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Not "Liberal Man-Bashing" but based on a true story.
"Baggage" contains an intricate, twisty plot. At first, the victim's murder seems to have been motivated by her filing a sexual harassment suit against her co-workers, until Goren & Eames find that the victim had discovered an identity fraud scheme. But the killer's true motive goes even deeper.
As for claims of "liberal man-bashing", this episode is based on the Susan Taraskiewicz case. Susan was a Northwest Airlines baggage supervisor who kept a diary detailing the sexual harassment she suffered at the hands of coworkers. She was last seen on September 13, 1992 when she left Logan International Airport. Thirty hours later, her body was found inside the trunk of her car outside an auto body shop in Revere, Massachusetts. After an FBI team declared that the murder required two or three people, the investigation focused upon Northwest Airlines workers who had sexually harassed and physically threatened Taraskiewicz, who was a ramp supervisor. The same workers were engaged in a credit card theft ring, and before her death, at least one worker had claimed to others that Taraskiewicz was a snitch. Her murder remains unsolved. It is not "liberal man-bashing", despite what some believe.
One of the best LOCIs
This episode convincingly combines the details of two real-life cases. When Goren and Eames look into the murder of a paroled killer's mother, their investigation leads them to an earlier crime that may be related to their case. Ultimately, the killer is hoist on his own petard, and justice is *finally* served. Mike Starr (Frenchy in "Goodfellas") is outstanding as Det. Marston.
* To accuse L&O of "liberal bias", one must have missed several years worth of episodes, particularly the mothership's season four episode "Sanctuary". As for this particular episode, "Monster" was based on two cases - the Robert Chambers case and the Central Park Jogger case. In the latter case, the five defendants *did* have their convictions vacated. It has nothing to do with "liberal bias".
*SPOILER!* * Perps are rarely convicted on physical evidence. The main reasons are 1) the perp confesses; 2) accomplice testimony (corroborated); 3) the suspect divulges information only the killer would know - cracking out of turn, as David Mamet would say. Det. Goren knew someone had pulled the nightgown down from the way it was bunched up beneath the victim's body. But there was no way for Det. Marston to know -- unless he was the killer.
Il silenzio dei prosciutti (1994)
One of the worst movies ever
The summary says it all. With a cast of has-beens (Charlene Tilton? Stuart Pankin? Phyllis Diller? Rip Taylor? Larry Storch?) and people who should have known better (Billy Zane, Dom Irrera, and directors Mel Brooks, Joe Dante, John Carpenter, and John Landis), there isn't a single laugh in the entire movie, which contains some of the lamest, most revolting sight gags ever filmed. It's all well and good to spoof popular films like "Psycho" and "The Silence of the Lambs," but you have to at least attempt to make it a FUNNY spoof rather than simply referencing the film. Instead, Mr. Greggio names his hero Jo Dee Fostar and his villains Antonio Motel and Animal Cannibal Pizza. The "Psycho" scene, with Martin Balsam as Det. Martin Balsam (another indescribably unfunny reference) was bizarre and moronic. Did anyone seriously think this remotely resembled humor? Avoid this piece of garbage at all costs, lest you fancy being scarred for life.
Wretched and deplorable
What a disgusting, creepy, absurd movie. Implausible beyond belief, and gratuitously violent beyond description. Disturbing (not in a good way) on many levels - such as Josie Bissett telling the kid that he's a "good kisser." If they thought that Jodie Foster might be warped by playing Iris in "Taxi Driver" (a brilliant movie), how the hell did they prepare Brian Bonsall to act in this piece of garbage? 0 stars out of 1 million.
What an astonishing film. Charlize Theron gives the best performance of her career, clearly the best performance of the year, AND one of the best performances I've ever seen. The swagger she effects to hide her lack of self-confidence and self-loathing for not being better than who she was, her vulnerability with Ricci's character, and her raw, naked, feral rage - all are pitch perfect, and displayed in scenes of undeniable power. Ricci is also excellent in a crucial role as a needy person, also starved for love and identity, to whom Wuornos turns for possibly the only source of love she ever finds in her life. It was also good to see Bruce Dern again in a small role. But this movie ultimately belongs to Theron, and her performance is indelible.
Your Friends & Neighbors (1998)
Neil LaBute is one of my favorite filmmakers of recent years, and this film is one of his best. He creates distinctive characters, some selfish, some self-loathing, and lets them develop in sometimes unexpected ways. The writing is satirical at times, but that's fine - it's never forced. The directions in which these characters go ultimately feel like natural progressions. Sometimes you can't believe what you're seeing and hearing, but it all fits. The cast is up to the challenges of the material - especially Jason Patric, who gives his best performance in years.
Gangs of New York (2002)
Not Scorsese's Best
The film has a more conventional storyline than we're used to seeing from Mr. Scorsese. Still, a fair effort from Scorsese is better than most. Yes, there are historical inaccuracies, but you could say the same about pretty much every historical drama, including Schindler's List and Lawrence of Arabia. The main strength of the picture is the dominating, Oscar-caliber performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. It's hard to grade a film like this, because Scorsese is basically competing against himself. Is it as good as Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, After Hours, GoodFellas, Age of Innocence? No. But it's certainly a good film, and it's worth watching.
A terrific series
Although towards the end it became somewhat more melodramatic, Oz was, on the whole, a skillfully directed and acted series. Much of the cast consisted of actors culled from the New York stage community. The wealth of interesting characters help the show stay interesting for 6 (really, 7) seasons. Probably too intense for a lot of people.
Map of the Human Heart (1992)
Harrowing and Heartbreaking
This is an engrossing love story and adventure, told in flashback. The film does not resort to lurid melodrama, to recycled storylines, but seems to grow organically and unpredictably. The imagery of the film resonates long afterwards. We experience the horrors of war and the exhilaration of reunited lovers, and the film's final scene is truly haunting and heartbreaking. A remarkable achievement.
The only weaknesses this film has, possibly, are some of the scenes with Garrison and his family...otherwise, an incredible piece of filmmaking.