Sat down with NBC's "Heroes," CBS' "Shark" and "Smith" tonight.
"Heroes" is a "Unbreakable" style drama about ordinary people developing super powers. The pilot is very slow building. Dangerously slow building, in fact: Who's going to stick around to see the (pretty darn good) finale? Having just sat through "X-Men: The Last Stand," however, I'm prepared to forgive a multitude of sins, provided they don't come from Brett Ratner.
"Shark" is James Woods. Really not a lot else, but ain't that enough? Woods just goes nuts as a top gun defense attorney who loses it after a client goes bad and switches to prosecution. He's tough, amoral and mean, mean, mean. The story and dialog are totally hackneyed, but lord it's a kick to watch Woods do his thing. It's all the fun Dennis Hopper didn't get to have in "E-Ring."
And, saving the best for last, "Smith." Ray Liotta stars as a master thief with Virginia Madsen (!) as his recovering criminal wife. The look of this thing is cinema-quality. The cinematography is "Minority Report" crossed with "Miami Vice" (notwithstanding that the action takes place in Pittsburgh). The acting is just outstanding. But the storyline follows the "Ocean's 11," "Thief," "Heist," "Entrapment" and every other heist movie ever made. It's a great formula, but it's been done to death, death, death lately. "Smith" needs to give me something more to get past the familiarity and ennui, but man does this thing have great pieces to work with. Oh and, should note, it's utterly humorless and pretty depressing. This really ought to be on HBO, not CBS.