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89
4.8 out of 5 stars
Brass Eye [VHS] [1997]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2015
This series is not 'nice', it is not respectful and it is a landmark; it leaves previous news 'satires' such as The News Quiz - smug, tame where this is sometimes vicious - and 'Hot Metal' looking quite outmoded in every way. The beloved 'Have I got News For You' is far friendlier and it never wounds as this series does, persistently. Crucially, this is satire that simply ignores the impulse to be likeable, rightly seeing it as requiring a compromise that cannot be afforded. Not since Python - and this belongs in the same precious breath - has intelligence so brilliantly fuelled comedy. Morris seemingly cannot look at a belt without punching below it. No bad thing when so many needed stiletto or boot or both; he and his team do each with panache and bite. From the overblown, bombastic credit intro. to the Paxmanny curled lip, the supercilious manner, some remarkably sharp satire is as mordant these years later. News' self-importance was pointed out to many of those guilty of it (Michael Buerck for one has rather admirably admitted this). The choice of institutions is uncanny: Prisons, Drugs, Paedophilia, Crime, (Bad) Science 'celebrity' endorsement of good causes, well not one of these episodes missed its target, especially the paedophilia Special that caused so much fuss in the more self-righteous newspapers, ones themselves ready to exploit child sex appeal when it suited them; nothing more outraged than a hypocrite exposed. Not that this is always comfortable viewing, any more than Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' was 'nice' to read; seeing likeable actors gulled into endorsing absurd good causes makes for uneasy television (by the same token seeing Edmonds intoning "Take care. And I mean take care" with his trademark unctuousness remains a treat; Carla Lane agreeing with the most absurd animal 'rights' guff and Rolf Harris on 'Cake' causing 'Czech neck'; Tommy Vance tough-talking prisoners about "nut-brown ale" and Phil Collins talking chirpily about "nonce sense"(!) all spear the ripest of targets. Also there's prescience, Morris quickly saw that 'celebrity' is more vacuous than anyone had supposed. The series succeeds magnificently in being as funny as it is clever: top production values and some startling acting performance are pitch-perfect, this is high-wire stuff: [a pointer is in the precursor series 'The Day Today' where the musical parodies are so brilliant you believe Fur-Q's 'Uzi Lover' and 'Nirvana'[s] 'Panty Smile' could well be them...yet its all Morris and his musical chums. He loves music, and as we know, each man kills the thing he loves. Anyway, god is in both series in the detail too]. Incidentally in interviewing Jas Mann of the short-lived Babylon 'Spaceman' Zoo Morris corpses slightly, the single moment when he is not the consummate actor. Mind you, I missed this nanosecond]. It is a great love of television that informs the creative destruction of it . Consider: Morris, Doon Mackichan, Rebecca Front, Julia Davis, Mark Heap, Kevin Eldon, Gina McKee, David Schneider and Patrick Marber. If you judge someone by the company they keep, then you know that this is a very special series indeed. A legend of television comedy; ask a telejouno.. It may not be to your taste - it is not for the squeamish - but without question the talent here is beyond serious dispute.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2007
Controversial, 'near the mark', sick...... Sound familliar to many other Channel 4 programmes broadcast over the channel's history? Well Brasseye is no different. Chris Morris' dark wit, coupled with a few unsuspecting celebrities, has created one of the deepest and cleverest satire TV shows in recent history.
In a time with 24hour news channels and shows such as crimewatch that try to scare the veiwer into believing some of the most ridiculous things; brasseye comes as a welcome break. Chris Morris, having outdone himself in the series, has inexplicably managed to point the finger at an overimaginative media and an oversensitive public alike. Takling issues such as Animal Cruelty, Drugs, Science, Decline and Sex, the programme immediately lends itself to very 'sensitive' issues. The 2001 special on paedophiles - in my opinion is the best. Following soon after the murder of sarah payne, an over vigilant public had started accusing anyone of being a paedophile. On one occasion a peadeotrician had 'PAEDO' graffittid on to her car! The public and media both needed putting back in their place.

Channel 4 and Morris you have out done yourself. more programmes of this calibre need to be made.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2003
Chris Morris’ bitingly cynical spoof of current affairs news programs comes to DVD, and I’d recommend it to anyone with a sense of humour. Featuring the entire series, as well as the infamous ‘Paedophilia’ special that provoked such tabloid uproar (exactly as Morris planned), any fans of the series should buy this without a second thought. If you’ve never seen or heard of the program, then where have you been? As long as you’re amused by a mixture of the surreal and the satirical, and want to see well-know celebrities being stitched up something rotten and made to look stupid without realising it, you’ll be in your element.
If you’re easily offended, you may possibly want to look somewhere for your laughs, as some parts of Brass Eye are deliberately calculated to cause the maximum amount of offence to the greatest number of people. The ‘Paedophilia’ special, for example; whilst for me it is absolutely hilarious, mocking the witch-hunt atmosphere of the time, it did receive massive amounts of complaints to the ITC. Just make sure you know what you are seeing before you watch it, as some people may consider that it goes too far. For those with a more open mind, though, sit back and enjoy one of the most off the wall and funny spoofs ever seen on British TV, possibly even outdoing The Office in terms of laugh out loud moments, which is no mean feat in itself.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Chris Morris's brain must be permanently set to RANDOM to produce in this, and The Day Today, 2 of the funniest programs of the 90's on British television. This is totally random and you must appreciate that kind of humour if you're to appreciate this. It is also totally offensive and will offend you if you find ANYTHING offensive.

