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Along Came A Spider

ACAS is an intelligent, intense and immensely intriguing movie. It doesn't dumb-up things for the public.

Hey, we all watch Forensic Files and Medical Detectives now. We're hip to the inner workings of the police and FBI . Hollywood can now use technical lingo when in our company.

The novelist of Along Came a Spider, James Patterson, likes these kinds of serial- profiler- cat play -spiderweb games. He also penned creepy, Kiss The Girls, which was adapted for film and also starred Morgan Freeman.

Morgan Freeman is such a calm guy. He's has a Steven Seagal serenity about him. It works in this type of fast twisting, elaborately technical dialog flick. He helps keep your brain relaxed and focused while absorbing tiny bits of information that will later compute into an intricate unique plot.

ACAS story goes...Teacher, Mr. Sanje (Michael "Voice of a garbage disposal stuck on, on" Wincott), has a plan. A sinister plan. He's a copycat of the worst kind. He wants infamy through others' misery. He kidnaps a young student and leaves a clever clue .

Sanje invites retired cop and profiler/author Alex Cross to spar a bit.Sanje wants the public to notice him. Give him notoriety. To be sure he's properly portrayed as a forensic whiz psycho and not, God forbid, just a plain old psycho

Cross reluctantly obliges and the hunt is on. But just who is hunting who?

Can Cross lead the arsenal of FBI and Police agents to the clever shanghaier before the girl dies? Is the girl even the story? Hmm.

If your a die-hard mystery fan you may start to see the fly through the web half way through. But, ACAS still has plenty of surprises to keep even the most jaded of us guessing damn near to the end.

Freeman was adorable in Nurse Betty and he's charming and smooth here. He's always flawless. Born with that aura, a general ease about him. The man's a walking bottle of Chamomile oil.

Let's discuss this caramel-dipped treat, Michael Wincott! He's cute in a bad boy- that- simply screams to be- spanked- till- he- behaves- way. Mike's yet another example of why everyone should have the following two dvd or videos in their collection as reference material; Usual Suspects - which has been, for years now, the quintessential guide to the "upcoming actors" as well as all 'round mansteak extravaganza! Usual Suspects is a filmstew of men which includes a barely comprehend-able Benicio Del Toro, a young "unknown" Kevin Spacey, a super smooth Chazz Palmitieri, new to-the-biz Bryan Singer etc.

The other "must have" is Basquiat.

Basquiat is an absolutely chock-full-of-talents flick that one can watch over and over, and yet, never grow tired of...You get bonus thrills as these actor/actresses come of "Hollywood" age! You simply go back and see them when...Basquiat's celluloid has captured young-n-buff Jeffrey Wright, a super slimy Del Toro shows up (again), a sexy Courtney Love, a spry Gary Oldman, a bubbly Christopher Walken and Michael Wincott ( our chilling villain in Along Came a Spider). All this testosterone in one hell of a film, directed by "out there" visionary Julian Schnabel (Before Night Falls), it's simply a must have! And, Wincott stole his scenes with every frame he passed through, not easy in the company he was keeping. No siree Bob.

Michael does a wonderful job of creeping us out, and keeping us on our tense little toes here.Though his signature dying chainsaw voice has been disturbingly "toned" down...

Mikka Boorem, one of Mel Gibson umpteen kids in The Patriot, did a great job playing kidnapped Megan Rose. She held her own gracefully and captivatingly with her elders. Again kudos to both novelist and screenplay writer for her words spoken as if from a real child in a real situation.

Secret Service agent Jezzie, played by Monica Potter, was annoying. She was confusing. Sometimes clever like the secret agent should be and other times as dumb as Dahrma. It's a step up from Potter's Head Over Heels role...So the jury still out. Give her a chance and we'll see what this budding actress chooses as time goes on.

Snack recommendation: Tea and honey

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, and Jay O. Sanders

Directed by: Lee Tamahori



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