Written by / 9/02/2012 / No comments / , , ,

COLUMBO: MURDER, SMOKE & SHADOWS

year: 1989 cast: Peter Falk, Fisher Stevens  rating: ***1/2
The latter COLUMBO episodes, more than a decade after Peter Folk retired the signature rumpled overcoat in the late 1970’s, are hit and miss – and here’s one of the hits.Although the plotline, like many of the second-life episodes, is pretty convoluted. The guilty party exudes all the conceit and pretentiousness of any good Columbo villain. Enter Fisher Stevens as Alex Bradey, a Hollywood “boy wonder” Orson Welles meets George Lucas, exceptionally young for his trade and his talent lies on special effects.

The doomed victim is an old friend who blackmails the soon-to-be killer, using a film reel of a stunt gone terrible wrong: a young woman died and the film was covered up long ago. The murder itself is dragged out and far-fetched, having to do with an electric gate on the Universal Studios lot after dark. But once Columbo snoops around the lot, and then ferrets inside the director's studio den, the complicated introduction is all but forgotten.

Fisher Stevens does a good job as the guy who has everything at his fingertips, including a beautiful woman that turns out not so loyal. It’s fun seeing Columbo sitting on a crane while it swings back and forth during filming an action sequence. And you’ll never see the pint-sized Lieutenant being attacked by classic Battlestar Galactica Cylon Raiders ever again… so check this one out.
year: 1989 cast: Peter Falk, Fisher Stevens  rating: ***1/2
Peter Falk's Columbo verses a Cylon Raider BUY DVD
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