Tag Archives: The IT Crowd

The Watch: Richard Ayoade Needs to be Talked Up

As much as I’m sure some people wanted to see this movie for Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill, there is one man I wanted to see this movie for in particular. And that man was Richard Ayoade. From over the pond, Richard was brought to us as a gift, and should be treated as one. It’s not that often that a truly talented and gifted British

The true star of the film.

comedian graces us with his presence in an American typical absurdist comedy. It’s not to say that the rest of it wasn’t great, but one person stood out. IT Crowd’s lovable Moss. Let’s get it on.

What makes this movie great for me? The fact that it takes place in a fictitious town in my home state of Ohio. In a typical suburban neighborhood like the one I grew up in, Glenview, Ohio gives a true sense of how mundane and fake people can be in a well off town like this one. Where does a character like Evan Trautwig (Ben Stiller) find excitement from? Creating neighborhood groups and organizations and running. Just as well he would create the local Neighborhood Watch.

Classic slo-mo roll seen with every group of slick bricks.

After a horrendous Predator skinning of his recently hired Latino night guard, Trautwig takes it upon himself to keep the streets safe and find his employee’s murderer. Inspiring justice-like feelings in three men, Trautwig creates a badass group of rollers with great hangout basements. You got Bob Finnerty (Vince Vaughn). He’s the lovable dad and sports fan who wants nothing more than utilize the man cave he created years ago but his wife won’t let him even touch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) is the off the walls juvenile who will do and say anything, at any moment. This movie is where it all started with me. I decided to give Jonah Hill a second chance with all his movies from the past. I love him now.

And last and never least is Richard Ayoade. Everything he’s done for the British comedy circuit on television and otherwise is golden. His

Lookin’ fly with that egg in yo eye, Stiller.

geeky attitude and intelligently witty characters may go unappreciated by the masses, but he hits true to home with me. The I.T. Crowd, his work with The Mighty Boosh, this, and anything else he’s ever made an appearance in. He leaves a memorable place in my heart.

It’s about to get heavy up in this biatch.

The movie got its criticisms for vulgarity and poor plot, but I feel the movie delivered when it had to. The plot wasn’t too complicated so it could focus on the humor, and I got that from the start. Take one part Aliens, and one part small American town dynamic, and you have The Watch. Vince Vaughn almost stole the show (in combination with Jonah Hill) and the vulgarity added to all the angst that someone like me feels in a town where there’s nothing to do and everyone is just too nice. You gotta have the right experiences or this movie doesn’t hold the same amount of weight. Keep that in mind, critics.

Billy Crudup makes the greatest appearance as one of the creepiest neighbors I can think of, and Will Forte is classic

You guys are #1 in my book.

dumbass failure as the cop who didn’t hire Jonah Hill’s character. The movie moves along at the perfect pace but sadly doesn’t give enough funny lines to Richard. Seth Rogen better get off the bong and beer and learn to revise that shizz. But I do hope this movie gives Richard Ayoade other opportunities to shine in American cinema, but he’s just fine where he is in the U.K. So I tip my hat to this film for trying and succeeding to tickle my funny bone. And look forward to a lot of reviews on Jonah Hill films. That dude is gold.

7.8 out of 10.

Advertisements

Berry & Fulcher’s Snuff Box

You wanna talk about dark and strange to the point of comedy? This show encompasses that idea. Seeing the faces of Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher once again warmed my heart to the sound of “Holy Shitnuts!” and Berry’s sultry pickup lines. I’m glad these two met through Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt’s The Mighty Boosh, because who knew such bizarre comedy could be made! Add some rap song about babies and Matt Berry’s whimsical singing voice and you have a campy comedy about Hangmen.

But it’s far more than that. Using their own names as the personas for their characters, Rich Fulcher and Matt Berry deliver skit after skit that may seem unrelated, and usually is. Berry wants his women and his silver cowboy boots, while Fulcher just wants Matt’s approval (and maybe some women). They both cavort around in a one room brothel/tavern occupied by cantankerous old farts, saying what they want, even traveling back in time. There’s no limits to their

The strange men who are Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher.

brashness and I loved all 6 episodes.

