Mystery Movie Collection 1994-2003

DVD - 2012
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Peter Falk returns as Lieutenant Columbo of the Los Angeles Police Department in seven mystery-packed TV movies that aired between 1994-2003, including Falk's last ever appearance as TV's greatest detective! Follow the always rumpled, eternally bumbling and constantly underestimated investigative genius as he takes on some of the most cunning criminals in his career with trademark wit, charm, persistence and ever-present cigar.
Published: Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, c2012.
Branch Call Number: DVD F COL
Characteristics: 3 videodiscs (640 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.
Alternative Title: Columbo (Television program)


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Oct 27, 2015

Episode 1, "Butterfly in shades of gray", stars William Shatner. Absolutely ham actor who seems to be eternally audition for the "Price Line commercials". The story line itself is so simply solved a child could do it. Detective Columbo has gone from black hair to styled brown hair. At least this time Columbo isn't going around in every scene with that stogie in his mouth. Episdoe 2, "Undercover" is a story by Ed McBain, a noted crime writer for decades. Columbo chases down a montage of pictures tied to a half torn list of names surrounding a $4 million robbery at least a decade old. Who's got the money? Where is the money? Who dies next. Watching Columbo ham it up as a Mafia Don is ridiculous. Episode 3, "Strange Bedfellows" stars obsess George Wendt and Rod Steiger. I never watched Cheers but I can see George never graduated from any drama school. Watching Columbo putting on his "I'm going to wretch" scene after eating clams is disgusting? I don't know how the L.A. police department would ever allow a homicide detective to behave like Columbo does. Could this be the way television solves crimes? Episode 4, "A trace of murder" just seems as improbable as you can get. How does a lowly paid police forensics expert wind up meeting and bedding the wife of a multimillionaire who would circulate with the in-crowd, not with the police? In one scene Columbo actually belches out loud in front of a woman. Classlessness meets its devote in Columbo. But he does solve this with some forensics, just not the ones he was supposed to be misled by. I think Peter Falk suffers from either sun blindness or night blindness because he is always shutting eyes like a mind with a flashlight being shone into them. Episode 5, Ashes to ashes, guest stars Patrick McGoohan and Sally Kellerman. Here I can definitely say "the undertaker did it". Imagine a greedy undertaker resisting removing the expensive jewelry from the corpses before burying or cremating them? Why pass up a good opportunity? Peter Falk looks like he would be ready for his own casket in about 6 months. Episode 6, "The murderer with too many notes", stars nobody we care about. After painfully watching these lame productions with Peter Falk as Executive Producer I am giving up finishing this episode. It's HORRIBLE!!!

Dec 13, 2013

The final 7 episodes of Peter Falk's TV-movie series "Columbo". These episodes were aired from 1994-2003. Although slowing down a tad, not quite as fast on the uptake with his "oh, one more thing ..." routine, Mr. Falk remains in good acting form right to the final episode. Unfortunately, some of the scripts and supporting actors don't fare as well. The first episode of the set "Butterfly in Shades of Gray" though shows the series at its best, with William Shatner as a right-wing radio talk-show host: a jealous, controlling, scheming, murderous, antagonist. After this Shatner episode, the producers apparently decide to change the character and the nature of plots, maybe to make the detective more realistic, in some cases a more "film noir" presentation, in others to provide such transparent clues as to make the solution readily apparent, all to appeal to a younger audience perhaps. For the most part it doesn't work. The final episode "Columbo Likes the Nightlife" is almost a caricature of the original series, with a ridiculous plot (for a "Columbo"), and excepting Mr Falk, very poor acting, very poor script-writing, and represents a series low point.


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