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Jam: The Complete Series [DVD] [2000]
Jam: The Complete Series [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Christopher Morris

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Morrisian an adjective?, 3 May 2003
First of all this is truly extraordinary.
Secondly, it's not comedy at all. True, I laughed out loud a few times but the overall feeling is one of deep discomfort, occasional shock and a lingering dense of dislocation. Jam can infest your world view to the point where it's Pinteresque silences and Beckettesque vignettes seem to reer up in your everyday life. And I'm not sure if I'm pleased about that.
Morris has managed to create and broadcast the most extreme, offensive and deeply disturbing programme ever transmitted. That it is so much more than a load of shock tactics and lavatorial excess a la Jackass is all the more impressive. It's a vision of hell where all relationships are awkward, all authority is absurd and untrustworthy and insanity slips into reality with worrying ease. The thin veneer of everyday life is constantly being confronted by the darkness beneath it. And that is the world of Jam.
Highlights - the lizard TV, the 6 yr old Ms Fixit, the intro to episode 4 (the dung breath men), the casual parents. I could go on.
Theres little to fault here. The acting is mostly flawless and utterly beleivable. No mugging and overacting at all.
The extras are a little repetetive though there is a pretty good joke involving undeleted scenes.
Morris is the one true original working in British "comedy" and he now deserves his own adjective.

Life Is Beautiful [DVD] [1999]
Life Is Beautiful [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Roberto Benigni
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.76

27 of 118 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A film which should never have been made., 9 Feb. 2003
Roberto Begnini's Life Is Beautiful is, quite simply, among the worst films ever made. It is questionable whether it should ever have been created.
You cant make a "comedy" with the Holocaust as the central event. Any attempts to do so are doomed to result in the kind of morally vacant nonsense Begnini has concocted. His attempts at emotionally manipulating the audience against a backdrop of barely beleivable brutality (here sanitised and all too beleivable) are verging on the offensive.
As a portrayal of a historic event it makes the abysmal US mini-series "Holocaust" look like Pasolini's "Salo". At least that film had emotional and moral honesty. Begnini's film has none.
He fabricates a death camp where conditions appear perfectly tolerable. Where the worst kind of punishment is passing around a heavy anvil. Where it is possible to remain unaware of the camps true purpose until stumbling across a pile of burning bodies. Where the German soldiers are hapless stooges and dolts.
The film has found acclaim with those uncomfortable with the realities of the world. They assume the role of the child in the film where monstrous events are sweetened with slapstick and frantic mugging. They remain happy as long as the illusion is sustained. Meanwhile they congratulate themselves on their bravery in sitting through such an emotionally gruelling experience. A sanitised, vacuous, star vehicle aimed at people who "dont usually like this kind of thing". The mass slaughter its easy for the whole family to enjoy.
When I emerged, shaking with rage, after seeing this film at the cinema on it's first release I propounded the idea that were a major American studio attempt to make a comedy about the holocaust with, say, Robin Williams in the lead role it would be utterly slated.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Jakob The Liar.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 10, 2012 7:16 PM BST

Legal Man
Legal Man
Price: £6.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No 1 forever in a fair universe, 9 July 2002
This review is from: Legal Man (Audio CD)
This has to be one of the most horribly ignored and underated singles of all time. The perfect sumer single with a melody you cant get out of your head and a very funny lyrical conceit (a love song in legal jargon) with a great Stevie Jackson moment: it's almost perfect. Motown, French 60's pop and a love letter to disillusioned Glasgow office workers stretched out on the grass in George Square - it's close to perfection. Please buy.

Dali/Catch Up
Dali/Catch Up
Offered by 5records
Price: £0.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early days for Lexus kid, 7 July 2002
This review is from: Dali/Catch Up (Audio CD)
This, the first release by the hotly tipped 19 year old singer/songwriter best known for the haunting music for the Lexus car ad, is something of a mixed bag.
Perhaps the main problem lies in the obviousness of his influences. "Dali" is Muse covering Radiohead's Paranoid Android. "Catch Up" is Hats period Blue Nile. If I'd never heard any of these people I'd be enormously excited and slathering all over my keyboard with an undoubted 5 star review.
It's, perhaps, a little unfair to expect so young an artist to arrive fully formed having found his own unique voice. In fact it's virtually impossible. What is here, though, is more than enough to warrant further exploration and I'll certainly be buying Open Heart Zoo on release.

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