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The Mel Gibson vehicle we've all been waiting for!
19 April 2012
With Mel Gibson doing himself no favors in the public media over the last six years, GET THE GRINGO is a much-needed reminder of why we loved him so much for the twenty years prior to his scandalous headlines. While it was greatly refreshing to see Gibson on screen again in EDGE OF DARKNESS and THE BEAVER after an overbearing eight year absence, GET THE GRINGO does the best of capturing everything we truly loved about Gibson's performances: charm, wit, humor, edge. The script by Gibson, director Adrian Grunberg and producer Stacey Persky is an original and tight balance of humor, edge, and danger that can very easily be considered an unofficial sequel to the theatrical cut of Gibson's cult favorite, PAYBACK. While the character of GRINGO's Driver never reveals his actual name, he possesses a lot of the same qualities as PAYBACK's Porter, including a U.S. military tattoo, a chain-smoking habit, sticky fingers, an iron jaw, and a penchant for bloodshed. Grunberg's direction is also solid with an obvious love for Sam Peckinpah paraded throughout.

For those of us who endured so many years of understandable negativity towards Gibson for his personal troubles, GET THE GRINGO is the film we've long awaited. It's truly a shame this film won't be seen wide in the U.S. It would've been a better comeback vehicle than EDGE OF DARKNESS was meant to be. GET THE GRINGO practically screams, "Remember me? I'm still here, and I still got it!"

But if one thing is certain in the age of home entertainment, it is that every good film gets discovered by an audience. Sooner or later...
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CSI: Miami (2002–2012)
Verdict; Stick to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
25 January 2006
After "discovering" the original CSI television show, hearing great things about this spin-off, seeing its high ranking in the weekly ratings, and enjoying the pilot episode (the second season CSI episode, "Cross-Jurisdictions"), I was really looking forward to seeing CSI: Miami. Upon viewing the first season, I found it to be pretty unfulfilling, and it left me with no desire to watch the second season. However, I decided to give it another shot and watched the second season, which I enjoyed much more than the first. While I still thought the case stories were poor, the second season was where the main characters' personal lives began to take up some of the episodes, which I found to be the best thing the series had going for it (especially the subplot of Horatio's brother and his possible corrupt ways, as well as Horatio's feelings for Yelena). But upon starting to watch the first eight episodes of the third and fourth season, I found myself getting the same bitter taste in my mouth.

I believe that the way the CSI writing team works is, they save all of the very talented writers who have new, fresh, and great ideas to the original CSI show, while they assign their writers with not as much flair, but the ability to turn out a script every week for the spin-off shows. The sad thing was I really wanted to like this show, and I keep going back to it, trying to give it another chance, however each time it fails to win me over. The unfulfilling and often predictable cases (the original show's cases are almost never predictable, even if there is a formula that all three shows follow), the corny one-liners that Horatio spits out before every episode's opening credits (usually spoken while putting on his sunglasses to make him look "cool"), and the lack of flair that made the original show so good, keeps this one from making the grade. I like the character of Horatio, but David Caruso (and/or the writers) take his character a bit too far with his constant threats to suspects and caring for victims. The show focuses too much on having Horatio get into a gunfight and trying too hard to make Caruso seem like the new Rick Hunter rather than show how the science solves a case. Notice that in this show, the Miami CSI's are always the first to enter a house with their guns drawn, whereas in the original show, they always have Brass and a few uniformed officers clear the scene before they enter. The idea of using a tsunami and hurricane as the backdrop for stories were good, but they were just wasted. The only episode that I can think of which even comes near to the greatness of the original show is the first season episode "Broken," about the child killer. That episode possessed some of the same shocking and original content that made the original show so great. I'll even so far to say that the sloppy handling of this show impairs my love for the original CSI. When the fifth season of CSI was released on DVD, I found myself unexcited to watch it, having just previously spent so much time giving CSI: Miami another chance. That was until I had gotten two episodes into it, and was quickly reminded just how great the original series is.

It's really too bad that I can't get into this show like so many others have, but I can't say I didn't give it a real hard try. And after my dislike for this show and my being unimpressed with its pilot episode, I think I'll pass on CSI: NY.

My personal verdict: stick to the original.
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