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Jesse Stone: Night Passage

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 04-09-2010

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Product Description
Selleck plays the role of Jesse Stone, a former Los Angeles homicide detective who left California and his ex-wife to become the police chief in a small New England town. Among his many character flaws are his struggles with a drinking problem and lingering feelings for his ex-wife. Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise Co-starring William Devane (TV’s “Knot’s Landing”), the TV movie finds Chief Stone (Selleck) settling into his new life in Paradise when he becomes o… More >>

Jesse Stone: Night Passage

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Comments (5)

Tom Selleck is absolutely perfect as Jesse Stone, a character created by the great crime author Robert Parker. Selleck plays a burned out, alcoholic cop who takes a job in the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts as sheriff. “Night Passage” is the tale of the quest by the emotionally damaged Stone for the killer of a young girl. William Devane costars as Jesse’s shrink and he is excellent. Terrific secondary characters. In my opinion, Parker’s Jesse Stone series of novels eclipses his famous Spenser books. This story line is the prequal to CBS’s fabulously successful “Stone Cold”, Selleck’s first outing as Jesse Stone. Grab “Night Passage” . . . the Jesse Stone made-for-TV movies are quality productions with superb acting and beautiful cinematography. Stunning music. Exceptional TV. Highly, highly recommended. You don’t ofter see TV this well done these days. You must also pick up Stone Cold one of the best ever made for TV movies and Jesse Stone – Death In Paradise. Can’t wait for the latest Jesse Stone TV movie, Sea Change, to be released on DVD!!

Rating: 5 / 5

I’ll skip commentary on the plot or Tom Selleck. Most people have covered these very well. My perspective is production quality. Generally, television movies are merely okay when judged by music and camera work. After all, the little screen is cheaper than the big screen. The stunning production of the Jesse Stone series sets it above anything seen ever.

I would love to know the location setting. I was born and raised in MA and can’t imagine a village like Paradise within commuting distance of Boston. The entire North and South Shore above and below Boston are teeming with residents so tightly packed that merely setting off to pick up milk takes resilience and cunning.I’m thinking that it’s really Canada or the state of Maine.

It’s the harsh and compelling scenery of the shoreline wrapping around the tiny town of Paradise that sets the appropriate mood for the brooding and iconoclastic new police chief, LA fugitive Jesse Stone. Gorgeous, sunny fall days full of spectacular, sharply displayed color recede into damp, rainy, foreboding nights full of those quietly desparate people who rarely dare to leave. The camera work is as stunning as I’ve ever seen out of Hollywood. One could find entertainment playing this DVD over and over even with the sound turned off.

Crank it up, though. Don’t miss the poignant score artfully articulated by Jeff Beal. I hope the soundtrack will be released as well as future movies. I always play the credits that role too briefly at the end. Big screen movie credits go on interminably citing the great contribution of everyone from the executive producers to the gal that keeps the coffee fresh on set. The Jesse Stone series is just a few names at the start and the end. Still, I find it hard to shut the television off until the last note is played.

The cast is a great blend of old pros and new talent. Selleck’s trademark laid back style envelopes the storyline like a perfectly broken in leather chair. Kohl Sudduth as Luther “Suitcase” Simpson, the eager young officer, moves into a favorite son roll that contrasts very well against the paternal Jesse Stone. The dispatcher is commandingly played by the amazing Viola Davis who takes her character from skeptical resentment to protective admiration swiftly and smoothly.

Saul Rubinek, the crooked but likeable banker squeezes two movies out of what is usually a throwaway roll. Rubinek may be one of those names you can’t place because he’s pretty much a utility actor rather than a first stringer. But he’s never failed in being a notorious scene stealer in the best sense of the term. He has capacity to spare in his acting and prevents any flattening of character. The viewer roots for his comeuppance and then regrets his punishment.

The Tony D’Angelo character simmers in petty irritaion as the oldest cop at the station who’s forced to play bridesmaid to every bride when the job of chief is ‘stolen’ from him by the incoming LA stranger Stone. Vito Rezza’s expressive face and talented posturing creates an enduring tribute to the self-obsessed “little guy” steeming in his own resentments and obsessed with lame efforts to get back at the new chief.

But the real prize is the main character. There’s a great deal of viewer satisfaction in seeing a powerful, confident man who, despite his own personal demons, sees crime and punishment through a complicated but common sense lens. Whether in a big city or a tiny village, he operates on his own keenly tuned intution, dispensing justice with supreme condidence. In this world of man-made conflict it is very rewarding to see a man who can un-make the troublemakers.

Rating: 5 / 5

Excellent lead in to “Stone Cold”. Tom Selleck does a great job as Stone in this prequel to the first movie. The back story of him being fired because he drank on the job shows he has a murky past. Him driving to Paradise, and us getting a chance to see character development, is good. He finds some suspicious events tied to the previous sheriff of Paradise, and a good lead as to why the sheriff is retiring early. When he handles a case of a battered wife, he finds the husband is hiding something. If that isn’t enough, Jesse’s dog Boomer has failing health. It is handled with a sensitive touch. Especially if you have been through it. If you enjoy this be sure to catch the other two movies “Stone Cold” and “Death in Paradise” based on Robert Parker books. You may like “An Innocent Man” as well. It is a drama with Selleck being falsely accused of a crime and then being sent to prison. Tom Selleck is a great actor. Often underappreciated as far as I’m concerned. I have enjoyed ninety percent of all his TV shows and movies. So if you like Selleck or good dramas, be sure to catch this one.
Rating: 5 / 5

I have all the available DVDs from the series and well worth the purchase for me as I love a good mystery and Tom Selleck as well. He is just so easy on the eyes! I don’t believe they could have picked a better actor to play this part–Selleck is a great fit.
Rating: 5 / 5

After CBS aired “Stone Cold” in 2005, the ratings response prompted a series of TV movies. So, for the second entry, CBS went back to the beginning and adapted “Night Passage,” Robert B. Parker’s novel that introduced Paradise, Massachusetts police chief Jesse Stone.

In “Night Passage,” we see a very different Stone from the first movie. In this prequel, he leaves Los Angeles after being fired from the police due to his alcoholism. His wife has left him, and booze seems to be the only thing getting him through his pain. And he arrives in Paradise as the hand-picked replacement for the outgoing police chief by an unscrupulous businessman who doesn’t want a strong law presence in town. He’s sadly mistaken and misjudges Jesse.

Like the other films in the series, “Night Passage” surrounds star Tom Selleck with a dynamite supporting cast. Saul Rubinek, Stephanie March, Stephen Baldwin, Mike Starr, Viola Davis and the underappreciated Stephen McHattie all provide support. The acting is not the problem with “Night Passage,” but the story is weak.

Maybe because the paramilitary, white supremacist storyline from Parker’s book is ejected in favor of a money laundering scheme, but there’s no mystery or suspense to be found here. Jesse suspects Hasty Hathaway from Day One, and he knows Joe Genest is involved with the mob. Besides, Joe doesn’t make for a good menace because Jesse kicks his butt within five minutes of meeting him.

The strength of the piece lies with Selleck, who turns in a tour de force performance as a man who is trying to hold on to the last chance he’s got in life. Recently, Selleck was nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Stone in “Sea Change,” and it’s nice to see these films and Selleck getting their due.

Is it a bad movie? No, but it is not as good as “Stone Cold” or “Death in Paradise.” I would recommend this one for established Jesse Stone fans only. Even though it is technically “Chapter 1” of Jesse’s story, it is a bad film to start with.
Rating: 3 / 5

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