movie review, with bonus literary history addendum

February 20, 2013

Remember those Harry and Marlowe stories I just mentioned?  They’re out now!  I should have waited a day to post!

“Harry and Marlowe Escape the Mechanical Siege of Paris” is on Lightspeed.

More info about The Mad Scientists Guide to World Domination, including “Harry and Marlowe Meet the Founder of the Aetherian Revolution.”

So I watched Arbitrage, and it drove me a little batty that almost every character was from Hollywood Central Casting, Cliche Department. (The exception was the main character’s daughter, who was smart, ethical, savvy, a mother, and a generally decent human being.  I think this would have been a better movie from her point of view.)  In fact, when the Euro hipster art dealer mistress went to the back of the gallery during the big opening to snort cocaine, I busted out laughing.  Dude, that is so 1988.  **SPOILER** I also think the movie would have been better without the car wreck, which turned the whole thing into a two-hour episode of Law and Order, but what’re ya gonna do?  **END SPOILER**

Fortunately, I didn’t stop watching there because the next scene was Tim Roth playing Columbo…and he really was playing Columbo!  It wasn’t my imagination!  “My deepest condolences, I’ll leave you alone now…but if I could just ask one question…I couldn’t help but notice that cut on your forehead.  You mind telling me how that happened?”  It was beautiful.

And did you know that Columbo isn’t actually original to Columbo?  That character, the bumbling detective who is completely despised and dismissed by the criminal suspect, but who in reality is the smartest one in the room and trips up the suspect through roundabout questioning?  That character has been around for a long time.  Petrovich, the detective in Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment is this type.  And before that, Inspector Bucket in Dickens’ Bleak House.  That’s right, Charles Dickens invented Columbo!

I love being an English major!

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4 Responses to “movie review, with bonus literary history addendum”

  1. Gus Hinrich Says:

    Interesting about Columbo. I knew the Dostoyevsky connection, but Dickens? Did Dostoyevsky get it from Dickens, or independently?

  2. Carrie V. Says:

    I had a professor who claimed that Dostoyevsky got the idea from Dickens, but I haven’t looked into it for more info.

  3. WanabePBWriter Says:

    I there is a Heinlein Quote or character line, along the lines of “All writing is theft.” There’s probably some obscure Greek philosopher that reads like Colombo.

  4. Jazzlet Says:

    I love Harry and Marlowe, so thanks for more of them.


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