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The MIAMI VICE Experience

post #1 of 181
Thread Starter 

Well my friends... The time has finally come.

 

Here begins something I've been wanting to do for quite some time. I hope you enjoy taking this ride with me and look forward to shooting the shit over here or on the talkbacks.

 

EPISODE 1.1 - BROTHER'S KEEPER

post #2 of 181

Now we're talkin'. This will be an experience like no other. I can't lie, I'm a bit worried that you won't be able to keep up with this sort of analysis once you hit season 4 but I wish you good luck on this journey.

 

As for the pilot, it is outstanding. Obviously Gregory Sierra feels a bit off but that's because it's impossible to watch him without knowing how amazing Olmos would be once he took over. Though Sierra was able to rebound from his dismissal and play iconic drug lords in both the pilot episode of Stingray and as Felix Barbosa in DEEP COVER, so good on him.

 

TubbsCry.png

 

Thanks for the new wallpaper. Try to keep a tally of how many times Tubbs flashbacks to his bro's murder. I don't know if there is a definitive count.

post #3 of 181

Awesome writeup, Erix. Looking forward to more of it.

 

It's been a long while since I saw a MIAMI VICE ep (Though I did see Michael Mann's version recently. Maybe you'll review it as well?). The last ep I remember had Liam Neeson in it and he was some kind of Irish Gunrunner gone public.

post #4 of 181

Nice idea, Erix! But there's no way you'll get through every episode! I anticipate you'll lose interest at around the time Trudy falls in love with a pear-shaped nightclub singer early in Season 2. Needless to say, I'll be with you every step of the way!

 

Philip Michael Thomas is extraordinarily bad in BROTHER'S KEEPER, and all future episodes. I mean, you grow to love him, as you would a younger brother with Down's Syndrome, but hoo boy can he not act. The Rockwell part you single out is the most outstanding Tubbs moment in this particular episode, combining:

 

  • PMT's awful Miss Cleo psychic hotline accent
  • PMT singing
  • PMT smeared in what appears to be chicken grease

 

I'm also a little confused as to why Tubbs' brother is a proud 66-year-old black man, whereas Tubbs looks at most 30, and his skin is a delightful butterscotch. No matter the reasons, Tubbs' grief at this elderly man's death is palpable.

 

A good pilot, but the ending is too low-key, for one thing. But it still exhibits a few outstanding, uniquely MV touches, like Martin Ferrero as the creepy tranny assassin. Good luck seeing that on MAGNUM PI!

post #5 of 181
Thread Starter 

Thanx for reading guys...

 

Yeah, I realize it's a bit of a daunting task. It's 111 episodes and I'm well aware that not all of them are good. But I will try my best to keep things lively and have every intention of seeing this through to the end.

 

Expect a new blog every 3 days or so. I want to try for 2 a week as a minimum. I think that's an easy enough pace to keep and it gives us a chance to discuss each episode.

 

I hope you do keep up Paul... Especially if your comments will continue to be that enlightening. Although I disagree about PMT being a "bad" actor (he gives Tubbs a unique personality and makes the character his own. And that's really all he needs to do), you're definitely right that his Jamaican accent is hilarious.

 

Felix, I think I will cap this series off by reviewing the movie.

post #6 of 181

Miami Vice is one of my all time favorite shows, so I look forward to each installment of this series with great relish. My favorite aspect of the pilot episode is Bill Smitrovich as Scottie Wheeler. Smitrovich is an absolute pleasure, both in his 2 or 3 Miami Vice appearances and in Crime Story where he is given tons of screentime and rightfully so... My favorite lesser-known actor. The scene with Crockett busting him at his home is heartbreaking! You can see his crippled little son being wheeled in for dinner in the background! Though I must warn you, since I have just finished season 4 myself, that when you get to that point you must fortify yourself... summon up the courage to finish. Because there are some episodes of season 4 that are SO terrible that I guarantee your resolve will be tested. It seems starting with season 3's AWFUL Gina-centric (who is the absolute WORST character on the show, terribly written and acted) finale, "heroes of the revolution", the show has become a major chore to get through. I am determined to finally complete the series though, after only having cherished the first two seasons for so many years. You are still a full season away from the second (feature film quality) season premiere, "The Prodigal Son" where we learn what TUBBS stands for, from the man himself. The scene is even more funny because it just randomly cuts to Tubbs on the phone in Charles S. Dutton's office (its never said who he's talking to or why), and Rico says,

