Favorite Son (1988, directed by Jeff Bleckner)


During a reception on the steps of U.S. Capitol, an assassin kills Contra leader Col. Martinez (Geno Silva) and seriously wounds Sen. Terry Fallon (Harry Hamlin), an up-and-coming politician from Texas.  An eager media catapults Fallon to national stardom and the beleagued President (James Whitmore), who is facing a tough reelection bid, is pressured to replace the current vice president (Mitchell Ryan) with Fallon.

The FBI only assigns two of their agents to investigate the assassination, a sure sign that someone wants the investigation to just go away.  Nick Mancuso (Robert Loggia) is a crusty, hard-drinking veteran agent whose career is nearly at an end.  David Ross (Lance Guest) is his young and idealistic partner.  When Mancuso and Ross discover that Martinez was injected with the HIV virus just two days before the assassination, it becomes obvious that there is a bigger conspiracy afoot.  It all links back to Sally Crain (Linda Kozlowski), who is Fallon’s legislative aide and also his lover.  (Fallon has a wife but she’s locked away in a hospital.)  Sally has an interest in bondage, as Ross soon finds out.

Favorite Son was originally aired as a 3-night, 4 and a half-hour miniseries.  It was later reedited and, with a running time of less than two hours, released theatrically overseas as Target: Favorite Son.  As a miniseries, Favorite Son is an exciting conspiracy-themed film that is full of scheming, plotting, interesting performances, and pungent dialogue.  Target: Favorite Son, on the other hand, is disjointed and, unless you know the original’s plot, almost impossible to follow.  If you’re going to watch Favorite Son, make sure you see the original miniseries.  My mom taped it off of NBC when it originally aired.  That was the only way that I was able to originally see the film the way that it meant to be seen.  The entire miniseries has also been uploaded, in three parts, to YouTube.

Hopefully, the original miniseries will get an official release someday because it’s pretty damn entertaining.  Harry Hamlin isn’t really dynamic enough for the role of Fallon but otherwise, the movie is perfectly cast.  Robert Loggia is so perfect for the role of Nick Mancuso that it almost seems as if the character was written for him.  (Loggia did later star in a one-season drama called Mancuso, FBI.)  Linda Kozlowski seems to be destined to be forever known as Crocodile Dundee’s wife but her performance as Sally shows that she was a better actress than she was given credit for.  The supporting cast also features good performances from Jason Alexander, Ronny Cox, Tony Goldwyn, John Mahoney, Kenneth McMillian, Richard Bradford, and Jon Cypher.

Favorite Son may be over 30 years old but it’s still relevant today.  In the third part, John Mahoney gives a speech about how American voters are often willfully ignorant when it comes to what’s going on behind the scenes in Washington and it’s a killer moment.  Melodramatic as Favorite Son may be, with its portrayal of political chicanery and an exploitative national media, it’s still got something to say that’s worth hearing.

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Ep 3.5, The Devil Within, Dir: Roxanne Benjamin


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Good to see you all again.  It has been a while, but it’s not my fault; the show is hard to watch sometimes.  It lacks the first season pop, but moreover, I never thought Hell could be so boring, bureaucratic, and poorly decorated.  The Hell Set looks like if a Middle School got into Dinner Theater:

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Welcome to Hell and don’t forget to buy some lemon squares from Billy; he’s running a bake sale for our local little league soccer team – The Strikers.

Nick is going through withdrawal and has to go through spooky stuff and this is really on Sabrina’s mind. Not like Roz, who is now a statue.  The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the TOXIC FRIEND!

This episode is again a fetch quest episode about “Regalia”. Whatever! Let’s be honest- it’s a spooky scavenger hunt.  Next week, Sabrina and Calaban will be feuding in the tacky Hell Set over the latest “Regalia”:

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In this week’s Regalia Hunt, Sabrina has to get the stop sign next the Old Man Winters – the local druggist- who is notoriously cranky! Nah, she and Calaban have to head to a lovely Vancouver Beach, I mean Golgotha where she has to steal a bowl from Pontius Pilate.  Let me explain: Jesus was crucified at Golgotha and Pontius Pilate “washes his hands” of the decision to crucify Jesus.  This act, according to Sabrina, condemned Pontius Pilate, a skeleton Roman Soldier, and Barabbas (for some reason…really, why?! He was a criminal, but he didn’t lobby for the pardon).  They all have to relive the Crucifixion for eternity.

This whole scene was just weird! I mean Sabrina barely bats an eye when she’s talking to Barabbas.  He was there! Even if she’s all into Hell, this was the most critical moment of all Human history and she just talks to Barabbas like she’s meeting some rando at the Shake Shack.  Pilate must re-enact the Crucifixion and in order to stop it – Barabbas must steal the bowl.  Hmmm, why didn’t Barabbas think of this? He’s there for 2000 years.  Really? There’s literally 3 people on the stage.  That’s it.  He knows someone has to take the bowl.

Calaban nobly offers to be crucified so Sabrina can get Barabbas to steal the bowl and hand it off to her. This all goes off well, but Calaban is left behind, which seemed pretty obvious that he would be.  He has to spend 2000 years on a beach and then when he returns he’s all angry he was left behind and says something about him being…..MADE OF CLAY for the 1000th time.  This guy’s more into dirt than Scott’s Lawn Care.

Sabrina won this part of the scavenger hunt! YAY! However, there’s still some weirdness afoot.  Lucifer’s going around in Father Blackwood’s body and telling people to do dumb things.  LuciBlackwood gets Harvey to get the jocks together and attack the carnival and a few of them get turned into pigs.  By the by, yesterday, I braised a delicious pork tenderloin over pineapples, apples, and honey- BURRITOS ARE TONITE!!!

Hilda is turning into a large spider and NO ONE notices.  Hilda if you stop going all arachnid, just move, change your name, get lifelock, and start fresh.

The episode ends with a bunch of outcast witches being summoned to help everyone fight the pagans.  Will they win? Will Sabrina need to steal a mailbox? Who knows?

The next review will drop shortly! See you soon!