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Killing Bono [DVD]

Pete Postlethwaite , Ben Barnes , Nick Hamm    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: £4.08 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Pete Postlethwaite, Ben Barnes, Krysten Ritter, Peter Serafinowicz
  • Directors: Nick Hamm
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Aug 2011
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004S723BU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,020 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



What would you do if you wanted to live the rock and roll lifestyle, but you’d ended up in the wrong band? That’s the conundrum at the heart of Killing Bono, as Neil McCormick finds himself in the music group at his school that didn’t turn out to be U2. And as such, he sets himself a simple challenge: to be bigger than them.

This quest for fame and fortunate, inevitably, doesn’t quite go to plan, and Killing Bono follows Neil, played by Ben Barnes, as he considers a more extreme solution to his problem. Quite a few, as it happens.

It’s a bit of a muddled film, but it isn’t bad. There are some nice comedy touches, and the performances in places are really rather good. Robert Sheehan, of the TV show Misfits and Ben Barnes fare well, while Pete Postlethwaite makes much of little in his last screen role before he died.

It’s a far-fetched piece of work, but it does charm its way through its bumpy patches. And, come the end credits, you’re not like to feel shortchanged by it. Killing Bono may not be perfect, but it does remember to entertain, and raises its fair share of chuckles, too. --Jon Foster

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Neil McCormick (Ben Barnes) always knew he'd be famous. A young Irish songwriter and budding genius, nothing less than a life of rock n' roll stardom will do. But there's only room for one singer in school band The Hype and his friend Paul's already bagged the job. So Neil forms his own band with his brother Ivan (Robert Sheehan). There's only one problem: The Hype have changed their name. To 'U2'. And Paul (Martin McCann) has turned into 'Bono'. Naturally there's only one option for Neil: become bigger than U2. The brothers head to London in their quest for fame, but their every action is dwarfed by the soaring success of their old school rivals. And when Ivan discovers the shocking truth behind Neil's rivalry with U2, it threatens to destroy everything. As his rock n' roll dream crashes and burns, is Neil forever destined to live in the shadows of superstardom? And what if the answer lies in... Killing Bono? ...Killing Bono ( I Was Bono's Doppelgänger )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 2 Jun 2011
By Jinx
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved this movie. I'm not a huge U2 fan but I grew up with them being played by my dad, who was a massive fan in the 80's, so I knew enough about their early years to recognise various time points but you don't need to be a U2 fan to watch this because it's not about them, it's about the McCormick brothers and their struggle to rise from the shadow of their friends, who happened to go on to become one of the biggest bands on the planet.
The music featured by 'Shook Up' is good and I have been humming a couple of them since I saw the movie. I think Ben Barnes and Robert Sheehan were great as Neil and Ivan, I liked the eagerness with which Ben portrayed Neil's determination to make it big without using his old friend (Bono) as a stepping stone. Also impressive job on the Irish accent and a great singing voice too.
Pete Postlewaite makes his last onscreen appearance in this and I have to say he was one of my favourite characters, despite being featured little but considering how ill he was it's understandable, also Peter Serafinowicz as 'Hammond' is fantastic, especially in the scene we first meet him in.
Overall I enjoyed this alot and I wish it got more notice. If you liked The Commitments then I recommend it as their writers were involved in this and the humour runs along the same lines.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun 10 May 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I think Killing Bono is a very charming, funny and entertaining film. I'm not a U2 fan, but luckily this film focuses on the McCormick brothers and their desperate attempts to achieve the same sort of fame and fortune as their former schoolmates. There are good performances from Robert Sheehan and the late Pete Postlethwaite, but for me Ben Barnes steals the show with his very endearing portrayal of Neil McCormick, who's envy and bitterness towards U2 lead him to make one disastrous mistake after another.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment and Quite Funny 23 July 2011
Killing Bono is one of those films which has received surprisingly little public recognition, but which has been rated highly by nearly everyone who has seen it. It certainly deserves a much wider audience.

The story line is based on Neil and Ivan McCormick, who were contemporaries of Bono and the other members of U2. Like U2, they had a sixth form band and high aspirations. Neil always felt that his band should be at least as successful as Bono's and as U2 became the most successful band on the planet, this rivalry prompts him to make a series of disastrous mistakes as he seeks the success he craves. As the older brother he tends to make decisions, normally bad ones, without consulting Ivan. Ivan is also blissfully unaware that Bono wanted to recruit him for U2, but Neil vetoed it, and is understandably less than delighted when he does eventually discover this. Neil seems to have a special talent for getting Shook Up booked for the most inappropriate gigs. The one which clashed with the Pope's visit to Ireland and another in a sleazy strip joint being particularly hilarious.