 

"That's Tubbs-
TUFF,
UNIQUE,
BAD,
BOLD,

and
SASSY"

 

I find Tubbs absolutely ridiculous! Especially the episode "The Maze" where its clear Philip Michael Thomas begged the director and producers to worm his shitty song "Living the Book of My Life" into a scene of the episode.

 

 

Also it feels like with season 4 that the spark has gone... both creatively and visually. There is no more of the classic Vice style or color that dominates season 1 and 2. Now its just a dark, dreary generic cop show. Here is an informative interview with Vice's musical maestro, Jan Hammer (who also sadly leaves partway through season 4, to be replaced briefly by John Petersen, who is terrible, and then Tim Truman for season 5). The show just isn't the same without his signature style. Jan Hammer sounds very distinctive and unique... you would only need to listen to a second of one of his songs to know it was a JAN HAMMER composition.

post #7 of 181
Thread Starter 

Gruber... Thanks so much for your contributions. In particular, I loved the Jan Hammer interview. They make such a big deal out of the computer that can record all the instruments, which can now be done on anyone's PC or Mac.

 

I wonder if John Tesh was aching to work with Hammer on one of his music projects.

 

Oh... Another thing, I am pleased you selected that particular image for your desktop Molt. I would have done the same thing.

post #8 of 181

I second the love for "The Prodigal Son". Some great action scenes and great use of NY locations. Also, for those not knowing, the first four seasons are available on Hulu, if one wants to follow along.

post #9 of 181

Yes Hulu is a valuable resource, but with one proviso... due to rights issues, the first season episode "Evan" can't be watched... Evan is one of the top all-time episodes and a Must see.

post #10 of 181

Very good stuff man. Looking forward to joining you on this ride, and i havern't even watched Miami Vice.

post #11 of 181

Some folks are getting ahead of the game.  I know it's tempting, God knows I know, but let's try to take it episode by episode as Erix intended.cool.gif

post #12 of 181
Thread Starter 

Hey Ken... If this project can get you to actually watch Miami Vice then I've done my job.

 

Yeah, Subotai has the right idea. I'd prefer if we discuss the show one episode at a time. But I can't really blame a fan for being enthusiastic.

 

....

 

Bringing the talk back to the pilot - McCartney raises an interesting point. Rico's brother does seem to be about 30 years older. It's not impossible, though. They could be brothers from different mothers. And I don't mean that philosophically...

 

I think it's very conceivable that the Tubbs patriarch was a player.

 

Speaking of which, with names like Ricardo and Rafael, we are clearly meant to assume that they are of Hispanic ancestry.

 

Tubbs is not a name I have ever come across. There must have been some interesting migrations to Santo Domingo back in the day.

 

I could have said Havanna... But I have a feeling the Tubbs clan hails from the Dominican Republic.

post #13 of 181

There was a heavyweight boxer, Tony Tubbs, around the time Vice hit.

 

One of the great things about this thread will be the first sightings of the innumerable actors who had early appearances on Miami Vice.

 

Mann's name is the one most attached with Miami Vice, and unfairly so.  Anthony Yerkovich is the Jack Kirby of Miami Vice.  I was glad that when Mann made the feature film, he made a point of Yerkovich being the creator.

post #14 of 181
Thread Starter 

Crockett & Tubbs infiltrate the porn world!

EPISODE 1.2 - HEART OF DARKNESS

post #15 of 181

It's definitely Ed O'Neill's hour to shine. You wouldn't think he'd be able to pull off the sleazy gold chain look but he does so swimmingly.

post #16 of 181

O'Neill is truly great in this.  15 years later, he would be the lead in Anthony Yerkovich's sublime but short-lived Big Apple, opposite Titus Welliver, Michael Madsen, and David Strathairn.  FBI vs. street cop would be a running theme.

