October 23, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Film Review: Spenser Confidential

FILM REVIEW
SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL
Rated R
111 Minutes
Released March 6th on Netflix

The TV Movie Spenser Confidential is a product of the life experience of three people converging in to create cinema – Robert B. Parker, Ace Atkins and Mark Wahlberg. 

It all starts with Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) a prolific American Fiction writer from Massachusetts who wrote primarily in the mystery detective genre. He is most famous for his 40 novels written about the fictional private detective “Spenser.” Parker was a soldier in the US Army in the Korean War. He went on to receive his BA, Masters and PhD in English Literature. Parker’s dissertation, “The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage and Urban Reality,” discussed the “private eye” heroes of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald. Now Parker himself could be added to that list of American lit legends. Parker died in January 2010. His unassuming attitude toward his own writing is illustrated in his answer to the question of how his books would be viewed in 50 years: “Don’t know, don’t care.” 

After Parker died, the owners of his estate and his publisher decided to continue the Spenser series, and selected Ace Atkins as the new author.  Atkins, a former crime reporter for The Tampa Tribune, had won a Pulitzer Prize for his investigation into a cold murder case from the 1950’s. Atkins graduated from Auburn in 1994 where he lettered in football in ’92 and ’93 and was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. This movie is based on Atkins’ novel Wonderland. The forward to the book reads “Aspiration, greed, and twisted dreams all focus on the old Wonderland dog track where the famous amusement park once fronted the ocean.” 

Mark Wahlberg grew up in the working class neighborhood of Dorchester near Boston. By the age of 13 he was addicted to drugs. He instigated several violent acts on innocent people as a teen and was frequently in trouble with the law. Although he seems to have genuinely atoned for his actions, the remnants of that side of his personality have followed him through his successful music and acting careers. He started “New Kids on the Block” with his brother Donnie and later gained fame with his own rap group, “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.” As he rose in stature as an actor he dropped the “Marky” and just became “Mark.” In Spenser Confidential, you will see remnants of the violent side of Wahlberg’s nature as he gets to dig back into his scrappy Boston roots. 

Wahlberg and director Peter Berg have teamed on several movies. Spenser Confidential is a “who-dun-it” wrapped in a package of mystery and furious action. It’s not a deep psychological study. The setting is a world where gestures, grunts, expletives, taunts and malicious fights are a language that is learned from childhood if you grew up in a certain neighborhood. That said, the fun that the filmmakers had in making this movie pervades every scene. Watch for excellent performances from Winston Duke as the almost comedic gentle giant “Hawk, “ popular rapper/singer/songwriter Post Malone in his feature film debut as “Squeeb,” and Alan Arkin as “Henry.”

Watch this movie. As we are holed up collectively fighting an invisible enemy, watching a battle on a different plane can be a catharsis. 

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com

in News
Related Posts

VA Secretary Announces Plans House Over 500 Homeless Veterans in Los Angeles by End of Year

October 21, 2021

October 21, 2021

Updated October 22, 2021 with added statement from the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority. Announcement comes after Secretary Denis McDonough’s...

Homeless Man Sleeping in Santa Monica Park Set on Fire

October 21, 2021

October 21, 2021

Suspect at large in October 16 incident By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are searching for a suspect wanted for...

Ocean Park’s Uplifters Kitchen Closes

October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

Westside Dining Scene October 21, 2021 By Dolores Quintana Sadly, Uplifter’s Kitchen, a health conscious vegetarian and vegan friendly cafe...

Charges Filed Against Woman for Attacking Former “Survivor” Contestant in Santa Monica

October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

Michelle Yi, two other unnamed victims attacked in area of 2nd and Arizona By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro Michelle...

Community Volunteer Patrol Program Brings Civilians New Insight Into Law Enforcement

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

The West LA Police Department has a community patrol program bridging the gap between civilians and law enforcement. Video brought...

E-Bike Company Wheels Settles Consumer Protection Lawsuit With Santa Monica

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

Company agrees to pay $300k for operating without a license in 2019 By Sam Catanzaro E-bike company Wheels recently settled...

Santa Monica Fire Department Put Out Two Freeway Blazes Over Weekend

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

No injuries reported in Sunday morning incident By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD) made quick work putting...

Vice President Kamala Harris Visits Santa Monica For The Weekend: Santa Monica Beat – October 18, 2021

October 18, 2021

October 18, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Vice President Kamala Harris Visits Santa Monica For The Weekend *...

Santa Monica’s 100 Homes Initiative Moves Forward

October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021

City seeks public participation in new HUD-funded program By Dolores Quintana The City of Santa Monica is moving forward with...

Former Mesa PD Chief to Lead Santa Monica Police Department

October 15, 2021

October 15, 2021

Ramon Batista selected as Santa Monica’s first Latino police chief By Sam Catanzaro Ramon Batista, Jr., the former police chief...

Closing Celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month Today

October 14, 2021

October 14, 2021

This Friday, October 15, the Santa Monica community is invited to a closing ceremony for Santa Monica’s first Hispanic Heritage...

Three SMC Professors Receive First-Ever Michelson Intellectual Property Educator of Excellence Award

October 13, 2021

October 13, 2021

The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (Michelson  IP) is proud to award three Santa Monica College faculty members with the...

An Interview with Zach Rash, CEO of Coco Food Robotic Delivery

October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021

Coco Delivery, is a completely contactless food delivery service that uses human piloted robots to deliver meals from the restaurant...

Message From Santa Monica’s New City Manager David White

October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021

To the Santa Monica Community – it is with tremendous excitement that today I begin my first day as your...

Three Santa Monica College Faculty Receive Michelson IP Educator Award: Santa Monica Beat – October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Set To Approve Plan For 9 Thousand New Housing...