I don’t think I have ever met anyone who didn’t like Tom Selleck. Most actors have their share of detractors but if Selleck has them, they certainly don’t make it known. Selleck started acting in the late 60s on various television shows and eventually small roles in films by the late 70s but in 1980 Selleck scored his own series on a show created by two of TV’s most prolific writers, Glen A. Larson and Donald P. Bellisario. Magnum P.I. would become a smash hit and would make Tom Selleck a household name. During his off seasons in Magnum’s eight year run he would make many movies, High Road to China, Lassiter, Runaway, and the huge hit 3 Men and a Baby. And after Magnum he continued to make more great movies like Her Alibi, An Innocent Man, Quigley Down Under and Mr. Baseball to name a few. He returned to TV eventually as well to great acclaim with his role as Courtney Cox’s boyfriend Richard on Friends, a recurring role on Boston Legal, replacing James Caan for a season on Las Vegas and most recently his spectacular turn as Police Commissioner Frank Reagan on Blue Bloods, now in its sixth season. But since 2005, he has also been doing a recurring role in a series of TV movies based on the Jesse Stone novels by Robert B. Parker. The latest and 9th film in the series, Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise, is out this week on DVD.
This time out, Paradise, Massachusetts Police Chief Jesse Stone becomes a consultant with the Boston Police Force in a series of murders possibly committed by a jailed serial killer. But the killer, known as the Boston Ripper (Luke Perry), claims the fourth victim was not killed by him. Now it is up to Jesse to investigate the murder and find the person actually responsible and bring him to justice.
The Jesse Stone movies are a unique animal. They are methodically paced, somber, beautifully photographed and written and not at all like most TV and movies out today. And Selleck is absolutely perfect in the role of Stone. He is a deeply flawed and introspective character but one that is driven by an unstoppable desire to find justice wherever it needs to be found. He struggles with alcoholism and is a soft spoken man, but he is serious about his work and will stop at nothing to do it right. Selleck himself now co-writes the films as well as executive produces, both things he does not usually do which I would think indicates a special kind of connection to the material and/or character. Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise is no exception in this excellent series. The story is engaging and Selleck is in top form. And Luke Perry as the sadistic jailed serial killer is a nice surprise turn by the actor and a great performance as well. If you haven’t checked out the Jesse Stone movies do yourself a favor and remedy that immediately. They are well worth your time. There is at least one of the films on Netflix so you can start there but guaranteed you will want to seek them all out once you do. Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise is highly recommended.