 

I see Amis hasn't acted since '99.  Guess she doesn't need to, in any case...

post #17 of 181

I agree with all, and those watching it for the first time will agree, that Ed O' Neill is a joy to behold in HEART OF DARKNESS. Some of his more intense scenes remind me a little of a fiery Ed Harris, circa Francis X. Hummel. I think I like it a little more than Erix... perhaps I'd give it  3 and a half celebrating Castillos. This feature... the sole reason I am visiting this site now... please keep it up. A daily dose of Miami Vice is always prescribed for myself...

 

a request if I may, perhaps it may be a difficult one to fufill... as you get later into the season, in a few episodes where the Noogman is introduced, I wonder if you could do some investigation and see if you could uncover details on Charlie Barnett's banning from the set of Vice. All sources I've read say the incident was "drug-fueled" and culminated in Don Johnson demanding he be banned from the set. These details are tantalizing but I wish to know more! Any spicy and interesting behind the scenes details will be most welcome, because they are so hard to come by on the net.

post #18 of 181

Did you check the Miami-Vice.org forums? I remember reading some posts about him back in the day.

post #19 of 181

Erix, I too have a request in regards to Noogie. When you get to the episode MADE FOR EACH OTHER, can you please include a screencap of Noogie's creepy fingertips from the scene where he drapes his hands over the door of a cement truck cab? They look like semen-engorged condoms. They look painful and unhealthy and I hope he sought treatment.

 

I think I am alone in MIAMI VICE fandom when I state that Noogie was a million times more tolerable than fucking Izzy. But hey, guess which one got hired as a regular and went on to boffo box office in JURASSIC PARK, and which one got fired due to a drug-fuelled on-set mishap and went on to die of AIDS in 1996? Oh, Paul McCartney, could you BE any more contrary?

 

10956470_det.jpg

post #20 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

O'Neill is truly great in this.  15 years later, he would be the lead in Anthony Yerkovich's sublime but short-lived Big Apple,



Never had the pleasure, but that sounds good. I've heard he was also pretty good as Popeye Doyle in that made-for-TV French Connection sequel. But I haven't seen that either.

 

.....

 

Yes Gruber, O'Neill's intensity is at times reminiscent of Ed Harris. He really is very convincing as a conflicted man. His last scene, during the aftermath of the shootout, is very dramatic and powerful.

 

Though one tidbit I forgot to mention is how he has pretty much the same wardrobe for the entire episode. He's like Homer Simpson in that sense.

 

You can be certain that this feature will continue. Expect at least 2 installments per week.

 

....

 

Macca, I will keep your request in mind.

post #21 of 181

Loved your second piece, Erix. I'm almost convinced to run out to Target later and pick up the first season, since it's $10 there. Just to see Ed O'Neil be a badass.

 

That porn guy in the first picture looked like David Keith!

post #22 of 181
Thread Starter 

By all means do it, Rene. One of my goals with this thing is to get people to watch Miami Vice.

 

In that shot, the porn guy resembles David Keith. In the actual episode he's like a weird mishmash of Stephen Lang and Ray Liotta.

post #23 of 181

Yes Paul noogie truly has disgusting mutant fingers. They look like slow burning delectado cigars. Also perhaps some research is in order of Charles Barnett's cause of death! Sources say it was AIDS caused by drug use, and I've also heard rumblings that he got AIDS from one of his few porn performances. I must have the truth! If you happen to come upon (no pun intended hueh) any of Barnett's adult performances... Please do NOT share! I have no wish to see a disgusting sweat soaked Noogie with his bizarre asian eyes! I wonder if Martin Ferrero was as disgusted with Barnett's crack addict antics as Don Johnson and myself were!

 

izzy-noogie-001.jpg

post #24 of 181
Thread Starter 

And speaking of The Noogman...

 

EPISODE 1.3 - COOL RUNNIN'

post #25 of 181

This series is making me miss the first season DVD set that I lent out nearly a year ago. The description of the wounding of Noogie forced me to go to Hulu to relive the magic. Oh my, Noogie just went for broke right there. "I DON'T WANNA DIE!"