Looks quite old for a show from 2006…

If you liked The Mighty Boosh (and I have a blog on it from way back when) then you will most likely like this show. But it’s not a given. This show has some differences. Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher, although outrageous, have hits and misses in their show. For some people who like references in their comedy to draw from, this show has about a 20-80 ratio of referential comedy. It features no big Brit comedians, other than the occasional pop-up from Richard Ayoade from The IT Crowd and the Shaman from Boosh.

A coffee… For those awkward moments of Snuff Box.

But what I can’t get over is how bizarre this show actually is. Most sketches have nothing to do with what’s going on, and, like Little Britain, this show returns to sketches that may or may not have

Leave it to an American to make love to a lollipop…

worked out in previous episodes. It’s rather alarming to see the amount of progress made throughout this six episode series from start to finish. But if you are fans of Rich Fulcher and Matt Berry, this show will work for you.

It really worked for me.

There’s really not that much to say about this show. It’s one of those see it to believe it kind of deals. And there really isn’t anyway to describe it. So just check it out. It’s Brit comedy to the extreme of strange, the edge of darkness. It is, in a word, wonderful. 7.7 out of 10.

But really, leave it to an American on British Television to do things like this. Unbelievably witty.

 


Four Lions: Terrorism at its Finest

In this dark comedy/mockumentary of the Islamic world of terrorism, four “lions” of men come together for one reason only, to attack the Western infidels of Sheffield, England in order to send a message. And what a message they send. In one of the funniest movies of the past five years, for me, I couldn’t stop laughing as these moderately incompetent terrorists attempt to lay some waste and terror all over some English peoples. There’s mishaps, wavering trust and faith, and even some exploding sheep. Nothing could be better than one of the most controversial films to ever deal with a hot button issue.

This misfit group of terrorists are really intent on blowing up something. Be it a drug store or the members of a fun run, Hell, even their own mosque, they plan to incite some rage and tension between countries. There’s Omar (Riz Ahmed), the leader of the group with the best head on his shoulders. He plans to leave his family and be truer to the Muslim faith than his bookworm of a brother. What shocked me most about this film was why Omar’s loving and beautiful wife and son are okay with all that

Some kooky terrorists on the prowl.

he’s doing. There’s Omar’s dim witted friend and “bro” Waj (Kayvan Novak). Always wanting to travel on those “rubber dingy rapids”, Waj has the best of intentions but always seems to screw it up along the way. Throw in the wild card Barry (Nigel Lindsay) the white Muslim converted Englander who feels he’s better suited for terrorist acts than anyone in the group. He screws up a lot, but will never admit to his mistakes. And there’s Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) the man who blows up crows in preparation for an airborne attack.

Hassan pullin’ off some Muslim rapping.

Bring together this rag-tag bunch of Muslim extremists and you have a recipe for disaster. They cook up bombs in their flat with huge amounts of bleach and other cleaning products and slang it around with one of the funniest escape scenes you’ll ever see. There’s arguments on what a Wookie is (a bear or not?) and whether being a Muslim rapper is the right path in life. There are some great scenes in Afghanistan where Omar and Waj go for training and one of my favorite muck-up scenes takes place there as well. Is it racist I attempt to put on a English tinted Muslim accent? RUBBER DINGY RAPIDS BRO.

I was mightily impressed with Chris Morris’ directing and writing in this film. He researched information on the situation of terrorism and the “War on Terror” prior to this film. This helped accurately represent the frustrated characters he created in this film that just want to blow shit up. Coming from an actor turned director that I’ve watched in a few seasons of The IT Crowd, his humor wasn’t represented, and replaced with a much darker and brooding one. The council scene in which the local residents in Sheffield debate about terrorism is hard to watch and quite frightening when Hassan (Arsher Ali) is introduced. Their ideals and views may come across as ridiculous, but there are those out there who believe infidels must be killed and women must be locked away.

