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Brakes movie review: when romance comes crashing down

MaryAnn’s quick take… This ultra-low-budget indie uses its own rough edges to great effect in its skewering of the happily-ever-after rom-com fantasy. Bleak, brutal, absurd, and painfully realistic. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto) women’s participation in this film

(learn more about this)

There are many things bad and wrong about the current template for romantic comedies, but a big one is that they end way too early in the story. Romantic triumph is not getting that special someone to agree to hang out with you exclusively, or even to marry you. Romantic triumph is managing to stay with that special someone for years or even decades without murdering each other. With her feature debut, actor turned writer-director Mercedes Grower takes on that rom-com failing, upending it and skewering it in Brakes.

See full article at FlickFilosopher »

DVD Review – Brakes (2016)

Brakes, 2016

Directed by Mercedes Grower

Starring Julia Davis, Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Kerry Fox, Steve Oram, Paul McGann, Kate Hardie


A two-part semi-improvised film examining couples as they break-up and meet in and around London.

Relationship break-ups can be messy. And so too can film-making, particularly if an improvisational freedom is allowed too much of a sway on an already chaotic template of ideas.

Mercedes Grower’s debut Brakes suffers a little from this and has a large amount of the hit and miss formula common in episodic anthology style films. Where it work best, it delivers dark laughs and off the wall social commentary and has enough charm to run the gauntlet of this difficult format. When it doesn’t come off the result is largely forgettable without much depth of feeling.

The most intriguing thing about Brakes is the setup. Nine couples begin ‘Part Two’ by breaking up with each other,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Katherine Ryan: Roast Battle “really is a language of love”

Louisa Mellor Jan 15, 2018

We chatted to comedian Katherine Ryan about her new comedy roast show, how to take a joke, and the importance of context in stand-up…

Warning: contains one very rude word and one slightly less rude word.

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“I think of it as an honour,” Katherine Ryan tells me, “I don’t see why anyone’s feelings would be hurt.” We’re talking about Roast Battle, a freshly imported Us show format in which pairs of comedians compete to tell the funniest and most insulting jokes about each other. Ryan, Russell Brand and presenter Jimmy Carr make up the judging panel on the UK version.

“It’s quite an honour to have someone read all about you,” Ryan continues. “You have to be really specific in your jokes, you have to know someone’s entire career,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Wednesday’s best TV: Vanished by the Lake, Peaky Blinders, Detectorists

  • The Guardian - TV News
A teenager goes missing in a case familiar to detective Lise Stocker, and the period crime drama’s penultimate episode. Plus: there’s an auction in store for Becky and Andy, in this final-ever episode

Just last month, Bob Mortimer was crowned fifth season champion of Taskmaster. But now the man who so emphatically demonstrated he could tear an apple into perfect halves with his bare hands must compete in a two-part tournament against previous victors Josh Widdicombe, Katherine Ryan, Noel Fielding and Rob Beckett, all to determine who is the ultimate master of tasks. As ever, Greg Davies both officiates and castigates. Gv

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Den of Geek Christmas 2017 UK TV and radio guide

Louisa Mellor Dec 13, 2017

We’ve taken a highlighter to this year’s Christmas and New Year TV schedules and circled what we’ll be watching this festive season…

Amid the cosy repeats and cranberry-stuffed cookery shows on TV over the next few weeks are a few gems. There’s no Sherlock or Charlie Brooker’s TV Wipe this year, but there are plenty of treats, not least the return of The League Of Gentlemen for a three-part anniversary series and Peter Capaldi’s last hurrah in the Tardis in the Doctor Who Christmas episode.

See related 26 new TV shows to watch in 2017

Over on Netflix, six new episodes of Black Mirror are coming to usher in the New Year, two days into which we welcome the return of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s genius anthology Inside No. 9.

