August 5, 1983
THE STAR CHAMBER is the most grown up thriller I’ve come across in this 1983 retrospective so far. You can tell because it stars Michael Douglas. As a judge. It’s a crime/vigilante movie with a message about the flaws of the justice system and the temptation to take short cuts toward justice. Kinda like MAGNUM FORCE without the badass shit, but still good. Peter Hyams (between OUTLAND and 2010: THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT) directs the shit out of it, and is credited as co-writer with Roderick Taylor (a recording artist turned rookie screenwriter who explored related themes many years later in THE BRAVE ONE).
It takes place in L.A., with a great L.A. atmosphere. It opens around 6 am one sunny morning when two undercover cops decide to follow a suspicious pedestrian, who notices them and takes off running. They see him ditch something in his garbage can as he runs into his house, and are aware they can’t search it without a warrant, but decide to wait until a garbage man dumps it in his truck, and then search the truck. (read the rest of this shit…)