Mediocre cop and fireman documentaries
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 03/18/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Don't believe the hype. There's very little objectionable material on this DVD, a few minutes out of two hours.
Two cop half-hour programs consist primarily of L.A. area aftermath footage captured by shaky amateur-quality videocam. Running time is padded with b&w repeats and closing montages of things seen during the show. Screechy, rhythm-laden music often drowns out annoying narrator. Program #1 has the most graphic footage, but not much of that. The firefighter stuff is ordinary by comparison. Pass on this one. I shoulda!
Program #1 - MEAN STREET POLICE
Unidentified S.W.A.T. officer intros a half dozen segments, each involving a single incident. GANG SHOOTINGS: Very dark footage shows nothing beyond subjects fleeing an all-night gas station. PURSUITS: Looks to be the same maroon car plus a half dozen police units. Man is eventually caught. JOB HAZARDS: A takedown where little occurs. FATAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS: Two car collision bonfire. Afterwards, close-ups of two burnt-to-a-crisp victims. SUICIDES: Subject in work truck holds pistol to his own throat. Hard to see, as he's electronically scrambled. After lengthy negotiation man kills himself, but it's too dark to make out. D.U.I.s: Camaro split in two that was speeding at 80 mph on the freeway. Driver hit back of Caddy and spun out of control, then struck a bridge support.
Program #2 - POLICE ENCOUNTERS - AMERICA'S WARRIORS
Same cop does lead-ins. GANG VIOLENCE: Victim of shooting rampage put in ambulance. Bloodied 15 year-old suspect arrested after brief apartment house siege. Cop shot in hand when weapon he's retrieving discharges. OFF-DUTY: 10-7 cop sees coffee shop robbery and calls for help. One suspect surrenders, the other forcibly removed. NEW TECHNOLOGY: Stop stick disables fleeing teen's car. S.W.A.T.: Team called in after officer responding to domestic disturbance is shot by male suspect. Unseen gunfire as cops surround home. Twice-wounded cop is still able to walk to ambulance. K-9 UNITS: Stabbed police dog is treated by vet, but dies. PURSUITS: No chase footage, just the arrest of an injured, rambling subject.
Even louder music. Different narrator (Fire Capt. Daryl C. Arbuthnott). Overly dark scenes of fires being extinguished include a hazardous material blaze. Hand burnt teen treated on-scene. Child smoke victim can't be revived. Body removed from house engulfed in flames before firemen arrived. Ladder rescue. Salvation Army building destroyed by fire.
Same narrator. Evacuations during brush fires. Techniques to battle such large-scale blazes include helicopters with 1200 gallon water tanks. Structure firefighting, both offensive and defensive. Challenges of hi-rise fires. Light pole transformer explosion during building fire."