S01E12 I guess before Hawaii Five-O goes on hiatus its producers wanted to come back to the season-long arc that they set up in the first two episodes. And in some strange twist, they actually managed to make a compelling episode (albeit with a few typical H5O scenes) that propels the action into the latter half of the season.
When I first realized that we would be getting our mid-point dose of Jarred Hesse (played with a sneer by James Marsters), I was thinking all high and mighty of myself predicting that he would get away for McGarrett to catch another day. Surprise, surprise, they (spoilers you silly little bitch) let him get caught and instead send free crazy mullet man that they have visited a few times.
Before we get into whether or not 'Hana 'a'a Makehewa' worked as a stand alone episode, let's look at what it did for the season as a whole. It actually set up quite a few predicaments that I thought were quite clever for the show (one more so than the other). The first, and lesser of the two, came at the end. The foreboding music that played as Hess came to talk to someone in jail signaled that we weren’t done with him just yet. He talks to a sharp dressed Asian man who asked how close McGarrett is to the case his father was working on. Hess answers in the affirmative which means that there is a bigger plot that will come into play later in the season. A great big old DUH, of course it will keep going. The only thing this did is amplify it a bit unnecessarily, but H5O is not a show that can be accused of doing anything subtly. And is McGarrett really that close? We haven’t seen him investigate this case at all since the beginning of the season, aside from the occasional reference to that tool box. Doesn’t exactly sound like a breakthrough to me. Knowing the program, they’ll explain everything in three minutes through a touch screen computer and Bing.
The big thing that I hope the writers don’t forget about is the $10 million McGarrett let burn away (you know, I bet he was all like WHOOPS). This was a good turn and honestly something that took me by complete surprise. We finally learn why Chin was kicked off the force several years ago (he was framed for stealing some confiscated money) but we also learn of a SUPER SECRET fort for housing big time confiscations. I understand the plot necessity of having a SUPER SECRET fort (so no cops would be around) but the way they handled it was a little heavy handed.
Anyway, McGarrett just lost ten million dollars that he has to repay. How he’ll manage to do that is beyond me because even though they are super cops I still think they are making a basic officer's salary (even though it was Danno that had the Camaro, a surprising fact that somehow managed to slip past me). I prefer this conundrum to the “case” McGarrett is trying to solve because it's more character driven and outside the box. Any typical cop show can solve a huge conspiracy, that happens all the time. But a rogue cop who finally bites off more than he can chew and has to pay back ten million dollars? Now that is an interesting premise. Please, don’t just solve this in one by having them recover the money from some drug bust. Please.
But on to the show as a single episode. Based on the scoring system that I created last week, this episode did not fare very well. However, because I am charged with recapping this show I can do what I want with it so I’m going to bump it up a little from what it would have gotten had I followed my own rules. I love being a god.
So what did it not have? Definitely did not have any sex appeal. In fact it gave us the furthest thing from Grace Park in a bikini, it gave us Grace Park in a jump suit. Needless to say, the look was not meant for her. We did not have any big time guest stars (besides Hesse, but since he was in the pilot and served a given purpose I’m overlooking him as a "guest") and the product placement was once again confined just to Cheverolet cars. How sad.
We did get a cool stunt this week when McGarrett and Hess start going at it. McGarrett takes a run at him and then leaps in the air and lands with a scissor hold on Hesse. Wasn’t expecting it and it was totally bad-ass. There were a few bits of riffing between Danno and McGarrett (which will get exponentially worse come February) but the highlight of the week was McGarrett admitting to a high level of insanity. Brief, but fun. And right there is the extent which this episode would have been judged any other week. But for whatever reason, this one worked a little better for me.
For starters, we open to immediate danger. Chin finds himself kneeling on the ground with a bomb strapped around his neck. There’s some techno mumbo jumbo that explains why he can’t move but whatever. It's an intense opening and much different then how these shows normally begin. Of course, they spend the first half of the episode flashing back to get to the Chin-in-a-bomb-necklace point, but considering what happened in the latter half I’ll excuse them for rushing a bit. However, I won’t forgive them for repeating the same lines and information the second time around about. Give your audience some credit. They can remember the facts of the case, even after a commercial break. You don’t have to repeat yourself 20 minutes later. Or if you feel like you do, maybe that’s a sign that you’re too focused on techno babble and not on pertinent dialogue.
