Category Archives: Comedy

Career Girls (1997)

Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: Katrin Cartlidge, Lunda Steadman, Mark Nenton, Andy Serkis. UK. 1h 23m

I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to spend time with Mike Leigh, sometime in the late 80’s early 90’s, is he this hyper thinking character he often portrays in his films, in this case the energetic Hannah (Cartlidge) who, in this femine tour de force is a lady version of Johnny Fletcher (David Thewlis) from Naked, at least with her quick wit and attitude, she’s no much of an awkward asshole.. thankfully!

4 years after Naked (1993) Leigh returns with a less traumatic but equally charming insight into the friendship between Hannah and Annie (Steadman), once best friends at university, the two awkward characters shared their adventures and possibly even a boyfriend at one time.. Annie’s psoriasis held her back. But after a rough start Hannah begins to see the real charm and quality of the girl and their union is one of strength and genuine caring for eachother. The third wheel, Clare (Byers), the original roommate to Hannah is shoon shafted from the apartment for her abrasive nature and the girls move in Ricky (Benton) a husky austic guy who has the hots for Annie, Mark Benton’s portrayal of autism for the time was really outstanding, there’s a lot more understanding of the condition and yet the character, while not entirely accurate as being autism really highlights a person with a mix of mental conditions that we recognize without putting a finger on it.

Continue reading Career Girls (1997)

Mindhorn (2016)

Director: Sean Foley
Starring: Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davis, Steve Coogan, Richard Cabe, Andrea Riseborough, Russell Tovey, David Schofield, Harriet Walter, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner. UK. 1h 29m

When your indie retro styled Brit Flick has major stars like Andrea Riseborough, Kenneth Brannagh and Simon Callow playing minor little cameos then you’d assume you’ve hit the big time or at least have an idea so crazy it might just work!? Mindhorn is a triumph of British comedy, starring Julian Barratt, who’s made us all laugh in comedy shows like The Mighty Boosh but has also astounded fans in solid trippy dramas like A Field In England, but let’s face it, if you don’t laugh at he antics in the Ben Wheatly classic then you’d end up in an asylum. But in this ridiocusly production he takes the lead and delivers an outstanding performance as a dated washed up actor who is called in by Isle of White police to help them fight a devious criminal.

It’s the truth time!

There has always been a strong comedy troupe, about that one guy who won’t let go of the past, He’s the chap in the corner of the pub, talking about his old band and possibility of being a Rockstar, but he just missed a great opportunity, all of this is maximised in Mindhorn. Julian Barrat plays the role of a hasbeen actor, who once had the role of a lifetime the lead in a hit TV show where he is a blend of 6 million dollar man and James bond, but today he’s washed up, he can’t get a role, drinks too much, no one takes him seriously and he still wears his retro 70’s clothing and a ridiculous mishmashed toupe.

“This isn’t the Bronx, this is the Isle of Man!”

Mindhorn is totally pathetic but he truly believes in himself as his tv character and with the chance to live that lifestyle again he jumps at the opportunity but fails miserably at every hurdle, the man can’t even make a phone call without wrecking the room. As a blend of Mr Magoo and Inspector Clouseau  he’s a tornado of antics but at least he’s hysterically funny for the audience otherwise this would be jarring. Any hero who wakes up part naked on a police officer’s desk, half naked and high on pills having to explain drawing a pair of tits on someone’s land rover, is worth a few minutes of your attention, am i right?

If you’re a fan of the Boosh and subversive British humour then this can’t be missed, let your hair down and don’t take life too seriously, alongside the cast and have a super funny night even is Barret does wear black face for part of the film, i doubt anyone will be triggered due to the circumstances.

TLDR:

Rating: 5/10

Related: Hot Rod (2007), Black Dynamite (2009)

Lists: Modern British Comedies

Spotlight:Julian Barratt, Andrea Riseborough, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner.

Trailer

Playing Away (1986)

Director: Horaces Ove Starring: Norman Beaton, Nicholas Farrell, Brian Bovell, Ross Kemp, Gary Beadle, Trevor Thomas, Ram John Holder,Bruce Purchase, Joseph Marcell, Patrick Holt, Neil Morrissey. UK. 1h 40m

The beautiful game of cricket is the focus of a witty tale that highlights the ridiculous nature of racism and plesantary of just getting along and being a good person or at least a sports person. Somewhere in Ove’s little hidden gem of a movie, there’s a nod to the empowerment of being a team player, noting how the games give the population a sense of becoming a better person.

Continue reading Playing Away (1986)

Here Comes Hell (2019)

Director: Jack McHenry
Starring: Tom Bailey, Maureen Bennett, Alfred Bradle, Robert Llewellyn, Timothy Renouf, Charlie Robb, Jessica Webber. UK. 1h 20m

Genre bending comedy horror doesn’t get much better than this frightful mini epic. Here Comes Hell, sees a small group of gorgeous 1930’s socialites hooking up to see one of their friends’ new purchases, which just happens to be a charming haunted mansion located deep in the British wilderness. The party includes a seance as getting a psychic grandma in on your party is thought to be terribly fun.

