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True Detective – Ray Velcoro’s Dark Western-Yoked Jacket

Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro on the second season of True Detective (after ditching the mustache and bolo tie that defined the character's early-season look.)

Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro on the second season of True Detective (after ditching the mustache and bolo tie that defined the character’s early-season look.)

Vitals

Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro, troubled and crooked Vinci PD detective

Ventura County, California, fall 2014 to spring 2015

Series: True Detective
Season: 2
Air Dates: June 21, 2015 – August 9, 2015
Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
Costume Designer: Alix Friedberg

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The second season of HBO’s True Detective is, in my opinion, better judged when on its own than against its masterful and delightfully idiosyncratic first season. The second season brought together Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, and Vince Vaughn in an acid neo-noir more in the pulp crime tradition of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler’s worlds than that of Rust Cohle and Marty Hart.

Even the show’s fictional and corrupt berg of Vinci, California, shares some undeniable similarities with the Bay City of Chandler’s Philip Marlowe novels, though it was indeed based on the rough industrial city of Vernon, where it was partially filmed.

Our self-destructive, repressed, and expendable cop protagonists, portrayed by the Farrell-McAdams-Kitsch triad, practice maverick techniques that border on impropriety but their ideals and values align them with the incorruptible Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade… naturally leading to the straight-out-of-pulp “last stand” holed up in a secluded motel room with seemingly endless bottles of whiskey. Continue reading

Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in Killing Them Softly.

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in Killing Them Softly (2012).

My girlfriend is a big fan of Brad Pitt, and her birthday is today so – as one of my gifts to her – I’m breaking down one of his more recent BAMF looks.

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, freelance mob hitman

Boston*, November 2008

* The movie – like the source novel – was indeed set in the Boston area but was filmed in New Orleans.

Background

Although it met with mixed reviews, fans of George V. Higgins appreciate the recent film version of his 1974 book Cogan’s Trade, released as Killing Them Softly based on a line from the novel’s titular protagonist, Jackie Cogan:

They cry. They plead. They beg. They piss themselves. They call for their mothers. It gets embarrassing. I like to kill ’em softly, from a distance. Not close enough for feelings. Don’t like feelings. Don’t want to think about them.

Continue reading