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 Post subject: True Detective
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:08 pm 
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Well shit. Now I'm going to have to get HBO back. Cary Fukunaga's eight-episode series, True Detective, with McConaughey and Harrelson looks fantastic.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:02 am 
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I'm excited that this will be an attempt at an American Horror Story-like show, with different arcs each season. And considering that HBO attracts bigger talent than FX, it could be quite the hit for them.

I'm more interested in what the network has cooking up outside their in-house deals, finally reaching out to Fox and Sony to come together on projects.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:56 am 
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First episode was pretty tight. I'm glad to hear that all 8 episodes will have the same writer and director, too.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:08 am 
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I caught the last 10 minutes of this waiting for the season premiere of Girls and it really looked superb. I'll be DVR-ing the re-run and watching the rest of the season, for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:36 pm 
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Based on the first episode, I thought it really did well to execute a premise that should by now be utterly tiresome. Much in the same fashion as Hannibal, its strength appears to be the interesting dynamics between the characters, the engaging visual elements, and the focused and straightforward performances. Unlike Hannibal, I'm glad they were restrained when choosing to display the grotesque imagery of their crime scene, which is surprising when it's a show on HBO (there's probably more gory images in upcoming episodes). If someone had told me 10-15 years ago that I would be fascinated by Matthew McConaughey's career choices and performances, I would have probably asked them to seek psychiatric help (and I might still dedicate my retired years to tracking down and burning every copy of A Time to Kill - book and video), but now I'm just astounded that he's able to keep up with other talented actors and remain interesting in almost anything he chooses to dedicate time towards. Only crappy part was that my PVR cut off a line or two at the very end during the switch over between this and Girls.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:32 pm 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
I thought it really did well to execute a premise that should by now be utterly tiresome.

What saves it is that despite the well-worn premise, the focus (at least thus far) is on character and atmosphere. Comparatively, Thomas Harris staples such as lingering depictions of the killer's pathology and extended moments of detective business are perfunctory and usually serve a character point. For a sixty minute show we learn very little about the crime (little more than you'd get in the first five minutes of a Law and Order episode) but quite a bit about the lead characters and the milieu. There's very little in the way of cliche, which is impressive because the two leads could so easily become types. Yet they're always authentic (the calibre of the acting helps here) and surprising. The writing is superb: the dialogue isn't predictable and it's expressive rather than explanatory. The multiple time-lines didn't feel like a narrative gimmick, either. The two time-lines lent each other such a weight of suggestion and implication and kept adding fascinating context to each other.

So, yeah, I really like it.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:18 pm 
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Everything you guys said is something I felt as well while watching. It also helps that Fukunaga brings to the material some of the interest in tactile detail he had in Jane Eyre--so that the detail of place and time and atmosphere becomes cinematic and doesn't fall into traditional television modes of cinematic shorthand. There is a sense that you can feel the moisture in the air, the sweat in the bar setting; even the way the air gets close in a room when people's tension nearly gives way to hostility. The dark, irritated ruts under Matthew McConaughey's eyes in the contemporary interview scenes create an exceptionally evocative sense of the character's own "decay" which has worked upon him between the different time periods.

It's a great start, and the preview for next week looks interesting; I get the sense from it that the development of the characters is going to be unusual and probably pretty arresting.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:05 pm 
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Enjoyed this first episode--it certainly doesn't want for mood, style, and intrigue--but started to wonder at points whether this role might be testing the limits of McConaughey's recently rediscovered acting chops. I'm tempted to chalk it up to a few overwritten monologues, but all that ostentatious philosophizing seemed significantly less convincing coming out of McConaughey's mouth. I'm game to accept him as a strip club patriarch or a sociopathic wall street shark but I'm not sure how believably he can really sell himself as a self-serious, existential truth-seeker. Harrelson's wry commentary made these scenes a bit easier to swallow and balanced them out tonally, but the sense that we might be glimpsing the first cracks in this newly polished McConaughey armor was tough to shake by the end. Hope I'm proved wrong, though--he's been nothing if not consistently surprising these past few years.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:37 pm 
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Mr Sausage wrote:
Andre Jurieu wrote:
I thought it really did well to execute a premise that should by now be utterly tiresome.
What saves it is that despite the well-worn premise, the focus (at least thus far) is on character and atmosphere.

