Review: Luther Season 4

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Luther Season 4 has just debuted on BBC recently and has had its highest ratings yet, here in the United States. Season 4 is much shorter then the past seasons, as it is only 2 episodes long, or more accurately one, 2 hour film.

This Season we see Luther(Idris Elba) in a bit of a different place then we have before. He is living in the county, in a small home, by himself. He is still on the edge of suicide and though he is not in the city fighting crime he still seems battered. He soon gets a visit from two detectives, Theo played by Darren Boyd and Emma played by Rose Leslie. They report to Luther that Alice has been killed, and they must question Luther and search his home. This is of course a shock to both us as an audience and Luther. We really see in this opening that Luther is truly all alone now. Everybody close to him is gone in one way or another.

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Luther is on leave from the police force and he is not in his usual suit and tie. He soon jumps right into investigating what happened to Alice, not as a detective, but as his broken self. As the two new detectives we meet earlier, are on a case of a serial killer, Luther takes a tour of the London underworld looking for clues in Alice’s murder.

I don’t want to give anything away, but we soon see Luther put on his suit and tie, like it is his superhero outfit or his battle armor and re-joins the force.

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Neil Cross has written another amazing story with some twists and turns we do not see coming. I was disappointed that Alice is dead, or is she? We do get some new characters that will challenge Luther and some that will support him. Idris Elba has recently stated about Luther”It’s unfinished business, it’s fertile ground,” and. “The character continues to challenge me.” With Elba’s rising star in film, I would say the biggest hurdle for more Luther is Elba’s other projects, but with these statements, he seems open to playing Luther again. Lets hope we get to see Luther again soon.

For more inside information to Season 4 of Luther and what the future may hold for the series, check out Mandi Bierly interview with Neil Cross here:

https://www.yahoo.com/tv/luther-special-postmortem-neil-cross-044729299.html

 

 

Review: Re-watching Luther Season 3

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Luther Season 3 finds Luther(Idris Elba) in a deeper hole then ever. He starts out having to take on two cases at the same time. One is a fetish killing that seems linked to some murders that took place 30 years ago. The second seems a simple open and shut case of an internet troll who has been killed.

To make things worse Erin Gray(Nikki Amuka-Bird) has been promoted to I.A. and is gunning for Luther. She partners with George Stark, played by David O’Hara. They recruit Ripley(Warren Brown) to help them.

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Luther also finds a new love in Mary Day, played by Sienna Guillory.

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Luther takes on his hardest case in the last two episodes, when a vigilante who has lost his wife to a convicted rapists, butts heads with Luther on what is right and what is wrong.

Neil Cross does another amazing job taking us on this journey with Luther. Season 3 follows the formula of Season 2 where we only get 4 episodes and each case takes two episodes to close. Luther has a lot to overcome in this season, on both a personal level as well as a professional one. As always nobody is safe and oh yeah…Alice is back!

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Each season of Luther gets a little darker then the last and this one tops season 2 in that way. There are many scenes of horror and fright that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  So…now what? Come back tomorrow to take a look at season 4.

Here is a link to a look at Season 2:

https://everythingnoir.com/2015/12/28/review-re-watching-luther-season-2/

 

Review: Re-watching Luther Season 2

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Neil Cross does it again, with season 2 of Luther. This season is even darker then the first and explores the underworld of London.

With the finale leaving us in ah and wondering “now what?” We find Luther( Idris Elba) is still in his position as a detective. Ripley(Warren Brown) has been demoted for his actions in season 1. Martin Schenk(Dermot Crowley)has taken over the department. The big question was where was Alice Morgan(Ruth Wilson) going to end up after season 1? Well we find Alice in an mental hospital after a short prison stint and a suicide attempt.

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For season 2  Benny Silver( Michael Smiley) has joined Luther’s team on a permanent basis. By the book Detective Erin Grey( Nikki Amuka-Bird) has also joined the team, but does not trust Luther, due to the rumors surrounding him as a dirty cop.

Caroline Jones played by Kierston Wareing shows up looking for Luther’s help. Luther captured her husband years ago, when her husband accidentally killed a prostitute and she has been leaning on Luther ever since. The husband committed suicide in prison and Caroline still blames Luther. Caroline wants help finding her daughter, how is going to shot a disturbing pornographic film soon. Luther knows he shouldn’t get involved, but eventually does. He brings Caroline’s daughter Jenny, played by Aimee-Ffion Edwards, to a safe house. This sets off a chain of events that drags Luther deeper into trouble.

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Season 2 is only 4 episodes long with the first two episodes covering a case of a man fascinated with the Spring Heel Jack from English Folklore and the last 2 episodes cover a psychotic who is inspired by role playing games to cause panic and destruction on the city.

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Luther has had enough of being a detective and wants out, he just needs to finish up a few things before he leaves. This of course doesn’t work out for him as he cleans one thing off the books, something else comes up he must take care of.

The shooting of season 2 is even more in the neo noir spirit then the first season. We still get mostly shades of grey with splashes of red and a few other colors now and then. The shooting of reflections on glass or through glass are prevalent once again.

If you liked season 1, you are going to love season 2! Look for a review of Season 3 tomorrow.

