Poor Tom Selleck. The guy has had to deal with the Magnum P.I. stigma for so long, whenever he tries to play darker characters in a film noir-style TV movie, people just don’t buy it, as what seems to be the case in Stone Cold.
But Selleck actually does a pretty decent job in the film, playing Jesse Stone, a chief of police in a small New England town who has to deal with a serial killing husband and wife combo. Jesse has moved from Los Angeles, where he lost his job and his…wife, for reasons that aren’t particularly made known (or I missed them). He picks up a drinking habit and a girlfriend in town, and has to use his old instincts to track them down.
Aside from Selleck, the other name of note in the film is Mimi Rogers (The Rapture), who plays a defense attorney that could be easily confused with his ex wife. She’s in town to defend the town’s football player, who is accused of rape. The plot arc is a bit enigmatic, as it’s the other major storyline in the film and isn’t resolved very well in 87 minutes. Based on the novel by Robert B. Parker and directed by Robert Harmon (The Hitcher), Stone Cold is a decent TV movie, and possibly could have been tweaked into a watchable feature.
There’s a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtrack which is a pleasant surprise, and seems to have more LFE activity in it than similar soundtracks. It’s still a quiet film regardless, so it’s no big deal.
1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen is the only video version on this disc, so big ups to Sony for that. Mastered in HD, the black levels are excellent and there’s a visible layer of grain throughout the film, resulting in a much better visual experience than expected for a TV movie.
There is a 10 minute featurette that covers the usual ground and features interviews mostly from Selleck (who also was the executive producer) and Harmon. It’s quick and painless, along with the seven trailers that come on the disc.
TV movies are TV movies, one’s not too different from the other. The story isn’t too bad and has points of dry humor in it, and Selleck’s performance is a decent change of pace from his previous roles. A recommended rental, or if it comes on TV again, a viewing if nothing else is on.
Special Features List
- Making of Featurette