Yada yada yada, the government does not negotiate with terrorists (if one doesn't already exist on the internet, someone should cut together scenes in which people say they don’t negotiate with terrorists. Seriously, you would think terrorists would know they don’t get to be negotiated with by now) and that forces them to break into a SUPER SECRET fort. I will give H5O this. They do jump around from one thing to the next fairly quickly and with the most horrendous dialogue known to man, but at least they vary it up. This whole breaking into a fort thing was fundamentally different than the interrogations that happened earlier and different than the shoot out that happened next. I’ll give them credit for that much at least. And credit for the snoopy old lady.
And another thing about Chin being strapped to a bomb - they walk casually up to him. I mean, I know they all have balls, but those must be some serious balls to just waltz right up to the guy who has a bomb that could go off if he sneezes, just saying.
You know how I like to rag on the writers for assuming their audience is comprised of idiots that have to be told everything with the most insanely stupid dialogue? I’ll give them this. They assumed we all have seen Miss Congeniality so they didn’t have to explain the whole Aloha-means-hello-and-goodbye to us when Chin and Kono say it to each other. I really appreciate that.
All that worked for me and because it was so unusual, H5O was also able to sneak away with a little something else at the end of the episode, too. Maybe because it was Christmas, maybe it was just my heart melting away, but I really didn’t mind the sentimental hug at the end when Grace came to see Danno dressed up as Santa. I guess Scrooge learned his lesson after all.
Finally a big congratulations to Scott Caan on his Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Even though it will probably go to Chris Colfer of Glee or Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family, I still really like Caan’s work. Colfer has become one of the most boring parts of Glee (classic case of saturation) and Stonestreet (while hilarious) is very one note. Best of luck Scott.
After making a sparkling debut in 2004 with his first feature film the slacker comedy Napoleon Dynamite offbeat writer-director Jared Hess seemed poised for a fruitful career as an earnest more accessible alternative to hipster auteur Wes Anderson. But he stumbled a bit with his sophomore effort the uneven Mexican wrestling flick Nacho Libre despite Jack Black’s desperate mugging for laughs. And he falls apart completely with his latest comedy the crude maddeningly insipid Gentlemen Broncos.
It’s a shame too because Gentlemen Broncos held so much potential. Its trailers promised a lively battle of wits between a pompous sci-fi author played by Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement and the teenage protege (Michael Angarano) from whom he plagiarized his latest bestselling novel. It could have been Hess’s Rushmore. But what the trailers don’t tell you is that Clement plays merely a supporting role in Gentlemen Broncos and that his character Dr. Ronald Chevalier virtually disappears after the film’s splendid setup. Clement is by far the best part of the film and when he isn’t on the screen the story devolves into an increasingly irksome blend of manufactured quirk and lame sight gags. Hess’s sense of humor has regressed to sub-adolescent levels with Gentlemen Broncos. Defecating snakes breast-puncturing blowdarts and jars of human testicles are just a few of the lowbrow delights that await the brave soul who attempts to make it through a viewing. When Clement returns at the end of the film and mounts a quixotic attempt to rescue it from the mire his heroic effort is sadly for naught: The disastrous fate of Gentleman Broncos was sealed long before.
Director to go forward with Brando's last film
Screen legend Marlon Brando, who died Thursday at a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 80, was finalizing the script for a new film entitled Brando and Brando, which was slated to start shooting this month. "I'm so sad and nearly paralyzed," director Ridha Behi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from London Friday. "But I will nevertheless make the movie to pay homage to him. I'll go on with the film." In Brando and Brando, a young Tunisian with a fascination for his idol Marlon Brando journeys to the United States in pursuit of the American dream. According to Behi, Brando would have portrayed himself. He said he was in Los Angeles three weeks ago working on the script with Brando, who was enthusiastic about the project despite his ailing health. But Behi said he doesn't feel he really got to know the reclusive actor well. "He remains someone very mysterious," he said. "I think that it's very difficult to gain Brando's friendship, and I don't have the pretension to think I had it."
