Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mystery movies: a neglected genre?

I notice that Robert Downey Jr.'s about to star in Sherlock Holmes, and Ben Stiller has been talking about making a big-screen parody of the Hardy Boys, I've been thinking about the mystery genre in movies. It seems like mysteries really aren't nearly as big in film as they are on television screens. Everyone loves CSI and Without A Trace, but the crime thriller genre doesn't seem to translate as successfully to theaters as well.
Movies like Memento inherently set out to mess with our idea of the detective finding his clues and cracking the case, and in Zach Snyder's Watchmen about to arrive next week, Rorschach, the "detective" superhero in fedora and trenchcoat, is actually the most maniacal and homicidal character of his team. Is there something incompatible about Hollywood audiences these days and detective stories?

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