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Prison Break (2005)
Best story ever told on TV
They rave about "Lost." It is far fetched, 100% reliant on long-shot coincidence and, after season 1, dragssss zzzzzzzzzz. I renamed it "Lost interest."
Conversely, "Prison Break" has me hanging on the edge of my seat, fists clenched with anticipation. I recently did a marathon and watched Season one on DVD (again). What a ride! It is unpredictable. Just because an actor's name is in the main credits, doesn't mean the character will remain in the show...
Every episode is written like a season final cliffhanger! Some of it may be a little far-fetched, some of it may be a little unrealistic, but it isn't so over top, you wind up rolling your eyes. The creators mentioned, in the DVD special features, that they have the show mapped out for 5 seasons!
I hope my health doesn't change and my body can continue to handle the suspense!
Tatort: Schweigegeld (1979)
Another mind bender from the country of intelligence...
This is another TV series I grew up watching on ZDF in Germany and Belgium. Haferkamp uses his brain to trap the bad guy. A couple of episodes of "Tatort" had action sequences and car chases, but it was mostly a battle of the minds between the perpetrator and Haferkamp. Felmy was by far the most popular actor to appear on "Tatort." The series fell in the ratings after he quit making episodes.
What would YOU do with your late father's secrets?
An Australian woman, working as a solicitor in the UK, receives news of her father's death in Sydney. His video will reveals his shady, underhanded dealings, as a former Premier of New South Wales, with Sydney and international organised crime syndicates and his illegal Swiss bank accounts.
Returning to Sydney to gather the pieces of her late father's life, she finds out his information is wanted by many high powered organisations worldwide as well as the Australian Federal Police!
Cleverly written, suspenseful, this was ratings success on European TV, but many Australians, I talk to, have, sadly, never heard of this mini-series. As a proud Sydneysider, I believe the city makes a wonderful backdrop for any movie.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Forget the rest...
Apologies to all proud Anglophiles, but I have never heard the English language sound so beautiful as during Freeman's narration in the last 20 minutes. Our language has to compete with beautiful languages like Italian, Spanish and French and Darabont's writing really "stepped up to the plate" here.
No clichéd romantic tragedy of unrequited love had to unfold (there was only ONE female speaking role!!!). Only a story of friendship, hope and inner strength was needed to bring tears to the eyes during the final narration.
Unlike many movies of the nineties, this movie gets its strength from fantastic characterisation, great pen-to-paper skills and Deakin's cinematography; words and pictures, not 200 gigabtyes of cyber-FX!
Despite my admiration of James Cameron, this movie beats "Titanic" as well as classics like "Casablanca," "African Queen," "Citizen Kane," "Gone with the Wind," and Hitchcock's "North by Northwest."
Hard Rain (1998)
Morgan Freeman as an armoured car robber?
Though Morgan Freeman is an absolute legend, I can't see him being the bad guy robber at the beginning. After his stellar performance in "The Shawshank Redemption," he has left himself too open to being seen by fans as a "nice guy." True, he did play a convict in that movie, but you never saw him commit the crime that landed him there. Therefore casting him as an armoured car robber didn't sit right with me.
Christian Slater did a "Michael J. Fox" (The Concierge/Secret of My Success) by copycatting his own performance in "Broken Arrow" (same screenplay writer...).
The ending is too abrupt, but, overall, I did enjoy the movie all the same. For action fans only...