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In the Electric Mist [Blu-ray]
In the Electric Mist
Actors: Ned Beatty, John Goodman, Levon Helm, Tommy Lee Jones, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2009     1hr 42min

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 Da...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ned Beatty, John Goodman, Levon Helm, Tommy Lee Jones, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/03/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
See Also:

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Movie Reviews

A Must-See for Robicheaux Fans
Brian Baker | Santa Clarita, CA | 03/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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.

Well Casted but only for those who have read the books
Shogun Len | Arizona | 01/20/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Not the Director's Cut but Still Very Entertaining
Cubist | United States | 03/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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.

Despite the production and post-production problems that plagued the film, this version is engaging and entertaining but one still wonders what Tavernier's original cut is like.

Sadly, the only special features are a theatrical trailer but considering the bad blood between director and the producers this is hardly suprising."
Good but not Great
Fitz | USA | 03/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I too am a huge James Lee Burke fan. I have read most if not all of Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels. In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead is my favorite of the series. I liked this movie much more then the movie adaptation of Heaven's Prisoners. I think Tommy Lee Jones makes a great Dave Robicheaux much more so then does Alec Baldwin. Jones lacks the dark hair and the touch of gray, so it is harder to call him by Dave's other nick name "Streak" that may be more of a problem with some of the other books with "Cletus". I thought Goodman makes a great villain (Baby Feet) as well. Overall the casting in this movie is outstanding!

As usual the movie left out a few scenes from the book. I was wondering how they would show Baby Feet hitting Dave with a line drive with a baseball. I suspect the scene was shot, but all cut from the movie except at the end when you see Baby Feet hitting a ball with a bat while Dave describes his fate, but that is all you see.

I believe the book had more conversations between Dave and the "General". Levon Helm made a good General Hood but I wish they used more of the books dialog. I knew how the book was going to end and was looking forward to it, but thought the director did not quite pull it off like Burke does in the book.

I'm not sure I liked seeing the scenes of post Katrina New Orleans as the book is + 15 years old, long before Katrina but the scenes were interesting.

I agree with the other reviewers that if you never have read a Burke book you might not like this movie. Like most great books seldom does the movie live up to the book. One of the things very difficult for moviemakers to do with Burke's books is bring out the poetic descriptive prose he uses. His writing is "beautiful. To really enjoy a Burke book read it first and then listen to it on audiotape! You get a taste of this in the opening and closing of The Electric Mist.

I pray they make more Dave Robicheaux movies, but one with Cletus. Who would make a good Cletus? I'm thinking Tom Sizemore or Randy Quaid. Which novel would you pick? I hope they bring back Tommy Lee Jones he is a GREAT Dave!