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IR TV Review: THE BLACKLIST – 150TH EPISODE (Episode 17 – “Roy Cain”) [NBC-S7]

The essence of mortality creates the approach for a sense of reality within the 150th episode of “The Blacklist” entitled “Roy Cain”. The reality of the episode stokes in the angle of Reddington (Jame Spader) looking to close in corners in order to get a fuller view of his future and his organization beyond his purview. Granted there is always something moving up his sleeve. The balance that works within this episode is the pedigree to a point of actors. Fisher Stevens as Reddington’s former lawyer is a nice balance and, of course, reference is made to his earlier roles. The actual underlying narrative only serves to prop up the bigger game which is more diametric which is a Godfather structure but with two sides pulling the prey back and forth. Reddington simply wants to put his own righteousness in play. An underlying point is that he plays the game but sometimes has to get his hands dirty still. The angle that worms its way into the evolution of his character here is that of faith versus fate which takes a front seat with an iman. However the underlying power play still, beyond the obvious family connection, is a little unclear. The fire is stoked but like all good series, the reveal reflects in the inevitable.

B

By Tim Wassberg

IR Film Review: FRACTURED [Netflix]

The idea of what memory constitutes or the idea of trauma reflects in the psychology of a person and their experiences. This is the basis of “Fractured“. The beauty is some of the Netflix original films, whether acquired or not, is that they explore sometimes more character driven pieces that are based in a simple genre structures that don’t need a lot of set pieces but definitely reflect in production value and a proven actor. Sam Worthington, undeniably known as the lead in “Avatar” and its upcoming sequels, has leaned into these types of psychological genre thrillers on Netflix and found a nice niche in well written and well directed tomes that might have ended up with no distribution simply because they exist in the mid-range.

Directed by Brad Anderson, who made a more bleak but similar “Session 9” with David Caruso many years ago, the film “Fractured” exists in a realm of misperception where Worthington’s lead character arrives with his wife and daughter after an accident. However, after said wife and daughter are taken back for a CAT scan, they seemingly disappear. Worthington has always had a knack of playing paranoia as his film “Man On A Ledge” interpreted. “Fractured” at times plays more like a Hitchcock film or a “Twilight Zone” episode with a little less dread. The threads are fairly easy to follow and the violence not too overwhelming which makes for an interesting evening watch that is not too overcome by any ideals that it is trying to present.

The minimal locations and barrenness of the tundra that they are traveling across is completely reflective of the character’s mindset. The story is disjointed on purpose but the structural reflexivity does make the story move without bogging it down in too many mechanics. “Fractured” is a tight little genre thriller with understated performances but a steady idea of what it is and what it is trying to accomplish.

B

By Tim Wassberg

IR Interview: David Baldacci For “Long Road To Mercy” [Grand Central Publishing]

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