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James Woods takes an old genre and makes it interesting week to week,
James Woods is a master at his craft. Any actor who can take a cliché ridden "TOUGH GUY LAWYER" SERIES and make it --not only fascinating but, current in its vibe each and every week is a master at their trade. Woods carries the weight of this series on his considerable shoulders and seems to have that uncanny ability that you only see in a very few actors, to raise the "game" of some of the younger actors on the set as well as some of the journeymen actors who appear in guest starring roles on a week to week basis.
The thing that differentiates SHARK from other Lawyer series we have seen.... From Raymond Burr's 301 episodes of Perry Mason, to present day shows such as L.A.Law and Law and Order, we have seen just about every possible story line under the sun......... I mean---- come on, is there anything else to explore here???
But, James Woods explores the proverbial DARKSIDE of the Legal business. From switching sides of the aisle, transforming from a high price advocate for drug dealers, murderers and other assorted low life's in LA County, to a RULES adverse Special District Attorney, Woods shows some of the antics that occur behind the scenes in the screwed up legal system.
These shows need to show the personal lives of the people involved to keep the viewer interested. Shark does not let us down in this respect. Instead of showing some fairytale life of the rich and famous of L.A.. Woods is a Divorced, single parent of a teenager, played surprisingly well by Danielle Pannabaker. The give and take between Woods and Pannabaker is an excellent sub-plot for the series and the writers of the series give Pannabaker several key story lines in the first season. Pannabaker handles these roles like a seasoned professional. She had to raise her game to fit in with Woods.
All in all, Shark is wildly entertaining. You know it is a good series when you find yourself eagerly awaiting the next installment ---- or is that the next "SHARK ATTACK????
The Emperor's Club (2002)
Kline does it again
This movie is not one of the better titles that Kevin Kline has been a part of during his illustrious career. Kevin Kline has consistently shown his audience his deftness and his uncanny ability to get inside of a character and make it his own. The Emperor's Club is an okay movie that Kevin Kline keeps from going down the drain. One of the key factors in rating a movie or a performance to me is, what happens when the main character is off camera? Does the movie still move along? Am I eager to see the character again? Watch this movie with that in mind. Watch a fish called Wanda the same way. Or watch Wild Wild West. Kevin Kline simply shines through in every possible way.
Midnight Run (1988)
Unbelievably funny comedy with a great soundtrack
Midnight Run is one of the most underrated movies of recent memory. There has been many attempts a regurgitating the story line from my fellow commenter's, so I will go in a different direction.
The Deniro character is awesome. Most Deniro fans will have to see this movie a couple of times to understand his comedic brilliance in this movie. The interaction between Deniro and Grodin is incomparable. It has been rumored that Grodin aggravated Deniro so much on the movie set that it brought out the best in these two actors in the film.
The soundtrack is marvelously written by Danny Elfman. I have one question on the soundtrack...who is that playing the Slide and Electric Lead Guitar on the soundtrack? Is this Danny Elfman himself? There is not any listed credits for the musicians so it is impossible to tell who it is...but suffice it to say that the slide guitar player sounds like Ry Kooder on Steroids. The music complements the chase scenes like I haven't heard or seen in many years.
If you do not have this movie in your collection, BUY IT. It is one of those movies you can watch every couple of months and never get bored with it or its characters.