Tag Archive: Trailer


BAU-SoTL-CriMinds

BAU is an abbreviation for Behavioral Analysis Unit, a department of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC).

The BAU and NCAVC provide behavioral based investigative and/or operational support to the investigation of complex and time-sensitive crimes, typically involving acts or threats of violence.

These are the people most famously known for profiling and catching serial killers, arsonists, kidnappers, and certain brands of terrorist.

BAU Operations

The BAU receives requests for “criminal investigative analysis” from federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies.

Criminal investigative analysis involves reviewing and assessing the facts of a criminal act, interpreting offender behavior, and interacting with the victims, as exhibited during the commission of a crime, or as displayed in a crime scene.

BAU staff conduct detailed analyses of crimes for the purpose of providing one or more of the following services:

* crime analysis,
* investigative suggestions,
* profiles of unknown offenders,
* threat analysis,
* critical incident analysis,
* interview strategies,
* major case management,
* search warrant assistance,
* prosecutive and trial strategies, and
* expert testimony

Recently, the BAU released “The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective” report to guide school administrators, teachers, parents, and law enforcement in identifying and evaluating threats in schools.

The BAU also keeps a reference file for experts in various forensic disciplines such as odontology, anthropology, entomology, or pathology.

Real Life…

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such position in the FBI as a “profiler”.

…and Reel Life

The BAU (known in those days as the Behavioral Science Unit) plays a prominent role in the novels of Thomas Harris, notably “Red Dragon”, and “The Silence of the Lambs”. Both books became movies.

Here’s a YouTube trailer for “The Silence of the Lambs”, setting the scene for BAU Section Chief Jack Crawford (played by Scott Glenn) to give FBI trainee agent Clarice Starling (actress Jodie Foster) her mandate to interview the notorious serial killer Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter (the Oscar-winning Sir Anthony Hopkins):

Criminal Minds

The BAU is at the center of the CBS weekly drama series “Criminal Minds” and its spin-off, “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior”

Unlike many police procedurals, rather than focus on the crime itself, “Criminal Minds” concentrates on profiling the criminal – called the “unsub” or “unknown subject”.

The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia.

Principal characters in the show include:

Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (played by Thomas Gibson):
Unit Chief of the BAU team. A former prosecutor, and one of the most experienced agents in the BAU. In season five, his estranged wife Haley Brooks (Meredith Monroe) is murdered by fugitive serial killer George Foyet (C. Thomas Howell), also known as “The Reaper”, and Hotch is given sole custody of his son Jack.

Derek Morgan (actor Shemar Moore):
Supervisory Special Agent (SSA), and a confident, assertive, often hot-tempered character. Derek was a troubled Chicago youth headed for juvenile delinquency, until he was rescued and mentored by Carl Buford (actor Julius Tennon). Buford turned out to be a sexual predator who molested Derek and other young boys – an experience that colors Morgan’s dealings within the BAU. He has a special relationship with Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia, and the two have a unique banter and mutual understanding.

Dr. Spencer Reid (played by Matthew Gray Gubler):
Supervisory Special Agent and boy genius who graduated from Las Vegas High School at age 12, and holds PhDs in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Engineering, as well as BAs in Psychology and Sociology. As of season four, he is also working on a BA in Philosophy. Dr. Reid (his preferred title; it deflects judgments about his age) has an IQ of 187, can read 20,000 words per minute, and has an eidetic memory.

Here’s a YouTube clip of the good doctor, in full flow:

Understandably, most of the members on the team are intimidated by his profound knowledge.

Jason Gideon (played by Mandy Patinkin):
A Senior Supervisory Special Agent widely known as the BAU’s best profiler. Gideon was the team’s acting sage, in the initial seasons of the show. After a series of emotionally troubling cases, and the murder of his friend Sarah by fugitive serial killer Frank Breitkopf (Keith Carradine), he heads off into the Nevada sunset, destination unknown.

David Rossi (actor Joe Mantegna):
Senior Supervisory Special Agent, who worked in the BAU at its origins, then took early retirement to write books and lecture on criminal analysis. Rossi volunteered to return shortly after Senior SSA Jason Gideon’s departure, and fill the perceived “experience gap”.

Jennifer “JJ” Jareau (played by A. J. Cook):
Supervisory Special Agent. In seasons one through five, she served as the team’s Communications Liaison to local police agencies. Forced to accept a promotion at the Pentagon in season six, “JJ” later returned to the unit, becoming a legitimate profiler (whatever that is; see above) in season seven. Jennifer is also the only human being on the planet who calls Dr. Reid, “Spence”.