This is quite a light hearted film, at times very funny and the sound track is excellent. When we hear the music of Shook Up, the McCormicks' band, it is actually rather good which really makes you wonder why they sunk without trace and were not more successful. There are some very good performances, notably by the late Pete Postlethwaite making his last appearance as Karl, the landlord, and Peter Serafinowicz as Hammond, the wonderfully insincere agent. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film about some terrible music! 11 Feb 2012
By psmith
Laugh out loud funny, endearingly hopeless characters and real heart - this film is great fun and just occasionally the music is OK too. Ben Barnes and Robert Sheehan are brilliant and completely believable as the brothers whose band never quite makes it and the film owes a lot to their willingness to make total idiots of themselves. Loved it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick it on your LoveFilm b-list 20 Nov 2011
Based on the memoir I Was Bono's Doppelganger by Neil McCormick, Killing Bono tells the story of two Dublin brothers' attempt at rock stardom while school contemporaries Bono, Edge, Clayton and Mullen go on to rule the world.

An interesting enough premise, but the results are mixed. The Clement/ La Frenais screenplay lacks the realism and the bite of, say Auf Wiedersehen Pet or The Commitments. Also, the film is at times just a bit too reminiscent of the latter.

So, what you get here is something too far away from the source story's reality to have the ring of truth, and yet too based around a true story to be properly imagined. It falls between two stools in this sense.

U2 themselves are briliiantly portrayed in the beginning - it's a shame that their part in the subplot thereafter is reduced mainly to conversations about their phenomenal success, and album covers owned by the McCormick brothers: Boy in the front basket of a motorbike, War on a dartboard, with one of the brothers chucking darts at it.

The story is slight, but the pace is fine and it's enthusiastically acted by the main players. Strong supporting appearances by Peter Serafinowicz (well, the guy is a genius, so no surprise there...), and the late Pete Postlethwaite camping it up as the McCormick's landlord.

All in all it's a 3.5 from me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This 2011 comedy-with-a-hard-edge derives its screenplay from Neil McCormick's semi-autobiographical 2003 book `Killing Bono: I Was Bono's Doppelgänger'. Shot mainly in Belfast (which doubles for the film's 1980s Dublin and London locations) and directed by Nick Hamm, the result is clever, witty and entertaining.

The core of the story is that, contemporaneously with the embryonic U2 - who initially called themselves `The Hype' - another schoolboy band in Dublin led by the McCormack brothers, Neil (the older, played by Ben Barnes) and Ivan (the younger, talented, guitar player played by Robert Sheehan) was starting up. Neil believes his band to be better than Bono's outfit, so when Bono asks Neil to release his brother Ivan from his band because he wants him for U2, Neil declines - the first in a long line of poor decisions on Ivan's behalf which costs his younger brother an `A-list' musical career.

The story then develops as in parallel with U2's rapid international success, Neil and Ivan stumble from one hilarious episode to the next and suffer continuous frustration and disappointment in `making it big'. Invariably, Neil makes poor decisions even when opportunity comes knocking and always believes his band - `Shook Up' - can make it with no help from U2, who offer to get them a recording contract and a place as support band on their tour, which Neil declines without ever consulting his brother.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok film.
Got this for a U2 enthusiast and the film is ok. I had read the book previously and thought the book as better unfortunately. Still a good watch, but not amazing.
Published 1 month ago by AmazonBuyerF
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun!
Real story, a fantastic one. Unfortunetely this movie hasn't been distributed in Italy so I had to buy the dvd from abroad. It's a real must for all U2 fans!
Published 3 months ago by Silvia
5.0 out of 5 stars worth a watch
a film worth taking a look, good acting from the lead actors , very funny in places I think it is a very good film its not all about bono
Published 4 months ago by mrs susan turner
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, not brilliant.
The film's a good one but not one I'd watch more than once. Sheehan, though not as central as I expected, is as flawless as usual.
Published 6 months ago by Kelly89
5.0 out of 5 stars ENTERTAINING ROCK FILM
This movie is based on a true story. There were 2 friendly rival bands playing in Dublin. One of them changed their name to "U2" and we know the rest of that story. Read more
Published 9 months ago by The Movie Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I don't care what anyone else says about this film - I love it. I tend to read reviews before I watch the film, so I started with not much hope as most of the reviews said that it... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ducky26
4.0 out of 5 stars killing bono
quite an interesting film based on a true story and funny in parts some adult themes including drugs and strip clubs but a good easy evening watch
Published 13 months ago by johnny wonny
3.0 out of 5 stars worth a watch
better than i expected, im not a U2 fan so i really wasnt expecting to enjoy this but it was pretty good,
Published 14 months ago by Siobhan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun
Really funny storyline that will have you laughing your socks off as one of two brothers discovers he almost made it to be a member of U2, Great stuff.
Published 15 months ago by John Steven
5.0 out of 5 stars Killing Bono
loved this movie from the get go! crazy topsy turvy jealousy ridden movie, funny and sad! worth a watch, cast was uniquely chosen which worked really well!
Published 16 months ago by Mrs. K. E. Wing
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