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I've just finished watching all the episodes and I've not been so engrossed in a series since 24 (the original series) was on TV many years ago. In many respects it does remind me of 24.. 20 episodes spread over 20 days, many twists and turns, the main characters stumble from one wrong turn to another until the final denouement.
But that isn't its main appeal, I'd even go so far to say that it detracted slightly from the series as a whole. The absolute best part of this is just the sublime acting. The whole thing is about characters wrapped up in a mild cliffhanger plot, its how they react to each other and developments that really makes the difference from what we usually get on TV.
The filming is very good, and little touches abound in it - my favourite is still how Sarah Lund can breeze along with her eyes shut, yet Jan Meyer cannot follow behind her without stepping in something. That's a double act that Hollywood will never be able to match.
There are faults with it though. Unless the Danish police are really well funded I found forensics turning up at a snap of Sarah's fingers in the middle of the night to be somewhat unrealistic (they must have good overtime payments in Denmark), similarly a DNA sample would be tested and the results back in less than an hour, and its nearly always dark too - maybe they all sleep during the day. Either way, these are things you just live with as its a TV show and reality has to be strained.
In short - watch it, even with subtitles, you won't miss the developing characters and their reactions to their changing lives.
The Beiderbecke Affair (1985)
As some reviews have said "A jazz soundtrack paces this British series, adding more mystery to the lovers' quest for the truth" and "This outlandishly funny series weaves quirky characters, witty dialogue and a wonderfully smooth, jazz soundtrack into a uniquely satisfying, entertainment experience."
Well, that's not how I'd describe it.. The jazz soundtrack is fabulous, Bix Beiderbecke tracks blast through the slow bits in between the meat of the show, making this a truly immersive, grab-you-by-the-ears and drag-you-along series.
Oh yeah, the dialog, plot, setting are all excellent too - if you haven't seen it, it's worth the 9.3 rating at time of writing this!
Split Second (1992)
A cult classic buddy movie. With bigger guns
another poster commented that this is not an intentionally funny film (as the original script was going to be serious). Well so what! Who cares what the original script was going to be - we only care what the film actually turned out to be.
As it happens, I think it starts off serious - serial killer on the loose, bad ass cop goes after it. but about half way through, and you can almost see the cut, it changes its mind.
The film is a buddy movie, bad ass cop gets partnered with accountant cop, and they end up living happily ever after. This film has a slightly different take on the 'buddyness' by bringing the accountant-cop up the level of Rutger, outdoing him in many places even. Its worth watching the film just for the scenes in the armoury.
Don't expect anything from this, you should know what to expect (guns, explosions, yada yada yada), but in a way that makes it a cult classic.
Get Carter (2000)
I suppose not many people would appreciate the direction on this film, but I found it to have a lot of little touches that, combined with the excellent story, made this film really good.
The car chase was different, no boring old drive around town fast, these guys drove like rally drivers (you don't see that in movies); the cuts where the director gets more in a scene without making it long and boring (eg, when he walks up the stairs - you see him come in the door, put his gloves on, then it skips to him halfway up the stairs, then again at the top). You got all you would want without the scene being artificially altered for the movie, yet without taking up too much time.
Excellent film, well worth seeing.
Twin Town (1997)
Good film, but bad ending
It is a good film, worth seeing I guess, but it was let down by the poor ending. It has the feel of an ending that was cut down to fit a set length to the film. Also, the ending was a bit immature - gratuitous violence was introduced which compares very badly with the humorous violence shown earlier.
Such a shame, could have been a brilliant film otherwise.