Movie News & Reviews

Swayze plays ‘Beast’ beautifully

“The Beast: The Complete First Season” Grade B: Patrick Swayze plays FBI veteran Charles Barker. His years of working undercover have blurred the lines of how far he can go to bring the bad guys down. How far he has gone is fodder for the series.

These grizzled law enforcement roles are not easy to play. Play the character as too much of a rogue, and the audience will never connect. Lean toward the more sympathetic version, and the viewer won’t care enough to go along for the ride.

Swayze’s performance is as strong as those done by the likes of Michael Chiklis on “The Shield” or Dennis Franz on “NYPD Blue.” The performance is even more remarkable considering Swayze’s battle with cancer during the filming.

“Dexter: The Third Season” Grade B: Michael C. Hall continues his amazing run as the forensic scientist/serial killer. The show has always been rich because of the way Hall plays the character: a mix of genius and insanity. The added element of a stable family life brings another level to the show.

Jimmy Smits turns in an impressive performance as a man who has spent his entire life doing good but finds a new passion in the dark side of his personality.

This Showtime series is a great example of good television shows being made — sometimes you just have to go looking for them.

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at rbentley@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6355. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.

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