Customer Reviews


46 Reviews
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (13)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cock and Bull Story.
Odd. Slightly confusing. Lacking in traditional structure...yes.
Intelligent. Chuckle-worthy. Original... Definitely.
A film, about a film about an unfilmable book.

A strange movie, undoubtedly and at first I didn't know how to take it. Was it a love story? Was it a mockumentary? One thing was certain...it was definitely a comedy. Quirky, off-the-wall...
Published on 6 Aug 2011 by Jodie-Lee Linley

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By cock and bull
The classic novel by Laurence Sterne is best described in this movie: "This is a postmodern novel before there was any modernism to be post about."

So it sounded pretty disastrous that a film was being adapted from it. Actually, half a film -- the other film is a mockumentary about a film crew desperaately trying to make some kind of movie, out of a book with...
Published on 19 Mar 2007 by E. A Solinas


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Project that almost Works...., 20 May 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I loved the opening scene, a parody and rip off of Peter Greenaway's 'The Draughtsman's Contract' with its jaunty Elizabethan sounding chamber music and the actors walking around the garden early morning, in period style.

Whether the viewer knows of, or even cares about the unfilmable novel they're supposed to be filming is of little matter. The 18th century novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentlemen, seems obscure and impossible to follow, at least as it's presented here. That's because Michael Winterbottom's follow up to his brilliant 24 Hour Party People, but which goes in an as opposite direction as possible, neatly follows the film being made.

With the current enthusiasm for period drama, with Downton Abbey et al, this is specially pertinent. And with recent TV half-hour comedies, we know that Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon make very comfortable comedic bed-fellows, with impersonating banter and sparring off each other and here, they do just that - and it's great. A whole host of almost every known face in U.K. TV comedy kingdom are somehow dropping in their comments and gags, usually pertinent to the film, some not.

As I said, for most, the actual narrative elements of the novel being filmed quickly take a back seat and attempts to associate scenes with those and what they mean just gets hazy and confusing. So, for us mere mortals, we don't care whether Coogan, as actual modern Steve Coogan is a fictionalised version of the original Tristram Shandy and so the domestic scenes become dreary. We don't really need to see babies being put to bed, do we?

This was my second viewing, on BBC2 and it was still interesting. As a mockumentary, a semi-serious send up of that so very British Institution, the period drama it works well, as does the loosely-written comedic interludes. Though the critics may cringe and disagree (they liked this film), it's probably too clever for its own good but I'm quite comfortable thinking that I'm enjoying a film that the literary dons do, too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to Review an Unreviewable Review, 18 Oct 2011
By 
This review is from: A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
When trying to film an unfilmable book, why not just film the process of filming an unfilmable book and leave it at that? Therefore, `A Cock and Bull Story' comes into being, a fictionalised film about a group of Brits trying to film `Tristram Shandy'. Michael Winterbottom has always been a maverick director who likes to span genres as well as experiment in film. I came across `Cock and Bull' after watching the 6 part TV series `The Trip'. Like the show `Cock and Bull' stars Steve Coogan and to a lesser degree, Rob Brydon. The two are also similar in that the banter between the actors is a core element of the film; half-truth, half fiction; elements of their real lives are interwoven into the improvisation.

Where things start to differ is in the narrative. `Cock and Bull' is an unconventional film, but it is no less entertaining for it. Elements from the finished `Tristram Shandy' film are spliced with the cast and crew making the film, and the dramas that go on backstage. The film is less about the film adaptation process and more a character study of a group of people. It is Coogan, as his alter ego self and Tristram, who carries the film. He is self-deprecating, funny and willing to play with the stereotypes that the media have created for him. In the film he is a lady's man trying to settle down, but finding it difficult. Where does the fiction start and end? You never find out and are not supposed to.

In the end some people will come out of `A Cock and Bull Story' a little confused, not much happens and you never discover if an unfilmable book is in fact filmable. However, this is never the real point of the film and as a funny, yet sad, human drama I found it incredibly interesting. One for the film curious.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is true, I am sure, that you will either love it or hate it..., 6 Dec 2010
By 
G. D. Busby "Cornish Graham" (Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
The earlier reviewer was spot on, I'm sure. Personally, I think this attempt to film what many said was unfilmable, is excellent. It almost certainly helps to have read the novel before viewing... and of course you could go and visit Shandy Hall when it's open!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars laugh out loud funny and that doesn't happen often enough to me, 4 Sep 2006
By 
L. E. Cooper (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I won't repeat the points made by other literate reviewers. I can't say whether or not you get more out of it if you have read Tristram Shandy, as I already had. I can reassure you that this film provides layer upon satisfying layer of brilliant gags.

