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In the Electric Mist (2009)

Ned Beatty , John Goodman , Bertrand Tavernier  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (675 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ned Beatty, John Goodman, Levon Helm, Tommy Lee Jones, Peter Sarsgaard
  • Directors: Bertrand Tavernier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
  • DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (675 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NFNFIK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,105 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "In the Electric Mist" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Based on the book series by James Lee Burke, In the Electric Mist tackles murder, mobsters, Hollywood drama… and apparitions of long-dead confederate soldiers. The film begins with Detective Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) investigating the murder of a young woman in his small parish town while dealing with the influx of irresponsible Hollywood star Elrod Sykes (Peter Sarsgaard). While filming a civil war epic, Elrod discovers the remains of a man killed decades earlier, a crime Dave himself witnessed but did not report. Adding to the intrigue is the appearance of ghosts from a forgotten era: confederate soldiers lead by Gen. John Bell Hood. Offering advice and direction to Dave, the specter of Hood may seem disjointed, but in Cajun country, full of real and imagined ghosts, it’s not hard to imagine. As more murders occur and secrets from the past are brought to light, will Dave succeed in stopping a vicious killer? Jones delivers a believable portrayal of a tortured, redemptive officer who must right the wrongs of the past and the present. Adding to the authenticity and beauty of this Cajun tale, five-time Grammy Award winner Buddy Guy appears and performs in the film. One final mystery still remains: will we see more of Dave Robicheaux, or will more adaptations be confined to the reader’s imagination? -- Lesley Puhrmann

Stills from In the Electric Mist (Click for larger image)

Product Description

Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones leads an all-star cast in this psychological thriller based on the bestselling novel by James Lee Burke.
While on an investigation into a series of grisly murders, veteran detective Dave Robicheaux (Jones) navigates his way through the Louisiana bayou and the dark, sultry world of New Orleans mobster "Baby Feet" Balboni (John Goodman). Layers of corruption and long-dead secrets reawaken grudges and a lethal alliance A tangled web of killings, past and present, converges in a shocking showdown with stakes that become deeply personal to Robicheaux and his family. Featuring music from five-time GRAMMY Award-winner Buddy Guy, this film takes you deep into Cajun country's hidden worlds. *Best Supporting Actor: The Fugitive, 1993

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
190 of 198 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must-See for Robicheaux Fans March 3, 2009
Format:DVD
This is the second film adaptation of one of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series, the first being "Heaven's Prisoners" with Alec Baldwin horribly miscast as Robicheaux.

In this film, Tommy Lee Jones is perfectly cast as Robicheaux, capturing all the nuance of the literary character: the alcoholic obsessions, the need to impose justice, his essential toughness and goodness.

This is a pretty faithful adaptation of the novel, and captures the flavor of the books, as well as the Louisiana settings. In all honesty, this was almost exactly how I'd pictured it from reading the books.

But a caveat: if you haven't read the books, you're probably not going to enjoy this movie, which is probably why in the USA it was released directly to DVD. Burke's novels are very introspective, which makes for interesting literature, but slow movies. There's plenty of drama, with several murders, corruption, and depravity to spare. But the books - and this movie - are at their hearts character studies of the Robicheaux character. This is more akin to "Smilla's Sense of Snow" than "Dirty Harry".

I loved it; your mileage may vary.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Read the Book August 31, 2010
Format:DVD
I watched "In the Electric Mist" on a whim, based upon nothing more than the two actors displayed on the cover. I had no idea what to expect, or what I was getting into. In all honesty, I can't think of a better way to describe my reaction to the film other than to tell you that I logged onto Amazon tonight to purchase a copy.
I loved this film.
From the very beginning, "In the Electric Mist" draws you into an irresistible embrace and never lets go. Every acting performance is spot-on, and the dubious culture of the Louisiana Bayou ebbs from every facet of the story. I also need to mention the excellent soundtrack by Marco Beltrami; it is so powerful that it should be considered a character unto itself. There is a song played during the end credits that is truly one of the most beautiful songs you will ever hear.
Seriously, a great movie.
That being said, when I logged onto Amazon, I was surprised to see many reviewers voicing the opinion that this film's appeal is limited mainly to fans of the book. It's true that "In the Electric Mist" leaves a lot to the imagination, but ambiguity and convolution are two very different things.
Take a chance.
Watch the movie.
Decide for yourself.
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the Director's Cut but Still Very Entertaining March 3, 2009
By Cubist
Format:DVD
In the Electric Mist marks legendary French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier's first North American-made motion picture and, based on the troubles he encountered while making it, perhaps his last. Tavernier, a big fan of American crime fiction (he previously adapted Jim Thompson's Pop. 1280 into Coup de Torchon - Criterion Collection), jumped at the chance to bring James Lee Burke's bestselling novel In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead to the big screen. However, reports surfaced that Tavernier and the film's star, Tommy Lee Jones, did not get along, and the producers were not happy with the director's version. As a result, the version released on DVD in North America is the producers' cut and not Tavernier's.

Tavernier does an excellent job capturing the local color of the area in the scenes where protagonist Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) canvases the locals. The entire film was shot on location and this only enhances the authenticity of the story's setting which is rich in atmosphere - also helped by the liberal use of blues and zydeco music. The cinematography has a textured quality to it that really brings out the lushness of the region.

The cast is outstanding with Tommy Lee Jones doing his patented gruff yet savvy lawman, Peter Sarsgaard portraying a boozy actor, and John Goodman as a scene-stealing mobster with a genial facade that barely masks a threatening demeanor. The cast is rounded out by fascinating veteran character actors like Mary Steenburgen, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Ned Beatty.
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90 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Casted but only for those who have read the books January 19, 2009
Format:DVD
I am a huge fan of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux books. I have read most of them and most of them have been top notch. Unlike most series, Burke's actually gets better and better and just when you think its peaked, he writes something better.

Having read so many of the books, I always pictured either Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin (in his younger, lighter days) and Tommy Lee Jones as Dave. 2/3 predictions have come true. Tommy Lee Jones is the perfect David Robicheaux, this character was meant for him to play.

In the Electric Mist is one of the best books in the series, so how come with a great book and great casting the movie is only ok?

The problem is the movie itself is very very inside. The screen writers did too good a job adapting the story from the book. Remember the book is a middle book of a very long running series. As a fan and reader of the series, I knew who everyone was and how they got there. The problem for the mass audience will be that they will have no idea who half the people are and the film does not really give any answers.

This unfortunately will be a film liked by those who have read the books, and not fully understood by those who have not.

Twice filmakers have well casted and made well intentioned adaptations of the books, and twice they have not come through as they should have.
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Who should play Clete Purcel?
I just started to read James Lee's books about 6 months ago and have read 5 Robicheaux stories. From the very start I visualised the character Clete entirely as John Goodman...even the voice and i didn't even know about the movies until today. My mental image of Dave has never been of any actor... Read More
Nov 15, 2010 by J. R. Bourke |  See all 7 posts
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