The Singing Detective
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
As the commentary reveals, much of the inventiveness in this new version is not apparent in a single viewing. While it may seem to truncate and over-simplify the lengthier TV version, there is still complexity and ambiguity enough to entertain and engage a thoughtful viewer appreciative of good screenwriting and wonderful performances. Robert Downey's dual role as the embittered writer and the Bogart-style detective of the title reveal the mercurial range of this amazing actor, and his scenes with Robin Wright Penn, who plays his wife, are a brilliant portrayal of two people equally matched in their struggle to preserve a relationship and, at the same time, the integrity of themselves as individuals.
Strong cast. Interesting contrast of visual styles. Rated R for a wide range of disturbingly graphic and lurid visual imagery, including the main character's horrific skin condition. Granted, this "Singing Detective" is no substitute for the original, but seen on its own merits, it still stands up well on its own.
Part of the problem is, this movie is a remake of a much better TV series. The TV series ran 7 1/2 hours, and this movie has *somehow* been cut down to 2. Okay. You can guess what happened. In an attempt to trim off fat, they whittled the plot down to an incomplete skeleton. But it all still makes sense, and I enjoyed doing my own job of guessing and reconstruction.
I think the other problem is that people see the title, and expect a fun, flashy crime story. This movie is not what you'd call "fun", unless you love a good Lynch or Cronenberg marathon.
Also, if you want to ogle Robert Downey Jr.--and that's a good and admirable pastime, I applaud it--this movie will bother you. He spends most of it looking like he's in the last stages of radiation poisoning. His dreamworld alter-ego is handsome, but played as a flat-voiced, shiny-eyed Invasion Of The Body Snatchers doppelganger. I had to remind myself that it was only an actor in makeup; the illness portrayed here is horrible seems very real. Downey is ferociously good, filled with rage and scorching the paint off the walls, and it's disturbing.
Yeah, Downey is great in this; he goes from a sick, vicious, venomous invalid in the first half to a slightly-less sick, more charming, more frightening nut case in the second half. More frightening, as he becomes less insane? Absolutely.Read more ›
As with his previous adaptations, Gordon respected the source material without revering it, and as a director, he has a rare gift: the ability to fuse his own sensibility and talents with his subject at a fundamental level. In the case of The Singing Detective, it was a somewhat less seamless fusion; Potter's vision (his bizarre blend of musical fantasy with bleak psychological realism) was so startlingly original it required another sensibility at least as strong and eccentric to fuse with.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is how Hollywood can ruin a great story. I enjoyed the English original in the 80's and thought the music, etc. was compelling. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R2Mike
Artful. Unique. Deeply psychological. Great camera work and editing. I"m not sure that people would universally like this movie as it is disturbing in places and enigmatic. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Phyliss Shanken
This movie is aweful. I kept laughing throughout the movie because it was so bad!Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very enjoyable. The music selections were different, updated from the original British version,
but done very effectively.
I love anything with Mel Gibson in it or associated with it. I think the people who are familiar with the British TV series would probably be better able to follow it.Published 11 months ago by Margaret K.
Look for Similar Items by Category
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Comedy
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Drama
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Musicals
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Mystery & Thrillers
- Movies & TV > Movies
- Movies & TV > Musicals & Performing Arts > Musicals
- Movies & TV > Paramount Home Entertainment > Comedy
- Movies & TV > Paramount Home Entertainment > Drama
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials