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The Robinsons (2005)
It's better than bad, it's good!
Although a little rough around the edges with things such as editing, The Robinson's is a clever comedy. Although I'm not very fond of the two writers other work "The Worst Week of my Life", I did enjoy this little one series comedy an awful lot. I found the characters of Ed, Vicky and George to be very well developed, which I think is very important for a comedy. This this is not only a credit to the script but also to fantastic comedic acting from Abigail Cruttenden, Martin Freeman and Hugh Bonneville. I would've liked to have seen some more volume in the characters of the Robinson parents despite great acting from Anna Massey and Richard Johnson, they were a tad one dimensional I thought. Wonderful to see some guest starring roles from fantastic comedians such as Olivia Coleman (who is always hilarious!!), Amanda Abbington and Elizabeth Marmur.
There were some great elements in this show. I found a lot of the cut always and flashbacks to be hilarious (eg: Vicky and Peter sitting onthe couch watching "Psycho" had me in stitches!), but then there were some that I thought were extremely pointless and badly done. (eg: the flashback of the parents getting engaged was just awful...should've had different actors playing the apparently much younger Pam and Hector, sometimes a wig just doesn't do it!!)
Although there are some hit and miss elements of The Robinsons, I did enjoy it very much. I would recommend this show for a chuckle especially if you like bees, having your nipples sucked and kettles with lime scale free elements.
World Tour of Australia (1996)
Fascinating and hilarious.
I'm Australian, have lived in Sydney most my life, and after watching Bill Connolly's World Tour of Australia, it's obvious to me that he knows more about my country that I do!
Billy takes us to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Rottenest Island and other beautiful places. He swims with dolphins, climbs the Opera House and Harbor Bridge and has some other amazing experiences which are a treat to watch.
This tour is entertaining, inspiring, educational and it's interspersed with segments from his stand up shows, which are, as always, hilarious.
Great for fans of Billy and fans of travel.
Grey's Anatomy (2005)
Should be classified as a soap opera, not a drama.
With all the bitching and childish behavior that goes on in this show anyone would expect it to be set in college, not in a hospital. With a great name like Grays Anatomy, one would expect a high premise of medical situations, procedures and indeed, the feelings of the doctors and patients within the hospital. We get none of this. Instead we get a bunch of grown adults acting like children. This is ( and should be classified as) a soap opera, not a "medical drama" as the network would have us believe.
However, I am aware that some people enjoy petty squabbling between stereotypically pretty people pretending to be doctors by wearing white coats and steamy "will they wont they" situations arising between interns and residents. This show has all of that, with none of the complicated (or realistic) medical or hospital business to get in the way of a "good" juicy storyline.
It really does seem out of place being set in a hospital. The characters don't act or speak like doctors and the hospital is just a backdrop for their petty squabbles or torrid love affairs.
This show is saved ONLY by fairly decent acting from the main cast. However, I will add that none of them have any extremely notable charisma, they are just decent actors.
If you want to see a good medical drama with real human emotions, comedy, love, friendship, etc...I suggest SCRUBS or BODIES. They're a millions times better.
One of the most popular comedies of our time.
Seinfeld was indeed a phenomenon of American comedy. Before Seinfeld it was unsure if American could come out with anything short of a predictable and broad sit-coms. Then came Seinfeld and from it other brilliant American comedies such as, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Scrubs...etc. (Not to say that America still doesn't churn out the one dimensional sit-coms.)
Seinfeld takes normal every day life and makes it funny, with realistic scripts, amazing characters and twisting hilarious plot lines.
The acting is nothing short of perfect. Even Jerry Seinfeld, who I often thought has little facial expressions, is playing a character of him self that seems to fit the show. He is a good actor, especially in this role.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is so funny as Elaine and I think women can really identify with her as a realistic character. She's not a squealing, heels wearing Barbie doll; she is a very real woman who gets along with men, but still maintains her femininity. Her dating sagas are really something a lot of women can identify with.
Jason Alexander as George is just incredible. He's such an animated character, but at the same time very realistic. The situations he gets him self into are hilarious and Alexander plays the neurotic, paranoid and self obsessed George excellently.
Kramer is probably the most elusive character on Seingeld and Michael Richards does an amazing job in the roll. We never hear a voice over for Kramer's inner monologue, we know virtually nothing about his past and we don't find out his first name until well into season four. He is a very original character and it's almost hard to believe he's actually based on someone real.
One of the main enjoyable things about Seinfeld is the dialogue between the four main characters. A conversation between them never fails to amuse. The dynamic between Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George is undeniable and they all bring their own spark to the show.
The script, which is usually written by Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld or various other writers they have had throughout the show, and the best thing about it is it's really natural. It's taken either from something that really happened to one of the writers or something that could realistically happen to a 30-something New Yorker.
You can actually imagine having a lot of the conversations between characters your self. Especially the ones about relationships. I remember nodding my head so many times listening to Elaine ranting about the stresses of dating or listening to George talking about ways to get out of a relationship he's caught in. It's stuff we all know, but because of that we can identify with not only the characters, but also the plot.
In one episode of series four; George said something that I really identified with: "when I like them, they don't like me and when they like me, I don't like them" I'm sure this is something we have found a problem at one time or another.
And that's the beauty of Seinfeld. It's very natural and real. And although they may say it's about "nothing" it really is one of the most realistic and funny shows on television. And isn't every day life funny?
The Mighty Boosh (2003)
I'm old Gregg! Do you love me?
A creative and original comedy that was born out of the stand up duo of Noel Fielding and Julian Barrett; The Might Boosh is a world in which anything can happen. Surreal characters combined with bizarre plots make for very interesting and hilarious watching.
There's something very refreshing about The Mighty Boosh. It's something that comes straight from the imagination, and ignites the imagination of anyone watching. The characters are strange, the music is varied and the situations are anything but ordinary.
Fielding and Barrett not only write and star in this amazingly original comedy; but they also write all the music and draw all of the animations. They combine their loves and talents to make this comedy something really special; comically, visually and musically.
I'd recommend giving The Mighty Boosh a chance. I love most British Comedy, but it even took me a while to get into it. Persist with it and you'll see it's worth every second.
Chapter 27 (2007)
Chapter 27 is one of the most visually stunningly films I have seen in a long time. The hauntingly beautiful cinematography comfortably blends it's self with the evocative soundtrack.
Jared Leto surprised me with such a challenging and compelling roll and with this competent portrayal of the notorious Mark David Chapman, he really proves him self as a character actor. Everything from his schizophrenic mannerisms to the morbid confusion in his eyes; Leto is just incredible.
Lindsay Lohan's role in the film, is essential in developing Chapman's awkward disposition when it came to interaction with other people, especially women. Lohan's role, although small, is an important one and she plays it well.
The city of New York also plays an important role in Chapter 27, with it's bitter isolation and apparent lack of moral integrity. A languid soul can be in a city full of thousands of people and still feel completely alone.
It's important to remember when watching this film that Mark David Chapman was no evil genius - he was a schizophrenic sociopath.
The reason this film doesn't offer much of an insight into Chapman's motive behind this horrible assassination or into "the complicated mind of a killer"; is because there isn't one. And the reason his past and childhood isn't included in the film is not only to admit some things that could be seen as being sympathetic towards him (eg: a sexually abusive past etc), but also because it quite simply doesn't matter or explain anything. Chapman was and is quite simply, mentally disturbed and it isn't hard to tell this, even if you only know the basics about him.
Most of the things we know about Chapman's thoughts and actions leading up to Lennon's assassination, we know only from his personal accounts and given his obviously disturbed state in general, these accounts may or may not be what really happened.
The rest can be taken from accounts of interactions held with people such as telephone conversations with his wife or conversations with other "fans" also gathered outside The Dakota.
Chapter 27 gives us a fairly subjective view of Chapman and his actions. They haven't sensationalized anything and have made a good realistic representation of the events of the assassination and the state of mind of the perpetrator at the time.
In so much as people being upset about a film representation being made about the death of someone as beloved as John Lennon, I don't think this film is even slightly disrespectful to the memory of John Lennon. It's not exploring what happened to Lennon on the days before he died, it's exploring what happened to Chapman. It's more about him that it is about Lennon. This in a strange way, is more respectful to Lennon that people might think.