Olsen twins' "Got milk?" ad pulled
The Milk Processor Education Program has pulled its "Got milk?" ads featuring twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen from magazines out of "sensitivity to their current situation." Program director Hugh Williams told the AP Tuesday the ads, which feature both Mary-Kate and Ashley with the trademark milk moustache, might run in the future. A publicist for the Olsens said Mary-Kate recently entered a treatment program for a "health-related issue," but People and Us Weekly magazines have reported the 18-year-old actress has an eating disorder. When the ad campaign was first announced, Mary-Kate said in a statement, "We wanted to appear in this ad because we love the campaign and we want to help make sure our fans are healthy like us."
Judge dismisses suit against Schwarzenegger
A Los Angeles judge Friday dismissed a lawsuit against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by a former stuntwoman who said the former action star sexually assaulted her on the set of Terminator 2 in 1991 and True Lies in 1994, and then implied she was a prostitute, Reuters reports. In her lawsuit filed last year, Miller claimed Schwarzenegger and his campaign aides defamed her by directing reporters through e-mail to the criminal record of an accused prostitute named Rhonda Miller on a Los Angeles County Web site. But Superior Court Judge Robert Hess found no evidence to show that Schwarzenegger knew of or approved an e-mail sent to reporters by his campaign. He also ruled that Miller, 54, was a public figure at the time she filed her lawsuit and was therefore not afforded the same privacy protection as members of the general public.
Star Trek's Scotty ailing
Actor James M. Doohan, who played the USS Enterprise's chief engineer, Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, in the original '60s Star Trek TV series, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease within the last few months. Steven Stevens, Doohan's agent, told the AP Tuesday the 84-year-old actor is in the beginning stages of the disease, a progressive neurological disorder. Doohan, who lives in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, also has suffered for some time with Parkinson's disease, diabetes and fibrosis that was caused by chemical exposure during World War II when he was a soldier in the Canadian military, Stevens said. Despite his ailing health, Doohan still plans to attend a three-day Star Trek farewell convention next month in Hollywood and is scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Aug. 31.
Sean Connery to pen memoirs
HarperCollins announced Monday it has made a deal with Sean Connery for a memoir to be published in 2006, the AP reports. But according to the publishing giant, the Scottish actor has expressed some trepidation about the project. "Having always vowed never to write my autobiography, here I am standing on the runway awaiting my journey into a new space," HarperCollins quoted Connery as saying. "It's rather scary, but utterly exhilarating, and I'm looking forward to it." But the publisher would not comment on press reports that the 72-year-old actor had agreed on a six-figure deal.
Paris Hilton not "Born To Be Wild"
Steppenwolf's John Kay told the Toronto Star that he has turned down hotel heiress Paris Hilton's request to use the band's 1968 anthem "Born To Be Wild" on her Fox reality show The Simple Life. "There are certain things even a rock-and-roller will not stoop to, and this is one of them," Kay told the paper. Perhaps the offer paled in comparison to past usage of the song, most notably on the soundtrack of the classic 1969 road trip film Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.
Crow cheers Armstrong on in Tour de France
Rocker Sheryl Crow, who is dating American cyclist and five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, told the AP she plans to be by her beau's side through much of the three-week race, which started Saturday. "For me, it has been not only a great adventure, but necessary, I think, to my art," she said, adding: "I guess I'm going to write a whole record about bike riding." Crow, who said she expects Armstrong to win an unprecedented sixth Tour, also said meeting Armstrong has changed her life. "I've had so many incredible things happen to me and I would say that meeting Lance has definitely been the most incredible," she said.
Kenny Rogers's wife has twins
Singer Kenny Rogers, 65, and his wife, Wanda, are the parents of identical twin boys, the AP reports. The twins, Justin Charles, who weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces, and his twin brother, Jordan Edward, who weighed 5 pounds, 8 ounces, were born Tuesday morning in Atlanta. Twins apparently run on both sides of the family: Wanda is an identical twin, and twins also run in Kenny Rogers' family. Rogers has three children from previous marriages.
Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.