Sunday, November 20, 2011

Peter Griffin and My Husband Say "Mark Harmon is the Greatest Actor Who Ever Lived"

Life can get a bit cluttered for readers. Books end up, not only on the book shelves but all over the house. My husband currently has three books and a magazine stashed in our bathroom; John Rogue's Nostradamus and a Popular Science magazine are on the vanity, Stephen Coont's The Assassins and John Sandford's Sudden Prey are draped alongside each other over the towel bar. What else would you use a towel bar for, if not to store a book in progress? On my husband's dresser he has two Rex Stout Nero Wolfe mysteries; Champagne for One and Three Trumps. His night table is stacked with a tattered paperback copy of John D. MacDonald's The Quick Red Fox, History's Greatest Conspiracies from H.Paul Jeffers, and two more John Sandford books, Bad Blood and Wicked Prey. He just finished Sandford's Buried Prey on my Nook. Since I seem to be doing most of my reading on my Nook these days, my side of the bed is considerably tidier, there's Our Man From Havana in paperback and Norman Ollestad's Crazy for the Storm.
When it comes to mysteries, crime novels and thrillers, my husband is my go-to guy, especially when it comes to Sandford. As I've said before I think he's read and re-read them all!
For fellow Sandford fanatics, this is how he felt about the Certain Prey made for television movie with Mark Harmon.

"First off, I loved it and would watch other Prey movies if they continue to make them. While voice over narration isn't usually that desirable in an action movie, it was essential in this case to have Harmon filling in the history and unavoidable gaps. One the downside, one unexcusable plot gaffe was that Carmel and Clara only realized Rollo that didn't reveal the location of the missing mini dvd after Carmel killed him. Only after she fatally shot him did she wonder where he might have hidden the tape. Ridiculous! And I didn't buy the conversation where Carmel goes on and on about how she could care less about people. It felt contrived. It was unfortunate that the discussion on the couch between Carmel and Clara seemed to be driven by Carmel saying it didn't bother her to kill someone. The real conversation, as Sandford wrote it in the book,  revolved around Clara saying it didn't bother her to kill someone. After all, she was the real hit woman! That was pretty irritating. Physically, while Harmon doesn't match Sandord's description of Lucas -- the big, ex-hockey player, the scarred face, the scary smile --  I thought Harmon captured the essence of Davenport - his competitiveness, his dertmination to win, his self flagellation when he makes a mistake, perfectly.
As far as other casting goes, I wasn't blown away but I thought the actors did a pretty good job of bringing the characters to life. My view of Clara Rinker was a bubbly cheerleader type which Maslany really wasn't but her chameleon-like qualities grew on me and she won me over. I for one, would have seen to it that Dell Clapsock's character was in the movie - he's more interesting than Sloan or Black. Although I did like the repartee between Sloan and Davenport when Sloan comes in wearing his goofy fanny pack and joking in a deadpan way to Hale that he was just about to shoot Davenport. Right out of the book! And I liked  how they portrayed Black, who is openly gay, but not over the top. Not every gay man has the stereotypical qualities of a Jack from the Will and Grace television show."
Oviously what the drives the movie is Mark Harmon. My husband, like me, is a huge Harmon and NCIS fan.  He gets great pleasure from telling people that he agrees with Peter Griffin from Family Guy that "Mark Harmon is the greatest actor who ever lived." In fact, he's such a huge Mark Harmon fan that if Mark Schiltz wasn't on the show as a producer, he probably would have tried to get a job on the show!
So now I've told you what we both thought. How about you? Did it live up to your expectations? Did you love it or hate it?

2 comments:

  1. I like the books better (generally do though). Mark Harmon is a talented actor but I thought the writing did not do him justice. I read the movie did well in ratings so maybe the next movie will be better written. I found the only character remarkably likeable was the contract killer. If one is going to make a series of movies perhaps the audience should care about the characters (sort of like NCIS). I hope the next movie integrates some of the history a little. Good luck.

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  2. So we are all agreed that the contract killer was likeable... funny isn't it? Thanks for commenting; I really appreciate that you took the time. Fingers crossed for the next one!

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