Sunday, March 13, 2011

Criminal Recommendations

I like crime films and good crime television viewing - television is capable of delivering something of cultural value from time to time. The following are just somethings I have recently come across or decided to revisit.

Red Riding: 1974, 1980, 1983

I hadn't heard of David Pearce's Red Riding Quartet (1974, 1977, 1980 and 1983) until I came across these films on my On Demand service. I wasn't able to watch the first one due to flooding in my apartment back in December, but they are finally out on DVD here and I rented them for this weekend. Set during the time of the Yorkshire Ripper murders, the series looks at police, civic and political corruption and collusion. It is bleak but worthwhile watching if you are a fan of the genre. I'll be looking for the books soon.

The Wire

From David Simon, former crime reporter responsible for the much lauded series Homicide: Life on the Streets, (based on his book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets) created this realistic series with Ed Burns who was a police officer and public school teacher. Cops like this series. Criminals like this series. Baltimore residents apparently say that this series nails how it really is in their city. I am surprised at how many people still haven't seen this show.
They look at the problems out on the streets from all perspectives. They look at all the obstacles facing police, the ways on which criminals make use of the system and find new ways to thrive and grow. Five seasons of goodness, so get on it.

The Hunter and The Outfit

There have been many adaptations of Donald Westlake's (written under the pseudonym Richard Stark) series about a hard ass, career criminal named Parker. Comic book artist and writer, Darwyn Cooke, has been doing an outstanding job of adapting the series for the graphic novel format. Keeping the setting of the early 1960's, Cooke uses an advertising art style from that period which lends the work a sort of authenticity. So far he has just two works adapted and will be adapting another two. Check it out.

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