More from the Stargate vault…

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Will Waring directs from his mobile throne (Stargate: Atlantis – “The Seed”)

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Down time on the Destiny set (Stargate: Universe – “Air Part 2”

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“Wait.  That can’t be right.  Can it?”  Checking the script on Stargate: Atlantis – “Search and Rescue”

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At the SGC with two of my favorite people: Robert Picardo and Amanda Tapping.

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Wardrobe touch-up on Paul McGillion courtesy of Barry Peters.  Stargate: Atlantis – “The Seed”.

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David Hewlett, Linda Ko, and Paul McGillion on the set of Stargate: Atlantis – “The Seed”.

The Crime Club convenes to discuss American Gangster.

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Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe deliver powerhouse performances as two deeply flawed yet driven men on opposite sides of the law.

The set-up is great and, while this movie has all the hallmarks of a crime classic, it ultimately falls short. Despite the almost 3 hour run time, the Frank Lucas character fails to reach the iconic heights of a Michael Corleone or Henry Hill

All the standard gangster film beats are there, but the script brings nothing unique to their realization – which is a shame because the real Frank Lucas’s story is a fascinating one.  Curiously, one of the biggest elements I was really missing was the colorful supporting characters that typify these types of movies, the Sonny Corleones and Fredos and Luca Brasis who add so much depth and realism to these underworlds and their power players.

Overall a fine if fairly unremarkable movie.

Tomorrow’s Crime Club selection is the William Goldman and John Schlesinger suspense-thriller Marathon Man.

6 thoughts on “August 20, 2020: More from the Stargate vault! And our Crime Club convenes to discuss American Gangster!

  1. Another long movie on a “school night”! Luckily I’m a night owl and get an extra hour in bed in the morning because I don’t have a commute these days.

    I agree with you about the supporting characters. Everyone was very one dimensional. We never really got to know Lucas’s brothers and so felt nothing when they were eventually arrested.

    I enjoyed the period details and was shocked by the endemic corruption of the police. It may have been exaggerated but if the note about three quarters of the DEA being arrested on corruption charges is true that is a damning statistic!

    Even though the eventual outcome was never in question I was engaged for the whole movie. I wanted Lucas to die or go to prison and Roberts to get his man and become a lawyer so I wasn’t disappointed. I am not an aficionado of crime films. I haven’t seen any of the Godfather movies (please rectify this for me, Joe!) nor watched The Sopranos (although I did see Scarface in the cinema) so I didn’t have much to compare it with which might have added to my enjoyment.

    6/10

    1. Hey Line Noise,

      Yes, I agree about the brothers. There was the promise of more with each of these characters, but it never materialized.

      And I too was shocked. 3/4 of the DEA!

  2. I’ve seen “The Marathon Man” and that dentist torture scene still haunts me….. “Shudder” I remember the movie as very good but I was in my 20’s at the time. It’s funny how what I found entertaining years ago, I can’t abide now. Does anyone else have the same experience?

    One question about TV series: When a character’s life is hanging in the balance in the season finale, is it because of salary negotiations or an actual plot teaser?

    1. Hey Tammy,

      In answer to your last question, it’s almost always a creative decision. But I’m sure that in some cases, where there is no option on the cast member, it can be used as a convenient story turn if negotiations fall through.

  3. I’m sorry if I posted a spoiler. It’s an old movie and a few of the scenes stuck with me.

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