I reckon I'm the slow kid in the Rara-Avis class, so likely y'all have seen this already. But I thought I would throw my two cents in anyway.
First off, since we have been talking about casting lately, I have to mention that the choice of Casey Affleck to play Lou Ford was a superb decision. As I hail from Oklahoma, I had always imagined Ford as more of a beefy, good ol' boy type....that is what our lawmen actually look like....but Affleck more than makes up for it with his cold, pretty boy eyes. The rest of the casting is equally good. Jessica Alba's part is, um, limited but I am ready to nominate her for an Academy Award anyway. In fact, I think part of what has drawn so many objections to the flick is that it is not only horribly violent and degrading to women but quite sexy at the same time.
The biggest difference from the book is that in the novel one gets the sense from the psychopathic narrator that he is invincible. The third person POV of the movie reveals more clearly what a thin tissue of lies are covering his murders. It does, however, succeed as well as the book in seducing you into rooting for Ford to defeat his adversaries.
The locations and soundtrack are distractingly accurate and good. Extra points are awarded for using the music of convicted killer Spade Cooley as a central reference point.
Though I am a big fan of the film version of After Dark, My Sweet, this is likely the best version of a Thompson book we are going to see. There were a couple of flashbacks that I thought weakened the movie, but otherwise I give it an A minus.
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