fter staying in the background for weeks, in “Episode Five” Stanley Tucci’s DCI Morton takes over the investigation of Stoddard’s death, stepping in for Richard Dormer’s Sheriff Anderssen after his outburst of violence at the end of “Episode Four”. The series has been coy with Morton’s motives thus far and that continues here, with Morton playing things close to the vest, but with Morton leading the interrogation, at least one thing becomes clear: Morton’s not in town to solve Stoddard’s murder. Discovering Liam Sutter’s instigation of, and perhaps sole responsibility in, the death of Stoddard does little to slow Morton down. He’s determined to unravel the mystery of Billy Pettigrew’s death and mere details like Anderssen’s confession to the crime, as an act of mercy to a polar bear victim, aren’t going to stop him.
The splitting of the conclusions of recent fantasy or sci-fi franchises into two parts (or more – looking at you, Peter Jackson) has been financially successful for Hollywood studios, but less so creatively. Only arguable trendsetter Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I proved a satisfying film in its own right by being so rich in character interplay and having an actual sense of progression. Mockingjay – Part I is heavy on character beats, but they are repetitive ones due to its limited scope through withholding all the big stuff until Part 2.
What is sure to be one of the year’s biggest films, Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I, has its first trailer. Luckily this film appears to be doing something other than having a second half of the film be another round of the Hunger Games, as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) becomes the face of a rebellion against Donald Sutherland’s President Snow.
Like much of Neil LaBute’s work, Some Velvet Morning takes on a highly discomforting situation and pushes it to extremes. It is a frustrating film in ways both good and bad. LaBute’s execution of a two-person drama is a painstaking exercise in building anxiety, but as the tension slows ramps up, some minds are bound to wander.