DVD Review: TEXAS KILLING FIELDS

8 09 2012

This movie is almost too badass for words! 
But I’m going to try to be professional and make some sense…


Several online reviews, by critics and movie-goers alike, found the Texas Killing Fields to be a rehashing of other, better, crime dramas or thrillers.
I feel that Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain and Chloe Grace Moretz are all excellent in this dark, backwoods, murder-mystery.

Morgan stars as Brian Heigh, a grumbly, graying detective who just seems to want his work to mean something. He is always willing to help out his fellow officers, specifically Pam Stall, earnestly played by the stunning Jessica Chastain, from a neighboring department.
Heigh’s partner, an eager but obstinate detective, Mike Sounder used to be married to Stall. Sounder struggles with his loyalty to his partner, having very different ideas about what cases before them are the “important” ones; and with Heigh’s growing comraderie with Stall. Sounder goes a little rogue, staking out a creepy would-be pimp and dealer with serious neck-tattoos. Whilst surveilling the man and his green Pontiac, or drowning his sorrows in the off-duty hours, he misses several opportunities to get in on the hunt Heigh and Stall are on for the serial killers boldly dropping girls all across ‘the fields.’
Heigh takes an interest in the well-being of local truant Anne (Moretz), whos time walking the backroads may actually be safer than sitting at home. Lucky for her, Heigh is very nearby when she is snatched from a local convenience store – presumably to be the killers’ next victim. Moretz, now 15, is powerful but understated in the angsty role. The up-and-comer is definitely not afraid to get some dirt under her nails and drop a few phrases unbecoming of a young lady (case in point: she will be reprising the controversial role of  Hit Girl inKick Ass 2,due out in June 2013).

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) was attached, but dropped out of the project. Upon his departure, Boyle told The New York Times: “Texas Killing Fields was a fantastic script, really special script, but it was just so dark it would never get made.”

Ami Canaan Mann, daughter of Hollywood heavyweight Michael Mann, stepped in to helm the Donald F. Ferrarone screenplay.

While set in a strip of Texas between Houston and Galveston (and loosely based on a series of murders in the area over the last decade+), the production shot in May 2010 in bayous of Louisiana.
Michael Mann — who you may know from any one of his acclaimed works,Last of the Mohicans, Heat, Ali, The Aviator — served as producer on the film.

Following it’s premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, Texas Killing Fields had a limited theatrical release in October 2011. Its box office gross, to date, stands just under $960,000. (A mere $45,000 of which was earned domestically.) 

Texas Killing Fieldsis available on home video and digital download. I say: Well worth the rental fee! (Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit I work in one of the last video stores on the planet, and I got it for free.)

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* Fun End Note *
I met Jeffrey Dean Morgan recently, and he was far thinner in life than I would have thought. Such a nice guy though! He and his “wife” Hilarie Burton live in my area now, and everyone in town has welcomed them warmly. They are very normal, which I appreciate about celebrities.

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