Think of having a real food craving - chips/ chocolate/curry and then getting stuck into the chips/chocolate/curry. This film is that satisfying. So many jokes you need to watch it twice so you can savour the flavour. Very talented performances and writing. Invidious to single out particular funnies but watch out for a couple of my personal favourites, not already mentioned by other reviewers - Mark Williams as the 'Sealed Knot' nerd and the Al Pacino impressions by Rob and Steve, right at the end of the film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Erm...., 22 Aug 2007
By 
Mr. C. J. Iredale "juxtapose" (London Town) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I saw this recently, expecting something really outstanding, and, well, sort of enjoyed it, but in hindsight I have no idea why. The more I think about it he more I feel negetivity towards it washing over me. This is not the first time that Coogan has chosen to play himself as a bit of an egotistical nutter, and while he does it so well (I'm saying nothing!), it's a trick I have seen before. Rob Brydon gives a good performance, and the supporting actors and actresses read like a contempory who's who, but it feels smug and clever, and feels like it wants to divide it's audience into those who get it and those who don't, then feel pleased with itself about it.

I have not read Trstram Shandy, and feel I would enjoy it more if I had. If this is true then it is already setting itself to be elitist, before the first frame has been shown. Dylan Moran seems to be playing Bernard Black in a 18th century wig, Stephen Fry is playing Stephen Fry in and 18th Century wig (is a picture coming apparent to you?) and I generally thought it to be, well more amusing. It was entertaining in an odd way, but I cannot see myself EVER wanting to see it again. I nearly saw it at the cinema; I'm glad now I didin't.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Cock and Bull Film, 10 Jun 2009
By 
Hilary Nicholls (Manchester England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Tristam Shandy is one of the funniest books in English. It is a significant piece of modernism before modernism; its structure is complex and nonlinear, it can be read in any order and there is much play with multiple time lines,between story time and the narrator's time. Like Ulysses, it is a stream of consciousness.

Tristam Shandy has been described as unstageable. This film does nothing to displace that judgment.

We have about an hours' worth of some scenes from the book, which work quite well as such. Far too much of the film gives fly on the wall scenes from the making of the film itself. These do not work, are boring and bear no relation to the book. The story line about Coogan's girlfriend and baby visiting the set whilst a randy researcher has a crack at him is particularly tedious. Transitions between the narrator's (Coogan's) timeline and book time are superficially achieved, for instance, by Coogan casually shoving on a powdered wig.

Tristam Shandy deserves better. It is hoped that Michael Nyman's projected operatic version will be mopre successful. Or come to York University Music Department's production scheduled for November 2009.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Quite Do It For Me..., 9 Jun 2014
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Eclectic British film-maker Michael Winterbottom's 2005 'pseudo-documentary' about the making of a film based on Laurence Sterne's ground-breaking 18th century novel The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman has many things going for it - innovative approach, hilarious moments, cast, soundtrack and cinematography - but, in the end, does not quite add up to the sum of its parts. For me, the film rather sinks under its levels of multifarious ambition, becoming too disjointed and, in the process, missing its `targets' - both comedic and 'serious'. Amongst Winterbottom's prolific and mercurial output, therefore, A Cock And Bull Story resides below his best work Wonderland (his masterpiece), In This World, Jude and (maybe) The Claim, instead residing in amongst his more inconsistent output, such as 24 Hour Party People, Code 46, Genova, The Killer Inside Me, Everyday, The Look Of Love, etc.

Having said this, the film has its moments. This was Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's first incarnation (now rather done to death via TV's various The Trip(s)) as 'bantering rivals' and here there is much to amuse as they cross swords on fame and artistic integrity (of course), but also impressions (with Brydon repeatedly doing a great Alan Partridge), romantic interests, coffee and shoes. Also, in amongst Winterbottom's far too 'starry' cast (a problem Woody Allen has also suffered from) there are impressive turns from Keeley Hawes (playing Tristram's mother Elizabeth in Sterne's tale), Shirley Henderson, Mark Williams and (from 'lesser knowns') Naomie Harris' hilarious `'assistant' and 'pretentious' film-buff, Jennie, and Kieran O'Brien's 'hip' tabloid journalist, Gary. 'Superfluous' and wasted talent is also in evidence, however, via Stephen Fry, David Walliams, Roger Allam, Kelly Macdonald, Ian Hart and (in a perfunctory cameo) even Gillian Anderson.

Winterbottom's film is certainly innovative, mixing fictional flashback and 'making of' documentary styles at will, with Marcel Zyskind's cinematography impressive and Michael Nyman and Nino Rota's music (admittedly lifted from other films) nicely suited. But, for me, it really does fall between (at least) two stools, with its serious moments of reflection - on film-making, and Coogan's parenthood and 'identity problems' mirroring that of his fictional character - being less effective than its comedy highlights, such as Bryden doing his Roger Moore or Coogan beginning his 'rejection speech' to Jennie with, `'You are fantastically attractive and your knowledge of German cinema is second to none...'. Strictly speaking, Winterbottom's film is probably more a 3.5 rather than a straight 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, 26 May 2014
This review is from: A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Tristram Shandy is merely a platform for the overweening vanity of Steve Coogan. Don't bother with film. Boring boring boring.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your run of the mill film, 28 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Cock and Bull Story (DVD)
Wry sort of humour and OK if you like Steve Coogan. Gives the lowdown on the TV and film industry in a comical way.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it looked from the trailer.., 23 Sep 2011
This review is from: A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I was disappointed by the actual film, which I found to be a little up its own a*se and not particularly funny.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006]
A Cock And Bull Story [DVD] [2006] by Michael Winterbottom (DVD - 2007)
£3.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews