Sunday, 23 June 2024

‘Fall Guy’ spectacle of daring stunts; ‘Memorial Day’ on PBS



‘THE FALL GUY’ Rated PG-13

About four decades ago, the ABC television series “The Fall Guy” starred Lee Majors as Hollywood stuntman Colt Seavers who was moonlighting as a bounty hunter, using his physical skills to capture fugitives.

Fast forward to today, the film “The Fall Guy” can only charitably be referenced as loosely-based on the 1980s series, and now Ryan Gosling is stuntman Colt Seavers, but no longer a bounty hunter.

The original Colt’s sidekick Howie Munson (Douglas Barr in the series) and fellow stuntwoman Jody Banks (Heather Thomas) no longer exist. The new Colt is on his own unless you count stunt coordinator and friend Dan Tucker (Winston Duke).

Suffering from a broken back in a precipitous fall, Colt retired from show business and took a job as a valet parking attendant. After 18 months, he gets summoned by director Gail Meyer (Hannah Washington) for an assignment on a film shoot in Australia.

Coincidentally, Colt’s former flame Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), the cinematographer on his last film, is making her directing debut on the space Western “Metalstorm.” After a falling out, they are uneasily reunited and yet a palpable sense of a rekindled romance may be in the air.

Colt’s job is to replace the stuntman for the film’s arrogant star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), but it becomes more than that when the actor pulls a disappearing act and Colt is tasked with employing his previous moonlighting skills to track him down.

Now the action kicks into high gear with fights and extended chases, one involving a runaway trash truck. Poking around the actor’s place, Colt is ambushed by Iggy Starr (Teresa Palmer) who plays an alien in the film.

Discovering a dead body in a bathtub, Colt ends up being framed for murder and goes on the lam not just from the police but also a ruthless gang leader named Drexler (Ben Knight) and his thugs.

What about the relationship between Colt and Jody? Will they end up together in the end? Take a guess.

The story of “The Fall Guy” is basically immaterial as the plot is driven primarily by action-fueled spectacle lacking much in the way of substance.

Delivering crowd-pleasing thrills, a wild ride is to be had with a surfeit of over-the-top, daring stunts as well as chases on land and sea.

‘NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT’ ON PBS

Honoring the service of our men and women in uniform, the 35th anniversary live broadcast of “National Memorial Day Concert” will air on PBS and stream nationwide on Sunday, May 26th from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with a repeat following immediately.

America’s national night of remembrance, the PBS special returns from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for a tradition unlike anything else of television to honor service members and their families through a unique blend of dramatic storytelling and uplifting music.

The program will be hosted by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise, both steadfast champions of veterans’ causes and active service members, with the latter having an eponymous charitable foundation helping wounded veterans and their loved ones.

The 2024 “National Memorial Day Concert” will feature several segments. The “World War II Tribute,” featuring actor Bryan Cranston, is a salute to the millions of Americans who served the nation in uniform and the home front.

On the 80th anniversary of 1944, a pivotal year in the war, the tribute will commemorate hard fought battles in the Pacific and European theaters that secured the allied path to victory.

As part of this special segment, the concert will share the story of U.S. Army Veteran John T. “Jack” Moran, a soldier in the Battle of the Bulge, and his remembrance of friends who fought alongside of him. Members of this Greatest Generation will be honored on stage at the Capitol.

“Gold Star Families Remembrance,” hosted by actor and director BD Wong, will be a concert to remember our fallen heroes and Gold Star families with the story of Vietnam Veteran and Gold Star father Allen Hoe, who followed generations of his proud warrior family into military service.

Hoe’s two sons continued the family legacy serving honorably in the Army. First Lieutenant Nainoa K. Hoe was tragically killed in combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This is a story of honor and remembrance and the search for peace after his son’s death.

Following 20 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, “Honoring a Generation’s Service,” featuring actress Jena Malone, the concert will explore the challenges faced by a generation of wounded and ill veterans who carry visible and invisible wounds of war.

The moving story of Marine Corps Veteran and amputee Kirstie Ennis, an inspiring adaptive athlete who carries with her the memory of her fallen brothers and sisters in arms, shares through the concert her journey after a life-changing injury on deployment.

In tribute to all members of our armed forces, the annual audience favorite “Salute to Service” features military bands and choruses of the various branches.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

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