 

This episode must feature one of the earliest TV appearances of a taser.

 

post #26 of 181

 

Great series, Erix.  I'm a few episodes into the second season and it's still very strong.  Keep it up!

post #27 of 181

I bought S1 as well, but I'm gonna hold out for the blu-ray and buy the whole set.  When it comes.  If ever.

post #28 of 181
Thread Starter 

Glad to have you people on board with me. This is a fun ride for me either way, but you guys are making it even better.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moltisanti View Post
Oh my, Noogie just went for broke right there. "I DON'T WANNA DIE!"

 

This episode must feature one of the earliest TV appearances of a taser.

 


It's the odd animal sounds he makes too that really sell the moment.

 

The taser moment is hilarious... The way the Jamaican dude just stands there trembling with smoke coming out of him... After those spectacular ILM sparks.

post #29 of 181

After seeing episode 3, Noogie should have died after that Jamaican guy shot him. ANNOYING.

 

I'm looking forward to your reviews for Calderone's Return Part I and II, Erix. Especially as part II has some really great scenes worthy of being stills in your blog on it.

post #30 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erix View Post

By all means do it, Rene. One of my goals with this thing is to get people to watch Miami Vice.

 

 


Then Mission Accomplished! After reading your first two entries I started watching the show via Hulu and I'm really digging it. I've been meaning to check out the show for a while due to the Michael Mann, Edward James Olmos connections but put it off for a while. I'm really surprised at the quality of it. Minus some of the gunplay, it looks and feels like a theatrical film, in way that most other shows don't. It feels like it's cut from the same cloth as Mann's Manhunter, which is a film I love. I'm up to episode 11 or so and I'm still digging it. 

 

I love how the show is willing to go to some dark, uncomfortable places too, like the mention at the end of episode two that Ed O'Neil hung himself and an encounter Gina has with Burt Young a few episodes down the line. Awesome use of Phil Collins too, which sounds like a joke but it's not.

post #31 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreMrNiceGaius View Post

Then Mission Accomplished! After reading your first two entries I started watching the show via Hulu and I'm really digging it. I've been meaning to check out the show for a while due to the Michael Mann, Edward James Olmos connections but put it off for a while. I'm really surprised at the quality of it. Minus some of the gunplay, it looks and feels like a theatrical film, in way that most other shows don't. It feels like it's cut from the same cloth as Mann's Manhunter, which is a film I love. I'm up to episode 11 or so and I'm still digging it. 

 



Hey man, good for you. You've already gotten way ahead of the blogs but that's fine. I can't promise that I will ever be able to publish more than 2 a week. Maybe 3 in some cases. But that's because I want to give each episode the same treatment and a fair shake.

 

The quality is definitely a cut above most cop shows of the period. I tease and poke fun on the blog at times, but the cinematic quality of the show is unmistakable. There are some episodes that are more notable at this than others.

 

I hope you keep reading.

post #32 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erix View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreMrNiceGaius View Post

Then Mission Accomplished! After reading your first two entries I started watching the show via Hulu and I'm really digging it. I've been meaning to check out the show for a while due to the Michael Mann, Edward James Olmos connections but put it off for a while. I'm really surprised at the quality of it. Minus some of the gunplay, it looks and feels like a theatrical film, in way that most other shows don't. It feels like it's cut from the same cloth as Mann's Manhunter, which is a film I love. I'm up to episode 11 or so and I'm still digging it. 

 



Hey man, good for you. You've already gotten way ahead of the blogs but that's fine. I can't promise that I will ever be able to publish more than 2 a week. Maybe 3 in some cases. But that's because I want to give each episode the same treatment and a fair shake.

 

The quality is definitely a cut above most cop shows of the period. I tease and poke fun on the blog at times, but the cinematic quality of the show is unmistakable. There are some episodes that are more notable at this than others.

 

I hope you keep reading.

