Thursday, December 5, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 40
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: NATHAN FOR YOU
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CHARLIE’S ANGELS
CRAWL
DARK WATERS
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
FROZEN II
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
LAST CHRISTMAS
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
MIDWAY
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
PLAYING WITH FIRE
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE CURRENT WAR: DIRECTOR’S CUT
THE GOOD LIAR
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF FX

BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY


Where is it playing?: Netflix

What's it rated?: TV-MA

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

“This is the worst day of my life,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti (Bruce Greenwood) says gravely, as he watches, from his office TV, fugitive O.J. Simpson’s Ford Bronco barrel down Highway 405, with the entire LAPD following and the entire world watching.

Greenwood’s well-delivered declaration makes a fitting summation of not just that historic car chase and police PR disaster, but of what’s to come in the 2016 true crime series, The People v. O.J. Simpson. The 10-episode series, which first aired on FX and later won nine Emmy Awards, chronicles the former football star’s notorious double-murder trial, from the Brentwood crime scene to the stunning “not guilty” verdict.

Competent, nuanced performances from the series’ cast and good writing makes The People v. O.J. feel like a tale we haven’t seen or heard before. It does a great job of establishing the historical context, beginning with the 1992 Rodney King riots that set the tone for the racial strife present in Simpson’s prosecution, defense, and media coverage. Particularly impressive in their roles are Sarah Paulson as Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark, who passionately and determinedly prosecuted the case, and Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran, the civil rights lawyer who joined Simpson’s “Dream Team” of attorneys that ultimately prevailed. Both actors expertly draw out their characters’ motivations and convincingly portray them in the context of the time.

Overall, this show does an effective job at re-creating what the Simpson case was in real life: one of the most dramatic and high-profile criminal cases in U.S. history. This trial distilled so many fraught elements of American culture and society, intertwining them in ways that couldn’t help but generate nationwide intrigue. It exposed the blurred lines between justice, power, and celebrity. It brought racism and sexism to the fore. It represented enough salient stuff to trigger countless articles, books, documentaries, and TV series about it, like this one.

The People v. O.J. is a captivating ride. I learned quite a bit about the saga that I didn’t know before (I was only 3 years old when the events took place). It’s not a perfect show by any means. I wasn’t a big fan of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s shrieky portrayal of Simpson, which according to other show reviews, wasn’t really what Simpson acted and sounded like. John Travolta’s stiff performance as Dream Team lawyer Robert Shapiro left something to be desired. At points along the way, there’s a generic Law and Order vibe that I wish it avoided. But all in all, the pieces here fit quite well together (like a glove, you could say … sorry), and the story, like it did in reality, unfolds in a thrilling way. Almost everything that’s lacking is made up for with smart writing, direction, and a variety of strong performances. (10 episodes, 40 to 60 min. each). 

—Peter Johnson




Weekly Poll
What do you think of the wind energy project the county Planning Commission approved just south of Lompoc?

It's great. We need more renewable energy sources.
I'm concerned about all of the birds that'll die.
I'd rather the county focus on oil and gas projects.
Visually it's going to ruin a beautiful landscape.

| Poll Results