Not to gloss over a spooky M.R. James night on BBC Four,
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Riviera’, ‘Bounty Hunters’ To Get Second Seasons At Sky

In an official press release, Sky has revealed that it has commissioned second seasons of Julia Stiles-led south of France crime series Riviera, as well as another run for Jack Whitehall’s Bounty Hunters. It also confirmed Gareth Evans’ Gangs Of London, which we reported news of yesterday and a total of 50 original series for broadcast in 2018.

24 of the 50 productions are returning shows, so says the broadcaster.

Following its phenomenal success earlier this year Sky’s best-performing original series to date, Riviera returns with Julia Stiles reprising the role of Georgina Clios for another high-octane series about the lives of the super-rich on the Côte d’Azur. Jack Whitehall’s comedy thriller Bounty Hunters is set to return for more action and adventure. And brand-new drama Gangs of London, a fresh and original gangland thriller, will take viewers on an adrenaline-fuelled journey into the hidden heart of the capital.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

‘Brakes’ Review: Dir. Mercedes Grower (2017)

Brakes review: Mercedes Grower writes and directs this an improv-based dark comedy set in London.

Brakes review by Awais Irfan.

The romance genre is perhaps one of the biggest out there, with no shortage of good and bad love-stories. Director Mercedes Grower is the latest to tackle it, making his directorial debut with Brakes, an unconventional story of relationships from end to beginning.

The film is split into two parts, with the second taking place first. Here, we follow a handful of couples at the end of their relationships – the cast features the likes of Julian Barratt, Kelly Campbell, Noel Fielding, and Seb Cardinal, amongst others – whether it be due to boredom of each other after some time married or a few dates here and there not resulting in much or something or the other. Part 1 fills the final third of the film and documents how these couples met, finding
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Interview: Mercedes Grower talks dark comedy ‘Brakes’

In his latest interview/podcast, host Stuart Wright talks with writer/director Mercedes Grower about her dark comedy feature Brakes, which stars Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Julia Davis, Kerry Fox, Roland Gift, Paul McGann and Steve Oram.

Brakes is a raw, dark and unconventional comedy from new writer/director Mercedes Grower. Split into two halves it follows the tumultuous stories of nine couples, plunging straight into the brutal and absurd endings of their relationships first, before travelling back to the moments when the spark of love between them first emerged. Using London as their match-maker, each of their stories is unique yet familiar to us all.

Cinema listings from Friday 24 November at

Watch at home from Friday 24 November. See
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

The Mighty Boosh stars Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt reunite for Brakes, watch the trailer here

With a little over a week to go until its release, a poster and trailer have arrived online for writer-director Mercedes Grower’s feature debut Brakes. Described as an unconventional comedy, the film reunites The Mighty Boosh stars Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, alongside Paul McGann, Julia Davis, Kerry Fox, Roland Gift, Seb Cardinal and Steve Oram; take a look below…

Brakes is a raw, dark and unconventional comedy from new writer/director Mercedes Grower. Split into two halves it follows the tumultuous stories of nine couples, plunging straight into the brutal and absurd endings of their relationships first, before travelling back to the moments when the spark of love between them first emerged. Using London as their match-maker, each of their stories is unique yet familiar to us all.

Brakes is set for release on November 24th.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Simon Farnaby interview: Paddington 2, Yonderland, Star Wars

Ben Mortimer Nov 8, 2017

Simon Farnaby chats to us about writing Paddington 2, appearing in Rogue One, and making Yonderland...

Simon Farnaby is a man already keenly admired around these parts for being part of the Horrible Histories, Yonderland and Bill ensemble. But he's also the man who co-penned the script to the incoming Paddington 2, which seemed like a good enough excuse for a chat to us. Here's how it went...

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How did you end up joining Paul King [director/co-writer] on writing duties this time round?

Paul and I are friends, and we met many, many years ago in the comedy fringes, shall we say. We met and got on, and we did a one man show; we co-wrote a show, which I was acting in, and Paul directed for Battersea arts centre, this was 2004, or something.
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Great British Bake Off 2017 final – as it happened

It’s grand final time and the big question: Steven, Sophie or Kate for the win? Would Twitter have a meltdown if – somehow – it’s Kate? Here’s what happened, minute by minute.

9.21pm GMT

Also Lol at Stacey’s update. “She still likes pink.”


9.20pm GMT


Well, well ,well.

9.16pm GMT

A shame Steven went out on a relatively low note, but I suppose he had to, to bring into relief Sophie’s consistency. She’s clearly fabulous.

9.14pm GMT

Ch4 are definitely shipping Stovie.

9.13pm GMT

The main takeaway here is: Liam Called It

9.13pm GMT

I bet Liam’s dissertation will be under-researched yet charming.

Steven and Sophie are going on holiday together! How gorgeous! Or weird! Is it weird? Feel like it is a bit.

9.11pm GMT

Tom! I knew his name was Tom.

9.11pm GMT

Kate. Yasss kween.

There is no blood left in Steven’s face.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Great British Bake Off final review – Halloween shocker ends in a tweet victory

High-flying Steven’s bread let him down, Kate went nuts in the technical, which handed Sophie the champagne moment in Gbbo’s gothic-tinged 2017 revival

And then there were three. The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4) tent looks very empty now, also haunted by the ghosts of bakers past (Liam, is that you?). Noel Fielding’s gothic presence does nothing to detract from the Halloween vibe; he glides around palely, creeping up behind the final three to ask them, softly, if they’re nervous. They are now, Noel.

He has divided opinion, I know. For me Noel has made Bake Off 2.0, an inspired hire. A bit weird, also weirdly kind, and funny - much more subtly so than the punning and innuendo of his predecessors. He has ever so gently nudged Gbbo a teeny bit away from the village green in the direction of the graveyard. Great (flavour) combination with
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Tuesday’s best TV: The Great British Bake Off, Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Cyberwar

  • The Guardian - TV News
The culinary competition comes to a head in the final, and a look into the 1981 hunger strike at Hm Prizon Maze. Plus: was Donald Trump installed into the White House by Russia?

Emerging from the BBC’s cosy oven to its new home at Channel 4 hasn’t dented Bake Off’s appeal. Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig are here with the final, and the trio of remaining bakers must pull out all the stops to impress Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. Tonight’s challenges include baking a batch of loaves and biscuits. The showstopper’s going to be a tricky one, with a sophisticated patisserie number on the menu. Hannah Verdier

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Taskmaster: the top 11 tasks so far

Louisa Mellor Sep 13, 2017

Den of Geek has narrowed down our favourite series 1-4 tasks from hugely funny Dave series Taskmaster

Warning: if you’re new to Taskmaster, catch up on Dave before reading this. We’d hate to spoil any surprises.

See related Twin Peaks season 3: Kyle MacLachlan chats about the finale Looking back at Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Commence rummaging for your most unusual/impressive/heaviest item, because Taskmaster is back. Starting tonight on Dave is a new eight-episode run of the challenge-based comedy series, this time testing the mettle of Sir Bob Mortimer, Sally Phillips, Nish Kumar, Aisling Bea and Mark Watson. This one’s coconut-themed, apparently. (Previous series have been vaguely themed around eggs, potatoes, rubber ducks and… whimsy?)

To celebrate its return, we’ve selected some of the previous series highlights. Below then, enjoy reminiscing about an amount of tasks that would, balanced atop one another,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Taskmaster: Alex Horne on series 5, casting, remakes, the future

Louisa Mellor Sep 13, 2017

Taskmaster returns for a fifth series tonight on Dave, featuring Bob Mortimer, Sally Phillips, Nish Kumar, Aisling Bea and Mark Watson...