 

I'll definitely continue to read. Keep up the good work. 
 

post #33 of 181

Just wanted to let you know, I love the idea of a MV rewatch and even made a post on my Edward James Olmos fansite (http://www.olmosperfect.com/extra-edition/feeling-nostalgic-join-rewatch-of-miami-vice/) about it and hope others will join in. Thanks for such a great notion!

post #34 of 181

One embarassing Tubbs moment in this episode is either the writer's or PMT's insistence on working the term COOL RUNNINGS into the dialogue. While Tubbs is in his jamaican persona, he says "COOL RUNNINS MON" 3 or 4 times!

post #35 of 181
Thread Starter 

It's probably a creative ad lib from Mr. Thomas himself...

 

Now then...

 

EPISODE 1.4 - CALDERONE'S RETURN

post #36 of 181

You are on fire, man! Keep it up!

 

Folks may remember Zubiena as the FBI swat leader who gives William Petersen some moral support in Manhunter by giving him a hug after Petersen recalls the Tooth Fairy has gone for the head shot 9 out of 11 times.  he was very fast.

post #37 of 181

Just read your write up, Erix. It's definitely a great beginning to the 2 parter. I don't want to go into too many details on the next one until you write it up, but I was underwhelmed by the second part. The first one is so awesome with the Argentinean assassin. Really dug it, and yes, I'm a fan of "I'm So Excited", but all I could think of was the montage from Hot Shots: Part Deux while it played.

post #38 of 181

Excellent analysis of part 1 of this gripping 2-parter. To think if Gregory Sierra hadn’t despised filming in Miami he may have stuck around even longer.

I always thought the assassin had some Dudikoff DNA swimming around inside him. Though for such an efficient assassin you’d think he’d be a little more tidy with his coffee and donuts.

You can really see that guy’s influence, or instruction, all over Cruise in COLLATERAL.

post #39 of 181

I have to agree with Rene that part II of Calderone's Return is very lackluster but for now, the first part is sensational, one of the all time best. I love the loving shot before Rodriguez is killed, that shows off the Argentinean's "tools of the trade". The camera pans over his trademark sunglasses, two bullets laying next to each other sexily, a donut and I believe a cup of coffee. His menacing theme music reminds me of fake "arcade" music that would play in a Cannon movie like Death Wish 4 that had an arcade scene.

post #40 of 181
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Gruber's EYE CONDITION! View Post

I love the loving shot before Rodriguez is killed, that shows off the Argentinean's "tools of the trade". The camera pans over his trademark sunglasses, two bullets laying next to each other sexily, a donut and I believe a cup of coffee.


He's obviously a wild man... He favors sparkles on his donuts. And, as Moltisanti pointed out, it really is very poor form (and quite uncouth) of him to not clean up after himself at Caroline's house.

 

They should have made a videogame spinoff of The Argentinean... So we could enjoy an 8-bit variation of his awesome theme music. It goes without saying that coffee and donuts would be the energy power ups scattered throughout each level.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Moltisanti View Post

To think if Gregory Sierra hadn’t despised filming in Miami he may have stuck around even longer.

...
You can really see that guy’s influence, or instruction, all over Cruise in COLLATERAL.

 

This is news to me. Sierra wanted out? I always assumed the producers 86'd him for some reason... It happened so early on, I kind of figuired they were either unhappy with Sierra or just wanted to go in a different direction with the "chief" character

 

As for Collateral, I have no doubt that you're right. Knowing Mann, he probably had Cruise training with Zubiena for months. In fact, first thing when I get home, I'm checking out the special features to confirm this ... there might be footage of an older, wiser Zubiena. I hope he still has that righteous Jewfro.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

Folks may remember Zubiena as the FBI swat leader who gives William Petersen some moral support in Manhunter ...


I thought he looked familiar. But he also looks exactly like my uncle Luis (I will try to find a picture). So it's shocking.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene (Mr.Eko) View Post

I'm a fan of "I'm So Excited", but all I could think of was the montage from Hot Shots: Part Deux while it played.


The thing with that song is that it's such a cliche now... Maybe at the time it wasn't so bad. But there are other uses of music that don't feel so played out even now.
 