Elle Greenaway (actress Lola Glaudini):
A Supervisory Special Agent, assigned to the BAU as an expert in sexual offense cases. Elle suffers severe emotional trauma after being shot by an unsub in season one. In season two, while alone on a stakeout for a suspected serial rapist, she shoots the man in cold blood. Despite her colleagues’ doubts, the local police deem it self-defense. Elle later resigns from the BAU, with the declaration that this is “not an admission of guilt.”

Emily Prentiss (played by Paget Brewster):
Supervisory Special Agent, and daughter of Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss (Kate Jackson). After SSA Elle Greenaway leaves the BAU, Emily shows up with papers assigning her to the BAU, as a replacement. Emily is fluent in several languages – a legacy of her upbringing, and her professional past as an agent of Interpol.

Penelope Garcia (actress Kirsten Vangsness):
The team’s Technical Analyst. She joined the BAU after bringing attention to herself by hacking the FBI database; she was offered a job in lieu of a jail sentence. She usually supports the team from her computer lab at Quantico, but occasionally joins them on location when her skills can be used in the field. She enjoys a flirtatious relationship with SSA Derek Morgan, often engaging in comical banter of a sexually suggestive nature (usually over open channels), when he calls in for information. When SSA Jennifer Jareau leaves the BAU, Penelope takes over her job as Communications Liaison. She maintains this role after “JJ” qualifies as a profiler, and joins the rest of the team in the field.

Dr. Alex Blake (played by Jeanne Tripplehorn):
An FBI Linguistics Expert and professor at Georgetown University who joins the BAU after SSA Emily Prentiss transfers to the Interpol office in London.

“Criminal Minds” premiered September 22, 2005, on CBS. On May 9, 2013, CBS renewed Criminal Minds for a ninth season.
The show is produced by The Mark Gordon Company in association with CBS Television Studios, and ABC Studios.

And it’s well worth a look.

Speaking of which here’s the BAU team at work, courtesy of YouTube:

That’s it, for this one.

Hope you’ll join me, for the next.

Till then.

Peace.

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Can’t Speak…

Highly enough, about this one.

“The King’s Speech.”

Written by David Seidler, a screenwriter who (unlike so many A-List scribes) is not only old enough to shave, but old enough to have sons (and daughters?) of A-List-screenwriter age, who shave, as well.

The film documents the ascension to the British throne of lifelong stammerer, King George VI (father of the current Queen, Elizabeth II) – in the light of his ongoing treatment by speech therapist, Lionel Logue.

Excellent performances, from a stellar cast.
And easy to understand why Colin Firth walked off with so many major awards, this year.

Check out the trailer:

And, yes.
I do realize there’s a Royal wedding coming up, this Friday.

And, possibly.
That fact did influence me to blog about this film, at this time.

God Save the… whatever.

Peace.

I Liked It So Much…

I saw the movie. Having read the screenplay, first.

As part of my (ongoing, life-long) course in Movies 101, I’ve been reading as many of this year’s Oscar-nominated Best Picture scripts as I can.
And seeing as many of the movies, as possible.

I’ll be laying several of my verdicts on you, in the coming weeks.

First up: Joel and Ethan Coen’s “True Grit.”

A simple enough tale: Young girl hires grizzled lawman to exact retribution for the murder of her father by a small-time outlaw, in the Old West.

It’s told with the Coen Brothers’ trademark quirky characterizations. And a fair bit of pathos.

Fine performances, all round, with newcomer Hailee Steinfeld (Best Supporting Actress nominee) holding her own among veteran Oscar nominees / winners Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin.

Check out the trailer, below:

In typical Academy Award fashion, the movie got 10 nominations, and not a single award. Oh, well.

Interesting (or not?) Trivia: The hymn featured in the film’s opening and closing narrations is a variant on the same song, used in the same context, in the movie “Wild Bill” (as in, Hickock) – which also starred Jeff Bridges, as a legendary lawman of the Old West.

Have a pleasant weekend.

Peace.

Picture, if you will, a screenplay.
Written by Charles Band, as a big-screen adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Sorceror Supreme, Doctor Stephen Strange.
It sat on the shelf in development hell for years, during which time the licence to use the Dr. Strange character expired.

Doctor Stephen Strange

Doctor Strange

Fast forward, to 1992, when the script was dusted off, rewritten by C. Courtney Joyner, and packaged as a vehicle for “Re-animator” icon, Jeffrey Combs.
Enter, “Doctor Mordrid.” [Trailer below]

Ignore the cheesy special FX, the fact that Mordrid doesn’t have a moustache, squint a little, and you’ll see a more than passing resemblance, between the two good Doctors.