“I think I could probably fit all that lot in my trousers,” says Tim Key gesturing at the crowded kitchen worktop of a London flat in this 2008 YouTube video. He then tests the hypothesis, starting with a loaf of bread, a bunch of bananas and a silver espresso maker. Into the trouser leg they go, followed by a parade of unlikely items - a cheese grater, a bottle of orange squash, an unwieldy marble bowl. Every so often, a hand reaches out from the camera to assist. It belongs to comedian Alex Horne, seen intermittently in the back of shot drinking a coffee and checking his watch.

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“Yeah, we had a lot of free time,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Paul Hollywood pictured wearing fancy-dress Nazi uniform

Great British Bake Off presenter apologises for 2003 image, which he says was taken on way to ‘Allo ‘Allo! themed party

Pictures have emerged of the Great British Bake Off presenter Paul Hollywood dressed in a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika and iron cross, as he prepared to attend a fancy dress party in 2003.

The former baker who presents the popular show on Channel 4 with Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig said on Sunday that he was “absolutely devastated” to have caused offence by wearing the uniform.

#GBBOf’s Paul Hollywood stunned pub drinkers after turning up dressed in full Nazi officer uniform

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Is Bake Off’s Steven too good to be true?

The two-time star baker is clearly the best on this year’s show – so angry viewers are accusing him of being a secret pro. From X Factor to Strictly, fans never seem to trust the most talented ones

One of the biggest shocks of this new The Great British Bake Off series – apart from the sensory pandemonium that comes from hearing Noel Fielding sincerely describing biscuits – is Steven Carter-Bailey. If you have been watching, you will know that Steven has won the coveted Star Baker title two weeks out of two, first for his cake that looked like bread and then for his biscuit that you could play chess on.

Inevitably, the primary response to this has been outrage. Steven’s Instagram has been uncovered, and it shows – gasp – that he is actually really good at baking cakes. Angry viewers have even suggested, although in no way proven, that
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Channel 4’s ‘Bake Off’ Rises to the Occasion With 30% of U.K. Audience

The Great British Bake Off” put in a strong opening performance in its new home, U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, despite a notable drop in viewing figures from the launch of its final BBC season last year. Overnight figures show that the inaugural episode of the new-look season, which aired at 8 p.m. Tuesday, drew an average of 6.5 million viewers, a 30.4% audience share in its time slot. Peak viewing reached 7.7 million with a 34.6% share.

While nearly 4 million fewer viewers tuned in, on average, compared to last year’s opening episode on the BBC (10.4 million), the result gave underdog Channel 4 its biggest overnight figures since the opening ceremony of the London Paralympic Games in August 2012 and was 3 million higher than its previous biggest draw of 2017, the documentary “Diana: In Her Own Words,” which drew an average of 3.5 million and a peak of 4.1 million viewers.

“‘The Great British Bake Off’s’ audience last night proves it’s still
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Share your reviews of the Great British Bake Off's return

Was it a showstopper or a soggy-bottomed mess? As the hit baking show lands in its new home on Channel 4, send us your reviews and we’ll publish the best

After much excitement, chatter and controversy, the Great British Bake Off is finally back on our screens – in its new home on Channel 4.

Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig replace Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins as presenters, and Prue Leith steps into the shoes of the legendary Mary Berry as judge. In fact the only familiar face is Paul Hollywood, who continues as a judge.

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Great British Bake Off 2017, episode one – as it happened

Did Bake Off burn its bottom with the move to Channel 4, or did it rise like a phoenix?

9.22pm BST

So what do we think? It’s long, and adverts are...wearing. But Sandi and Noel could work well if they relax, and the bakers themselves impressed. There are a few artists in there. I’d say that last round alone warranted another week’s watching.

I also imagine GeneralMittens is bang on the money with what happens next, but I can’t print that up here. Shame on you. Er, General.

9.14pm BST

Is it dark because they make them stay in the grounds until they cry on camera?

Next week is biscuits. I do want to see if Sandi and Noel relax, plus I’m contractually obliged. But I’d love to see you all again!

9.12pm BST

A worthy win for Steven. And Peter is sent home.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
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