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The Punisher (2017)
Former Marine Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) is haunted by the murder of his family and his work for a secret off-the-books CIA operation in Afghanistan. He is assumed dead by everyone. He works at a construction site but even there, he cannot retire from his Punisher duties. He is found by tech-savvy David Lieberman, another member of the secret CIA operation, in hiding after a corrupt cop presumably killed him. Agent Dinah Madani from Homeland Security is tracking Frank Castle, not believing in his death. Frank insinuates himself into Lieberman's family. The two 'dead' men join forces to take down the corrupt CIA apparatus. In season 2, he is roaming America with a new identity from the CIA. He rescues a girl from a team of military mercenaries. She turns out to be a grifter with many aliases and being hunted by a powerful political family. Meanwhile, Billy Russo has escaped with the help of his therapist and Madani asks for Castle's help.
The first season is a dark, brutal story of PTSD and violence. Jon Bernthal is perfect. It is the darkest of the Marvel Netflix universe that rival Jessica Jones' issues. I really appreciate something more than comic book action. The second season has a few problematic issues. I don't the portrayal of the side character Brett Mahoney. He is supposed to be a dedicated good NYPD cop but the story simply stacks up his incompetence as his dedication becomes nothing more than arrogance. If the audience is to have any sympathy for Mahoney, he needs more in-depth reasoning and understanding. There is also no reason why Castle wouldn't simply explain some of the Schultz case to Mahoney or quite frankly Madani. Sure, he's a man of action but a few words would help here or there. There is room for improvement in the writing. Otherwise, I love the Schultz case, the Ghost, and the Girl. At first, I was concerned about Krista Dumont from the Billy Russo side of the season but her twisted nature is a nice highlight. The only problem with that half of the story is again Mahoney who seems utterly uninterested in recapturing a rampaging killer. The audience should see him as a reasonable man in an insane world. Instead, he's abandoning fellow cops during a shootout to chase after a ghost. He is self-righteous when he is the character with the least information and that always makes him look stupid and arrogant. I don't think he's supposed to be stupid and arrogant. It's a problem in the writing in an otherwise compelling season. Of the Marvel Netflix shows, this is one of the better ones.
The Stalking Moon (1968)
Scout Sam Varner (Gregory Peck) is retiring from the Army. He guides a squad of US troopers to round up a group of native Indians. Among the mostly women and children are Sarah Carver (Eva Marie Saint) and her half-Indian son Ashki. She is desperate to leave immediately. Only Varner is leaving right away to his new homestead in New Mexico. He agrees to take them to a stage coach station. Death follows her. It's the boy's father, a great warrior named Salvaje.
This is an opportunity to have a great western. If Salvaje is to be feared, his brutal killings need to be shown. The military detachment needs to be massacred. I don't mind the station massacre. It's a nice ghostly affair. This could be a fearsome western but it doesn't have the power of other more modern westerns. Director Robert Mulligan's most famous movie is probably "To Kill a Mockingbird" also starring Peck. Mulligan doesn't have the action thrills. As for Eva Marie Saint, her character is far too quiet. I understand the nature of her plight but she should be talking the native tongue with her son. The movie is a bit too quiet. Instead of increased mood, it slows the pacing. The potential is there for a landmark western.
don't like it
In Chicago, Rel (Lil Rel Howery) is faced with an empty home after his wife took off with his kids and furniture to Cleveland after sleeping with his barber Frank. He has his hard truth telling sister Brittany, his ecstasy selling brother Nat, and his reverend Dad (Sinbad).
The laugh track is really bad. That's a hard first impression to overcome. It tries to get a slice of the canceled The Carmichael Show but I like Carmichael and his family. It tries to be topical and edgy at times but the show doesn't have that goodwill. I simply don't like Rel or any of his family. He's too whiny. I actually support his ex sleeping with the barber and leaving him. It may be a better premise to have him follow her to Cleveland to be closer to his kids. That would probably win some points for me if he's a conscientious father. Instead, his kids are rarely the center of the show. I don't really hate Sinbad but his comedy has a cheesy feel. I would like him to play something darker like a villain. It's hard to find any of this funny.
The Gifted (2017)
good for network TV
The X-Men are gone. The world has grown to fear and loath the mutants especially after an incident four years earlier. Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer) has been prosecuting mutant terrorists and for the last 5 years, he's been a member of the Mutant Task Force. His son Andy gets bullied at school and his mutant powers are unleashed. He and sister Lauren are revealed. Reed is forced to go on the run with his family. Reed tracks down the Mutant Underground where he offers imprisoned Lorna Dane in return for transit to Mexico. Jace Turner is a Sentinel Services agent driven to catch fugitive mutants due to a personal loss.
