'Along Came a Spider' [Blu-ray]
(Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Dylan Baker, Mika Boorem, et al / Blu ray / R / (2001) 2015 / Paramount - Warner Bros.)
Overview: First time on Blu ray! A congressman's daughter under Secret Service protection is kidnapped from a private school by an insider who calls Det. Alex Cross, sucking him into the case even though he's recovering from the loss of his partner.
Blu ray Verdict: In truth, 'Along Came A Spider' is a strictly routine kidnapping crime thriller. Which doesn't make it any better or any worse than anything that came before it or after, trust me. Morgan Freeman is the profiler/cop who delves into the criminal's mind. Monica Potter is his cop partner. It's a shame to see a marvelous actor like Freedman wasted on trite stuff like this. He has an endearingly lumpy face and a soothing voice, the kind of guy you wouldn't mind going to for reassurance when you're in doubt. He can be mighty mean too, as in "Street Smart."
Potter is as glamorous as all get-out. She looks a little and sounds a lot like Julia Roberts, a comparison that must make her physically ill by now. Unfortunately her voice is flat and toneless and her face mostly expressionless. She'd be a great model though.
The kidnapper of a senator's little girl is Michael Wincott, a very expressive face and a voice that sounds filtered through a coffee grinder. He has a bony face, rather like a weasel or ferret, but not necessarily villainous, a term that in my view is slung around much too loosely. I myself am eminently handsome yet I too have been described as "villainous." I didn't mind it from my ex wife but it can be unnerving when brought up independently in the confessional and in a shrink's office.
The script has nothing original in it. The dialog is by the numbers, the characters and their interactions not very interesting. The action, and there is a lot of action, as is standard in routine thrillers, takes place in Washington, DC, and makes use of many recognizable locations. One rather lengthy sequence is lifted straight out of the Ann Mary Deacon incident in "Dirty Harry," the writers beginning to run dry I guess. Something to do with the Lindbergh kidnapping is introduced ominously and then left to flop around, gasping, until it expires. A couple of plot twists at the end can't save this damaged script.
The most surprising thing about it is that Dylan Baker, as the head FBI man, usually a dilatory figure, has a chilling face, and begins by chewing out Freeman, a local cop, because of a turf conflict. But then, in the very next scene, he apologizes and offers to help as much as he can -- and he means it too! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
Own it on Blu-ray Digital HD October 13th, 2015!