Yes, and more than occasionally reminded of Bong Joon-ho's Memories of Murder.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:59 pm 
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Excellent episode last night, left on a real cliffhanger. I'm liking what has gone on so far, but I feel my true judgment of it will come at the end. I can tell it's going to be that kind of show.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:22 pm 
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The dismantling of Hart in this episode--the slow revealing of his subtle disturbance--was really well-handled. It made me want to know more about where Hart is in the contemporary, "wraparound" narrative. We know Cohle has become this crusty, barely functional character, and it seems as if Hart is still a detective. But after this new episode, you might wonder how together the Hart of the present-day really is. There's a tease in the interview segments where Hart seems to loose the thread of what they're talking about completely.

I also like the way they keep us in suspense as to the nature of the wraparound interviews Cohle and Hart are being subjected to--there's the sense of real consequence in the interviews, as if one of them, Cohle or Hart, might now be implicated in some genuine criminal villainy--but we still don't know what it is the interviewing detectives are driving at.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
(and I might still dedicate my retired years to tracking down and burning every copy of A Time to Kill - book and video)
I'll happily volunteer to assist you in that noble endeavor.

That movie did no favors even for the normally rock solid likes of Jackson and Cooper, so I never held it too much against MM.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:02 pm 
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feihong wrote:
and it seems as if Hart is still a detective.

Could've sworn he mentioned retiring and doing something related to security in that first episode.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:07 pm 
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Yeah, I'm sure it's some sort of security-firm and I believe he's fairly high-up in their management (not sure if he owns it).

As an aside, I usually find that there isn't a more jarringly juxtaposition or abrupt transition than from this show to Girls in terms of tone, style, and content, but last night's concluding line regarding "monsters" actually served as a pretty good primer for last night's episode of Girls.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:29 pm 
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The way the detectives in the wraparound were asking about Cohle in the first two episodes, they clearly want the viewer to infer that they are looking to him as a suspect in the new killing. They alluded to the fact he had completely dropped off the grid for almost ten years, and they're clearly suspicious of him. Probably turn out to be misdirection though.

Hart has no wedding ring in the wraparound, and the show is also tilting toward something between his wife and Cohle, perhaps the falling out they've hinted at. Cohle telling Maggie that men like him "know what we want and don't mind being alone" was pointed.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:45 am 
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I believe that Hart says something in the first episode about how they worked together for quite a few years following the Dora Lang case, right? So whatever happens vis a vis Cohle being a serial killer or having an affair with Hart's wife must be something that plays out in a very complicated way.

I think they're trying to keep us guessing between Cohle and Hart as to who is the likelier copycat serial killer.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:36 am 
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In the wraparound, Hart mentions something that happened in 2002. He also said they were partners seven years, and with the police saying Cohle went missing for a decade, 2002 is obviously when some schism occurred between them.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:40 am 
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Also, I wonder if there is anything substantial to the Robert Chambers stuff from the earlier episode (the mention of the King in Yellow and Carcosa). In Chambers's stories, anyone who read The King in Yellow went mad or depressed. There is a lot about masks in it too (thinking about the way episode three ends).


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:01 am 
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Renewed for a second season.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:36 pm 
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There's no hyperbole strong enough to describe the achievement that was tonight's episode.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:07 am 
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Seriously, the final ten minutes may be the best long take that's ever been put on television, I hate to resort to such hyperbole but there really is no other way for me to describe it. The Russian Ark of action sequences, or at the least reminiscent of Children of Men. Just wow.


Last edited by Murdoch on Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:12 am 
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Just came here to post about tonight's episode. The final ten minutes was the most white knuckle television I've ever seen. Goddamn.

I'm hoping we get to see more about how that whole scene was shot. I'm sure there were some clever edits made to match up with passing door frames, but it looked very, very good.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:48 pm 
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I assume one of the edits was made while the characters were running through/behind the laundry being hung out to dry. Then again, maybe I just imagined that part since the sequence was pretty exhilarating and disorientating stuff. Having Cohle rock back and forth between the action occurring in those two rooms, with the audio wavering was a great way to elevate the tension within the sequence and convey the overall instability of the situation, not to mention Cohle's own murky mental state.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:31 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:06 pm
Fukunaga says here it was in fact one seamless take
I'm surprised too, I was convinced there were some (seamless) edits in there.


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 Post subject: Re: True Detective
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:39 pm 
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This series just keeps getting more impressive (and less predictable) as it goes along. The scene at the end was so gripping I didn't even realize until towards the end that it was all one, long take. An impressive technical achievement.

That scene aside, my favourite moment was the conversation in the bar where Cohle keeps trying to get Hart to stop talking about his marriage implosion--it's the only time I've ever seen that kind of scene played that way, with one character actively stopping the other from giving a long, grief-laden speech. This show has such a precise idea of who its characters are that it's never in any danger of running into cliche. Quite the opposite, it even courts cliched situations knowing its characters will dance around them.


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