Tag Archives: Michael Caine

The Trip: A Short Review

Here’s a little interesting film I enjoyed with my mother and fellow blogger (see the side of my blog for her page) about the wonders of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. In a great move by these two fantastic English actors, a show these two did a few years ago was edited down and turned into a “best of” compilation of their hilarious interactions in this film simply called The Trip. In this movie, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon expand on their characters of a hilarious movie they did quite a while ago, A Cock and Bull Story.

So Steve Coogan is at a lull in his career and decides to take a little break from whatever work may come his way. In order to impress his American girlfriend and try to get some action, he arranges to do a food tour around the U.K. But things go wrong. Coogan’s girlfriend backs out and Steve must find someone to go with him on this restaurant journey. Lo and behold, Rob Brydon an “acting friend” of his agrees to go along. Without any opportunity of furthering his career or relationship with his girlfriend, Steve Coogan must endure a few weeks with what he seems to consider Hell.

Rob and Steve. Psychos.

Let me just start off by saying that the Steve Coogan/Rob Brydon combo is just pure genius. A cynical downer (Coogan) and a middle of the road family man (Brydon) creates someone with nice comments and someone to shoot them down with a negative blaster. What’s more, this movie makes Steve Coogan seem like the crankiest, worst actor of all time. He puts himself in such tense, awkward situations, you ever wonder how he finds women to cheat on his girlfriend with. With his career in the dumps, you can expect absolutely no good ending for Coogan and Co.

Coogan at the crossroads.

But that’s the charm of the English and their humor. Not everything has to end so happy go lucky and perfect. What would be better now would be to watch the show and see how much of a spiral Steve Coogan goes through. (It wouldn’t be much longer than the movie, but it would still be legit.) Where the real humor comes in this film is the impersonations of Rob Brydon. And, not to be outdone, Steve Coogan attempting to correct the impersonations of someone far better than him. The imagined mediocre lives of these two characters comes to fruition as the tale continues to the point where the two are happy to return home more than anything else. And the Michael Caine impression. BEST SCENE EVER.

If you’re a fan of Steven Coogan and his films/shows:

Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge, I’m Alan Partridge, A Cock and Bull Story, Hot Fuzz (cameo), Hamlet 2, Tropic Thunder, or any of Coogan’s Baby Cow production shows,

then definitely check this out. I’m not as familiar with Rob Brydon other than A Cock and Bull Story, but he was well worth the watch for his comedic relief in one of the darker comedies I’ve ever seen. You really have to appreciate the down in the dumps/dump on myself comedy that Steve Coogan exudes. And I do. I find Steve Coogan, as I will review in the future, as one of the funniest men of *gasp* the world. Give him a try, he’s worth it. (And Rob Brydon.) 9.6 out of 10.

Darkest scene ever.

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Gnomeo & Juliet

This cute little film filled with British actors takes a new look at the story of Romeo and Juliet and uses a British topic of interest. Garden gnomes. (Not sure if a lo of Brits have these, but it’d be interesting to see some U.K. gardens.) I watched this with my mom (U.K. T.V. analyst and fellow blogger) mostly for James McAvoy’s voice talents. We’re both fans, but for slightly different reasons. (Not really though, he is pretty dreamy.) This tragic William Shakespeare story is turned on its head (as the poster suggests) with a cute plot device using warring gardens who happen to be owned by Miss Montague (Julie Walters, good old Mrs. Weasley) of the “Blue”burys and Mr. Capulet (Richard Wilson) of the “Red”bricks.

Set apart from typical Pixar and Dreamworks films, this film takes its own approach to animation in the 3-D. Although

McEvoy and Blunt as the disguised Gnomeo and Juliet

Touchstone and Miramax do good animated films, this British touch to the way things looked was refreshing, at the same time that it seemed a bit off in its sharpness and cutting edge-i-ness. But it’s all the same to me these days, what with all these mass amounts of animal infested, fantastical adventures films made for kids and adults in 3-D animation. (I would recommend Rio though, it was quite a cast and story.) But the story stands out in comparison to the lack of pizzazz in the animation, and gave it some credibility.

Warring gardens with love in the mix.

So as expected, the story follows quite closely to the original Romeo and Juliet plot line. (Less death unfortunately.) The warring families led by Lord Rebrick (Michael Caine) who’s Juliet’s (Emily Blunt) father and Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith) who’s Gnomeo’s (James McAvoy) mother despise each other for reasons that seem a bit hazy. The real test between the families is whose garden is superior. One night, in order to impress her father, Juliet sneaks out of the garden in order to retrieve a beautiful flower to spruce up the garden. Surprise, surprise, Gnomeo sneaks out as well for some mischief. The two cross paths, sparks fly, and their love is forever fated.

But oh the problems that ensue. One’s red and the other’s blue! What will they do? Their love is forbidden and they may only meet in secrecy. And there must be some conflict that arises when their love is discovered! And yes, there is. This version doesn’t disappoint and how could it? True British actors are tackling a fellow countryman’s play.

Now let’s talk about the cast. I was quite surprised at the acting chops associated with this film, and every last one a Brit! Of course there’s the two star-crossed

Sorry Jim Cummings you just missed the mark.

lovers, James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as Gnomeo and Juliet. Maggie Smith and Michael Caine lend their voices to their parents as some veterans of the BBC business. Also, and more unexpectedly, Jason Statham is featured in this film as Tybalt the red menace of the Montague house. I was really surprised to discover this after a few Transporter lines were delivered. I just can’t seem to grip the idea that Jason Statham is British! Matt Lucas, the good old Little Britains sketch comedy genius of the hairless kind lends a generically comedic voice to Benny, Gnomeo’s number 2. Even Patrick Stewart (Will Shakes himself) and OZZY OSBOURNE himself lends his voice to this film, as a ceramic fawn!

Thanks to this British cast for the cute film!

The only miss in this film is Jim Cummings as the pink flamingo garden ornament. His annoying attempt at some sort of foreign bird just loses it for me, because, to put it bluntly, didn’t deliver a funny line. This is quite disappointing as Jim Cummings has been in the Disney voice business since the early 90’s.

But all in all, this cute film about what our gardens hold delivers a nice little escape from reality for 75 minutes. With the occasional grown up joke and slapstick comedy, mixed with witty uses of the gnomes and what they’d be like if they could move (Toy Story style), this movie delivers a bit of entertainment worth a watch if you’re into British accents or children’s love/comedy/adventure films. 6 out of 10.

AND DID I MENTION THAT THE FILMED IS FUELED BY A ELTON JOHN SCORE AND SOUNDTRACK?!?!?