Explain this. Word.

Get some, Omar.

Not recognizing any of the actors from this film really helped enhance the experience of watching this film. They’re all fine actors and you begin to believe they are strong extremist Muslim supporters in this film. The gorilla style of shooting and set ups are all interesting and give a gritty feel to the film. The Afghanistan shots seem a bit unbelievable but its only for a short time that you have to jump into the warfare of the sands. The conflicts and characters develop as the film progresses and you learn that there is a serious side to the film. The dark humor becomes more real and you’re forced to realize situations like this happen, the terrorists have families and faces, they have feelings and emotions just like us. It’s not so much a sympathy film as it is a humorously dark look into what exactly terrorism means outside of our own perspectives. And I applaud that outlook. This film accomplishes its comedic elements and also delivers a message at the same time. Impressed as I was, this movie does deserve all the critical acclaim it got. Best film of 2010? You got it. A definite 9.7 out of 10.


Gulliver’s Travels: Jack Black at His Worse Worst

So there are very few reasons why this movie was at least decent. But the biggest reason this film flopped, straight up, is Jack Black. His atrocious act of not acting is what plain and simple killed this movie. It might’ve had a chance at being a decent children’s film if it had been any other comedic actor. Hell, Paul Rudd (my favorite comedic actor) would’ve made me buy this film before I watched it. It would be more

You suck Jack Black. Period.

entertaining with Cedric the Entertainer. I think this was Jack Black’s attempt to make a bit more bank on another terrible children’s film. I dread the day that Kung Fu Panda 2 comes out. And that’s soon. Ugh.

Besides Jack Black, there were some decent actors in this film. Jason Segel pulled off a more than decent English accent, which I commend highly. He is, I would say, one out of three actors that made this film okay. (It was only 85 minutes long, but any scene of Jack Black alone was agony.) Emily Blunt

You capture that Princess, Chris O'Dowd. You rule.

was quite beautiful and charming in this film, and, not having seen a lot of her films, this movie didn’t destroy her career. And, most importantly, Chris O’Dowd of The IT Crowd was in this film. He is, quite literally, the backbone of comedy in this film. He had more comedy in his moustache in this film than Jack Black had in his entire, gelatinous body. (And he was 100 times their size.) He was cynical, and always in the position of protagonist, and it worked out great for him. I’ve never seen him in a villainous role, but this was great. He keeps getting better.

Okay, now I should probably fill you in on the plot. Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) is a mail room clerk who wants to impress an editor at his work, Darcy (Amanda Peet). In order to do so, he fakes a travel piece, and then travels to the Bermuda Triangle to do a piece on the area. He is sucked into a reverse whirlpool and lands in Lilyput, the island of the small people. There he meets Princess Mary (Emily Blunt), her soon to be husband General Edward (Chris O’Dowd) and her father, King Theodore (Billy Connolly). He’s imprisoned, released, and saves the town with the help of fellow small person and Princess Mary’s true love, Horatio (Jason Segel). And that’s basically it.

Wedgie the shizz out of that waste of time actor.

I give this movie credit for one thing besides the supporting cast. The effects. In whatever way they had Jack Black interact with the small people, it looked spot on realistic. The interactions looked real, I mean. The tiny sets meshed perfectly with the close up shots on the smaller characters and the set uses were interesting. So I give the special effects crew a lot of credit for really creating a backbone for some of the comedy. (i.e. Urine fire) So, accompany that with a great performance from Chris O’Dowd and you have yourself a barely B-rated kid’s comedy. 4.4 out of 10.


The Mighty Boosh: Comedic Genius

Ice floe, nowhere to go!

