For twenty years, Law And Order was a staple of the television schedule. With that success, the creative team decided to try a spin-off. That spin-off is Law And Order SVU (1999-Present).
While the original SVU was focused on a variety of crimes, this spin-off focuses solely on sexually related crimes. The current cast includes Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza and Peter Scanavino.
I have been a fan of this show since the beginning. Like it’s predecessor, the show deals in the grey areas of life and fighting crime, especially when it comes to the cases that the characters deal with. I also very much appreciate the strong women on show, Lt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Detective Rollins (Kelli Giddish).
I absolutely recommend it.
The cop/courtroom drama has been around since the beginning of television. The question is, will the television program be the same dry procedural show that audiences have become so used to, or will there be a twist that keeps the audience engaged until the credits roll?
Law And Order was on the air for twenty years, between 1990 and 2010. Covering a multitude of crimes in New York City, the focus of the show was split evenly between the police who are investigating the crime and the prosecutors whose job it is to argue that the accused should be found guilty. Over the show’s 20 year history, the roster of actors who played the detectives and the prosecutors included the late Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterston, Jesse L. Martin and Elizabeth Rohm.
Law and Order is one of those television shows that everyone has watched at least once. It has multiple spin offs, an impressive list of guest stars and always leaves the audience to answer an ambitious, grey zone question that makes us think.
I recommend it.
Within the world of politics, there is a sliver of absurdity.
For the last 30 odd years, Capitol Steps has had the pleasure of pointing out the absurdity of politics and politicians in particular.
Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing a show at The Symphony Space in New York City. A cross between a political SNL parody and a musical revue, the show uses popular music to satirize the truth about politics.
This show is brilliant, funny and the perfect release for the political agita that has become the norm over the last few years. I absolutely recommend it.
Capitol Steps is playing at various theaters around the country. Check the website for location and showtimes.
When a writer mines for ideas, sometimes the best ideas come from their childhood.
The 1987 movie, Radio Days, is based on the childhood memories of writer/director Woody Allen. Growing up in Rockaway Beach, NY during World War II, Joe (played by Seth Green as a child and voiced over by Woody Allen as an adult) associates the various aspects of his life with the radio programs of the era. Told through the memories of the adult Joe, the film is a love letter to not just childhood, but also a time when radio was the medium that the world relied on for news and entertainment.
The best films are timeless because there is a universal quality to them. Despite the physical location and the time period that the film is set in, anyone from anywhere will find an aspect of the film that they can relate to. This movie is universal because it is about childhood, family and the memories we have long after we have become adults.
I recommend it.
9/11 is the watershed moment of this era. After the murder of thousands of innocent souls, many of us hoped and prayed that this would be the last time that we would see such an unnecessary lost off life.
But hope often springs eternal.
Last night, there was an attack in London. 7 people are dead and another 48 are injured.
Enough is enough. The perpetrators of these attacks and those who support them, in word, deed and financial transactions need to be told once and for all their actions are unacceptable. They are welcome to practice whatever religion they choose to practice or hold to whatever cultural beliefs they have, but under are no circumstances are they allowed to destroy or take another’s life because that person is different.
We have too many divisions in this world that are tearing us apart. We all have one life to live and one planet to share. We can either let those divisions break up or help us to become better human beings. It’s up to us.
Tonight, I pray for the victims and their families. May G-d give them the strength to keep going and find a way, at some point in the future to smile again.
May the memory of those killed be a blessing to their loved ones and may those injured return home to their families.
Once again, Randy Rainbow has released another brilliant video about the man who should not be in The White House, but is.
Speaking of Donald Trump, he announced yesterday that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
I could state the obvious reasons why this a huge mistake, but I think the scene in The Day After Tomorrow when New York City is destroyed by a tsunami says it all.
While many scientists agree that the abrupt climate change depicted in the film is not quite accurate, the nugget of the idea is very much based in reality.
This man needs to get out of The White House, like yesterday.
Studio 54 is one of the most notorious and infamous nightclubs in New York City’s history.
In 1998, the movie 54, told the story of Shane O’Shea (Ryan Phillippe), a young man who was employed at the nightclub during’s its heyday in the late 1970’s. Parallel to Shane’s downward spiral is the club’s downward spiral.
This movie is interesting. It is interesting because from outside of the velvet rope, Studio 54 was the hottest nightclub in town that most people could only dream of seeing with their own eyes. Inside, it is another story, especially from the point of view of a young man who is still growing into himself and unaware of the temptation that exists once he walked in the door.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
There is something wonderful and satisfying about a love story done right. The anticipation, the wonder and finally, the happy ending. Even those of us who are skeptical about love can’t help but shed a tear and smile.
The film Love Affair (1994), is not the first time this familiar narrative has been seen on the big screen. Audiences were first introduced to the story in 1939’s Love Affair, starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer and then in 1957’s An Affair To Remember starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.
In 1994, the narrative was revived a third time with IRL couple Annette Bening and Warren Beatty. Simply by pure luck, Mike Gambril (Beatty) and Terry McKay (Bening) purchased a plane ticket for the same flight. When the plane is forced to land midway through the flight, the passengers are ferried back to safety on a ship. Despite the fact that both Mike and Terry have significant others waiting for them, there is an obvious spark between them. To test if the attraction is real (and potentially long term) or a momentary twist of fate, they agree to meet up in New York City three months later. When one of them does not show up for their previously agreed upon appointment, doubts begin to form. Are Mike and Terry meant to be or just two ships in the night, just passing by each other?
What I appreciate about this movie is that despite the fact that it has two predecessors, it stands on its own two feet. It’s the kind of love story that I can appreciate. It has all of the highs and lows of the genre, without being too over the top or mushy.
I recommend it.
History can be an interesting subject for a fictional television drama. But for it to be done right, the characters must appeal to a modern audience and the narrative has to be more than dry facts coming out of a boring college history textbook.
Between 2012 and 2013, the BBC original drama Copper aired on Sunday nights. Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom-Weston Jones) is an Irish immigrants who walks the streets of The Five Points in New York City during The Civil War. While working the beat of the dangerous Five Points, Detective Corcoran, known as Corky, does not limit himself to his neighborhood. His travels around the city include trips to the uptown residences of wealthy playboy Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid), society wife Elizabeth Haverford (Anastasia Griffith) and to the home of African-American Doctor Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh).
I was a fan of this show. I enjoyed the subtle history lesson with the compelling narrative and 3D characters. The problem is that BBC America did not feel the same and cancelled the show after the 2nd season.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
The definition of a macher is one who get things done. Or it can be used to refer to a person who is overbearing, depending on the person being spoken of.
Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere) is a macher. The title character in the new film Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, Norman calls himself a fixer. He often drops names of the wealthy and powerful in hopes of getting a foot into their world. When he buys expensive shoes for Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), a low-level Israeli government official, Norman has no idea how his world and his reputation will change in the next three years.
Written and directed by Joseph Cedar, this film has almost universal quality to it. Every culture, every religion has their own version of Norman. My problem is that despite the stellar cast, this film was for the most part unappealing. There were some laughs to be had, but not as many as I anticipated. Not that I expected a Marx Brothers-esque narrative, but I was hoping for a few more laughs.
Do I recommend it? I may have to lean toward no on this film.
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer is presently in theaters.