|Index||3 reviews in total|
Everybody's in Showbiz is truly an unbelievably, realistic and gritty
episode that focuses on a talented stage actor and writer who has
jeopardized his life because of stealing a briefcase from a powerful
drug dealer that contained vital information. Now the dealer is played
by Paul Calderon who does a magnificent job in his role, wants it back
and will do anything to get it back even if it means killing those who
stand between him. The known suspect named Mikey is a very talented
individual, but who just seems that he can't break out of his habit of
breaking the law and being the junkie that he is. Mikey is played by
the late Michael Carmine who does an outstanding job in his role. The
character is full of real emotion and misunderstanding.
I think the writers of the episode were loosely basing the character of Mikey at the real life and late poet/actor Miguel Pinero. Pinero who is best known to many Vice fans as Calderone the ruthless drug dealer who capped Tubbs brother in the Pilot episode. Pinero also starred in two other episodes of Vice and wrote the story of the Season 1 episode Smuggler's Blues. Pinero was a talented poet/writer, but a complete junkie in reality who lived a very short life at the age of 38. Carmine however, was also a very talented stage actor and his performance of Mikey is of true greatness in the Vice world. The guy has a sincere, complex, but sensitive way with his role that Carmine takes great pride in developing. The episode is one of a kind and only 3 can make an episode this powerful and great.
I don't think there is an episode of Vice that digs so deep into a character like Mikey. 3 was the only time Vice identified the characters and antagonists as more than one dimensional. The other four weak seasons always had on a daily basis very weak one dimensional characters. We learn everything from the character of Mikey. His way of life, his talent, his moods. The whole character is astonishing brought to life in an episode that is only 49 minutes long. There are films that would take 90 to 120 minutes to develop a character like Mikey. It's an absolute masterpiece watching this episode. True art! Michael Carmine who's life was cut short at an early age of 30 back in 1989, could of probably made himself a name later on in his life. I think Carmine in real life was probably a lot like Mikey. A man who lived life on the edge. Who had all the talent in the world, but yet he wasn't satisfied and had to go to extremes to really get the pleasures of life. Carmine's performance is haunting and completely mesmerizing. Take two scenes in the episode that will blow your mind.
First: Mikey's monologue of his poem which is full of rage and emotion while he is tied to a pole. While Crockett and Tubbs check his place out for the missing briefcase. Jan Hammer's music makes the scene even more stronger and intense.
Second: Mikey's authentic and realistic impersonation of Elvis. Not the "nickel and dime" performance as Mikey describes it, but the real conflicted Elvis full of emotion and depression. Once again Hammer's music adds more dramatic tension.
In all it's hard to believe that this is an actual episode of Miami Vice. Only 3 can turn out stories and episodes that were artistic and of pure greatness. Everything about this episode is perfect. Also once again Oliver Wood's cinematography is absolute stunning and gritty. Especially the way the guy shoots the headlights of cars in one sequence that will leave you amazed, stunned, and blind sighted. This is one episode that can't be missed. Truly, an inspired piece of art which will leave you breathless.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As this episode opens Tubbs is undercover in the back of a limousine
negotiating with drug dealer Don Gallego when the two of them are
interrupted by a couple of robbers. They demand that Gallego hands over
his briefcase, it is clearly important to him as he offers them a thick
stack of cash, which they didn't know he had; in order to keep it...
not surprisingly they take both. That is the end of the deal with Tubbs
and Gallego is clearly desperate to get the case back. Since the case
was clearly of vital importance to Gallego the police make finding it
their top priority. Their only clue was the fact that the thieves were
wearing top quality stage make-up for their disguises; a clue that
quickly leads the squad to a theatre group made up of ex-cons. It is
clear that Mikey, the groups leader, was involved but he refuses to say
were the case is. Trying a different approach Switek is sent into the
theatre posing as an ex-con. He manages to learn what was in the case
but by then it looks as if it might be too late for Mikey as Gallego
has found him.
This was a decent episode helped by a fine performance from Michael Carmine, who made Mikey the theatrical ex-con seem believable; this character could so easily have been hammy but he prevented that in a way that made the viewer care about him. Paul Calderon also put in a good performance as the fastidious drug dealer Gallego. As one would expect from Miami Vice there is some good action and a touch of humour to go along with the story; Switek's Elvis impression was so bad it was funny and the shoot out at the end was pretty exciting. Overall a decent episode in a season of good episodes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This episode is a miss. It lacks the usual heartbeat of action, suspense, and danger Vice-watchers are accustomed to, as the episode experiments with a serious dramatic tone. The episode entirely centers on the outlandish acts of a once-was turned junkie named Mikey, the lead supporting character, and the Vice squad's response. The actor playing Mikey is at times so over the top and out of touch with the craft it's painful to watch. His scenes opposite Benecio Del Toro are particularly painful, as you notice Del Toro in the background and the young mastery he's figuring out not getting enough screen time, while the other actor flails, not choosing moments, simply playing bravado. His emotion is raw, but his performance lives in the neighborhood of a lead in an ABC Afterschool Special, if that's your mood. To contrast the performance with the late performances of Heath Ledger, you see in Ledger what an actor conflicted with his addiction, but very finely maneuvering his craft looks like, compared to the amateurish output here. Even Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas' acting, which I normally find invigorating, seem stilted and hollow as they try out a 'serious' side. The story itself is not tied in to Crockett or Tubbs except on a superficial personal level... "he could have had it all" is the refrain playing on their motivation. The climax somehow mounts into a very nice moment, mixing action with the emotion that's taken so long to develop, and feels like a very-Michael Mann moment, but it's over almost as soon as it starts. I've liked some of the less popular Vice episodes, and going in I thought the premise was a lame duck. I was right.
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