This is as good as network live action X-Men TV show is probably going to get. It gets to the main theme of persecution of minorities. It's not prestige TV. It doesn't have the dark style or experimentation. It has action with some limits. There is a bit of network blandness that bleeds into the show. It has a lot of lead characters but is able to maintain focus on them. The brother can be annoying which happens with some rebellious youth. I would love more daring in the writing but this is fine for network TV. At least, it's not Inhumans.
Miss Bala (2019)
Gloria Fuentes (Gina Rodriguez) is a Los Angeles makeup artist of Mexican heritage. She crosses the border to help her best friend Suzu Ramós in Mexico to enter the Miss Baja beauty contest. They go to a nightclub to make connections for Suzu's competition. The girls get in the middle of a war between gang leader Lino Esparza and police chief Saucedo. Suzu goes missing after the shootout in the club. Gloria gets kidnapped by Lino and forced to do his bidding.
Despite some issues, I do like the original Mexican movie. The main difference in this one is the Americanized lead character. It adds a whole new layer to the intensity. She is a fish out of water. She has a disconnection to this world which is helpful to the tension. It does leave open her possibility of simply escaping back to America. That's why her relationship with Suzu is so important. It's the thing that anchors her to her predicament. It needs an introductory exposition to show why she is more family than friend. The audience needs to be prepared for her fight to the death to save her friend. Quite frankly, the beauty pageant also needs to be explained earlier. It's an odd dangling thread until Lino finally explains it in the third act. Lino should at least tell her about Saucedo's connection to the pageant for the audience's sake. There are some additional issues from the premise. Director Catherine Hardwicke is trying her hand at action with mixed results. It's got the explosions but it needs a bit more outrageous violence. This should be more John Wick and less Sicario. It would fit better with the outrageous story. After all, the big visual of the movie is a gun-totting Gloria in her red ball gown. It needs to embrace that look and style as the style for the whole movie.
Mads against nature
Overgård (Mads Mikkelsen) is the sole survivor of a plane crash in the remote arctic. He survives by ice fishing and careful management. A rescue helicopter finds him but it also crashes in a wind gust. He manages to save the young female co-pilot. She's wounded and barely conscious. As the medical supply dwindle, he decides to trek to a nearby seasonal camp with the wounded woman in tow.
Mads is one of the great actors of today. It's basically a solo role. It's man against nature. My only issue is that I don't believe the trek is a higher percentage play than simply staying at his location. He could have tried to salvage the radio on the helicopter. It makes more sense to wait for rescue. One would think the locals would be more driven to find one of their own. A last ditch effort would be him setting off by himself. It's too hard to drag a person around. The movie also doesn't explain the distance and the resources of that supposed camp. It's a hope and a prayer without telling the audience what or where is salvation. Above all the questions is Mads' performance. He is undeniable.
The Defenders (2017)
fun little combo
It's Hell's Kitchen in New York City. Four superheroes work separately against evil. Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is a blind lawyer by day and a hero by night. Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is a PI dealing with her PTSD. Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is impenetrable with super strength. Danny Rand (Finn Jones) is the beneficiary of his family's company and gained the ability to use the Iron Fist. They find themselves facing the same enemy and must combine forces to defeat them.
It's a fun little combo. It's action. It has some good interactions. It ameliorates Iron Fist's worst aspects. Its eight episode run is also shorter and makes the show an easy binge. The longer runs sometimes have the issue of flabby middle sections. The story is simple good and evil. It's not the best but it does give the quartet a good running start.
L'amant double (2017)
sincerest form of flattery
Chloé is 25 and alone. Her only friend is her cat. She quit the modeling world and is struggling to find other work. Her physical ailments are diagnosed as psychosomatic and gets sent to psychiatrist Dr Paul Meyer. She gets better. They fall in love and she moves in with him. She discovers some disturbing facts and starts seeing double. Jacqueline Bisset plays duo mother roles. Other actors also play duo roles.