There's a certain morbid beauty to this film that comes out mainly through the incredible cinematography and the creative direction. J.P. Schaefer does a very good job for a first time writer/director.
It's a shame this film won't get as much exposure as it deserves.
An excellent and intelligent documentary.
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey is a subjective and interesting look at the many different facets of metal, both the sub-culture and the music.
As we follow anthropologist and self proclaimed metal head, Sam Dunn on his journey through the world of metal we get an unusual insight into this widely misunderstood and intricate sub-culture.
Dunn not only maps out and explains the origins of the huge number of different sub-genres within the genre of metal music (something that all music lovers have probably wondered about at one time or another), but he also travels to places like Germany and Norway in search of many different metal bands and their fans.
There are interviews with everyone from Alice Cooper to Lemmy to Rob Zombie as well as some quite disturbing interviews with a few Norwegian Death Metal bands and a hilarious interview with the very funny Dee Snider from Twisted Sister.
There is indeed quite a deep and interesting flow to this documentary and Dunn not only managers to maintain a subjective and professional roll in his research, but also managers to maintain his integrity as a metal head - this is indeed, a credit to him.
I highly recommend this documentary not only to people who love their metal, but even to people who don't.
Fast Track (2006)
Just like most people who've written reviews for this film, I too was excited to hear about a film staring two great comedians like Braff and Bateman. How could you go wrong with these two? However, with two inexperienced writers and one inexperienced director; it's not hard to see where this film goes wrong.
The script is at times, very poor and extremely lacking in intelligent or deep humor, the characters are one dimensional and there are a lot of pointless and derivative scenes. There is no real chemistry between Braff and Peet and the soundtrack is somewhat lacking.
It's really awful to see such amazing talents go to waste in such a simple and shallow comedy such as this.
There are however, some great ideas in this film; the only shame is that they are not explored in their comedic entirety. Braff and Bateman are as usual, wonderful and do the best they can with the characters and the script they were given.
Big Nothing (2006)
A gritty and hilarious black comedy.
Big Nothing is a wonderfully black comedy with a tight twisted plot line, a very well chosen soundtrack and perfect acting. It's fast passed, interesting and very funny.
Simon Pegg is just amazing as con man Gus and even David Schwimmer is surprisingly wonderful as the misguided Charlie. The supporting cast is also brilliant, especially the surprise of Mimi Rogers as Mrs. Smalls.
Although this films plot isn't completely original and you can tell where the writer got a lot of his ideas from; the acting, direction and cinematography really make it something special and worth watching.
It's strange seeing the very talented British comedian Simon Pegg in the role of a burly American con man, but he really does pull it off and if you had any doubts about him as a character actor before this film should set that straight. He is just wonderful.
Although I enjoyed Schwimmers acting in this, I thought his character could've been a little more developed as someone who was a little more desperate for money. His relationship with his wife could've been explored a little more too.
Big nothing has everything a good black comedy should have and more.
Arrested Development (2003)
Original and hilarious!!
Arrested Development is an original show with great characters and a gritty and interesting plot.
Everything about this comedy is great and it seems to have missed nothing in it's development.
One of the things I personally love about it is the tiny little set details that were so consistent throughout the show ,such as the continued blue paint marks on the wall of the model home left there by Tobias after he painted him self for the part in The Blue Man Group that he never seems to get, and the plaster marks on the the wall to cover up the holes that GOB put there with a sledge hammer in a previous episode. These things made not only what was happening in the forefront funny, but also the little things with the set.
Another thing is the incredible cast. I don't think there has ever been such an amazing ensemble cast in any other comedy show. Everyone from the hilarious David Cross to the veteran actress Jessica Walter to the beautiful Portia de Rossi to the wonderful Michael Cera and Will Arnett. They are just amazing. Not to mention Jason Bateman, whose character of Michael Bluth holds the show together so perfectly. Every single actor in this show does a great job and plays their character perfectly and without going over the top. That is SUCH an amazing achievement for a comedy.
This show would also have not been so terrific without such an amazing script, for it is not only the actors that pull together to make a comedy shine. If it wasn't for the brilliance of Mitchell Hurwitz (who was responsible for shows such as The Golden Girls), and his team of writers this show would be nothing. Each episode is pulled together with every different kind of humor you could imagine. Everything from slapstick to satire to black humor and it's unbelievable that they were able to overload this show with so many different kinds of humor and still have a balanced comedy.
I'm glad they only did three series. It makes the episodes more special. A good comedy doesn't NEED to go for 10 series, and I think it's important not to use characters for too long. Quality not quantity. And this is a quality show!
Uninteresting, unintelligent and pointless.
What exactly is the point of pretending to "con" people out of things like ski passes and pizza? I fail to see a point. I'd not clever or original and it strikes me as being extremely pointless.
Skyler Stone doesn't seem to be a very down-to-earth or even a nice guy. He has very little charisma and just about anyone could do what he does in this show.
The worse thing about this piece of crap, is the fact that a lot of the phone calls are reenacted, so not only are they apparently conning the poor people on the other end of the phone, but they are also conning the audience who don't have enough time to read the "disclaimed" that flickers across the screen for about half a second at the beginning at the end of the show!
Not only that but he also claims this is how he lives his whole life. What an lie. No one could live their lives like this and the fact he says this is not only yet another con to get his show watched, but it's also one of the most fabricated, blatant pieces of bull$hit I've ever heard. This guy is an @$$!
What makes them think that going to all the trouble of, for example, write and record a song, get someone to pain a HUGE picture of you and two mates, get dance lessons and actually travel to a ski resort is actually worth only getting free ski passes and some food for free? What is the point of that? It's an awful lot of trouble to go to just for a few ski passes and a bit of snow.
As far as "comedy" goes, this is bottom of the barrel stuff.
Biting political and social satire at it's best.
When you think of brilliant Australian comedy you don't think of Skit shows (Although I'm quite partial to a bit of 80's and 90's Full Frontal) or even Sitcoms - you think of SATIRE! Something that we Australians really know how to do well. (Eg: Front Line, The Micallef Program) We know how to take the pi$$, and The Chaser's War on Everything, is a classic example of how to do it, and how to do it really well.
I've been a huge fan of Chris Taylor and Craig Reucassel for a long time. I remember listening to them on Triple J's afternoon show. They were, and remain, two of the funniest comedians around.
Although I was sad when they left Triple J, I was excited to find out what they were investing so much time in that made them have to leave. (They were doing CNNNN and Triple J at the same time, so I figured this was something much bigger) And what an amazingly HILARIOUS show Chaser is. Biting political and social satire at it's best.
I'm also pleased to say that it has recently received a MUCH better time slot than Friday nights and has been moved to Wednesday nights right after Spicks and Specks. THANK YOU ABC!! Finally I don't have to tape it! :)
Spicks and Specks (2005)
The best quiz show on TV ...
There's something so comforting about Spicks and Specks, I'm not sure exactly what it is, but you always know what you're going to get with it. You know you're always going to laugh and you're always going to learn something. And I used to love nothing more than cuddling up on the couch every Wednesday night with my boy friend, watching this show and laughing so hard that it hurt.
It's always informative, original, clever and most of all, it's dam FUNNY! Adam Hills is just great as the host (probably the best and most down-to-earth quiz show host in Australia), and the two Team Captains Myf Warhurst and Alan Borough are equally funny and indeed, VERY knowledgeable about music.
Ross Noble, Frank Woodley, Colin Lane and Hamish Blake are my four favorite frequent panelists, but of course there have been many, many other amazingly memorable ones.
I just adore this show and I very much admire Myf and Alan and all the guests who can get some of these VERY hard questions right, as I'm shocking at it! :)
Good late night entertainment
As far as American talk show hosts go, I find David Letterman the least pretentious and the least fake out of all of them. He seems to mostly say what he thinks and not JUST for the sake of being shocking or funny.
Letterman is mostly a likable guy and can at times be very witty, and of course satirical, which is something about him (as indeed his writers) that I enjoy. Yes I know, he is at times cocky and a bit of a show pony, but he's a talk show host and he's meant to have a personality and in my opinion he's the best there is.
I enjoy the little sketches like "Great Presidential Speeches" and "Will it Float?," I always enjoy watching Biff Henderson's little adventures and of course hearing from the always wonderful, Alan Kalter.
It's a nice little piece of late night entertainment and while some episodes are obviously going to be better than others depending on the guests - you know you're always going to have a bit chuckle.
It's been emotional...
I'm confused to see that a lot of people seem to be comparing this film with Pulp fiction. Although I like Pulp Fiction immensely, I FAIL to see to comparison between the two films. Besides, WHY do you have to compare it to anything? Why does it have to be the "British Pulp Fiction"? That's just stupid!!
Lock, Stock is my favorite film of all time - and that, for a film buff like me, if a HUGE call. It has everything in it; comedy, wit, action, style, a great soundtrack, wonderful acting (the sexy Nick Moran being my favorite), perfect direction and cinematography and an even more perfect script.
Now, the two things about this film that make it as perfect as it is, is the witty and intelligent script and the wonderful characters. Through the script and the great acting, the characters, although many, are able to really be developed, and developed well. We get to know not only the main four; Ed, Bacon, Soap and other characters like Winston, Plank, Rory and Harry so quickly. We really get a sense of who they and what their intentions are from just a short period of time with them.
There are so many wonderful and clever lines in the script and they are quick and easy to miss sometimes. I would recommend watching this film at least twice (Or like me, over one hundred times) in order to gain full understanding of the dialogue.
Now, it's only natural progression that after praising the film I'm to move onto talking about the writer/director, Guy Richie. To be honest I don't care about his string of not-so-good films after Snatch, which I must say, I didn't like as much as Lock Stock. To me this film stands alone as the film he became to writer/director for. I also don't care about his affiliation with Maddonna, that's his personal business and nothing to do with me. None of that stuff matters to me because this film is perfect as far as I'm concerned.
I have seen and enjoyed this movie many many times over.
The Good German (2006)
Worth a watch, but don't hold your breath for an amazing plot.
War Films are usually something I don't enjoy watching, (an exception to this being Empire of the Sun) not because it upsets me, it's just that most of them are rather gratuitous or very Americanised. I my self would much rather sit down and watch a War documentary because then you're learning about history from the facts, not taking in something that may or may not have happened and not being sure if it's fact or fiction based on fact. But that is just me.
The Good German, while showcasing some amazing acting talent, like the always wonderful Cate Blanchett, it fell flat on one major point - plot. It's not that I was expecting this to be some huge war epic, but I did want some meat within the plot, something to really get my teeth into so to speak.
I kept expecting and indeed hoping for some big revelation or occurrence, but in the end although it happened in an exciting way, sadly it really was quite a boring story.
It has to be said also, that George Clooney was pretty average in his performance. His character seemed to have little to no substance and I found my self wishing that Tobey McGuire's character of Tully was around for more of the film, if only because at least he has a little more personality.
One thing I did enjoy about The Good German was the old footage of Berlin meshed in with the new black and white footage. I think it would've mostly been filmed in a studio, and by making it black and white they not only achieved an authentic 40's feel to it, but were also able to save money by not having to make sets that resembled a war ravaged post WWII Berlin.
Classic Australian Comedy
I have fond memories of watching this series when it first came out on TV and as soon as the DVD was released in 2002 I went straight out and bought it. It was wonderful to watch it again and It remains one of my favorite comedies.
Col and Frank are hysterical and the dynamic between the two is undeniable. They are just fantastic. They seem to use EVERY type of humor available in this series; everything from slapstick to spoof to intelligent and almost black humor.
The physical humor in this series was amazing as well. Watching Col dangle Frank by his feet, head first over the pavement and knowing that they really did it is incredible.
Like a lot of other "cult" Australian shows (or bands, eg: TISM), Lano and Woodley are the comedians you either love or hate. In my opinion it takes a special kind of person to find these two cuties as hilarious as they really are. I've already infected quite a few people with the Lano and Woodley bug, by lending people the DVD or by expressing to people just how insanely funny they really are and driving them mad enough to look them up on the internet.
A lot of their jokes are silly as are they, there's no denying it, but that's the beauty of it. The simplicity of stupid humor is sometimes very heartwarming. One of the most important things about Frank and Col is that they've never taken them selves too seriously, which is something that makes them very endearing.
The story lines in each episode are brilliantly clever and will have you rolling around on the floor with hysterical laughter. There are also some really very quotable lines in this show. I have found my self stubbing my tow in the kitchen when I'm alone only to stop and sing: "I wish that hadn't happened." and which Lano and Woodley fan hasn't, in a moment of madness giggled when someone has mentioned 'the two men' ("it was so much more fun when all of us was here. us and the girls and the two men!)
This comedy truly priceless and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Wonder Showzen (2005)
I'm torn about this show. While MOST parts of it I found to be HILARIOUS, other parts of it I found to be stupid and simply shock for shock sake. The off the wall parody of some of the cartoons are brilliant as indeed are a lot of the scenes with the children. However, I don't think it's clever getting little children to say rude things. It's not that I think "oh poor children, they're being exploited" - it's just that it's really not clever!! It's something that ANYONE could do, therefore making it as simple and pointless as making a paper airplane. In order to make this show better they would have to stick to the natural responses from children, which I think can be funnier than the scripted at time.
By far the funniest part of Wonder Showzen is Clarence, the blue puppet who wonders around the streets talking to and annoying strangers. It's really funny and it's mostly improvised. Seeing him in a long scene about the importance of patience test the patience of an EXTREMELY patient man, was by far the funniest scene in my opinion.
You should watch this show though because all in all it's very funny, even if it is stupid at times.
Nathan Barley (2005)
Brilliant characters and an original script.
One of the most important things about comedy is, in my opinion, the characters. If you don't feel a certain amount of emotion, whatever kind it may be, for the characters within a comedy, it's not worth watching it and it's boring. All of the characters in Nathan Barley you can feel something for.
The first character that I felt a kind of affinity with was Claire, the young aspiring film maker with sass and a kind heart. And her brother Dan, trying to keep his head above water whilst swimming in a sea of idiots and failing miserably because of his extreme lack of assertiveness and initiative. His character you can only feel sorry for up to a certain point before you realize that he has brought most of his misfortunes on him self.
There's also a funny thing about Nathan Barley as a character. At times he certainly falls into the demographic of "the idiot" and even quite a horrible person, but at other times you are forced to almost feel sorry for him, while at the same time remembering if he wasn't an idiot he wouldn't have gotten him self into the mess in the first place. There's something lovely about all of the character in this series, something we can all relate to, laugh at and bond with.
In a way they have hit the nail on the head with the culture in every city society that is coming to light over the past few years. The wearing of tight jeans, huge sunglasses, huge white running shoes, fluro off the shoulder t-shirts and probably the most pointless, the cross over of meaningless web sites into real life clubbing culture. I'd like to call this show a spoof, but that would somehow cheapen it and I don't want to do that. Watch it and make up your own mind on what genre, if any, it is.
Personally I thought it was brilliant as I like to laugh at the little things in a comedy show. The little throw away sentences that not everyone would pick up on, the slight look of a disgruntled character or an extras dressed a certain way in the back ground. If you like to laugh at those little details, then this show is certainly for you. It is also for you if you like what I refer to as 'cringe worthy comedy.'
Probably the first "sitcom" i can think of that achieved this was Faulty Towers. You felt something for Basil, even if he was a prat, and therefore found your self cringing at the scenes in which he embarrassed him self or the scenes in which he got physically hurt. Another show that's like this is The Office. David Brent is another character you find your self not liking too much, but almost wishing when you watch it the second time around that he wouldn't embarrass him self and say what you know he is going to say.
Nathan Barley is the same kind of thing and you'll find your self feeling sorry for many of the characters, while at the same time disliking them immensely. Comedy is an awfully emotion thing, and this is one of the most emotional comedies around at the moment.
The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
Why remake something that was sub-par to begin with?
