Friday, July 10, 2009

Weekly Debriefing 005

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• Been watching Season 6 of Mission: Impossible from 1971-72. This was the season where the show officially stopped being spy-fi, as the Impossible Missions Force turned its attentions exclusively toward domestic criminals beyond the reach of "conventional law enforcement agencies." This mostly means the mob - or "Syndicate," as it's referred to here.

The stories also seem a lot less tightly plotted, and some of them – like "Encore," where an elderly gangster played by William Shatner is 'de-aged' and made to believe he's back in the 30's, or "The Visitors," where Phelps and Casey pretend to be extraterrestrials to con a crooked newspaper magnate – are just plain silly.

Still, there are some compensations. The show actually looks better now that it's not trying to pass off the Paramount administration buildings and sound stages as Eastern Bloc airports and warehouses. Now it can shoot openly on the streets and in the skyscrapers of L.A. without trying to pretend they're somewhere else. Also, Barney (Greg Morris) and Willy (Peter Lupus) no longer have to skulk around inside walls and hiding in utility vans all the time; the pared down IMF team frequently needs both of them to actually play face roles in their elaborate cons. Finally, Linda Day George joins the team as mistress of disguise Casey, and she's not only a beautiful woman, but handles her multitude of roles very well.

She's especially good in "Nerves," where the villain is played by her real-life husband, the late Christopher George (who probably would have made a great TV secret agent himself, now that I think about it).

• My only spy-fi purchase this week was the Blu-Ray edition of 1989's Licence To Kill with Timothy Dalton. I've been slowly upgrading my Bond collection to Blu-Ray, and LTK is one of my favorite Bond films. It has its problems, but I very much like Dalton's performance and the whole "007 going rogue" storyline. And it looks incredible on BR!

How was your week?

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Jason Whiton said...

Isn't is a blast to re-discover Bond on Blu-ray? I bought my PS3 when From Russia With Love was released. My first Blu movie, I was literally giggling with the joy of it. I liked LTK, and Dalton in general. I think he manages to be a super spy while alluding to the guy within, which works for me. He's a Bond that I can care about- not just root for. These films look great in Hi-def. Can't wait for OHMSS and SWLM.
Great week over here. Had a visit from a pal who is always jazzed to talk over my latest script project and sent the 1965 Man From U.N.C.L.E. giveaway to our man in Belgium :)
-Jason (Spy Vibe)

Armstrong Sabian said...

I won a batch of Bond Blu-rays from DK Publishing (and some Bond books too!), but don't have the Blu-ray player to play them. My neighbor currently has them. Maybe one day soon I'll get a player of my own...

Christopher Mills said...

I wouldn't have a Blu-Ray player either if it hadn't been a gift from my in-laws last Christmas. :)