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I caught Blood Work

I caught Blood Work last night at the Somerville Theatre. Much to my relief, the central theater is still there; I’d been worried because the listings showed five movies playing there at once, and in my previous Bostonian life, there was only a single large auditorium. But it seems they’ve simply added small screening rooms on the sides, and the main theater (with balcony) remains intact. Good.

Alas, the movie didn’t benefit from my resulting good mood. I hadn’t truthfully been expecting all so much, since I wasn’t overly fond of . The bones of the plot worked better on the screen than on the page for me, perhaps because Michael Conneley’s prose isn’t very fluid, but the acting in general wasn’t terribly strong. Jeff Daniels as the guy next door was good, and Eastwood himself was passable, but everyone else — even Angelica Huston — was strident and strained. Big drama with big declarations and horrendously arrhythmic patterns of speech. Not so good.

Again, the story is certainly solid and it’s a very clever idea for a mystery. The screenplay was by Brian Hegeland, who wrote L.A. Confidential, so I’m not surprised that the adaptation went well. The tension was there in theory. The actors simply let the script down.

So: skip. Maybe rent if you’re a real Eastwood fan.

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