During the 60's and 70's America seemed to have a knack for churning out unintelligent "comedies" with stereotypical characters, canned laughter and predictable and boring plots. The original Dukes of Hazard series was one of these...one of the many.
The main point to making this film, other than making a pointless series into an even more pointless film more than twenty years later, escapes me. One could use the excuse that it's only "A BIT OF FUN" (as most people seem to have done), but try as I might I can't even see any "fun" in this film. Nor can I see any comedy.
In fact the only thing I can see that is of any use in this film is Johnny Knoxville. And that's not even to say he can act, he's attractive and that makes him just bearable to watch.
The less said about Sean William Scott (and the constant character he plays in everything), and Jessica Simpson the better. Both of them were just awful.
I can see a place in comedy for MOST stupid films (I'm a huge fan of films like Run Ronnie Run - but in that we at least had original characters and even a VAGUELY interesting plot) Dukes of Hazard has neither an interesting plot of ANY kind, nor any comedic merit what-so-ever.
A good watch, although very different to the book...
I've read He Died with a Falafel in his Hand several times and I'm a big fan of John Birmingham, he is a wonderful author.
When I first saw this film I have to admit I was quite put out with the character being significantly different to that of Birmingham in the book and also the stories being quite different and most of them being left out altogether. I am the kind of person that get's annoyed with a film if it's 'historically inaccurate' (eg: Marie Antoinette, Becoming Jane etc...make me very angry!) and indeed it annoyed me that this film changed quite a lot of the things that actually happened in Birmingham's real life.
However, after watching it again I realized just how amazing Noah Taylor is and of course the supporting cast. I also realized that if all of the stories in the book were included the film, it would've had to have been HOURS longer. It seems almost as if the film is just a VERY small portion of the book, just a nugget of the overall story, which in it's self didn't finish with the end of the book.
I enjoyed the story in the film, even if it was significantly different. And although I love the book much more than the film, I have learnt to appreciate and respect the film for what it is.
It's a fascinating story and Noah Taylor is just incredible as the main character, Danny. I also recognize a lot of the supporting cast from other Australian films or TV shows. (For example Sophie Lee from Muriel's Wedding.) There's something about Australian share house living that rings true with so many people.
I my self have lived in many share houses and lived with some neurotic freak shows or stoned hippies or insomniac business men, and there is nothing that shows the transition from one place to the next more than this film. (And of course to a larger extent, the book.) It can feel almost likes nothing's changed from one house to the next when you move too often.
Sometimes you have the feeling the script has missed out on some of the plot and character development, but otherwise it's an interesting film. If only for Noah Taylor.
I do recommend reading the book though, as it is for all intents and purposes much better.
An enjoyable, heartfelt Australian film...
The characters are believable and likable the story is heartwarming and well told. As usual Rachel Griffith is just wonderful in her performance as the cold, emotionally distraught mother, Tanya. Rachel seems to be able to say so much about her character using just her eyes.
Ben Mendelssohn is sweet and sexy as the neighbor Robert and Alana De Roma is just perfect as the little song tress, Amy. These three actors really hold the plot together along with the diverse Kerry Armstrong as neighbour, Sarah.
Some of the flash backs in this film seem quiet out of place. The shots of the deceased rock star Will, seem almost obsolete in their repetitiveness. Some of the more quirky and unbelievable scenes also seem to be quite out of place in this drama plot. There's nothing wrong with using comedy in a drama, but it's important not to border on the absurd.
However, Amy is worth watching if only for the characters and to show, as cheesy as it might sound, that peoples kindness can help you get through just about anything.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)
Wedons only masterpiece.
The things that go together to make this show a brilliant one is everything from the unique cast to the writers to the direction. Joss Whedon hasn't made any other shows that I have felt an affinity with. I didn't really enjoy the Buffy spin off Angel and I don't really like Firefly too much.
The thing about Buffy is that although it's set against the back ground of a fantasy world of monsters, vampires, witches and ware wolfs; it's very real. The feelings the characters feel are realand most importantly, the characters are real. Unlike, for example Angel, it's set in a very realistic setting which makes you feel a connection with the characters. This is something that draws me to Buffy. That and the humor. There have been times when I have laughed out loud. I also loved the electric chemistry between Spike and Buffy, there was something so hot about Spike and his bad boy persona.
