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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS:   105 minutes, audio commentary, theatrical trailer
VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono
Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish

STUDIO:  Anchor Bay Films/ Blue Light Block/ QED/ Infinity Media
RELEASE DATE:  1-31-2012

TEXAS KILLING FIELDS is inspired by real events.  Some reviewers have brought up the fact that film doesn't have much to do with the real cases that inspired the novel which in turn was adapted into a film directed by Michael Mann's daughter, Ami Canaan Mann.   Danny Boyle was originally attached and dropped out of the project.   The script is uneven in places, but TEXAS KILLING FIELDS did manage to suck me in about halfway into the movie.  The other thing that kept me watching were the performances from Sam Worthington (the best thing from TERMINATOR: SALVATION), Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Jessica Chastain.  They play the detectives investigating a series of murders in an area of the Texas Bayou known as the Texas Killing Fields.    Their characters are what kept me watching while every other character felt very underdeveloped.   Chloe Moretz starts out with a very promising character only to see hints of what her character is going through.

Detective Souder (Worthington) and Detective Heigh (Morgan) are partners.  Heigh can't seem to let the cases go and even share them with his wife while Souder wants to distance himself from the cases.   He even has friction with his ex-wife Pam Stall (Chastain) who calls Heigh to help investigate the killings in the fields.   The killers even taunt Souder and Heigh by calling from one of the victim's cell phones.   Heigh is sucked into the darkness while Souder wants to stay far away from the chaos.    Moretz is a 12 year old girl Ann that Heigh wants to help like a social worker (even taking her for dinner to meet his wife and family).  Ann is living with a troubled family where she does the best to cope with a messed up childhood and family life.   Meanwhile, Souder is reluctantly drawn into a case he doesn't want to be a part of because the fields aren't in the jurisdiction of Texas City.

TEXAS KILLING FIELDS is a fine rental, but it would have been a crime thriller classic if they took the time to flesh out the characters more and draw more on the real cases which amounted to almost 30 murders over 28 years while the film doesn't even come close to covering the cases and how they effect the area.

The audio commentary with Ami Mann and screenwriter Donald A Ferrarone touches on the real cases and the filming of the movie in Louisana.   Also included on the disc is the theatrical trailer.   Sadly no featurette on the real cases and the real detectives is included on the disc.

FINAL ANALYSIS:   TEXAS KILLING FIELDS is a flawed thriller with strong performances from the lead actors playing the detectives.   It is a frustrating experience at time while developing the story and fleshing out the other characters would have made this a strong thriller instead of a mixed and something involving dark crime film.

this DVD review is (c)2-10-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com