Here is yesterday’s look at season 1:

https://everythingnoir.com/2015/12/27/review-re-watching-luther-season-1/

 

Review: Re-watching Luther Season 1

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Luther is a television series from BBC about a brilliant, but very troubled police detective. This series is written by novelist Neil Cross. Cross wanted to write an original character that was different from what we normally see. He says most crime/mystery characters fall into one of two types of characters. There is the who done it detective that is out to show how smart they are by solving the puzzle, best exemplified by Sherlock Homes. The second type is the gritty, strong characters best exemplified by Phillip Marlowe(the side of the crime drama we love here at Everything Noir). Cross made Luther a cross of the best of these two types of crime fiction and told the stories of Luther in the fashion of Columbo. So to make something totally original Cross made Luther a stew of some of the best detectives in literature, film and television.

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Neil Cross’ writing is half of the successful formula for Luther. The other half is the acting of Idris Elba as Luther. Luther as a character is very complex. He is willing to bend the rules to stop the evil in his city. He has mental issues caused by the stresses of his job and the evil he has seen. He is a genius detective with a mind that thinks outside the box compared to other detectives. This genius doesn’t alienate him from others, like it does with characters like Sherlock Homes, he can use this to get information out of witnesses and suspects.

Season 1 starts out with Luther chasing a man through a factory. When he finds the man hanging by his finger tips from a cat walk. Luther lets this man fall, to what seems to be the man’s death. This also lands Luther in a mental hospital and the man that fell in a coma in the hospital.

Months later Luther is out of the hospital and back on the job, cleared of any wrong doing. We find Luther has been separated from his wife, Zoe, played by Indira Varma, during this time. Luther finds he now has a new partner, Ripley, played by Warren Brown and is sent on a new case. The case looks like a break-in where two people and a dog are shot dead. The daughter of the dead couple found them and called the police. Luther suspects the daughter Alice Morgan, played by  Ruth Wilson as the murderer.

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Alice Morgan is a genius as well, who has gone to college at 13. Luther knows she has committed the murders, but also knows she is to smart to ever be caught. Alice is a bit of a Hannibal Lecter character and is a friend and a foe to Luther through out season 1.

Season 1 is 6 episodes long, but has more story then most series twice or four times as long. Luther tackles a handful of cases, some come to a conclusion in one episode, some take longer or linger through out the season. Luther also has to face his personal issues with his wife and with others on the police force through out the series as well.

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Luther is also filmed in a very interesting way. The show is mostly filmed in shades of grey with some small splashes of reds and other colors. The show also uses interesting locations that give it a certain feel.

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Luther is some of the best television in the last five years and well worth watching. Noir fans will thoroughly enjoy this series. Look tomorrow for my look at Season 2.

Article: Dark Christmas: 7 Noir Holiday Films

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Jake Hinkson has put together a list of films, noir lovers will enjoy over the Christmas Season. So if you are looking for something a little darker then the Christmas Musicals and Comedies that will be all over this season, take a look at this list for some options.

http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2014/12/dark-christmas-7-noir-holiday-films-jake-hinkson

Did Hinkson miss any? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my favorites not on this list, what are yours?

Re-Watching the Classics: Sexy Beast

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Sexy Beast is a British neo noir from 2000 directed by Jonathan Glazer. This is Glazer’s first feature film and he started his career off with a bang. This received much critical acclaim especially for Ben Kingsley who was nominated for over 20 awards including a nomination for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. This film also made the list for Total Film’s 50 Greatest British Movies Ever at number 15.

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This film starts out with Gal Dove played by Ray Winstone enjoying his retirement in Spain with his wife Deedee played by Amanda Redman.  His best friend Aitch played by Cavan Kendall(in his last role before his death) and Aitch’s wife Jackie played by Julianne White have also joined the Dove’s in Spain for a quite retirement.

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In the opening scene Gal is sunbathing with a large boulder flies by him into his pool. Is this symbolism of a crime life he has narrowly escaped, but is soon coming back to haunt him?

The two happy couples soon get word a person from their past is coming to see them, Don Logan played by Ben Kingsley. Don is psychopath who is there to recruit Gal for one last job in England. Gal doesn’t want to go, but Don is persistent. Will Gal go help with the heist? Will he be able to get out of it somehow?

Ian McShane plays Teddy Bass, the brains behind the heist back in England. McShane does a great job as a gangster that maybe scarier then Don. What he does to get the knowledge he needs for the heist gives you the lengths he will go to. His brutality later in the film shows how scary this man is.

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This is an amazing film and should be watched by any film buff. All the performances are outstanding and the story is great. This film does have some interesting symbolism such as the boulder I mentioned before. The other one is the scary looking rabbit that appears from time to time through out the film.

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The theories behind this rabbit vary greatly. One of them is it is simple death. Is it Gal’s past haunting him or Don’s sexual repression.  Maybe it is just the hunted becoming the hunter? All of which seem to be good theories to me and make sense, what is your theory on this one?

 

Article: WHAT MOVIES WERE YOU WATCHING 20 YEARS AGO?

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The Line-Up found this best and worst of 1995 crime films in The Armchair Detective in 1996 and was written by Ric Meyers.

It has many now classic neo noir films on both the best and worst lists. It is an interesting time capsule. What films are on the right lists and which ones are not? Personally I would have put the the film in the number 5 spot on the worst list as my favorite from 1995, how about you?

Here is the link to the full article and list

http://www.the-line-up.com/media/flashback-best-worst-movies-1995/

Anybody else find it interesting that Heat did not make this list?