Overrated/Underrated: A 'Mindhunter' scene-stealer, and let's not return to Middle-earth


Cameron Britton in “Mindhunter”: Like a few David Fincher projects, the early episodes of this Netflix series are far more interesting to look at than to listen to and think about. But with an understated, dryly chilling performance as the real-life serial killer Edmund Kemper who briefly acts as a Hannibal Lecter to Jonathan Groff’s FBI agent, Britton walks away with every scene he’s in behind a mustache, a pair of thick glasses and a matter-of-fact, even genial delivery — whether asking how Groff’s character takes his coffee, recommending the egg salad sandwich from the prison cafeteria or describing how he murdered his mother.

Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band’s “Body and Shadow”: Having recorded with a broad roster of musicians that includes Wayne Shorter, Bob Dylan, Chick Corea and Iron & Wine, Blade is near the top of anyone’s list for in-demand session drummers, but his work as a bandleader deserves equal acclaim on this recording, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of his Fellowship Band. Deftly navigating a territory between jazz, folk and gospel, Blade is a steady but constantly shifting presence on an album that’s equal parts meditative and energizing.


Twitter’s growth: Already having evolved from a platform to describe one’s lunch to, evidently, a megaphone where a head of state can try and dictate policy, the blessing and curse that is Twitter made a big shift this past week by doubling its tweet-length from an arbitrary 140 characters to the equally arbitrary 280. While this may be a good thing by diminishing the site’s addictive and ADD-targeted capabilities, repeated exposure to Twitter reveals that the platform, like most of the internet, would likely be most improved by allowing people less space to speak, not more.

Even more “Lord of the Rings”: After eight years of production and hundreds of millions of dollars that yielded the nearly 700 minutes of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkein’s trilogy (if you opted for the DVD special editions), Amazon seems to believe there is still uncovered ground in “The Lord of the Rings” epic with word that the studio is in talks to create a TV adaptation. Even if you don’t believe Jackson’s efforts yielded a definitive retelling, aren’t there stories somewhere beyond the reach of Middle-earth that studios can adapt to court “Game of Thrones” fans?

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