Thursday, January 14, 2010

3 x Jack the Ripper

As some of you know, I love movies about (or only related) to Jack the Ripper. I don't care about if they are serious or blahablaha, that's for boring nerds. So lately I've been watching not less than three Ripper-productions. I have no wish to even write a fat review for each of them, because they are similar in the theme and sometimes even twists. First out is Whitechapel (2009), a British mini-series about a copycat trying to recreate Jacks murders in Whitechapel. For you who knows your british crime-shows, you know what you get here. Some social realistic drama, some mystery, some chases, some tension. Not bad at all, and even if the ending is slightly... not perfect, it's still a very fine production. The funniest thing is that it centers around the Ripper-fandom, and it's a lot of Ripper-tours, books and web pages. 

The second one I saw was 1997's The Ripper, a TV-movie with Patrick Bergin in the lead. It's the most nasty version of the three, with some bloody scenes and a good atmosphere. But it's still a TV-movie, and never gets that big feeling. You never seen London in any wider shots (expect a short one in the beginning), and there's a lot of obvious sets. But as usual, when it comes to the UK, there's nothing wrong with the acting and the script is good. There's no mystery for example, the killer is known from the beginning and sadly enough it's the silly, and kinda boring, Royal conspiracy that's the main theory here. But watch it for the acting and atmosphere, just don't expect anything new.

And finally we have the fifth (I think) movie version of Marie Belloc Lowndes book The Lodger, this time set in modern day LA and with an extra twist or two. I read a lot of awfully bad reviews of this flick, but it was far from as bad as I heard. Storywise it's similar to Whitechapel with copycat roaming the city, trying to recreate the murders in detail. In this version there is a mystery, and there's several suspects. I like the idea they have here, but it's not used in a really good way. David Ondaatje never brings any tension to the story, and for once is the European style (lighting, sets, camera movements) not good here. It should have won to be more "Hollywood". But still, not a bad movie and Alfred Molina is great in the lead.

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