The themes and the concepts remind me of Dead Ringers. Director François Ozon is doing a similar story even down to the gynecology and Cronenberg's body horror style. I assume this to be a work of love. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. He does throw in a big twist at the end. I really like the absorption idea but I do not like the hallucination idea. It wipes away most of the movie. It's all a dream and the movie is not better for it. It would be much better to keep both ideas. The ending should be Chloé in prison dealing with all her losses and caring for an imaginary baby.
member the Omni
It's 1982. Jeffrey Jones (Meeno Peluce) is an orphan boy living with his aunt and uncle in a high-rise apartment. One night, Phineas Bogg (Jon-Erik Hexum) crashes through the window. He's a time traveler as one of the Voyagers plucked out of history to fix it using a device called an Omni. Once each time period is fixed, the light on the Omni turns from red to green. The Omni malfunctioned sending Phineas to 1982 when it's not supposed to travel later than 1970. He loses his guidebook and saves Jeffrey from a fall by pulling him into the past. With no way back to 1982, he has no way to retrieve his book or return Jeffrey to his time.
Wow, I remember the Omni although I didn't remember anything about the show before watching it again recently. I can see the appeal of it to little kids especially ones around Jeffrey's age. He's a really smart kid. In fact, he's the smart one and Phineas is the meathead. Phineas is clueless without his guidebook. With an adult's eye, I appreciate the idea of the pairing but the details are where all the premise falls apart. Why would they send an idiot to fix history and why is it so screwed up? It finally hints at something in episode 13 when the show introduces a Voyager villain. In many ways, that is the best episode despite half of it being a clip show. It actually advances the plot. It lays out seeds of story advancements like reprogramming the Omni or other Voyagers or an overall structure to the Voyagers. It still doesn't explain Phineas' cluelessness. It would help to see him work with the guidebook and make him a lot less dumb during the pilot. Why doesn't Phineas go back to that place to get another guidebook? It seems wrong for Phineas to demand to change history for the boy no matter how touching the reason. I would have been more excited if episode 13 herald in a new serial style of story. That episode could have been a real turning point. Drake does return in the final episode of its only season. He's an entry way to a whole different aspect to the show which is barely utilized.
The production value is impressive for a TV show. It is every bit the action adventure. It allows the network to bring full-bore its action set pieces. Heck, they even use the same Universal Studios Hollywood's Collapsing Bridge in at least two different episodes. It is top notch in that aspect. I also really like the structure of traveling to at least two time periods. It allows an issue to be shown with cause and effect. The Wright brothers didn't invent the airplane and the Americans are losing WWI because of it. I like the kid and there is a lot to like about the show. I can like the episodic nature of it but the annoying questions within the scenario keep bothering me. The producers must have thought up an elevator pitch but nobody spent any time fleshing it out. On a minor note, this show above all others needs the dates and places for each jump. The characters end up stating each time and place. Above all else, this show needs a story teller to work out a better back story.
Living with the Enemy (2005)
there are worst
Allison Conner (Sarah Lancaster) attends a conference with her boss Bev. She meets a nice guy in Phillip Lauder (Mark Humphrey) who turns out to be the multi-billionaire that Bev is trying to land. He quickly proposes. It's a big transition as she lives under her new husband's security. His previous wife Monique was kidnapped for ransom and killed. There seems to be more to the story. The FBI blackmails her to co-operate in their investigation into Phillip. More people are getting killed and suspicions are raised on all sides.
Like a lot of these movies, the production is not rich enough to portray a billionaire's life. As for the story itself, there are lots of questionable turns. The first odd note struck is Bev. I don't understand her feeling towards the new relationship unless she already knew something from the start. For normal business, Allison would be a great way to get in the door. There are strange occurrences like the FBI pulling her off the street throwing her into a van. It's done for drama but it's overly done. There are many things happening that are unreal. If security is so tight, Phillip would insists on a constant bodyguard for Allison. There are characters that I'm not sure who they are supposed to be. I know they work for the company but I'm not sure as what. The acting is fine for a TV movie. There are worst. The 'mystery' is functional enough to keep a small amount of interest.
lots of red blood
It's 1874 in a Tokyo prison. A female prisoner dies giving birth. With her final words, she proclaims the child to be her asura demon, an instrument for vendetta. Four criminals had swindled from the villagers. She was brutally raped and her family killed. The child would be trained as an assassin on her journey to seek revenge upon the four who wronged her mother.
That's a lot of blood and it's bright red. The story is a poetic revenge epic. There is a definite Kill Bill vibe. The story has a little too much and gets told in an unnecessarily complicated fashion. The best aspect is the cool Lady Snowblood and her bloody kills. It looks great. It's a simple revenge story and works best when told simply.
