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Ghost Canyon

'Jesse Stone - Sea Change'
(Tom Selleck, Kathy Baker, et al / DVD / NR / 2008 / Sony Pictures)

Overview: 'Jesse Stone: Sea Change' is the fourth in the series of films starring Selleck as Jesse Stone, the former Los Angeles homicide detective who has been fired from the LAPD, left his wife and comes to Paradise, Massachusetts, to start life over again as the New England town’s police chief. Co-starring William Devane (TV’s Knot’s Landing), Kathy Baker (Edward Scissorhands) and Sean Young (Blade Runner), this installment finds Chief Stone (Selleck) bored with what he perceives as his mundane life, struggling to keep his drinking and his obsession with beautiful women under control.

DVD Verdict: The latest DVD dramatization of Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone novels starring Tom Selleck has everything: Action, drama, mystery, humor, romance and pathos. For me, it is the best of the series thus far.

Sea Change challenges mystery and thriller lovers alike but will also delight those viewers who love wonderful, three-dimensional characterizations and first-class film making.

Frankly, each of these made-for-TV productions of the Jesse Stone books have had the look and feel of a movie. Selleck is perfect as the brilliant Police Chief of a small town in New England, aptly named 'Paradise' in Massachusetts, who fled the big city which had brought him great professional success along with stress and a failed marriage.

He's wounded and lonely, and struggles with alchoholism. Much like Sherlock Holmes who sometimes took cocaine when he didn't have a case to challenge his sharp mental faculities, Stone has to have something 'important' to investigate or his addiction will consume him.

Abruptly desolate in the very quiet town, Stone decides to open a cold case and, in so doing, is able to set his glass down -- at least for a while. The case he selected is a 20-year-old bank robbery and murder. The ensuing twists and turns of the investigation, and Stone's unorthodox but endearing style, is entertaining, intriguing and memorable.

Selleck is ably assisted by a very talented cast that includes the gifted Kathy Baker who plays Dispatcher/Officer Rose Gammon, the great Kohl Sudduth as Officer Luthor 'Suitcase' Simpson who awakes from a coma with 'special talents,' and Joe the Dog who plays Reggie.

Lets hope the remainder of the Jesse Stone novels get the same wonderful treatment and come to TV and DVD soon! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features.