Ricky Gervais Live IV Science – DVD Review

Let me set the scene here so this doesn’t come off as a Ricky Gervais bashing post; I enjoyed The Office, Extras, Cemetery Junction and his first two stand-ups. I though Fame was lazy and a bit dull though and while Science is an improvement, it’s still a bit haphazard.

For a start the title didn’t really relate to any of the material, a small niggle but an indication of the lack of effort put into the material. The majority of the performance was made up of his own self-praise, trying to solve fat people and the mocking of the story of Noah which Eddie Izzard did so much better.

I’m not saying I didn’t laugh, Gervais did have some good material in there but it was far too casual an affair. There was a lot of him saying offensive things then saying “I’m joking” and defending himself against anyone who might have been offended. Only no one was, they were all laughing making Gervais look mildy schizophrenic as he argued with no one onstage.

The DVD extras include a brief “documentary” of Ricky Gervais in New York and two lengthy clip with Karl Pilkington which were much better than the stand-up.

If you’re not put off, Ricky Gervais Live IV – Science is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.

Cemetery Junction – Review

Cemetery Junction is a bit of an odd bird and I’m not quite sure how to review it. Genre-wise it is definitely a mix between comedy and drama, the comedy elements providing a welcome release from the occasionally bleak themes in the film.

Cemetery Junction looks down on everyday small town life and the small cruelties within families while inspiring escapism and the desire for getting something more out of life. It does so with some truly affecting moments and is interspersed with moments of real laugh out loud delight. The film is Gervais light, though perhaps not light enough as some of the dialogue is jarringly Ricky-esque and his character’s few brief appearances didn’t sit well with the rest of the film.

Though its story is a simple one I enjoyed watching it unfold; the film felt warm and real. The lead, Christian Cooke, easily draws you in with the silent horror he feels at the world he lives in and the soundtrack made me instantly nostalgic for a time I never lived in. In fact Cooke really impressed, especially for someone whose CV so far includes Echo Beach, Demons and Trinity, all bad ITV shows.

Cemetery Junction is certainly not a high concept film and doesn’t take you anywhere you wouldn’t expect but is an enjoyable experience and different to most modern British films. Instead it had the scent of older UK cinema and I can’t help but imagine that it would have starred a young Michael Cane if made at the time it was set.

Ultimately I think I could happily watch Cemetery Junction again, and not just to see the lovely Felicity Jones once more.

Out Now – 14th April 2010

There are films out today! Hurray for films!

Dear John
Hey it’s Amanda Seyfried in a romantic drama with Channing Tatum who is never quite who I think he is. As this is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, just like A Walk to Remember and The Notebook expect it all to get sad and weepy towards the end. Take tissues.

Cemetery Junction
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have gone and made their first film together, hopefully with Merchant’s involvement bringing this film far above Gervais’ recent film offerings. For a change Gervais isn’t the lead as we instead get to watch the antics of young people in the 1970s. Obviously I want to see it for the wonderful Felicity Jones but I have heard good things besides.

As Friday seems to offer more quantity than quality with its releases I’d stick with today’s flicks.

Cemetery Junction Clip

Yesterday Empire debuted an exclusive clip from the upcoming Cemetery Junction. Sadly the sound was not working on the clip, even though it was working fine on the advert. Priorities people!

Anyway I am looking forward to this film as it promises to have a good bit of Felicity Jones who is featured in the clip along with Christian Cooke. The clip is nothing special though it gives a good indication as to just how comedic the film is going to be, this scene being one of relationship talk.

Fingers crossed the video is embedded below complete with an advert courtesy of Empire and an introduction from the writer/directors Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. If it’s not working Empire have it here.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9/1858324737?isVid=1&publisherID=494806221

Cemetery Junction is released on 14th April 2010

Spotlight On – Felicity Jones

Every now and then I want to draw your attention to an up and coming actor so that if they ever get successful I can claim to have known all along. Today I bring you Birmingham’s own Felicity Jones who, after 14 years of working steadily onscreen, may well have her big break coming in 2010.

Jones’ first big TV role was as school bully Ethel Hallow in the children’s series The Worst Witch, followed a few years later by a co-starring role in BBC series Servants. After studying a degree in English at Oxford she went on to take the lead role in ITV’s Northanger Abbey and the short lived series Cape Wrath. Moving into the movie arena Jones took on small roles in Flashbacks of a Fool, Brideshead Revisited and Cheri, while continuing to appear on the small screen in The Diary of Anne Frank and Doctor Who. None of these films were very successful in the box office or critically well received so Felicity Jones remained mostly unheard of.

Alongside her work onscreen Jones was appearing onstage and since 1999 has played the role of Emma Grundy, now Emma Carter, in radio series The Archers so her lack of fame is not down to an absence of hard work. I really enjoy Felicity Jones, as you may have guessed by now, and she is often the only good aspect to a few otherwise horrible films. The reason I think 2010 is her year is Cemetery Junction, the new comedy drama, heavy on the drama, from Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant where she plays the female lead. The trailer was recently released and coming from this duo is likely to be a success; hopefully also a launch pad for the young stars within. The recent adaptation of The Tempest starring Helen Mirren, and Felicity Jones as Miranda, would have also been a good breakthrough film but for the fact that it was produced by the recently deceased Miramax, so its future remains in the balance.

I believe that Jones is an engaging, and not unattractive, young actor with a hopefully successful career to come. Look out for Felicity Jones in the future as she may well be the next big thing, and if she is, don’t forget I told you so.