Whistling in the Dark (1941)
rapid fire trio the most fun
Wally Benton (Red Skelton) is the star creator of the popular mystery radio show, The Fox, where he solves near perfect crimes. Cult leader Joseph Jones needs to kill someone to inherit a fortune. He's told about Benton and kidnaps him to construct the perfect murder. Benton is supposed to meet his fiancée Carol Lambert and a rich sponsor's socialite daughter Fran Post. Jones has them kidnapped as well.
Of course, I've heard of Red Skelton but he's mostly before my time. He is almost entirely an old performing legend from what I remember. He's a much younger man in this. He's in his late 20's, early in his Hollywood career. I like comedic triangle when they're alone to have a rapid fire banter. Their escape is the best part of the movie. The girls are really hilarious as the competing duo. The murder scheme is a little dark and it's not as much fun. I prefer to have the cult bumble as much as possible. It does get into a slapstick fight although it's not the funniest. This has some good banter and a good amount of fun.
Oliver Beene (2003)
everything but the boy
Oliver Beene recalls his childhood. He's 11 in 1962 New York with his dim-witted older brother Ted, loving mother Charlotte, and cheapskate dentist father Jerry. Joyce and Michael are his best friends. Bonnie is the pretty classmate. Ted is infatuated with Swedish foreign exchange student neighbor Elke.
Oliver can be a bit annoying but I do like the family and his friends. It's like everything around him make it enjoyable as a show but the central character can infuriate me at times. Compared to other boy-centric network shows, this has all the basic building blocks. It's a matter of the appeal of Oliver. He's trying too hard and his weasel moves aren't as funny. He does grow on me as his family and friends' relationships make him more appealing and sweeter.
slow languid Survivor
Twelve strangers are shipwrecked on a string of South Pacific islands. Their suitcases scattered around. There are resources and abandoned structures. They have to survive to wait for rescue after an unknown number of days.
In the first season of Survivor, some of the participants didn't get it until they figured it out. They're on a game show, not a survival show. This show is what those participants expected. There are no prizes here. There are no competitions. There is no council. It's a slower, more poetic, faux survivalist show. These people are not in any real danger, even less than other shows. The only danger seems to be drowning as some of the participants get worn out swimming the ocean currents. After they get to a certain point, it is a show of people coexisting and sleeping the days away. It's a slow, languid watch. Some of the personality interactions are a little fascinating. I find myself fast forwarding some of it. I wouldn't mind doing it myself living the shipwrecked life but as a show, it has limited drama.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015)
there's crazy and there's Crazy
Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) is a driven New York real estate lawyer working in a high power law firm. She's offered the partnership. She starts to stress and runs into childhood camp friend Josh Chan. All of her romantic happiness comes rushing back and she follows him to his hometown of West Covina, California. She gets a job at a small firm run by Darryl Whitefeather and befriends co-worker Paula Proctor. Josh Chan is dating controlling girlfriend Valencia Perez. Rebecca befriends cool young neighbor Heather Davis. In season 2, she falls for arrogant new boss Nathaniel Plimpton III.
The title started out as a tongue in cheek joke. Crazy ex-girlfriend is a trope. It's fun to call Rebecca that since it's mostly light-hearted. She's a flustered single gal trying to find love. Some of the songs are actually hilarious. Bloom's bodied humor is funny. It's not unlike many other sitcoms throughout history. Somewhere along the line, the show dives head first into the trope. It's probably her suicide attempt where the show pass a point of no return. It may be brave but it's harder to see the fun in the humor. It stops being a joke and becomes much more real. I appreciate the attempt and the show never cheapens it. In a way, this is way better than the standard single gal sitcom and it is a harder watch after the transition.
Hold Your Man (1933)
best with both Gable and Harlow
Petty grifter Eddie Hall (Clark Gable) and his crime partner Slim are chased by their mark and a policeman. Eddie hides in the apartment of Ruby Adams (Jean Harlow). She's also a hustler with many of her men. Slim suggests a blackmail con on one of those men. Eddie gets jealous and punches the man who accidentally dies. Eddie goes on the run and Ruby is locked up.
Both stars would reach higher heights. Their charisma is undeniable. Her entrance in the bubble bath is superb and his version is hilarious. It does get a bit muddled but the biggest hurdle comes when Clark Gable doesn't get any screen time for a whole large section in the middle. The movie works with both of them and when Gable disappears, the movie stagnates. It would be so much better if the two of them go on the run together as fugitives. No matter what, they need to stay together for the chemistry to work. The movie started with Gable and it's hard when he goes away.
