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Now in our fourth calendar year!
PCR # 176  (Vol. 4, No. 32)  This edition is for the week of August 3--10, 2003.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"A Tale of Two Cities: St. Petersburg and Tampa - - A Bay Separating A Gulf of Differences, PART 2"
by Will Moriaty
by Mike Smith
"The Return of Bruce Banner", "ZD TV, where are you now?" "26 Things"
by Vinnie B.
News topics, television, movies, One-shots, The Slush Pile
 by Brandon Jones
"Celebrities Uncensored"
 by Ashley Lauren
"Green Fire" and "Club Dead" reviewed
 by Teri Davis & Patty G. Henderson
 by John Lewis
Whatchoo talkin' about Arnold....Kobe and Mike....Hurray For Me....List #1....List #2....Hey, It Could Be About Me....Movie Notes
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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Columbia Pictures     
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J and Oliver Martinez
Directed by: Clark Johnson
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Years ago they used to have the old-fashioned, made-for-television movie. Films like Brian's Song and The Day After entertained us in our homes. Then came the 1990s. Suddenly our favorite television shows were being turned into movies! Some were quite good (The Addams Family, The Brady Bunch Movie). Some were quite bad (Sgt. Bilko, Leave It To Beaver). S.W.A.T. is definitely one of the better ones.

The story begins with a bank robbery gone bad. Entering the bank through the roof, S.W.A.T. team member Jim Sweet (Farrell) and his partner slowly make their way towards the robbers. Ignoring orders, Sweet's partner advances. Not wanting to desert his partner, Sweet follows. The robbery is foiled but not "by the book." Both cops are reprimanded and go their separate ways.

Enter SSG Hondo Harrelson (Jackson). The former S.W.A.T. commander has been charged with putting together a new team of gung ho cops. The first part of the film is a joy to watch. The bonding of the new team is obvious. And when Hondo picks Street to complete the team, the others know they have found their leader. As they complete their training, an international crime lord is captured. Wanted all over the world, he announces to the media that he will give $100 million dollars to anyone who springs him from prison. The second part of the film is packed with enough action to keep you excited until the final frame as a multitude of would be bad guys try and earn the money offered.

It's important in filmmaking that the director is in an element he is comfortable with. Not only did director Jackson spend many years portraying Detective Meldrick Lewis on TV's Homicide, he also has directed episodes of N.Y.P.D. Blue, The Wire and The Shield, shows that are respected for their constant quality. In his first feature, Jackson shows that he truly knows his way around cops. And he has cast his film with a mix of well known screen veterans and young stars about to hit the big time. Jackson shows a quiet confidence in both himself and his charges. Farrell, who is often the best thing in mediocre films (hello, Daredevil) works well here, as if knowing he doesn't have to carry the film. Rising stars Rodriguez, LL Cool J and Martinez bring a real quality to their characters. In fact, the rapper is listed twice in the credits, as both LL Cool J and his real name, James Todd Smith, which I think is a sign that he has decided to give acting a full time try. Glad to have you.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give S.W.A.T.  Three stars

This week's movie review of "S.W.A.T." is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2003, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.