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Cold Feet (1997)
Name me a better comedy-drama.
'At Home With The Braithwaites' was fantastic, but lacked the warmth; 'The Darling Buds of May' was lovely, but lacked the realism; 'Cold Feet' just had it all.....
Often compared to 'Friends' which I view as a two-dimensional, superficial string of only-occasionally-funny-but-more-so-puerile-gags aimed at the teenage market, 'Cold Feet' was so much more than this. Mike Bullen created and wrote with stunning ingenuity an intelligent, warm, funny, sad, tragic, weird-at-times-yet-deep-down realistic piece of quality comedy-drama. I have yet to see something of the same genre supersede or even match its standards of acting, writing and direction. Absolutely wonderful.
The Green Mile (1999)
The more times you watch this, the better it gets.
This is a film which starring Tom Hanks ought to be good. I was wrong. It's mindblowing; absolutely magnificent. There is not one aspect of the entire film that I can pick fault with. Frank Darabont is clearly an exemplar of cinematic masterpiece; the Shawshank Redemption was excellent, this is so good there aren't words to describe it. It has everything; drama- the stories in themselves are quite a dramatic backdrop; comedy-the pathos one could cut with a knife, the characters are constructed beautifully, evil is scorned, goodness is reinforced, and yet it doesn't come across as at all preachy. The tinges of sadness, are just that. Incredibly emotional but never corny, the sentimentality is exuded and the resulting catharsis electrifying. Michael Clarke Duncan is just amazing as John Coffey ("like the drink, only not spelt the same...."). The scenes where the satanic Percy 'forgets' to wet the sponge, and John can feel the executee's pain and he is writhing and jumping in horror so much so that 'Mr Jingles' the mouse leaps from his hands and shoots straight under the door is just awe inspiring. The special effects with the lights exploding, together with Michael Clarke Duncan's acting and the wonderful, apposite score just gels together so incredibly well. The entire ensemble cast were just magnificent. I've always liked Tom Hanks but this has to be his best role. He shows such versatility as an actor. The many different characters he's played in films such as 'Big', 'Philadelphia', 'Forrest Gump'(his second best role), 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'CastAway'- the latter film was not a brilliant one but with any other actor it would have been dire. He has the power to keep the film going by injecting his humour, warmth and damn humanity into the roles, all of them with differences, and lights up the screen. My favourite american film actor of all time, bar none. If you don't own 'The Green Mile' then I suggest that you go and buy it now!!! It's been out a while and it can be bought for less than 8 pounds in most shops now (I guess that's the equivalent of about 13 US Dollars) and for that you get not only a magnificent film of the highest calibre, but a couple of documentaries too. Well worth it!
PS: If you haven't read the book, it doesn't matter. I would recommend you do though as it's Stephen King's best in my opinion. Other good (they're all pretty good) Stephen King novels include, 'The Shining', 'It', 'Misery', and 'Carrie'.