“Have you got another Siege to go to?”
The last few years we have had a summer film outing of all sorts of British TV comedy icons. The Inbetweeners made a rather successful (even if it didn’t match the actual series) splash at the box office, and it was only last year we got the Nation’s pride and joy Keith Lemon get to take to the big screen in a sophisticated and wondrous fairytale comedy of rags to riches… wait… hang on? Let’s forget about Lemon shall we? So… the year is 2013… And this is the year that the Partridge takes flight into the silver screen. As you can imagine Steve Coogan delivers 100% in the titular role of Alan Partridge as he was clearly born to be bound to the spirit of the Norfolk simpleton and no matter what film or television role he takes on you look into his eyes and Alan stares back at you. It goes without saying, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa was textbook Alan.
The World’s End has been on my “I cannot wait for this film to come out it’s going to be so fucking awesome” list for something like 6 years now… basically since Hot Fuzz was released and the world got their second taste of how awesome a team Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg really are. This, the final instalment of the ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ it has to be said… Broke my heart. No! It wasn’t sad, it didn’t get me in the emotions, it broke my heart because Wright and Pegg had the opportunity to make one of the best trilogies around and they failed their swan-song. I’m sorry, but The World’s End wasn’t on the same playing field as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz which in their own rights are possibly two of the funniest films of the last 20 years. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it is a bad film, on the contrary it is a bloody brilliant celebration of the trilogy as well as good old British humour, it unfortunately just fell short in the brilliance department.
“I’d be pretty bummed if I didn’t at least get a bite of the Milky Way”
This is the End is the biggest Hollywood summer comedy this year that not only holds your attention until the very end but is also full of laughs and re-watchable value. If I was going to be hyper critical of the star-studded apocalyptic romp I would say it didn’t use its strength to their maximum potential as well as feeling a little rushed towards the end (almost, but not entirely falling into the comedy film curse of a serious last quarter that has ruined a lot of potentially great features in modern cinema when a comedy film decides to take itself, and its characters far too seriously in the closing stages). It’s certainly a film that has ambition from the start and that ambition is matched by a great cast as well as laugh-out-loud moments throughout.
“I use that card for coffee and gas”
Whenever I see Jason Bateman I always think he seems like such a nice guy who really does have the ability to pull films like this off… if there was a decent enough script behind it. Shamefully this film has sold its box office tickets through the trailer pumping names of recent good films in the faces of the audience to make this effectively a honeytrap of a film. I find it hard to believe a script was written (and if it was it seems like Seth Gordon chose to overrule it) for Melissa McCarthy’s character of Identity Thief Diana as every scene she is in seems dependent on her performing some kind of improv character of ‘obese funny woman’ but in the end these scenes seem more worthy of appearing on some sort of blooper roll on the DVD extra.
“Your skin makes me cry”
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone was a film I had been looking forward to since I first heard about it a few months ago and combined with my new found love for Carell’s work since last year when I went on a rampage and watched every film he has been in it was fair to say I was probably expecting too much from this. When I had read about this film and the cast, most notably Jim Carey’s addition, it was like two titans reuniting after their chaotic caper in Bruce Almighty even if Carell’s role was minor he was memorable. This time the roles are reversed with Carey playing understudy in Burt Wonderstone. In the end this film of course did not live up to my expectations and I think I have some idea as to where things went wrong in a film that probably could have been a lot funnier.
“I shop so much at Asda that I’m sponsored by George.”
This evening, in the midst of a terrible rut of boredom after destroying any moral and happiness I had from the day by playing (I say ‘playing’, clearly my skills aren’t up to much) Pro Evolution Soccer Online and continuously being whipped into shape by ugly football rather than the beautiful game that I play that sees fluent passing up field that always deserves but never gets a goal, I discovered a new three-piece comedy band who go by the name The Midnight Beast. There I was, just scrolling down the various YouTube pages when a Harlem Shake pisstake jumps out at me, immediately I thought these guys have ‘something’… I still wasn’t sure at this point what that ‘something’ was but I kind of liked it. Anyway, I continued to their channel and watched a few more of their music videos and there is a clear likeness to American comedy group The Lonely Island in both musical style and humour. On top of this the lead singer’s voice reminded me of a band I liked a few years ago, this was extra sweet when I discovered Midnight Beast lead singer Stefan Abingdon was the very same Stefan Abingdon who fronted indie rock-rap trio The Clik Clik a few years back… He does have a very distinctive voice.
“When I first saw her beaver… ing away… ey? Yeah?”
Hyped as the ‘funniest British film of the year’, sporting a what-looks-like a great all-round British cast (judging from the trailer) and written by Dan Mazer who had a hand in Sacha Baron Cohen hits Borat, Brüno and the Ali G francise; I Give It A Year seemed like a must-see box office smash ready to wipe the floor with previous Brit rom-coms such as Bridget Jones, Love Actually and Notting Hill, unfortunately, the film lacked the likability factor and thus went downhill from there onwards. I liked Rose Byrne about 3 years ago when she played Aldous Snow’s on and off lover Jackie Q in the hilarious Get Him To The Greek but since then she has become so overexposed, appearing in what seems like dozens of films (but probably isn’t) that she is becoming much like a what once was juicy apple left to rot and dried out in the most undignified way in the harsh sunlight of tropical summer, in this film this is evident and becomes a strain to watch her plod through each scene. To sum it up, much like my quote picked from Merchant’s wedding speech the film finds itself more funny than the audience (the ones with taste) do.