent production of “Sherlock” or even “Luther”? Perhaps it’s something about producing for TV that gives people more creative depth but the best thrillers so far this year have been the three episodes of “Sherlock” and this week’s release of “Wallander: The Revenge,” opening at Music Box today and available next week in a massive DVD box set.
“Wallander: The Revenge” is actually the season premiere of the second series of TV episodes that aired on Swedish television in 2009. While you may be tempted to avoid something produced for TV, “The Revenge” has theatrical caliber production values and performances. If you didn’t know, you’d never guess that it wasn’t made with a theatrical release in mind from the very beginning. This season premiere is also included in a DVD box set from Music Box Films along with 12 more 90-minute films that will be released on Tuesday.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Wallander: The Revenge” in our reviews section.|
What separates “The Revenge” is simple and what’s so often missing from American thrillers — respect for the intelligence of its audience. This is complex stuff, not purely on a procedural level but on a thematic one. It’s a very daring script in the way it tackles not just the fear of terrorism but how people use that fear to their advantage and what a general atmosphere of instability can do to people. There’s no wacky asides or ill-conceived action pieces. Everything feels focused and driven, much like the film’s incredibly smart but haggard title character.
Wallander: The Revenge
Photo credit: Music Box Films