17 items from 2014
We asked Den Of Geek’s writers to recommend brilliant comedy shows that deserve to have more of a fuss made about them. Here they are...
Banging a drum about stuff we love is more or less our remit on Den Of Geek - hence what many readers have started referring to as the ‘inexplicably regular' appearance of Statham, squirrels and Harold Bishop from Neighbours on these pages.
To that end then, we asked our writers which comedy shows (past and present, UK or otherwise, on TV, radio, or online…) deserved more praise, and here are the ones they chose. You might already like them too, or you might discover something new to dig out and enjoy. That’s the fun of it.
Please note that this list isn’t ranked in any order, nor is it exhaustive. It’s compiled from the opinions of a group of different people, »
Actor/co-writer Celyn Jones stars as Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who is about to embark on his first trip to the U.S. in the 1950s, with John M. Brinnin being put in charge of overseeing his trip. Little does he know about Dylan Thomas' over-bearing personality and his penchant to drink to excess, which makes this task much more difficult than Brinnin first thought.
Kelly Reilly, Steven Mackintosh and Shirley Henderson co-star in this drama from director Andy Goddard, who co-wrote the script with Celyn Jones, with Welsh musician Gruff Rhys composing the score. The film opens in U.K. theaters November 7, although it does not have a »
Source: Digital Spy »
- Garth Franklin
The second new episode of Utopia reunites the old gang and hits the ground running…
This review contains spoilers.
Hear that? Underneath all the eerie buzzing beeps and whispering drones? That’s the sound of a TV show running at full pelt and knowing exactly where it’s heading. “They’re starting again” said back-from-the-grave Lee this week. That they are, praise be.
Episode two was this series’ real opener after that superb trip back to the seventies carefully and stylishly shaded in the outlines of Milner, Arby and Jessica. The purpose of that fifty-minute flashback was nowhere more clear than in this episode’s final scene. Imagine Milner asking a possum-playing Jessica “What have I done to you?” without understanding her history with Philip Carvel. Or for that matter, consider watching Milner’s meeting with Arby in which he assured her that his father was “not incredible, not »
Nick Frost and Chris O'Dowd star in Cuban Fury as - of all things - rivals competing for the same woman (Rashida Jones) with the power of salsa dance. The UK comedy hits DVD and Blu-Ray on July 29th and one lucky Twitch reader could take home a Blu-Ray copy of the film along with the theatrical poster.You want Frost and his fiery feet in your home? Simple enough, just email me here and name the science fiction comedy series he starred in opposite Kevin Eldon. Please include your mailing address. Winner will be drawn at random....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
While there'll always be a place for down-the-line observational stand-up, there are thankfully also some comics doing stranger stuff at the fringes.
From the mid-1990s on, Simon Munnery has intrigued and innovated. Ahead of his spot on Stewart Lee's The Alternative Comedy Experience, Digital Spy got on the phone with Simon to talk singing Kierkegaard, "fylm" and whether or not we'll ever get Attention Scum! on DVD.
"It's perhaps less mainstream acts, a bit more quirky, a bit more interesting."
Of almost half the comics on the show being women, he added: "There are a lot of very good women comics and quite a lot of them are on this.
"There just are quite a lot of good »
Dylan Thomas knew the transcendent power of great art: “The world is never the same,” he famously said, “once a good poem has been added to it.” The world, it has to be said, does not look terribly different after viewing “Set Fire to the Stars,” a stylized biopic covering the alcoholic poet’s first American tour in 1950. Shot in silky black-and-white, Andy Goddard’s debut feature is an easy, elegant diversion — a kind of “My Week With Dylan” exercise, agreeably headlined by Elijah Wood as John Brinnin, the buttoned-up Harvard grad swiftly overwhelmed by the Welsh hellraiser. Yet its appreciation of Thomas’ work remains superficial, while the polished filmmaking never quite finds its own poetry. Perhaps the most universally distributable of this year’s Edinburgh world premieres, “Stars” should twinkle only modestly in select arthouses.
- Guy Lodge
Never meet your heroes. Or so states the tagline for Andy Goddard’s feature-length debut. Far from a paint-by-numbers biopic, the Downton Abbey alumnus makes the leap to silver screen with an understated elegance, only snowflakes and the swirling of cigarette smoke fracturing Chris Seager’s crisp black and white casing. This may be a world of post-war dreamers, but the choice of monochrome certifies Set Fire to the Stars worthy of timeless status.
Harvard graduate and poetry teacher John Brinnin’s (Elijah Wood) precise opening steps accompany his equally meticulous repetition of tour dates prepared for literary hero, Dylan Thomas (Celyn Jones, also on writing duties). But it is clear from the initial jazz-dowsed introductions that Brinnin will remain the steady bassline, Thomas the improvising drums and brass. Recounting the celebrated Welsh poet’s first trip to America, breaking their first host’s Crock-Pot is the least of this magnificently cast duo’s worries. »
- Emma Thrower
Andrew finds lots to like in this thoughtful movie about Dylan Thomas
Set Fire To The Stars, directed and co-written by Goddard with actor Celyn Jones, is visually impressive, but also immeasurably more lyrical and thoughtful than you might be expecting. This is less of a surprise considering its subject matter: the story of Dylan Thomas's first visit to New York (his death in the city was dramatised in the recent BBC drama A Poet in New York, with Ewen Bremner playing the same role Elijah Wood does in this film).
Here, Jones plays Dylan Thomas, visiting 50s New York (Swansea), Connecticut (Swansea) and Yale (also Swansea) at the request of Elijah Wood's lapsed poet, the academic John Malcolm Brinnin. Through a combination of monochrome, »
Alan Davies has a new Dave show... but it doesn't have a title. As Yet Untitled - which begins tonight - sees the Qi star sitting down with a bunch of comedians for a bit of a natter - and the only 'format' is that they come up with a title for the episode at the end. Mainly, it's just funny, sometimes sad conversations with a bunch of interesting people... which seems novel. We caught up with Alan to find out more...