Ice floe, nowhere to go! Ice floe nowhere to go! I don’t think I stopped saying this for a week straight after the first time I watched the Tundra episode of The Mighty Boosh. This show is ridiculous… ly awesome. Every episode redefines humor and every plot outdoes itself in comparison to the last. If I had to choose my favorite British television show, of those I’ve seen, my favorite would still be The Might Boosh hands down. I do love Little Britain, The I.T. Crowd, and of course Monty Python’s Flying Circus. But these all pale in comparison to the genius that is Boosh.

Each season takes place in three very distinctly different locations that use those locations to the fullest. The first season starts off as Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt’s original creations, Vince Noir and Howard Moon, two zookeepers of the Zooniverse. It was with the success of this season that the other two came into being. The second series takes place in Naboo (Michael Fielding) the Enigma’s flat, and the third series not far from there in Naboo’s boutique, eloquently named Nabootique. Using the Zooniverse as a location, a lot of the episodes focus mainly on the use of animals and adventures that are so outlandish, I laughed heartily to every one.

Howard, Vince, Bollo, Naboo, and Fossil

As far as the first season goes, Howard has to rain the pain down on a kangaroo like a monsoon. This series blows up to hilarious proportions even from just the very first episode. My personal favorite episode form the first series is the Bollo episode in which Howard is taken to monkey hell instead of Bollo by accident. In this episode, Julian plays one of two hilarious characters that he plays, the first being the mirror world protector complete with mirror balls, and Sandstorm, the sexually frustrated man of sandpaper. It’s not to say I’m giving anything away by revealing characters, each episode in itself seems to have nothing to do with any of the others.

The Jungle episode of the first season introduces one of Rich Fulcher’s (Bob Fossil, later Lester Corncrake) best characters, Tommy Nookah, the man made of cheese. Suffice it so say that although Rich Fulcher is the American man in an all British show, he has some of the most outrageous lines and characters. My roommate loves the hilarious jazz man Lester Corncrake, the most absurdly ridiculous comment on a Southern, American, old, blind, black man. It’s great. Rich’s most notable character, Bob Fossil, runs the Zooniverse underneath one of the funniest comedic British actors to ever grace the T.V., Matt Berry, A.K.A. Dixon Bainbridge. Originally meant to be played by Richard Ayoade, Richard is not left out and comes back in seasons 2 and 3 as a ridiculously awesome shaman, Saboo.

The second season kicks in with the guys, Howard, Vince, Naboo, and Bollo, all crashing at Naboo’s flat in Dalston. We have the Nanageddon episode, hilarious with a great song towards the end, great lines from Howard too. The Fountain of Youth episode reintroduces the cockney character of Noel, the most hilarious and outlandish character of the entire show, my personal favorite. But what the shows most famous for and what became a Youtube phenom was the Old Gregg character played by Noel in the second season. If you’re really interested in the show and want to see some of it, definitely check this Youtube clip out.

The third series, although apparently toned down, is no less amazing. We get a lot of the Board of Shamans along with a new batch of ridiculous characters that find their way to the Nabootique. (Along with Lester Corncrake.) There’s a great tribute to a movie I can’t recall, but it has to do something with shrinking down a human in a sub and injecting them into somebody else to cure them from some sort of disease. The great part about this is the ridiculous twist they put on it and how Noel plays all parts of himself. The show ends on a quite uneventful note with the stage performances of Howard and Vince, both respectively as a lead singer for a new mod band and for a avant garde director. I would’ve rather had the show end with the crimping episode, one of my favorite features of the show, but I guess they still had more ideas coming.

At this point, I feel as I’ve I’m rambling, talking up a show that most people will mistake as the rambling of idiots. But there’s more to the show of that. I feel like yes, it may have the distinct kind of humor most people will shake/scratch their heads at. It isn’t conventional. It’s absolutely absurd. And there’s a growing population of people out there who love it. I’d have to say that most people should give this show a chance. At least one episode. It’s well worth it. Definitely a 10 out of 10.

Here’s that scene from the Old Gregg episode I was talking about. Enjoy. Just like Bailey’s from a shoe. Creamy beige.