Customer Reviews: Tom Selleck: Stone Cold
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on June 26, 2005
There have been 4 Jesse Stone novels by Robert Parker. And though Stone is 35 years old in the first one, and in his mid 40s by now, Selleck takes and makes the role his own. He's perfect in the role, and the whole production of this made for TV movie is top notch. there need to be more smart mystery type shows like this around.

When it aired, there were early reports that Selleck was interested in doing more with the character. Perhaps a series of TV movies, or even a TV series. It aired on CBS, and fans of Spenser For Hire (when is that whole series coming to DVD?)would love to see a regular weekly series. Personally, I don't know how well it would hold up weekly. There are only 4 books out to base this on, compared to the more than a dozen when Spenser aired. But with the right scripts it could become a great weekly show. And a hit. But CBS would probably aim for 21 episodes a season, which might strain the concept a little.

But either way, this movie was excellent. Fans of Parker,Selleck or just a good mystery should check it out.
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on February 6, 2006
Tom Selleck, Mimi Rogers, Viola Davis, and the rest the cast do an excellent job in this made for TV movie based on the Robert Parker book. This story of a New England sheriff, Chief Jesse Stone, trying to catch a cold calculating serial killer is well crafted. As if that wasn't enough he must catch those responsible for raping a girl. The book is a great read, and the movie does a fine job of following the key premises in the book. The directing by Robert Harmon is superb. I think his previous work as a camera man has given him a wonderful insight in helping the audience see and feel not only the characters clearly, but the surroundings as well.

Along with the great job on the main case/story, the other cases/subplots were masterfully done giving a real feel of being there. This is one of the best TV movies I have seen in years. I applaud CBS for backing it. If you are an avid detective reader you should enjoy the book. Fans of detective movies or Tom Selleck should find this one well to their liking. I am happy to say the DVD is excellent. The picture and sound are incredibly sharp. It includes a background of the movie with interviews of the cast and director. I was very pleased that Tom Selleck indicated that the success of this movie has started plans for a series of movies. I can't wait to see the next one!
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on April 3, 2006
I have never read a Parker novel and am unlikely to; so I have no comparisons and adaptation issues. But both I and my wife loved this flick.

Hard to say why; a mystery I'm still trying to fathom. I think it was just so well put together, with all the tiny bits and pieces fitting almost seamlessly. Selleck was a wry marvel with a troubled history and a character who left so much unsaid that one wondered just exactly when he would explode. This contrasts nicely with so much over-stated acting that considered great and significant these days. To allow just enough to appear on the outside to give a hint of what depths may lurk inside--without making it 'arty' and pretentiously obscure--it's become a rarity on the small screen and the large.

The supporting cast performed similarly. I think the strength of the movie that everybody appeared to have 'depth', without it ever becoming tedious and tiresome--and the plot and pacing allowed this to shine through.

A word about the killers. Some would like more 'motive' and more 'explanation' I guess. But why? Sometimes people do things for reasons that nobody but themselves will ever be able to understand. Why do we need this all neatly wrapped up? Why not just say 'they did it because they wanted to and because they could'. It happens; and when it happens, I think our lack of understanding of it--which is implicitly our lack of understanding of the complexity of human nature--is what really scares us. Which is why those two killers may be more terrifying than Leatherface.

5/5 for performance and story

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 7, 2006
I'm a big fan of Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone series (5 novels so far) and was curious to see how Tom Selleck would fare in the lead role of Stone Cold. Going into this television movie, I had some doubts because Selleck didn't really mesh with the mental image I had of Jesse. To me, the great thing about Jesse Stone had always been the fact that he was this unassuming, average-looking guy with unsuspected balls of steel, and I thought Tom Selleck, with his commanding presence (and trademark mustache), would take that bit of magic away from Jesse. But I guess I worried for nothing. Tom Selleck turns out to be excellent as the savvy, complex, and stoic police chief of Paradise, Massachusetts. The author had always depicted Jesse as a flawed human being, still struggling with his inner demons, namely his obsession with his ex-wife (who keeps calling him), which then ties into his drinking problem. Yet, somehow, Jesse still finds the strength somewhere to do the right thing, even if it means circumventing certain rules and policies here and there. Tom Selleck brings all of Jesse's baggage to the screen with an effectively low-key but layered performance. Even though his character is a man of few words, Selleck still manages to convey the deep emotions being kept in check underneath the police chief's poker-faced demeanor. Jesse also ends up with the driest, funniest one-liners in the movie, most of 'em lifted straight off the pages of the book.