In particular, the "infamous" paedophiles episode, which incidentally was done many years after the original series. This episode was created as a response to the Paedo-fear-mongering that was throughout the country at the time, and boy did it hit a nerve.

Humiliating "celebrities", getting fake drugs mentioned in the commons, and fooling people into thinking that Noel Edmonds had killed Clive Anderson are only the tip of the iceberg of this dark, disturbing and deeply funny series.

I found this funny as a 15 year old who had stumbled across all the dark humour he could ever want, and again, years later, as a 24 year old. But this time, I can appreciate it even more with regards to the way it is shot, ridiculous camera angles/editing and the ludicrous things which happen within.

Buy this now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2013
Ludicrous, hilarious, meticulous. Need I say more? I'm going to.

What you're getting here is a DVD of fine television ranging from pranks on politicians to cock-ups on camera. This series (and special) is certainly not for those who are easily offended, however. There is plenty of well-crafted satire and genius comedy reserved for those who can appreciate it all.

With the same sort of idea as The Day Today, and absolutely not the same sort of idea as Jam, you'll be treated to some of the finest lines in British television's long history, as well as genius acronyms, character names and other observational comedy you won't find anywhere other than in Chris Morris's creations.

The Paedophile Special is completely over the line. Which is why it is worth your time to watch it over and over again.

Also included in this DVD are some extras such as "Me Oh Myra" extended, and the full simulated audio experience under the influence of Cake.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2010
This is a very fantastic series. It's clever, witty and still quite relevant, despite being ten years old. Younger viewers, such as myself, who were born in the early 90s probably won't recognise all of the celebrity faces in the production, but it doesn't really matter as the principle is still the same. Definitely worth a look, especially if you enjoy British humor (and aren't too easily offended!)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2004
Over the years, there's been a limited number of satirical half-hour 'shows' - trying to make news funny. 'Have i got news for you' has given it a good shot over the last decade, and it's done okay. Along comes Chris Morris - already controversial, but in some ways unheard of, only a few of the general public would associate the name with the man that caused media-propaganda regarding 'peadophilia'. This dvd contains all the episodes or Brass Eye, and is absolutely fantastic. A staged show that takes the mick out of our world's media system-delivery & content. Chris Morris's best effort of them all of them all on this DVD is the child-abuse subject. It sounds horrible - "comedy for sickos" the sun newspaper states. It is not atall; I'm perfectly normal and the way in which the 'brass eye' team send the information to the viewer is incredible. When i was 16, I actually beleived it was a real documentary - yet with statistical graphics you can't understand & realistic into sequences; it just goes to show what a diabolical and gullible nation we have become. With meaningless phrases such as 'he was as gay as a window' and the professionalism of the final-cut of every episode, this is a must have for anybody ata all, you'll get more than just a few giggles; but only once you understand that brass eye is NOT about the subjects it discusses - but rather the way they are portrayed to us in everyday life, will you fully appreciate the content, and feel yourself that 4 or 5 stars is the least this masterpiece deserves. Absolutley fantastic
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2002
When people harp about the best of British comedy, there is the inevitable chorus line of; Fawlty Towers, Morecambe & Wise and The two Ronnies. Fair enough. But no one ever has a mention for the more controversial of comics, like Chris Morris.
Let's give him his due credit, the man may not be a genius, but he does do a decent impression of one. Anyone who can get Rolf Harris to go on TV claiming that a designer drug called 'cake' affects a part of the brain called the "Shatners Bassoon," or can convince a bunch of C-list celbrities to help in a campaign where a west Indian elephant has her head stuck up her backside and is starting to digest herself must be made of finer stuff than you or I.
Brass Eye may not always be in the best of taste,(I won't mention the ill recieved 'paedophile' episode that caused several papers to brand Morris as Satan) but it is always hilarious, sometimes thought provoking and it shows us just how ridiculous this countries Media really is.
I can't recommend this Dvd enough, if you don't already own it, buy it now, and if you do already own it, buy another copy and give it someone as a present.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2010
Chris Morris had already made 'On the Hour' for radio and 'The Day Today' for television before he produced 'Brass Eye' for Channel 4 in 1997. 'The Day Today' had seemed like the ultimate spoof current affairs magazine when it was shown in 1994, but 'Brass Eye' was even more inspired. This series of spoof documentaries tackles a series of contemporary issues such as crime, drugs and child abuse. Given the sensitive nature of some of the topics covered, it was hardly surprising that the series came in for a lot of criticism, but it is consistently very funny, and at the same time it manages to make a lot of valid points about the way television news reporters operate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2013
Please be warned: This show requires a reasonable level of intelligence within the viewer. If you are a mindless idiot who simply prefers to repeat back the crap (i.e. lowest common denominator nonesense) that is poored into you via your chosen news media, as your own considered opinion, please seek out something else.

Classic, clever, funny, disturbing, and biting satire.

So many of comedies out there to buy in DVD land, that also try to make you think about the big issues of media exploitation or dumbed down and downright lazy reporting, are really just not that funny.

But this is very funny.
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