In a similar vein, you know The CW’s “Smallville” – now entering its 10th and final season, as it charts the transition of young CLark Kent from brash farm boy, to Man of Steel?

Originally, the show was conceived as “The Young Bruce Wayne Chronicles” – until legal constraints made it impossible for the Batman universe to be translated to the small screen.

I can think of a slightly different case.
One where two separate movies were made, using the same basic premise: A Mob fixer applies pressure on a jury member – a plucky  but extortable single mom – to force a mistrial in the prosecution of a major gangster.
Both films had a central villain with the same name.

In “Trial By Jury” [1994], Joanne Whalley-Kilmer was the mom, pressured by corrupt cop William Hurt – who refers to himself as The Teacher.

Trial By Jury trailer

In “The Juror” [1996], juror (duh!) Demi Moore comes under the influence of psycho fixer Alec Baldwin – a man known only as The Teacher.

Any others out there, that you can think of?

Peace.

Or “Kick Ass”, The Movie, if you prefer.

It’s based on a comic book  (graphic novel) by Mark Millar for Marvel, with artwork by John Romita, Jr.

The film features an agreeably quirky performance (does he give any other kind?) by Nicolas Cage, channeling Adam West as a gun-toting costumed nut.

He’s by no means the only one, in a movie where vicious criminals are routinely and brutally dispatched by Cage, and a supporting cast of brightly costumed youngsters – including Aaron Johnson as Kick Ass, the film’s central figure and narrator and, notably, Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl (who inspired the title of this post).

Levels of violence here are on a par with the best (worst?) Japanese martial arts / action flicks.

In this respect, the movie stays faithful to its source material.

Compare the panel below:

"Kick Ass" artwork, by John Romita, Jr.

to the (heavily censored) action of the trailer:

And rest assured that the movie delivers what the panel suggests it might.

There’s an underlying message or two, regarding the rights or wrongs of vigilante justice, and the extent to which parents consciously mold the psyches of their offspring.

But, “Kick Ass” is, in essence, a superhero comedy.

And therein lies the problem.

As an audience, we’re left conflicted.

Do we laugh at the funny-smart dialogue these kids are spouting, as they hack, slash, and machine gun their way through another bunch of goons?

Or gasp in horror, at the extreme violence being perpetrated by these grade and high-school-age “heroes?”

It’s a tricky balancing act. One which I’m not sure the producers of this film have carried off.

As always, I’ll let you judge for yourselves.

For the record, though, superhero comedy doesn’t work for me.

I take my costumed nuts serious. Especially the gun-toting ones.

But I admit, I did have some nasty fun, with this.

Peace.

Or whatever.

re: Quests

 
If the kids (or you) are suffering Harry Potter withdrawal, you could do worse than check out “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”

Despite the cumbrous title, it’s an entertaining romp that treads very similar ground to the recent remake of Ray Harryhausen’s “Clash of the Titans.”

Small wonder. They have the same basic premise:

Half-mortal son of Poseidon / Zeus undertakes dangerous quest, with gods and monsters opposing him, every step of the way.

Check out the trailer, below:

The special effects are special enough, so the kids will appreciate the scary monsters. And the heroic – well, kids – at the heart of the story.

It’s Classical Mythology, for the ipad generation.

I got a kick out of it. But, judge for yourself.

Peace.

A New Game is Afoot!

And, along came Sherlock Holmes. The Movie.

I’ll confess, I had reservations about this.

I grew up on Holmes – the novels and short stories – and have definite and deeply ingrained views of how he should look and sound.

Jeremy Brett (remember him?) WAS and always will be Sherlock Holmes, for me.

Plus, Guy Ritchie – the director of the new film – has a patchy record, at best. From the pinnacle of “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” to the dregs of “Circus.”

Then, I saw the trailer (which you can check out, below). And thought, “Hmm.”

Jude Law as Watson? Appropriate.
Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler? Delicious.
And Robert Downey Jr., as Holmes? Yes! He’s Iron Man, too (2?), so he’s already got points in his favor.

Just recently, I saw the movie itself.

Two-fisted action. Witty dialogue. Quirky behavior. Deduction. An atmospheric recreation of Victorian London. Yeah!!
This is one I actually hope will spawn a franchise. Sequels, please!

I liked it so much, I read the screenplay.

I understand that Guy Ritchie has a “reboot” of the King Arthur legend next, in his sights. If it’s anything like the quality of “Sherlock Holmes”, I’ll be there for that, too.
Praying that Clive Owen isn’t allowed anywhere near the set (Just kidding, Clive).

Till then (or earlier).

Peace.