Stone Cold, if you follow the continuity of the book series, is actually the fourth installment. The plot of Stone Cold, really quickly, goes like this: The quiet, tiny town of Paradise, Massachusetts suddenly becomes the site of a slew of random killings, with all the victims executed in the same way. Ex-Los Angeles cop and now Paradise Chief of Police Jesse Stone and his tiny, inexperienced police force must ferret out the serial killer(s) and simultaneously deal with a high school rape case. The stakes are raised even more when the thrill-seeking killers begin to target people close to Jesse.

Those expecting a shoot-em-up police show will be disappointed. This is a contemplative film that takes its time and goes thru its paces to tell its story. And it's a good story. Its tone is somber and melancholy, influenced not a little by our lead character's world-weary disposition and aided by camera shots of chilly, gloomy New England scenery. This movie, though having its share of suspenseful moments, is most definitely character driven, and the cast does a good job of fleshing out their roles, which is a good thing, because there are more Jesse Stone tv movies planned. I'm eagerly anticipating the dvd releases of Night Passage and also of Death in Paradise. Stone Cold, by the way, offers an 11-minute-long "Beneath the Surface of Stone Cold" featurette. But that's it for special features.

I recommend this movie, which is a well-acted, quiet little thriller. Jesse Stone is a complicated person who has that feel of "realness" to him. Things aren't clear cut in his world; in fact, his personal life is pretty much in shambles - just witness his constant drinking, his unresolved issues with his cheating ex-wife Jenn, and his "we're-pals-who-have-sex" relationship with town lawyer Abby Taylor (Polly Shannon). But a sweet relationship to savor is Jesse's friendship with young Candace Pennington (Alexis Dziena), as well as his mentoring of eager, fresh-faced copper Suitcase Simpson (Kohl Sudduth). Tom Selleck shows his commitment to Jesse Stone by not only starring in the movie but also by executive producing Stone Cold, as well as the ensuing Jesse Stone movies. And, if you like the movie, but haven't yet read the Jesse Stone books, then you're missing out, especially with the excellent first novel Night Passage. That Robert B. Parker, he sure can write. So give him a try. And don't even get me started on his awesome Spenser books.
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Based on a Robert B. Parker novel, "Stone Cold" is a made-for-TV film that is an excellent vehicle for Tom Selleck's talent. He plays Police Chief Jesse Stone, who lives in a small Massachusetts town, having left behind a broken marriage and a heavy drinking habit in Los Angeles. Both however are still in his life, as his wife continues to call, and his solace is in the bottle. Though the plot is about a series of killings, as well as the rape of a teenage girl, there is little that makes this film a "thriller," as the leisurely pace and stoic demeanor of Stone dominate the story. He is intelligent and witty, and Selleck is perfect in the role. Selleck describes the film as being "...almost totally based on emotion, told through the eyes of a character who doesn't like to show any."

Others in the cast include Mimi Rogers, terrific as a seductive attorney, and Stephen McHattie as Captain Healy. Directed with a steady hand by Robert Harmon, it boasts a superb score by Jeff Beals, and some lovely cinematography by Rene Ohashi. Total running time is 87 minutes. DVD extras include "Beneath the Surface of "Stone Cold" Featurette," with interviews of Selleck, Harmon and Rogers. Selleck speaks of plans for more of Jesse Stone in the future, which is a tremendous idea, as this film is excellent material for a series. The character of Stone is tough and complex, and immensely likeable as played by Selleck, who has come a long way since being the TV hunk of the 80's, and is a superb actor.
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on May 5, 2006
Simply put, this was one of the most refreshing and enjoyable TV movies in decades. It had the courage to take its own sweet time getting to where it wanted to get (and yes, you must have an attention span longer than 5 seconds to enjoy this). Selleck is simply great, and the wonderful feel of coastal New england just oozes from frame to frame. I am so looking forward to more if these gems...maybe now I will actually keep the TV!
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on August 6, 2005
This made-for-TV movie is based on a best-selling Robert B. Parker novel and features Tom Selleck as a former Los Angeles detective who has semi-retired and become the chief of police in Paradise, Massachusetts. He is faced with two seemingly unrelated crimes that end up being related by the end of the story.

