Friday, 17 November 2017


[Spoiler-free "Mini review"] An unlikely cop/consultant duo (another one), a lecture about Leonardo da Vinci, surreal sequences, split screens and name-dropping in art and philosophy are some of the ingredients of L'Art du crime.

This new 6-episode crime drama from Gaumont Télévision started tonight on France 2 with a two-parter directed by Charlotte Brändström.

Created by Angèle Herry-Leclerc and Pierre-Yves Mora, L'Art du crime stars Nicolas Gob as Antoine Verlay, a grumpy cop reluctantly working for the OCBC (Office central de lutte contre le trafic des biens culturels). Ignorant about art, Verlay is forced to team up with Florence Chassagne, an art historian who has too much imagination (and other issues). The young woman is played by Éléonore Gosset-Bernheim and she could be a distant cousin of Chloé Saint-Laurent (Profilage) or the French niece of Professor T. Though Florence is definitely not related to Lovejoy (Lovejoy, 1986-1994) in spite of some humoristic efforts. And while we're at it, the duo is not Laurence and Avril from Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie. However, they try hard.

This slow-paced and cliche-ridden opener has two legendary guest stars: Venantino Venantini as... Leonardo da Vinci (seriously) and Miou Miou as a character who looks inspired by a very well-known rich French woman. Philippe Duclos (Spiral) plays Pierre Chassagne, Florence's father. His lines are terrible but most of the cast gets its share so there's no jealous. On the positive side, the butler is well-played by Stéphan Wojtowicz, the music by Frans Bak (The Killing) is excellent and the locations are beautiful. Anyway, TV crimes sell well globally.

See also:

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


French fans of Darkman (1990), Sam Raimi's cult superhero film, are spoiled today with the release of Darkman - Édition Ultime ("Darkman - Ultimate Edition"), thanks to L'Atelier d'images.

This limited edition (2 Blu-Ray + 1 DVD) contains Darkman and its two direct-to-video sequels, Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995) and Darkman III: Die Darkman Die (1996). But also the comic book Darkman Vs. Army of Darkness (for the first time in French) and more than 3 ½ hours of bonus material.

Darkman - Édition Ultime was born with the support of a crowdfunding campaign.

Review ASAP.

Monday, 6 November 2017


From Shaftesbury, the company behind Murdoch Mysteries, comes Frankie Drake Mysteries, a new 11-episode Canadian detective drama which premieres today.

Starring Lauren Lee Smith and Chantel Riley and set in 1920s Toronto, the series is centered on Frankie Drake (Smith) and Trudy Clarke (Riley), the city’s only female private detectives.

Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, and produced for CBC by Shaftesbury (in association with CBC and UKTV), Frankie Drake Mysteries looked like a Canadian counterpart of Australian detective series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries right from the announcement of the project. Anyway, it will certainly please both fans of Phryne Fisher and Murdoch, two favourites of French pubcaster France 3's sunday night sleuth slot.

Will Frankie Drake Mysteries join Miss Fisher enquête and Les enquêtes de Murdoch on France 3 as "Frankie Drake enquête" or "Les enquêtes de Frankie Drake"? Frankie Drake Mysteries is distributed by Kew Media Group. 

[Update - November 7, 2017]  

Mother of Pearl, the series premiere, is stylish, expensive looking and competently packed comfort zone TV. Frankie Drake Mysteries could easily fill the void left by the end of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on global markets. The cast is talented but it's actually guest star Wendy Crewson who steals the episode.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017