Tag Archives: Comedy

Attack The Block

8 Sep


Attack The Block is the 2011 directorial debut from England’s Joe Cornish. In South London, a gang of seemingly no-good teenagers are forced to defend their block from an alien invasion, requiring the help of a woman they had mugged earlier in the night.

I would normally say that being predictable, clichéd and refusing to stray from genre conventions are all things to criticise a film for. Strangely though, these can all be said of Attack The Block, yet I found them to actually be strengths, rather than weaknesses. I knew within five minutes who the hero would be and the type of journey they were going to take. What Joe Cornish manages to do as a writer though is work in plenty of in-jokes and tongue-in-cheek nods to familiar plot devices that made me smile plenty of times. Continue reading


Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

11 Aug


When North Norfolk Digital, the radio station that employs Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) is taken over by a company called Gordale Media and rebranded as Shape, Alan manages to keep his job at the expense of fellow middle aged DJ Pat Farrel (Colin Meaney). Pat doesn’t handle it so well, and takes the staff at Shape hostage. Alan becomes the contact point between the police and Pat, and as the situation attracts the attention of the media, Alan senses the chance to become a real star.

I decided a while ago that I wasn’t going to review Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, as I was worried that I would be too biased. I have long been a fan of the character; I’ve watched the two series of I’m Alan Partridge more times than I care to think about, as well as the various other shows he has appeared in. The shows are endlessly quotable, and the trailer gave me high hopes that the movie would be the same. Continue reading

The Heat

9 Aug


Stick-in-the-mud FBI agent Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) and unconventional street cop Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) get paired together to take down a drug lord, in a slightly different take on the buddy cop format.

I hadn’t been quite sure what to expect from The Heat. All I have seen of Melissa McCarthy’s previous work is her extremely funny cameo in This Is 40 and her dismal role in one of 2013’s comedy lowlights Identity Thief. Those who have seen more of her work assure me she is talented. The trailers looked fairly amusing but also painted a picture of a generic and predictable comedy. As expectation setting goes that is impressive, because fairly amusing and generic and predictable are the perfect lines to sum up this film (though that rather suggests I may have peaked too early with this review). Continue reading

The Kid

13 Jul


Before I start my review of Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 film The Kid, I feel it’s worth telling you the story of how I came to watch it. Any readers of the excellent At The Back Films blog, or followers of our respective Twitter feeds, may by now have noticed that Tom, the owner of that blog, and I are colleagues and friends. We have been so for a year, and in that time we have regularly discussed films (and his envy-inspiring beard, but that’s not really why we’re here). We often recommend and lend each other movies, and we have a decent success rate in picking out what the other may enjoy. Now, one of the things I have learned about Tom in the last 12 months is that he is an extremely polite, placid and all round nice guy.

Got that? Right, well imagine my surprise then when, upon arriving at work one day, Tom bounded over to me and with a look of uncharacteristic, and frankly quite intimating aggression in his well groomed face, blurted out “I’m going to lend you a film” with such force I nearly fell out my chair. Once I had regained my composure and assured everybody else there was nothing to worry about (including consoling one girl who was so frightened she burst into tears*), I asked him what film he would be entrusting me with. Tom explained it was The Kid, as made by one of his film heroes, Mr. Chaplin and he made it clear that our continuing friendship would more than likely depend on my enjoyment of this movie. Shaking slightly, I accepted the DVD off him, hoping that I would like it so as not to feel forced to say nice things like “Well, I know where you’re coming from, but…” when discussing it with Tom. Despite the fearsome nature in which this movie was given to me, I did very much welcome the chance to further widen my film-watching horizons. Continue reading

This Is The End

1 Jul


When comedy movie stars, pop singers and many other celebrities attend a house party at James Franco’s new house, they end up getting an experience none of them could have expected. For, whilst they drink and dance and take drugs, the world starts falling to pieces. It has all the signs of the apocalypse; will the stars survive or is this the end for them? Continue reading

The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad!

30 Jun


When Queen Elizabeth II visits America and attends a baseball game, Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban) hatches a plan to assassinate her, involving an unknowing baseball player. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielson) discovers the plan, and The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad! follows his attempts to foil it.

The Naked Gun is directed and written by the same guys who brought us Airplane!, which is one of my very favourite comedy films of all time. I also have a soft spot for another film of theirs that is in much the same vein, Top Secret!. When struggling for something to watch my friend suggested this movie, and realising those facts I jumped at the chance to watch it. Continue reading

A Haunted House

27 Jun


You may have heard of A Haunted House. If you have, I will assume the impression that you have been given is that this is a terrible film. If, however, you’ve heard from a friend that this is in anyway a decent comedy, then make sure whoever said that is no longer your friend. If it they’ve recommended it to you, they probably hate you.

I’ll show you my hand early with this one; this is a god-awful film. What I’m going to do over the course of this review is slate it. I will repeatedly state how bad it is. However, I offer you this guarantee – I will not be able to do justice to how unspeakably pathetic it is. Continue reading

Identity Thief

3 Apr


Identity Thief, right, is a film about…well…an identity thief. It is a comedy, or so it would have you believe. The film revolves around Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman), a businessman who is sickeningly happy with his nice house, lovely wife and perfect kids.

Oh HEY! Before I go on, have you noticed that Sandy is, like, a bit of a girls’ name? Haha. I mean, it’s unisex, but it’s so girly! HA! If you were writing a film and you had a boy character with a girls’ name, and you had absolutely no imagination at all, you’d have to milk that joke, wouldn’t you? Unfortunately, that’s what writers Craig Mazin and Jerry Eeten opt for. That dull attempt at inducing chuckles sets the tone perfectly for this movie. Continue reading