1. The guests are surrounded by audience members - but kind of forget about them.
"We're looking right at one another, so you just talk to each other really. You get the sense that the audience are very engaged with it - I think just the way it's set up, you don't get a very fidgety, restless sort of a crowd. We didn't know how it would go, but »
TV: Line Of Duty
Unbelievable as it might seem, there was a time when doubts were expressed over whether a second series of Line Of Duty could work without the brooding presence of Lennie James. Then Keeley Hawes (pictured, right) rocked up as conflicted Di Lindsay Denton. Clive James thinks Hawes will win "every award going" for her performance, while the Guide's Paul MacInnes reckons Denton "might be the best character to emerge from a British drama in years". Sure, sure, but is she guilty? Find out by catching the second series in full on the iPlayer, where it will remain until Wednesday.
As the first series of Andrew Haigh's critically lauded gay drama comes to an end you really should take the chance to get up to date with what Patrick, »
- Gwilym Mumford, Lanre Bakare
If you have been watching this weekly half hour of droll polemic (now in its third glorious series), you're either a dedicated fan of the standup comedian Stewart Lee or you hate his smug, sing-song delivery and smirking repetition and you just enjoy being angry. There seldom seems to be a middle ground where Lee's concerned.
Like the first two series of Comedy Vehicle, this one takes segments of low-lit standup in front of a club audience and punctuates them with often avant garde VTs exploring an idea that comes from his monologue. In the first series, and to a lesser extent the second, this used to take the form of elaborate sketches featuring usual collaborators such as Kevin Eldon and Simon Munnery. »
- Julia Raeside
Harry & Paul's Story of the Twos will see the comic duo mocking classic BBC Two stars to mark the channel's 50th anniversary.
The hour-long programme's title is a nod to Simon Schama's History of the Jews, while Enfield will narrate the show as Schama.
Among the 'programmes' featured on the show include Men Behaving Likely Ladly, The Old Grey Wrinkled Testicle and Grumpy Old Hasbeens.
Characters including Gerald Manley Paxman, John Cleese-Shop-Sketch, Mark Egghead, Germaine Dreary and Russell Somebody will also appear.
Sky Arts HD is getting ready for its annual Playhouse Presents series which returns to the channel this May. The showcase is devoted to one-off comedies and dramas with talent lined up this year to include Matthew Perry, Billie Piper, Ben Wishaw, Mark Strong, Jo Brand, Simon Callow, Cara Delevingne, Lindsay Duncan, Kevin Eldon, Jane Horrocks, Daniel Mays, Sylvia Syms, Ashley Walters, Jason Watkins and Richard Wilson. Previous editions have had such names as Jon Hamm, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Thompson, Idris Elba and David Tennant. This year also involves the writing talents of Oscar-winner Peter Straughan, among others. Perry, who’s prepping his Odd Couple pilot at CBS, will make his UK TV comedy debut with The Dog Thrower, the story of a man who finds fame, then infamy, when he starts throwing his dog. It’s produced by Runaway Fridge. Among the other offerings, Piper and Whishaw will star in Foxtrot from Sprout Pictures, »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
Always a pleasure to see gracing the silver screen, the brilliant and hilarious Nick Frost steps away from pals Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright to dance his way into director James Griffiths’ Latin-fused musical comedy Cuban Fury. The British funny man, best known for his roles in the ace Cornetto trilogy, stars as the under-confident and overweight Bruce Garrett and whose love for hot-stepping salsa dancing now lays dormant. However, when he learns his beautiful new boss (played by Rashida Jones) shares the same passion, he finds that romantic spark reignited… if he can beat off competition from work colleague Chris O’Dowd.
Cuban Fury dances into UK cinemas from the 14th February. Check out this latest clip, featurettes and poster for the film co-starring Olivia Colman, Ian McShane, Alexandra Roach, Rory Kinnear, Steve Oram, Kevin Eldon and Kayvan Novak.
The post New ‘Cuban Fury’ Clip, Featurettes & Poster »
- Craig Hunter
This new clip let’s us join Frost’s Bruce as he’s back on the floor and not exactly keeping up with the pace. We’ve got a really insightful featurette with all the stars, which makes me want to see it even more! Cuban Fury also stars one hell of a fiery cast including Rashida Jones, Ian McShane, Chris O’Dowd, Olivia Colman, Alexandra Roach, Rory Kinnear, Steve Oram, Kevin Eldon and Kayvan Novak. It’s set for UK cinemas on Valentines Day but is still awaiting a Us release date at the moment!
Watch them below and remember #RealMenDance:
Cuban Fury opens in the UK on February 14th!
The post Take The »
- Dan Bullock
Despite sounding like the sub-title to a sequel of Brian DePalma’s gangster classic Carlito’S Way, Nick Frost’s latest film, Cuban Fury, is in fact an outrageous romantic comedy co-starring Irish funny man Chris O’Dowd. The comedic geniuses are set to fight for the affections of their new boss – played by Rashida Jones – with Frost’s overweight office worker Bruce finding his early teen latin fire reignited when learning she loves to salsa dance!
1987: Poised to sweep the floor at the UK Junior Salsa Championships, 13-year-old Bruce Garrett has fire in his heels and the world at his feet… Until a freakish bullying incident robs him of his confidence and his life is diverted down a very different path. So it is that 22 years later, having locked away his boyhood dreams, Bruce finds himself out-of-shape, »
- Craig Hunter
17 items from 2014
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