At first rather annoying in its heavy emphasis on reenactments, this movie ultimately proves fascinating, simply because the complicated, highly dramatic tale it tells still almost defies belief.
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It's funny, it's tense, it features two great performances from two actors and the director expertly creates a web of odd tension where you actually don't know what is happening for the majority of the run time.
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The tone of this movie is interesting -- the stakes are both dramatic and high, but it's balanced with a lot of fun, tongue and cheek dialogue.
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I remember watching the last few series of Minder in the 90's as they came out. I really enjoyed them and so I've been stocking up on the early episodes that are repeated on a regular basis on sky.Here we have wheeler dealer Arthur Daley played by the great Veteran actor George Cole and his diminutive Minder played Dennis Waterman. The show was started with the idea of it being more about Waterman's character and Arthur daley would be more secondary.... Yeah like that was ever going to happen! A bit like racing a bullet train on a bicycle and then being surprised with the outcome.George Cole makes the show for me,his portrayal of Arthur is superb. The facial expressions the "Mockney" he uses and the spot on timing are brilliant. Waterman was good but he was never going to hold his ground or steal George Cole's thunder here, ironically Waterman was the one boxing out of his weight.Arthur Daley is several rungs up the ladder from "Del boy" in only fools and horses. He owns properties, has a car lot, drives a nice Jag or Daimler and has a minder. This said, on his manner he was still only thought of as small time. He didn't discriminate at all,he was quite happy to do business with anyone just as long as there was a "nice little earner" in it.I sometimes felt like the Terry McCann character was selectively stupid for the most part. He was clever enough to save the day or come to the rescue when one of Arthurs grubby deals back fired, but time and time again he was always stupid enough to get involved in the first place. It was clear that producers or writers still thought Waterman was the star because in a huge amount of episodes women just want to jump into bed with him at the drop of a hat! (yeah right) Also his hard man image strains the boundaries at times. Perhaps these plot holes were added to boost Waterman's inflated ego??? Also his appearance makes him the least convincing ex-boxer in the entire world.Lots of great secondary characters make each episode worth watching even if your not keen on Arthurs latest deal. Notable performances from Glyn Edwards as long suffering Dave, owner or part owner of the Wincherster club. Not only does he have to put up with Arthurs bar bill slate being longer than the great wall of China,he is often sucked into his dodgy deals as well. Patrick Malahide as DS Chisholm who can never quite nail Daley for anything and has probably ruined his career trying.The early episodes are the ones to go for but don't look to harshly on the later 90's episodes there are still some gems to be had,even if it was just more about comic situations,such as Arthur having to spend the night in a scruffy old canal boat or being trapped in his own lock-up. Enjoy!
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I have just watched an episode "second time around" with two old stalwart character actors in support, Beryl Reid and Bill Maynard. I certainly laughed at the one liners and recognisable scenes from my early life, although more sixties than eighties.However, my real live tells me that there are real victims left in the wake of the Arthur's and Terry's. Certainly the Alcoholics and also the runners and lackeys, many of whom are not as sharp as the Terry McGann character.Then there are the real "'er indoors-es" - feeding the kids on baked beans again when the deal doesn't go through. The trail of broken relationships, that are usually just off camera, etc.,etc..Then there is the colour blindness, of London being multi cultural but that not showing through.But did I enjoy it, even whilst feeling sorry for all the mug punters who got ripped off? Yes, I am ashamed to say I did!
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George Cole and Dennis Waterman team up in an ITV classic. The show combines subtle humour with genuinely entertaining scripts and a whole host of brilliant supporting characters. The show lets stories develop over an hour rather than rushing through them and puts today's so-called comedy dramas in the shade. The early episodes were more serious and hard-edged, but the comedy was apparent even then. As the show progressed Cole took over as the centre of attention, playing cockney geezer Arthur Daley, a TV masterpiece. Waterman's easy going style made for a great double act. Barman Dave is another great character, his members only Winchester pub being the local haunt of all the low level crooks on the manor! The language used in Minder is very funny at times, I love the Cockney slang they use, like 'er indoors' for wife, and 'sobs' for pounds! Of course Cole is the star of Minder, his trademark brown overcoat and trilby hat always raising a smile even before he's made one of his dodgy promises! The show coped very well with Waterman's departure at the end of the 80s, the new chap brought in to replace him fitting in well. ITV nowadays consists mainly of cheap and tacky gameshows and reality programmes, all of them terrible. Minder was an original and in many ways unique show. It should appeal to fans of the Sweeney and those who enjoyed Only Fools and Horses. Minder is actually better than Only Fools, not getting mired down in sentimentality. It's a shame no terrestrial station will repeat it, it'd thrash most of today's programmes.
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Probably the best comedy/drama to ever come from ITV. Arthur Daley is an entrepreneur. If he can make money, Arthur's interested. Except that he's also the king of dodgy deals, which calls for him to have a bodyguard or a minder. His minder is Terry McCann. He's just out of prison and needs the work. The relationship between Terry and Arthur is sometimes strained to its limit, but they're loyal to eachother. They're forever trying to dodge the law, and always succeed.George Cole (Arthur) and Dennis Waterman (Terry) made the charcters and I can't imagine anyone else playing them so well. George Cole is an extremely experienced actor, as is Dennis Waterman and this shows throughout each episode. Just little things like raised eyebrows or a quick cheeky grin, give a whole new perspective to the programme. In all Arthur Daley is the man we love to distrust.