By my money, I consider James Ellroy’s “LA Confidential” to be one of the greatest crime dramas ever made. It’s an elaborate, morose, and brutally intelligent display of respective talents and truly keen storytelling that gets better with every single viewing. “LA Confidential” was not a real hit with me upon the first viewing; in fact I found it painfully mediocre once the credits began to roll. Suddenly, I found myself watching it repeatedly and soon discovered that it was a stellar piece of filmmaking that grew on me once I opened my mind a bit.
Harry Callahan does all the dirty work. He does the dirty work that the people in the force wouldn’t do were it not for him. In the first half of “Dirty Harry,” he has to cut his lunch short and walk across the street in the middle of gun fire to stop a bank robber. And the cavalry is taking a while to get there and help him. He stops his eating, and is forced to single handedly put an end to the heist, and he goes back and finishes his lunch. He does it because he has to, because without him it all goes to shit. That’s Dirty Harry, the man with the magnum who sparked quite a controversy upon his introduction with many assuming he was an ode to, and endorsement for vigilantism and right wingers.
Ah yes, it’s another show on cable about a super woman who is really just a regular person when she’s with her family, or in her personal life. She mothers everyone, talks back to her superiors, and even has a “Moonlighting” relationship with her hunky partner. And on the outside, she’s a professional risking her life as a Witness Protection Officer relocating witnesses who, well, witness something corroborating, and must be relocated. She’s a not so nice person though, and prefers to act on her gut instead of follow procedure (you know how the song goes!), and this gets her into trouble. But I wasn’t too down on “In Plain Sight,” because while it’s better suited for Lifetime, Mary McCormack finally gets a good vehicle that allows us to see what her supporting performances over the years, haven’t.
And now for a trip down memory lane: Back when I was a young lad, my dad used to look for kids movies we could watch whenever we were up to no good and around our block there was a store that had an incredible collection of movies for sale. The selection was absolutely fantastic, with movies that were very hard to find and rare, and became even more so once the Blockbuster’s and Netflix’s of the world choked them out. Either way, he bought us this movie called “Hawk Jones” on VHS for a mere five bucks and boasted about its surefire entertainment value. Well, he wasn’t incorrect.
If I told you that I thought “CHiPs” was a pretty good show, and that I sort of re-considered my whole notion that it was rather sucky, would you hold it against me? Just checking. Because lord help me, “CHiPs” wasn’t the worst series I’ve ever seen. This is probably because a few weeks ago I had to review the utterly painful “War at Home,” but hell, for what it’s worth, this series isn’t too bad.
It’s Rookie cop Jake Hoyt’s first day on the job and he must now meet up with a seasoned professional the charismatic cop Harris who takes a liking to him and decides to take him on a ride along to show him the ropes of the inner city, but what he has to show young Jake is beyond anything he ever learned in Police Academy. In probably Denzel Washington’s best performance in years, he is phenomenal as the dangerous and sly Harris.