In the Electric Mist (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Mystery / Thriller
Image Entertainment || R - 102 minutes - $35.98 || March 3, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-03-03

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Writer(s): James Lee Burke (novel); Jerzy Kromolowski & Mary Olson-Kromolowski (screenplay)
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard, Kelly MacDonald, Mary Steenburgen

Supplemental Material:
  • Theatrical Trailer

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

My mind has been rather blank recently of funny things that have happened. In fact Iíve written most of them that happened recently. So that either means that Iím writing too much or just not going out to do anything interesting. Itís probably a combination of both the first and second, but Iím sure thereís a third reason thrown in somehow that Iím forgetting. So onto In the Electric Mist, a mystery and thriller movie that wasnít really much of either.

Detective Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) is investigating a series of brutal murders all involving young hookers in a town. His number one suspect is Julie ďBaby FeetĒ Balboni (John Goodman), who runs some sort of porn business that all involve girls similar to the one that Robicheaux is investigating the death of.

Robicheaux makes a visit to Balboni in a friendly attempt to get some information out of him, but of course he declines and basically pushes him away. So while driving around town one day Robicheaux spots a drunk driver, a famous movie star named Elrod Sykes (Peter Sarsgaard) and his girlfriend Kelly Drummond (Kelly Macdonald) are weaving around the road in some sort of fancy sports car. He throws Sykes into his truck and arrests him, but during the drive Sykes talks about a body he found that was wrapped in chains in the swamp area. Robicheaux lets him go under the condition that he returns to the station the next morning to find the supposed body.

The two head to the swamp along with a few other officers and find the chains that Sykes talked about, only to realize that this murder may have something to do with the other murders that have been happening. It turns out that Robicheaux witnessed a murder when he was a young child, and this one may have been it. Note, Iím not sure how in the world the two would actually be intelligently discovered to have been together this early on in the movie, but somehow it is so donít worry.

So itís up to Dave to figure out just what the murders have in common, so he starts with the local police force to help him out, which of course they refuse to and basically blow him off. He ends up turning to one of his friends Lou Girard (Pruitt Taylor Vince) for help since heís on the police force as well, and Girard alerts him to another dead body found in the pier. It turns out that this is also another dead hooker, which complicates things more but also lets Dave know that Balboni definitely is playing a role in the murders.

Thereís also another sub-plot that deals more with Sykes/Drummond/Robicheaux that doesnít really make sense nor add to the story in any form. Sykes is continually drunk-driving still throughout the film (itís only later on he cleans up his act, and by later on I mean REALLY later on) and is the cause of the death of someone in the film because of it. It doesnít make any sense as to why this is in the film, as it just makes things more complicated than it needs to be.

Needless to say, I didnít enjoy this movie that much. The whole ďmysteryĒ aspect isnít a big one at all as the villain is rather obvious once you meet him. Also the back story about Robicheaux as a child is a bit too over dramatic and doesnít account for much of the story either. I think this could have been a better movie if it removed a few characters and sub plots, and just concentrated more on the murder aspect, but it choose to veer into other directions that donít work in the slightest.


Other than the filmís Theatrical Trailer, no extras can be found on this disc.


For a film set mainly in a beautiful area, the quality sure shows. This is a fine presentation with no hint of artifacts. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. The film didnít have any grain that made the picture hard to see in any regards, and colors were lively and, well for a lack of a better word, colorful. This isnít reference material but fairly close for the most part. Contrast however was a bit off in a few of the night time scenes though, but other than that this is a great transfer.

The audio side doesnít fare as well, as the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for a dialogue-heavy movie doesnít really reach out like I hoped it would. Surround sound was only engaged in a few scenes, and at times dialogue was hard to hear. It is however crisp and clear, which is a positive thing to note. For a good part of the flick the levels were fine, but there were times when I had to crank up the sound to hear the dialogue, and a few times it was a bit hard to understand what the characters were saying.


There are times when Iím all for Tommy Lee Jones in his usual ďtough guyĒ role, but this one just didnít work for me. His character is just too unbelievably stupid at points in the movie, and the rest of the cast canít compensate for his sub-par acting. The video and audio are well-done, but with a complete lack of special features, this is one film to leave in the mist and walk away. If you must see it, rent it, thereís little replay value if any. Sorry Jones, "Men in Black 3" soon?