Buffy has been ground breaking in so many different areas. "Hush" was almost a 45min episode of complete silence. That's never been done in a television series.
There are so many reasons to watch this show. The amazing fighting scenes, the conflicts, the humor, the stories that make you HAVE to watch the next episode, the great characters. Even Buffy her self, although she can be really annoying (to me anyway) at times, you kind of understand why she is because of what she goes through.
Probably the episode that effected me the most was "The Body" - I must admit, I am not usually one to cry at a TV show, but I found my self crying when I watched this episode. This episode was more powerful that a lot of movies I've seen. The characters reactions to death were so just realistic. Joss Wedon wrote and directed this episode him self after his own experience. I respect and admire him so much, if only for this one episode. The heart and soul that he must have poured into every aspect of it. Sarah Michelle Gellar was just brilliant in this episode, and if you don't think she can act just watch the first 15mins of this episode and you'll change your mind for sure.
I don't think another actor could've played Buffy as well as she does. Every single character in the show, although they might be annoying (I have to admit I was quite annoyed MANY times by the character of Dawn and even Tara at times), but you have to remember that they are necessary to the plot and they might be meant to be annoying! I certainly think Dawn was meant to be.
I know there is sometimes a stigma behind liking this show, usually people who like this show are fanatical about it and collect the box sets and the figurines and posers...but I'm not a Buffy nerd, not by any means.
To love and respect and enjoy a well written and well acted interesting show, doesn't make you a fanatic or a "nerd". It makes you intelligent.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000)
One of the best American comedies on television.
There's something so refreshing about a comedy where the main character says what we're all thinking and does the things we all want to do.
Larry might be awkward, annoying and far from subtle, but he's just so funny and that's what makes this show worth watching. Larry together with a tight but twisted plot, great ad-lib and perfect acting make this show one of the best on television.
Seeing Larry get him self into lots of strange situations makes us empathize with him because we can imagine our self's getting into the same situations. A lot of the things he does are perfectly normal and some of them are not and a lot of the things he does are perfectly rational and other are not, either way he says and does the things a lot of us would be thinking in the same situations.
The supporting cast are truly amazing and their ability to ad-lib the entire show is truly wonderful and makes it seem even more realistic.
I'm aware that a lot of people maybe "don't get" this show. But I will say the same thing about this show as I did about The Office (the British version of course) - uncomfortable comedy can sometimes be the best and the most realistic. If you think about those times in real life when funny things happen and you can't laugh either because it's at the wrong moment or around the wrong people. Well watching this show you can laugh at those moments because it's Larry who's experiencing them.
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003)
What a brilliant show.
without having previously heard anything about it's content; tonight i watched quite a few episodes of penn and teller: bull****.
what. a. brilliant. show.
for some reason i had it in my head that it was a sitcom of sorts, but this part exposé, part comedy, part documentary series is absolutely terrific and far from an ordinary show.
the episode that delved into the historical and scientific inaccuracies of the bible is so far my favourite. they went into some of the bull**** stories within the bible like: adam and eve, noahs ark, the parting of the red sea, the ten commandments...and my favourite bull**** story of all time...Jesus!!
although penn and teller clearly have their point of view in each episode and of course they voice them, they get people from both sides of the argument to tell their beliefs, ideals and stories so you get a clear and concise chance to agree or disagree. some of the stuff in the episode about prostitutes i was a bit edgy about. so much i agree with, but at the same time i think they spent too much time showing the good side and not the bad side. making sure there is only a good side to prostitution seems too much like pie in the sky simplicity to me.
BUT that is just one of the many reasons this show f*****g rules; it's interesting enough for me to want more and actually form an opinion about something topical after watching it! not to mention the fact that it's f*****g hilarious. (and there are naked people)
i know this has never been and will never be on prime time television (except lucky old cable), due to the swearing, nudity, drug themes etc etc...and probably just the content it's self, but you MUST find and watch this show. download it off the net, order the DVD, steal cable, harvest your organs for TV money!!
do something!! but you must see this show.