Murder She Said (1961)
first theatrical iteration
Miss Marple (Margaret Rutherford) is riding the train when she witnesses a murder on the train traveling on the adjoining track. The police reluctantly investigates and finds nothing. It's up to Miss Marple to solve the case. She tracks the missing body to Ackenthorpe Hall and gets a job at the manor.
This is based on an Agatha Christie novel with one of her iconic characters. Rutherford is great as the eccentric mystery savant although it may not be to Christie's liking. It is the first theatrical appearance of the character. It pushes for broad comedy a bit more than normal. It's not bad for a first draft. The other characters are not as compelling. I'm not complaining about the kid but everybody else is a bit bland. It starts with a compelling murder but the drama stalls a little. This movie does lead to the rest and that is worthwhile.
What Would Diplo Do? (2017)
a laugh every once in awhile
Diplo (James Van Der Beek) is an international electronic DJ superstar. He is self-obsessed and an unaware diva. His assistant Karen has to cater to his every whim. Jasper is his idiot school friend and hanger on posse. Brian (Bobby Lee) is his manager. Kröner is his stat-obsessed tech. Jamar is his ball-busting best friend.
Everybody is trying to do original material for the streaming world. This is probably Viceland dipping its toe in the water. It's low budget, high concept. Van Der Beek has done the deadpan realistic idiot character before. It's modeled after someone like Calvin Harris. Here's the deal. There isn't much in terms of writing. It is like a concept being produced for each episode and let the inmates run wild. There may be a laugh a show. This is somebody trying something and having fun with it. There are worst things in the world.
didn't like the character at first
Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is a struggling thirtysomething Londoner. Her "guinea pig" café is struggling after the tragic accidental suicide of her business partner Boo. Her sex life is a struggle with various hookups. She struggles with her uptight perfect older sister Claire (Sian Clifford) married to the inappropriate Martin (Brett Gelman) with inappropriate stepson Jake. She struggles with her evil godmother (Olivia Coleman) who has ensnared her father (Bill Paterson) after her mother's death from breast cancer. Fleabag is often breaking the 4th wall. In the second season, she has an inappropriate relationship with a priest (Andrew Scott). He's the only one who notices her breaking the 4th wall.
I did not like Fleabag at the beginning, the character not the show. She does grow on me over time and mostly due to her relationship with her sister. The two siblings are hilarious together. For me, their relationship is the heart of the show more than any sexual encounter in the first season or even her relationship with the priest. It's not any of her craziness. It is the touching reality of the siblings' love and frustration. The father doesn't talk enough to have the same effect until the very last episode. The evil godmother is the evil godmother played very well by the brilliant Olivia Coleman. Martin is cringeworthy and Brett Gelman has that performance in his tool box. The first season also suffers from a lack of good romantic partner for Fleabag. That's solved by Andrew Scott in the second. He also helps in breaking the 4th wall. That technique can be overused but I really like his acknowledging of it. This is an interesting little show highlighting the skills of its creator.
They Gave Him a Gun (1937)
It's WWI. Reluctant Army recruit Fred P. Willis (Spencer Tracy) befriends Jimmy Davis who is an even worst recruit. Jimmy faints in a simple training exercise for fear of killing a person. Once in the war, he takes out a machine gun position and gets horribly wounded. His blood lust has grown so much that he kills a surrendering enemy. He falls for nurse Rose who actually likes Fred. With Fred presumed killed, Jimmy and Rose get married. Fred escapes from German prison just in time to be Jimmy's best man. After the war, Fred is a lowly circus worker and he finds Jimmy had turned into a gangster.
With WWII looming, an anti-war movie like this would become an endangered species. Spencer Tracy is fine but this should be Jimmy's movie. It's a movie about Jimmy. By making Fred the lead, there is a distance to Jimmy's transformation. That's part of the reason why it seems so abrupt instead of many smaller transformations. It's not so character growth as much as character jumps. From the fainting guy to the cold blooded killer, Jimmy needs the screen time to do the work. That's not to say that Franchot Tone is capable of leading a big movie. Quite simply, Jimmy's descend into violence doesn't feel correct. Without that, this becomes a melodramatic love triangle. Spencer Tracy is perfectly capable of leading the triangle. It's not the greatest. It's fine to watch this for his fans.
the style needs to chill
A group of agents from various law enforcement agencies are gathered into an elite team in L.A. to track down the city's 100 most wanted fugitives. The team includes the leader Conrad Rose (Gary Cole) from L.A. SWAT struggling to manage his broken family and naval intelligence Carla Merced (Rashida Jones).
