A painter fakes his death in order to gain some aditional money because his works would revaluate with his death. But unfortunately he is being killed a few hours after having "returned to ... See full summary »
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William R. Moses
Chief Ironside has just retired and is looking forward to running his vineyard with his wife. But his retirement is interrupted when his old friend and colleague Ed Brown, who is now ... See full summary »
A painter fakes his death in order to gain some aditional money because his works would revaluate with his death. But unfortunately he is being killed a few hours after having "returned to life". Written by
Disappointingly flat and spends too long dallying rather than building
This Perry Mason film held a significance for me as it was the last of them that I had not seen and reviewed on this site. The film franchise itself was something I remember with affection as I used to watch it on Saturday afternoons with my father when I was younger, so I did want to be able to have seen them all. As it happens I don't think I had ever seen this one before, which was a nice find but unfortunately didn't mean much in terms of the film itself being good and it is a shame for my approach that this is actually a quite weak film in the series.
It is thus because it lacks bells and whistles in the most part and it seems to plod along doing the basics in particular there seems to a very small amount of time spent in the courtroom itself. The biggest problem is that we spent the vast majority of the film meeting suspects in the usual parade of red-herrings. I like this part of the film, but not when it is the entire film normally this occurs while the investigator (Drake or Malanksy) chase down a lead with some action and comedy in there; in this film Malansky really has very little to do and his time is mostly spent on a nothing lead. This means we mostly are left with a lot of talking which doesn't actually fill in the viewer very much because this film franchise is rarely about making it possible to guess from the start. This makes the majority of the film a little lacking in spark and energy in particular those that know the formula will be waiting for the rest of the film to start for the majority of this one.
The courtroom section of the film is also rather lacking, again partly because the film doesn't deliver the qualities that the majority of the series do. The device of using a video interview (accessed by "electronic keyboard" if you believe such a thing) is poor and the whole section lacks energy. This is partly because the narrative has lacked energy but it isn't helped by a lack of tension in the courtroom itself. Burr gives a decent account of himself but he is not in top gear here, but to me a bigger drain is Macaulay as the DA he seems bored from the very start and there is no fight in him, he made me long for the films where Stiers is the opposite number. Even McEachin only has one very brief scene here so it is clear that the formula is a little watered down in terms of delivering the standard. The rest of the cast are mixed David Soul makes an impact by virtue of him being a big name that is hardly in the film, while Mad Men fans will get a kick out of seeing Mark Moses very young looking (although his voice hasn't changed). Otherwise the rest of them do the basics while Moses as usual isn't as good as Katt was.
Overall this is a rather disappointing Perry Mason film. It lacks spark even by the "TVM" standards of its own series the majority of the film just talks without much building and even the courtroom drama is rather lacking. A weak example of the formula here then; too basic and really doesn't have much about it to engage even for fans.
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