Films with LOST alumni Black Friday week sale

Amazon is having a big Black Friday week sale that is going on all week, starting today, Monday, November 21, 2011. I looked through the virtual bins, and found several items featuring LOST actors that could make great gifts (or to give to yourself).

Lance Reddick had an all-too-brief role in LOST as the mysterious and creepy Matthew Abaddon. Here he is visiting Hurley in the mental hospital (this scene is in LOST episode 4×01 The Beginning of the End). I love this scene — it’s one of my favorite LOST scenes — it’s the kind of thing that LOST did so well, did so much better than any other show. At the end of the scene, I had chills in the back of my neck. Video embedding has been disabled for the clip, but you can watch it on YouTube here — and it’s very much worth (re)watching: Are you fine, Mr. Reyes?

(more after the jump)

Reddick had a larger role as Lt. Cedric Daniels of the Baltimore police force in the HBO series The Wire (2002-08). Here he is in a scene with Detective Dominic West (Jimmy McNulty), who is The Wire‘s main character, to the extent an ensemble show can be said to have a main character:

I watched The Wire a few years ago on DVD, and I thought it was one of the best television dramas I had ever seen — right after The Sopranos and LOST. Like those two shows, The Wire has long story arcs. Although each season has a theme — drug dealers, dockworkers, crumbling public schools, politics, and the press — with some story lines that were resolved at each season’s end, there were also longer story arcs that spanned several years or even the entire series. Also like those two shows — especially The Sopranos — the drama is character-driven more than plot-driven.

It’s set in Baltimore — more than that, it’s about Baltimore — and was created and written by David Simon, who had been a police reporter for the Baltimore Sun for 12 years, an experience that clearly informed the show. Simon won a MacArthur genius award last year.

The show’s overriding theme is about how institutions corrupt people on both sides of the good-guy/bad-guy divide. It tackles serious themes in a way that few other television shows ever have — and develops them in a way that no movie or play ever could, because it has the luxury of time — five seasons’ worth of time. The slow-simmering drama often builds to shattering heights, at times (as in the final confrontation of two competing drug dealers) resembling a Shakespearean tragedy. No exaggeration.

That said, The Wire is not for everyone. It has moments of hope and redemption, but is mostly a grim indictment of how our institutions have failed our cities. It’s violent. It requires concentration while you watch. I found the combination of Baltimore accents and drug-dealer slang hard to decipher, and watched parts with the closed captioning on. But if you like it, you will really like it — and I have a feeling that a lot of LOST fans will appreciate the intelligence of the thought-provoking script, the power of the acting, and the quality of the production.

During Black Friday week, the complete collection (five seasons) of The Wire: The Complete Series is on sale for $94.99, which is 53 percent off the list price of $199.98.

If you’re not sure if this is your cup of tea, I’d suggest watching one episode. After you see it — maybe even after the first ten minutes — you should know whether or not you want to watch the entire series.

Lance Reddick, of course, also has a large role in Fringe, which was created by another LOST alum, J.J. Abrams. I must confess I only watched a few episodes, as it was too scary/gory for me, but I know it has many enthusiastic fans. For them, and those who want to join them, check out the Black Friday sale on Fringe DVDs: The first season is $27.99, which is a 53 percent savings off the list price of $59.98. Second season is $23.65 (61 percent off), and the recently released third season is $38.99 (35 percent off).

Remember Me stars Emilie de Ravin (Claire) and Twilight guy Robert Pattinson. I don’t know anything about the film, but as I was looking for information, I saw several people warning that we shouldn’t read what other people had written because they had ruined the ending. As I don’t like spoilers, I was glad to avert my eyes. So all I can tell you is that it’s a love story set in New York City with a twist or surprise ending. The Black Friday week price for Remember Me is $8.49, down 69 percent from $26.99.

Last item from the virtual bargain bin is The Big Lebowski, which I also haven’t seen, but this is one of those movies I keep promising myself I will see someday. It’s written and directed by the Coen Brothers and stars Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, and Julianne Moore. The reason it’s on this list is because Mark Pellegrino (Jacob in LOST) has a (presumably small-ish) role as “the blond thug.” Black Friday week sale price for The Big Lebowski is $7.99, for a 53 percent savings from $14.98.

So there you have it — a selection of drama, romance, and comedy, all featuring our beloved LOST alums. By the way, if I’ve made any new converts to The Wire with this post, let me know, if you feel so inclined.

For more sales items, see the complete list of Amazon Black Friday week items.

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