I really hate the edgy fast rugged edit connecting scenes. This is a TNT show that lasted half a season. It's trying too hard to be raw, gritty, and flashy. When you try too hard, it often doesn't come off as sincere or real. Gary Cole is a good actor. He's a pretty good lead here. Rashida Jones plays the younger female agent forced to prove herself in the machismo environment. The pilot has a few too many hard non-descript team members. I really don't like the forced hard rock style. Mostly, I don't like the forced part. Even their home base is an empty industrial warehouse. The team does improve with better actors but it has one too many members. Otherwise, it's a fine standard police procedural.
Big City (1937)
A battle is heating up between different taxi factions in the big city. The Comet Taxi company owner John C. Andrews is reconsidering the hiring of thugs in his competition against the independents. Joe Benton (Spencer Tracy) is one of those independents and married to immigrant Anna (Luise Rainer). Anna announces that she's pregnant. She sends her brother to deliver a raincoat to the Comet garage. The thugs had planned a frame up for him. They shoot the brother after they bomb the garage to start a taxi war. Anna won't be a citizen for another six weeks and the authority decides to deport her to alleviate the public pressure.
The movie has two great Hollywood legends in Spencer Tracy and Luise Rainer. It starts like a rom-com and Spencer's charms really sell that. They're a great on-screen couple. Luise has an exotic beauty. The plot turns into a bit of a gangster thriller. There isn't much tension. It becomes a melodrama. It needs more action. Spencer wrongly continues his smiling charms which belies the dire straits of the situation. It's not a highlight for either of these legends but their star power cannot be denied.
It's 1901 London. A group of Irish revolutionaries at the behest of the IRA plan to rob the Bank of England in a strike against British rule. Charles Norgate (Aldo Ray) is an Irish-American who leads the effort. He was recruited by Iris Muldoon, a widow of the cause. The bank seems impenetrable and there are no easy way to strike a big enough blow. Norgate is able to befriend Lt. Monte Fitch (Peter O'Toole), one of the military soldiers guarding the bank.
The first half is trying to find the Bank's weakness. The second half is the caper. I like the second half much better. Capers are always better in the execution. There is an acting standoff with Aldo Ray going against Peter O'Toole. Ray has the makeup of a muscle head football player. The performance is limited especially compared to O'Toole. The romantic melodrama doesn't take off. I'm a sucker for good capers and the second half helps fulfil that need.
Still Crazy Like a Fox (1987)
having a fun little European vacation
The Fox family is on vacation in London while Harrison has a work interview. Someone breaks into Harry's hotel room. He chases down the intruder but he turns out to be the widely respected William Church, The Duke of Trent. Nobody believes Harry. Harry is arrested but the Duke drops the charges. It's a conspiracy affecting the highest political level. The Duke's wife Nancy actually believes Harry. Harry receives the hotel room's previous occupant's dry cleaning but it's a setup. He follows the clues and finds the Duke's dead body. He gets arrested for the murder. He is denied bail but manages to escape.
It's a year after the TV show got cancelled. It's a last chance and they had a bit of fun. It's not the worst way to go out. It's two seasons and a movie. If they wanted renewing the show, they may be better off staying in San Francisco. It would remind the viewer of the show. Nevertheless, this is perfectly good. It has the family dynamics. Harry and son have lots of fun adventures including getting naked. It's able to strike a balance between the comedy and the action thriller. The show was cancelled too soon and this couldn't get it back on the air.
Crazy Like a Fox (1984)
could have lasted longer
In San Francisco, Harry Fox, Sr. (Jack Warden) is a streetwise private eye. His son Harrison Fox (John Rubinstein) is a straight-laced lawyer trying to have a respectable practice. Harrison is married to Cindy (Penny Peyser) with young son Josh. Despite his reluctance, Harrison keeps getting involved in cases with his father.
It may not be a big deal to some but I really like the peppy opening theme song. It may not be one of the icons but it's one of the better ones. As for the pairing, I like the chemistry and Jack Warden is great. If there is anything missing, it may be a third on the team. It is sometimes Cindy but her role as stay at home mom is limiting. I often wanted Harry to have a secretary. For one great episode, Carol Kane is that secretary. It's a little too much to hope for a great to take that role. Certainly, Cindy could have taken the job. It would also be a great way to connect Harrison with Harry's cases which is often an issue on the show. The cases would have to fall into both of their laps. It may help even more if father and son are forced to work out of the same office. They wouldn't have to do the story gymnastics to get both of them into the cases. The show could have lasted much longer but some jumping around the schedule in its second season accelerated its drop. It's two seasons and a movie.