 

post #41 of 181

Another thing I'm finding alternately hilarious and great is the score to the show. Sometimes it's this really moody Tangerine Dream/Michel Rubini sounding score that I absolutely love. Then there's some "upbeat" music that can only be described as sounding like something out of an 80's porno. I keep expecting that sweaty curly haired Stephen Lang lookalike to show up for some more rape porn.

post #42 of 181

Here is the Argentinean's theme by Jan Hammer

post #43 of 181


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erix View Post

This is news to me. Sierra wanted out? I always assumed the producers 86'd him for some reason... It happened so early on, I kind of figuired they were either unhappy with Sierra or just wanted to go in a different direction with the "chief" character

 

 



That's what is stated on Miami Vice Wiki, and if you can't trust Miami Vice Wiki then we might as well all pack up and head for the hills.

 

Though for all we know Sierra not liking Miami may have been a cover story that was created so he could be let go without it appearing he was fired.

 

If anyone wonders whether Gregory Sierra became jealous of Edward James Olmos I believe he did not, as the two seem to be good buds based on this one-sheet featuring both Sierra and Olmos in THE WONDERFUL ICE CREAM SUIT, which as you can see the Dallas Morning News praised as "Magical":

 

210078.1020.A.jpg

post #44 of 181
Thread Starter 

What gifts!

 

It's nice to have The Argentinean's theme (I love how it's actually called "The Argentinean.") preserved here in its entirety for posterity. Also, I particularly like how the music cue gets all triumphant right before Rodriguez gets popped. Almost like they expect us to be on the assassin's side.

 

And I have to say, Molt, that movie - despite looking about as inviting as a hot bowl of feces - is a movie that I will have to see.

post #45 of 181

Directed by RE-ANIMATOR and FORTRESS' Stuart Gordon!

post #46 of 181

The Argentinean's theme really does sound like something out of an 80's videogame. Either that, or a boss fight from Streets Of Rage. It's some good music.

 

Is that Clifton Collins Jr. on Olmos right side looking confused as to how to bask in the power of THE WONDERFUL ICE CREAM  SUIT?

post #47 of 181

You know it is. From back when he was billed as Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez. Also featuring Sid Ceasar as "Sid."

post #48 of 181

Ah yes, Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez. Star of The Stoned Age, where he played "Tack".

post #49 of 181

Is there anyone that prefers Noogie to Izzy? Fucking hell. Both could be deemed irritating, but Izzy appeared far more often, and was played by an actor who otherwise seems quite level-headed and should know better than to be so annoying. With Noogie, he seems like an actual crackhead who was allowed to film scenes as part of some sort of community charity effort, lending his scenes a greater sweetness and authenticity. He genuinely look like he would stink out the set after shitting his pants during a take. Maybe this was the incident that pushed Don Johnson over the edge and caused him to expel Charlie Barnett from the set?

post #50 of 181

I can't decide which of these two plot synopses is funnier:

 

Quote:
Gomez is a middle-aged man who dreams of buying a gorgeous white suit in a nearby store, but doesn't have enough cash. He finds 4 more people of same size, who each give $20 and get to wear the suit for an hour each in return. But the suit is not just a suit - it makes wishes of the one wearing it come true.

 

 

Quote:
In East L.A., con-man Gomez convinces four strangers to pool their money to buy a luminescent vanilla ice-cream-colored suit; he intends to split for El Paso, well-dressed. The first night, each gets the suit for an hour, and each is transformed: Dominguez with his guitar and voice charms women who dance in a parade through the plaza; Martinez's shine gets his lovely neighbor's attention; street poet Villanazul captures a crowd with his political and economic vision for the east side. The suit makes Gomez a better man, so he may not bolt; but then, what do they do with the last partner, the filthy ¡Vamanos!, whose juicy-taco-eating, wine-drinking habits could ruin the suit?

 

 

If anyone was curious, Edward James Olmos plays the filthy Vamanos, and Gregory Sierra stars as gentle street poet Villanazul. This is perhaps obvious from the feelgood poster.

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