By: Tom Doty Times Columnist
August 16, 2013
“Olympus Has Fallen” — Star-studded action antics ensue when a disgraced presidential bodyguard is the only man who can rescue him from terrorist kidnappers. The action is loud and frantic here, as the man who couldn’t save the President’s wife tries to atone for that by rescuing him from a well-armed band of bad guys. Loud and dumb, but the action sequences are a ton of fun. The cast is too with Gerard Butler (“300”) in fine form as the disgraced protector who gets a second chance with his old boss, Aaron Eckhart. The cabinet is awesome, with actors like Robert Forster and Cole Hauser. I only had a problem with Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House — he should have been the Commander in Chief.
“Perry Mason: The Ninth and Final Season, Vol. 2” — Raymond Burr finally ends his decade-long run as the defense attorney with mad skills who always gets his clients off. The series definitely showed signs that it was ready to finish, with several plots here straining credibility. That said, Burr gives it his all and a couple of episodes stand out. He would be back in a year as the wheelchair-bound “Ironside” who made San Francisco a safer place for tourists.
“Southland, Final Season” — This excellent drama goes out in style, with a major character dying, while two others turn on each other. The series was in the vein of “Adam-12,” with each episode showcasing one day on the job of L.A. law enforcement. These episodes highlight some tragic events that see partners become enemies, while a detective struggles with being a single mother. Excellent stuff, with fine performances by Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Regina King, Ben McKenzie and C. Thomas Howell.
“Hatchet III” — Victor Crowley is back in this third (and seemingly final) entry that finds the Louisiana slasher going up against a well armed squad of law enforcement types. The cast is a who’s-who of horror types with Danielle Harris (“Halloween” 4 and 5) returning as the victim who won’t stay down. This time, she may know the recipe for taking Crowley down for good. Kane Hodder (“Friday the 13th”) is back as Crowley, and he has his hands full with cops like Zach Galligan (“Gremlins”) and Caroline Williams (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”). Lots of gory 1970s=style action hurls this one towards a satisfying conclusion.