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If I go to prison I want it to be this one!
Prison Break - The Complete Season 1 (DVD)
Member Name: funagogo
Prison Break - The Complete Season 1 (DVD)
Advantages: Clever story, brilliant characters
Disadvantages: Not knowing when to quit when they were ahead - series 2 and 3 are average
990 minutes! (Approx)
Audio commentaries from the writers, director and cast
'Making A Scene' featurette
'Making Prison Break' featurette
'If These Walls Could Speak: Profile Of The Joliet Correctional Center' featurette
'Beyond The Walls' featurette
Lincoln Burrows has been falsely accused of killing Terence Steadman - the brother of America's vice president. He is sentenced to death and sent to Fox River Prison to see out his days. Convinced of his brother innocence Michael Schofield (they have different surnames because one took the mum's name the other the dad's) commits armed robbery and gets sent to the same Prison.
An act of stupidity I hear you say. Oh no! Schofield, who is a structural engineer, has had the plans to the Prison and has had a tattoo of them (in the form of a gothic drawing) over his entire torso and down to his wrists! As you do. Every detail has been accounted for he just has to get them both out before the execution day.
Whilst this is going on on the inside, arguably the more interesting stuff is going on outside. A childhood friend of the brothers is trying to get Lincoln off as he protests that he didn't do it. She begins to discover a series of events - including one that the body buried wasn't that of the supposed murdered man. The CIA under the order of the vice president are sent to stop her uncovering he truth, even going to the length of murdering the mother and stepfather of Burrow's son LJ.
Michael Schofield (Wentworth Miller) - In an attempt to save his brothers life from death row (for a crime he didn't commit - no really, he didn't) Schofield commits an armed robbery to get himself sent to prison. This sounds like an act of sheer madness until you realise he has the plans of the prison tattooed across his torso. Now all he must do is assemble a motley crew to aide his and his brothers escape.
Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) - Was accused of killing the vice Presidents brother due to some falsified evidence and sentenced to death. He was forced to give up his dreams as a teen, when his mother died in order to raise his brother Michael.
Dr Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callis) - The Prison's doctor who (understandably) fancies Schofield.
Sucre (Amauray Nolasco) - Schofields Cell mate - inside for stealing in order to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring. Needs to escape as she is pregnant and his cousin is making a move on her.
C-Note (Rockmund Dunbar) - Is a former soldier who was sent back from Iraq after being set up for bringing in dodgy goods. His family still think he is in Iraq.
T-Bag (Robert Knepper) - A real nasty piece of work - is the result of his uncle/dad raping his mum. Is in jail for kidnapping, rape and murder of men, women and children and Blackmails his way into the gang - but strangely I fancy him like mad! Don't know what that says about me.
Abruzzi (Peter Stormare) - Is a Chicago mob boss who is in jail for murder. Promises a plane nearby if he is involved in the escape. Has violent tendencies and isn't afraid to do the odd toe amputation to get his own way.
Charles Westmoreland (Muse Watson) - An old timer who is rumoured to have a secret stash of money from a famed $5million robbery. Has to get out to see his daughter who is dying of cancer.
Veronica Donovan (Robin Tunney) - A childhood friend of Schofield and an ex girlfriend of of Burrows. Is a lawyer who goes on the trail of evidence to get Burrows cleared
LJ Burrows (Marshall Allman) - Burrow's son who has had very little to do with his father. Has to go on the run with Veronica after his Mother & Stepfather are murdered and he is framed for it.
3. Cell Test
4. Cute Poison
5. English, Fitz Or Percy
6. Riots, Drills And The Devil
7. Behind The Walls
8. The Old Head
10. Sleight Of Hand
11. And Then There Were 7
12. Odd Man Out
13. End Of The Tunnel
14. The Rat
15. By The Skin And The Teeth
16. Brother's Keeper
19. The Key
When this programme was launched I couldn't open a magazine, go past a billboard or listen to a radio without Prison Break being mentioned. But there was one thing that put me off- it was on Channel 5 - purveyors of such classics as naked jungle, touch the truck and late night porn - so I didn't really think anymore about it! But then all my friends started telling me I HAD to watch it or be ostracised from talking to them. I picked it up about 10 episodes in an instantly was hooked (hence having to buy the DVD boxset to see the first few episodes.)
Although I think this is cleverly written I can't help but laugh sometimes at Michael Schofield's broody, squintiness and overly complex dialogue (Dawson's Creek anyone ?) The characters are all brilliantly rounded and have genuine reasons to want to escape - other than the fact they don't want to be in Prison anymore. The back stories are full and even though these characters aren't meant to be likeable you can identify with most of them
Even though there is a lack of female roles here, the two women in the show are strong, intelligent professionals who also happen to be impossibly good looking and fresh in every crisis.
The detail of this prgramme is amazing - down to every bolt, screw, drain and second. It really is an incredibly complex programme and deserves all the credit it gets - anyone that says American TV is dmbing down needs to have a look at this.
It is gory and graphic at times, but this is a story involving some very nasty people - and by the end of the series at least 2 characters are missing limbs so if you are squeamish watch from behind a cushion.
The only annoying thing about this is that whenever there is an ad break on the tv it has a running shot through the prison - which could easily have been edited out as it breaks the story up every 10-15 minutes.
The DVD extras are ok - the making of featurette and the look around the actual prison are interesting but the rest are just standard features. Only some episodes have audio commentary and if I'm being honest the highlight was the in depth documentary on the tattoo - its origins, its design, the process of putting it on etc etc.
I do have to warn you if you buy this don't start watching it after about 8pm. You will be up all night watching it - I would suggest a Sunday in bed to get through the 16 hours of episodes! I don't want to give too much away but this show is now in series 3 so don't expect everything to be nicely tied up at the end of this boxset - and don't expect everyone to make it to the end - including some of the main characters!!
Summary: The original and best!
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