Continue reading Here Comes Hell (2019)

Howling III (1987)

Director: Phillipe Mora
Starring: Barry Otto, Max Fairchild, Imogen Annesley, Frank Thring, Michael Pate, Burnham Burnham, Barry Humphries. Australia . 1h 38m

Easily the most Australian of the Howling franchise and possibly the most Australian movie ever. If you’re a fan of the 80’s Australian Horror genre then you might just have a soft spot for this turd instalment in an iconic werewolf series. In saying that, if that’s not your into garish lit scenes, vulgar humor, vile body horror and ransom nun, commandos and Aboriginal spiritual warriors popping in at random points then this might be hard to get into. I do wholeheartedly agree that it’s not a brilliant made movie, it doesn’t really make sense, and is more comedy than horror, but is Howling 3 really that bad? A film so bad it didn’t even get a cinematic release in its home country?

Continue reading Howling III (1987)

Koirat eivät käytä housuja / Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019)

Director: J P Valkeapää Starring: Pekka Strang, Ester Geislerova .Finland. 1h 45m

Sometimes those big life events can shake a person from one life into another, after moving through a period of massive grief and shock, J P Valkeapää’s lead Juha (Strang) finds himself in some sort of sado sexual purgatory, a surreal life path, which happens to become fantastically gripping in this somewhat violent dark comedy.

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants is one of the ultimate sad stories. It begins after the lowest part of Juha’s life, his soulmate had died after a tragic drowning accident. Struggling on with his crippling grief he does his best to look after his teenage daughter and keeps his head down at work. There are hints that Juha is already a bit of a perv, no idea what life was like before, we can only assume his creative adaptation of self gratification is new as he tries to find some kind of satisfaction alone.

Continue reading Koirat eivät käytä housuja / Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019)

Bait (2019)

Director: Mark Jenkin
Starring: Edward Rowe, Giels King, Chloe Endean, Simon Shepherd .UK. 1h 29m

You’ve probably heard about this being the best film of the decade, of 2019, the most arresting modern movie ever made, a total game changer and a host of other praises, along with a list of wins and nominations in various film festivals but what’s all the craic about? Simply put it’s a movie about the gentrification of a seaside town filmed by a vintage hand-cranked Bolex camera using 16mm monochromatic hand processed film. This labor of love is a total game changer in the aesthetic of this blistering movie. Continue reading Bait (2019)

Pusher (1999)

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Kim Bodnia, Zlatko Burić, Laura Drasbæk, Slavko Labović, Mads Mikkelsen .Denmark. 1h 45m

Debuts don’t often hit as hard as this ruthless epic from director Nicolas Winding Refn. as he kicks his cast into a twisting crime story that leaves them free falling without a net. Somewhere in the dank backstreets and hidden rooms behind the pretty façade of Copenhagen a vibrant underworld of dangerous characters are revealed as Frank has the worst run of bad luck I’ve ever seen, there really isn’t a dull moment in Pusher, so hold on to your seat while you watch the first of an incredibly raw and compelling trilogy.

Continue reading Pusher (1999)

Deep Dark (2015)

Director: Michael Medaglia
Starring: Sean McGrath, Anne Sorce, Denise Poirier .USA. 1h 19m

I’m starting to get a feel for Uncork’d Entertainment, they champion the lower budget productions but there is a certain je ne sai qoui, a little element of the risque within each of them, the first one that caught my eye was the romp in the woods with a oily pagan deity in Clawed it was labored at times but provided an interesting viewpoint, the last gem was Dead by Dawn (2020) set in a holiday home in the wilderness, but with a very different cabin siege feel about it, however not as many axe wielding psycho’s as the cover may have suggest, it remains an original story blended with some talent however the effects budget was really spared, but I found a lot of charm in the vicious cabin in the woods thriller. But each movie seems to have an edge of brilliance but without a lavish budget to back it, however they remain really watchable and I’m thrilled to see the numbers growing. Continue reading Deep Dark (2015)

The Landlord (1970)

Director: Hal Ashby.
Starring. Beau Bridges, Diana Sands, Pearl Bailey, Walker Brooke, Lee Grant, Louis Gossett Jr. Marki Bey USA. 1h 52m.

When a director makes his debut there’s a strong possibility that they are aiming to make the biggest impact of their career and I believe Hal Ashby did just that with his cultural clash comedy drama that insists that we all look within and think without prejudice as we grow as people, which is what happens to his privileged and naive lead, Elgar (Bridges) as he “runs away” from and attempts to become a landlord. Continue reading The Landlord (1970)