27 February 2008 | Michael_Elliott
Bronx is Burning, The (Pt. 1) *** 1/2 (out of 4) The first part in this eight part mini-series gets off to a good start as we see George Steinbrenner (Oliver Platt) hiring Billy Martin (John Turturro) only to see the two start fighting over Reggie Jackson being brought in. Also brought up in this episode is the Son of Sam killings starting. I'll hold most of my comments until the mini-series is over but Turturro seems to be excellent as Martin but Platt isn't impressing me too much as the big guy. The supporting players seem to be fitting their roles just fine so we shall see how the series moves along.
Bronx is Burning, The (Pt. 2) *** 1/2 (out of 4) George Steinbrenner (Oliver Platt) and Billy Martin (John Turturro) come to an understanding days after Martin is fired but this doesn't stop Martin's hatred for Reggie Jackson. Also, the Son of Sam killer is now taunting the police with notes saying he's going to kill more. This second part (of eight) really picks up steam with Turturro becoming terrific as the legendary Martin. I've noticed that Platt plays the part a lot better during the quiet scenes but whenever he tries to be the "Big Boss" he gets a bit campy. The stuff in the locker room between Jackson and his teammates is also very well done. Again, I'll post more when the mini-series is over.
Bronx is Burning, The (Pt. 3) **** (out of 4) Things heat up when Billy Martin (John Turturro) pulls Reggie Jackson out of a game in Boston on live television. This leads to Steinbrenner (Oliver Platt) traveling to Detroit to fire Martin. Back in NYC, Son of Sam kills two more people. This part is certainly the best so far with a lot of drama and the notorious event of Martin pulling Jackson makes for some great entertainment. There's also one nicely suspenseful scene dealing with Son of Sam. What's really standing out about this mini-series is the performance of Turturro who is turning in the best work of his career as the troubled Martin. His breakdown towards the end of this episode was really, really heartbreaking.
Bronx is Burning, The (Pt. 4) *** (out of 4) Steinbrenner (Oliver Platt) promises Billy Martin (John Turturro) he won't fire him, the first anniversary of the Son of Sam killing approaches and NYC is hit with a blackout in this fourth part of the mini-series. This was the weakest of the four parts so far but the acting is still top-notch but none of the three main parts are really hammered home like in the previous parts.
Bronx is Burning, The (Pt. 5) *** 1/2 (out of 4) A terrorist plot hits NYC as record high temperatures do as well. The Son of Sam killer is finally caught as the Yankees take over first place after Martin bats Jackson clean-up. After the good but weakest segment last week, this weeks episode picks back up with a great reenactment of the capture of Sam and the Miller beer commercial with Steinbrenner and Martin is still funny.
Bronx is Burning, The (Pt. 6) *** (out of 4) The Son of Sam killer is trying to make money off his killings while the Yankees finally beat out Boston for the Eastern Division but things start to unravel against Kansas City. This is yet another good episode but I was expecting so much more since we've been building up to the playoffs. There's really nothing too overly important that stands out here except for a great scene where Steinbrenner watches one of the playoff games with a group of college kids in their dorm. This scene is also the best Oliver Platt has been as The Boss.
Bronx is Burning, The (Pt. 7) *** 1/2 (out of 4) The next to last episode has the Yankees in the World series against the Dodgers but Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin must come to some sort of understanding while Steinbrenner wants to offer Martin an extension. This episode picks up a lot more of the baseball action and I'm glad to see that this episode goes into more details about what was going on in the dugout. Each game is given plenty of time for us to see all the action and see how the characters were going through it.
Bronx is Burning, The (Pt. 8) *** 1/2 (out of 4) Final episode has the Yankees entering Game 6 and trying to clinch it while a report in Time magazine has Jackson saying he won't return to the team if Martin is still coaching. Before the game Steinbrenner gives Martin a two year contract while Jackson goes out and hits three home runs. This final episode picks up a lot more steam and caps off the series very nicely, although I wish they would have used more new footage instead of all the real life clips. It would have been nice to see more of the reactions after the game but the episode is still quite strong.