I have reviewed two different series (one English, the other French) based upon the Georges Simenon character of Maigret. I have never read any of the books, nor do I have a real affinity for the character. Why then do I keep watching and reviewing these things? You can blame my wife. She is a great francophile - a lover of all things French - and she turned me on to Maigret. Honestly, I don’t think she’s ever read one of the books either, but as he is one of the great detectives to come out of France (or Belgium, as that’s where Simenon is from), she is well aware of Maigret’s popularity. He’s kind of the Sherlock Holmes of French detectives.
I’m a sucker for a good detective story and I especially dig a character that takes on a life of his own over numerous books. Simenon wrote 76 novels and 28 shorts stories starring Maigret. There have been numerous cinematic and television adaptations of the Maigret characters over the years.
There is something exciting about having such an enormous stack of media involving this one character. It's something I can really dig into for many years. Maigret Sets a Trap (1958) and Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case (1959) star Jean Gabin as Maigret. They were some of the earliest looks American audiences had at Maigret, and I, for one, am excited to give them a chance.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Despicable Me 3: Steve Carell once again plays the lovable villain turned hero Gru, who alongside his many Minions and his sister (Kristen Wiig), battle against the evil Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) and the newly discovered brother of Gru, Dru (also Carell), who tries to lure Gru back to evil doings. I’m a big fan of the first Despicable Me, but I think I missed the second one, was pretty meh about the Minions movie, and haven’t bothered with any of the shorts and TV specials. Still, I’ll likely catch this at some point with my daughter and I expect I’ll enjoy myself.
Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series: I was not on the Twin Peaks train when the original series aired. I was too young to really get it or care. At some point in my post-college life, I started watching in and really dug it, but for some reason I don’t think I made it to the end. I probably couldn’t get the last season from the library, or maybe we moved and I never got back to it. It's a series I want to return to but have not been willing to reinvest the time. But with this new limited series getting good reviews, I think it may be time to return.
Silent Night, Deadly Night: A holiday slasher flick where Santa goes on a killer rampage. Geez, I miss the '80s. Davy Hollingsworth has our review of Scream Factory’s new special edition.
Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood: Arrow Video brings this horror film from 1973 about a gaggle of vampires working at a seedy old carnival to Blu-ray in their usual awesome packaging. Should be noted that this was previously included in their American Horror Project box set.
The Amicus Collection (1972 - 2017). Collection of four cheesy looking horror films (Asylum, And Now the Screaming Starts, The Beast Must Die, and The Vault of Amicus) from Amicus Productions, a small British production company that has something of a beloved cult status among horror aficionados.
100 Years of Olympic Films (Criterion Collection): Features 53 newly restored films from 41 Olympic Games plus a 216-page hardcover book.
American Assassin: Dylan O’Brien stars in this action flick about a young man drawn into the world of anti-terrorism after his girlfriend is killed by terrorists. He’s mentored by a tough-as-nails Navy SEAL as portrayed by Michael Keaton.