First is the gang rape of a young high school girl, which Tom handles particularly well in an audience-pleasing scene in which he allows the girl's father to beat the living heck out of one of the cocky-punk rapists and his father....probably not a realistic scene, but (let's face it) it's just what we all wanted to see.

Second is a series of seemingly unrelated murders perpetrated by (and this is not a spoiler, since the information is given very early in the movie) a self-proclaimed ultra-cool, jet set couple who apparently murder for fun and sport. If you are familiar with the old "Thin Man" series, they will remind you of Nick and Nora Charles, except, of course, they are repulsive psychopaths. They sip martinis, talk about the nightlife in Miami Beach, and look down their noses at the riff raff upon whom they prey. You become quite anxious for them to receive the same treatment as the rapist and his father, but old Tom has an even more special plan in mind for them.

Tom Selleck does what he does best....he plays Tom Selleck. Much like John Wayne, he is just one of those actors who never seems to disappear into his character. But that is OK, because it works perfectly in this story. He is tough, laconic, painfully honest, and just the kind of guy you would want on your side if your daughter had been raped, or deranged serial killers were stalking your small town. Like good wine, he just gets better with age.

This was made-for-TV and shown on CBS, probably in an edited form. The DVD version has an "R" rating (for no good reason that I can see, it should have been "GP"), but there is really no intense nudity, cursing, or violence. The production and cinematography quality is excellent, the plot is clear and well presented, the acting is very good, the villains are hateful (a necessity), and the overall viewing experience is quite enjoyable. There is a possibility that it may become a television series. I recommend it.
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on December 23, 2005
I hate redundancy so I'll avoid providing background on the books and the character--I just want to add my voice to the chorus and say that Tom Selleck truly shines in this role. Selleck is a natural as Jesse Stone. In my mind he, much more than Robert Urich, fits the image of Robert B. Parker's wise guy protagonists. I think he would make an excellent Spenser. Selleck's has improved with age. His rugged good looks and his delivery are absolutely flawless in this movie.

On the downside--I wasn't crazy about the scripting for Stone's "pal," Abbie. I'm not sure how her part compares with the book because even though I have read every book in the Spenser series (there are over 30), all the Sunny Randall books and the first three books in the Jesse Stone series, this book somehow slipped under my radar. In the movie I found Abbie's wide-eyed amazement over the fact that Stone had actually killed someone and her constant refrain, "You know I am wiser than you" kind of irritating. I also found the movie somewhat lacking in suspense. However, these deficits were outweighed by Selleck's performance because it was a genuine treat to see one of Parker's character's brought so sucessfully to life.
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on May 6, 2006
Where big budget Hollywood movies fail to develop characters and give us cookie cutter sets, this made for tv movie raises the bar. Rich layers of atmosphere puts you right in Paradise (Mass. that is) and Tom Selleck was made for this part!
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on January 15, 2006
I did not realize this was a made for TV movie until I read some reviews here. I actually rented it, reluctantly, from a video rental store. I say reluctantly because the title left me with the impression this would be a shallow movie about a tough cop with a shoot'em up attitude. As I said, I was pleasantly surprised.

This movie was smart, and Selleck was the perfect man for the role. The main plot is interesting and the smaller side plots really help the movie and help flesh out the personality of Sellecks character (Jesse Stone). The personal demons of Jesse Stone are nicely weaved into the plot and do not in any way diminish the movie, they actually help it.

I gave it 5 stars not because it is going down in history as one of the greatest movies ever, but because it was very entertaining and did not have alot of the typical hollywood political correctness garbage. Just a straight-forward, smart and entertaining movie. This is probably not very realistic, but you kind of wish more cops were like this.

You actually get alot for a 91 minute movie. It seems much longer (in a good way).
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