I Wah-wah-wah-wah-wonder What ILX Thinks of "CRIME STORY"

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the mid-80s michael mann series. i'm 5 or 6 eps in. i dunno if it's any good or not, but i'm sticking with it anyway.

N_RQ, Monday, 1 August 2005 13:54 (fourteen years ago) link

I gets pretty wacky once they move to vegas. The guy who played buffalo bill in "Silence of the Lambs" is great in it, yeah.

Boring Satanic Space Jazz (sexyDancer), Monday, 1 August 2005 13:57 (fourteen years ago) link

I liked it at the time, but I was a kid and can barely remember anything about it now.

Leon C. (Ex Leon), Monday, 1 August 2005 16:27 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah I remember liking it at the time too, but I was a kid and it may just have been sub-Goodfellas bullshit.

Shakey Mo Collier, Monday, 1 August 2005 16:28 (fourteen years ago) link

the protagonist gets into wife slapping at some point?

Boring Satanic Space Jazz (sexyDancer), Monday, 1 August 2005 17:01 (fourteen years ago) link

huh - totally forgot Abel Ferrara's role in this. His 80s crime stuff was pretty great (King of NY, Bad Lt., but especially the Funeral)

Shakey Mo Collier, Monday, 1 August 2005 17:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Barely remember it but the mention of the guy who played Buffalo Bill is interesting since of course Farina was in Mann's Manhunter.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 1 August 2005 17:24 (fourteen years ago) link

the guy who played Buffalo Bill and the guy who played the killer in Manhunter were also both in Heat

gear (gear), Monday, 1 August 2005 17:33 (fourteen years ago) link

classic! I loved it as a kid during its original run, it was syndicated on the USA channel for a minute in the early 90s and I remember trying to tape the whole series (this was before DVD so I was on some '24' type shit trying to race against time before they cancelled it again) but I only have a few episodes. I think CS represents the height of Mann's command of 'style', whereas usually I think his visual schemes detract or even cheapen his stories, the atmospherics punch up the pulp and pathos to an insane degree here. The soundtrack to every episode was a revelation at the time, and the cliffhangers were awesome, even though I got blueballs from the last one obv.(has Mann ever said how it was supposed to end?)

tremendoid (tremendoid), Monday, 1 August 2005 19:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Is this on DVD now? I loved this show. Also, Kevin Spacey was on this, before he was a famous bore.

kyle (akmonday), Monday, 1 August 2005 20:00 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah it appears to be released, albeit in shoddy fashion:

tremendoid (tremendoid), Monday, 1 August 2005 20:09 (fourteen years ago) link

i got it on UK dvd for 15 quid (33ish $). the picture quality is not really goodfellas standard, but maybe it was shot on video, i dunno. the music is hilarious. last ep i saw had pam grier, ving rhames, and michael madsen. tarantiontastic.

N_RQ, Tuesday, 2 August 2005 07:29 (fourteen years ago) link

wow, the scene in 'heat' where pacino catches the missus with another man and he says 'it's ok, but don't watch my tv'? it's also in 'crime story'. it must actually have happened to michael mann or something.

N_RQ, Wednesday, 3 August 2005 14:29 (fourteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

Due to Farina's passing, I screened/rescreened the first season, finishing it last night. Quality goods for the most part, the main arc is pretty addictive, so much so that when there's an attempt to branch off, it just doesn't work as well. There's even a gag about this later on, with the chief getting after Farina for leaving the scene of a hostage standoff (the stand-alone plotline of the ep, with LORRAINE BRACCO) to go across state lines to bust main arc participant Frank Holman (the "Jewish Rockabilly Burglar" played by Ted Levine).

This was also a show that loved it's recaps. There's even an ep that--I shit you not--is 2/3's recaps before throwing in a new scene, then another recapped scene, and then another 12 or so minutes of new material--oh, those days before recap blogs & episode streaming!

Anthony Denison's pompadour was an engineering marvel:


Uncle Cyril O'Boogie (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 19:21 (six years ago) link

five years pass...

this is now streaming on Amazon Prime. Time to maybe give it a rewatch.

omar little, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 18:03 (four months ago) link

Second Season tries too hard to be a Miami Vice prequal, but there still are some good eps.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 18:13 (four months ago) link

...and even some of the Vice-y stuff works. There's one ep that's just about the Mob guys pushing in on a cartel that none of the feds appear in.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 18:18 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

so i did start watching this again. lots of incredible Chicago locations, filmed during an era (mid-eighties) when the city was still a little grimy and you could just stick in a few vintage automobiles and there you were, 1963.

the acting really holds up for the most part -- Dennis Farina is great in the lead role, especially in the moments where he has to be intimidating. Anthony Denison is a fantastic cold-hearted gangster, and often pretty deadpan funny too in his dealings w/his often-incompetent underlings. Ted Levine is probably the real standout here; I totally remembered his oddball crazy thief character from when I first saw this show as an 11 yr old, i mean you can't forget his presence or his voice or his particular slouch.

David Caruso had a big role in the pilot, Jon Polito is the crime boss Denison works for, Darlanne Fluegel plays Farina's wife, and there are a lot of good Chicago character actors sprinkled throughout.

the second episode has a pretty hilarious crazy killer character who is absolutely all wrong, though; he's a punk rock style dude (dresses like Sid Vicious) and thinks his mom lives inside his TV. he belongs in Strange Days or Johnny Mnemonic idk.

omar little, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:01 (three months ago) link

I watched twenty minutes of the pilot and was interrupted. I remember Greil Marcus was a fan.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:03 (three months ago) link

my intro to "Runaway" too.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:03 (three months ago) link

i really liked this when it was on TV. not sure I'd rewatch it now, though I would rewatch Homicide if it were running somewhere.

akm, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:20 (three months ago) link

That second ep was a misstep, yup.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:22 (three months ago) link

Going through the show, there are a number of moments where you can tell they caved to network notes about having stuff that 80s audiences could easily relate to.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:25 (three months ago) link

Like, near the end of the first season, after they get to Vegas, they throw the brakes on all the arcs and do a story about child molestation (with a soon to be very famous performer as the victim) that just reeks of needing to do an "issue episode".

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:31 (three months ago) link

there's a real verisimilitude in the scenes w/Farina and John Santucci; IRL when Farina was a police officer he arrested Santucci, who was a jewel thief (whose technical skill at thievery inspired Michael Mann's film Thief and also some of the break-ins in this series). Santucci makes for a perfect, slimy criminal.

Michael Rooker has a "blink and you miss him" cameo as a street cop in the first scene of the pilot.

omar little, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:46 (three months ago) link

MannVerse in Full Effect: Santucci was a technical advisor and played Caan's detective nemesis in Thief, which also featured Farina as a mob body guard.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 18:00 (three months ago) link

first scene with Andrew "Not Yet Dice" Clay in the series and he lights his cigarette just like he does onstage in his standup. And he's actually very good in the show. Michael Madsen makes good use of his minor role, he's does the full Madsen with the performance.

omar little, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 18:16 (three months ago) link

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