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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT a comedy - but a great film nonetheless
First off, I suspect that this can be the 'Truman Show' equivalent for Gervais and Merchant. What I mean is that I was severely disappointed when I watched the Truman Show all those years ago because I imagined that since Jim Carrey was playing the lead, it was going to be a hilarious comedy. I was sorely mistaken and therefore sorely disappointed.

The same...
Published on 3 Jan 2011 by Peter R

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good, but not origional
Cemetery Junction is Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's attempt to do a British coming of age comedy just like so many of the American counterparts, that is to create a feel-good film that deals with the trials and tribulations of growing up in a sensitive, honest and entertaining manner.
However, while they manage to mix comedy and drama as effortlessly as they...
Published on 18 Nov 2011 by bizmandan


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT a comedy - but a great film nonetheless, 3 Jan 2011
By 
Peter R (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
First off, I suspect that this can be the 'Truman Show' equivalent for Gervais and Merchant. What I mean is that I was severely disappointed when I watched the Truman Show all those years ago because I imagined that since Jim Carrey was playing the lead, it was going to be a hilarious comedy. I was sorely mistaken and therefore sorely disappointed.

The same mistake can be made with Cemetery Junction, particularly with people touting it as 'the best thing Gervais and Merchant have done since The Office'. It probably is the best thing they have done but that doesn't mean you are going to see David Brent on speed.

Cemetery Junction is a poignant and still appropriate movie set in the 1970's that deal with some very serious issues. To call it a 'coming of age' movie would be an injustice because American Pie also falls into that category.

The official Amazon review says that the three lead characters work for a local insurance company. This is incorrect. Only the lead character of Freddie (Christian Cooke) does. He is ambitious and does not want to end up like his dad (Gervais) working in a factory all his life.

Tom Hughes as Bruce Pearson does work in a factory, as his dad used to. He has a chip on his shoulder and likes getting into fights. Hates where he lives and hates his dad but is too scared to leave.

And Snork... "because I have a nose for...." is the butt of the jokes.

Each lead character is very clearly different and yet endearing in their own way. Ralph Fiennes plays the rags-to-riches Insurance man extremely well and Emily Watson uses the little bit of camera-time to great effect too.

My wife and I found this to be an excellent film. It moves at a very steady pace, it is well shot with a good 70's look to it. The characters are all well-defined and a myriad of issues are touched upon sufficiently to put across the point.

Ambition, social pressures, achievement, class, money, love, family, violence, alcohol, travel, friendships, WWII, respect, are all sufficiently touched upon in a film that is endearing and enjoyable. That's not easy to do but Gervais and Merchant (of all people) have done it.

This is one of the best films I have watched recently (and I watched about a dozen over Christmas!)I highly recommend it.

Hope that helps.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly slated, 21 Feb 2012
I agree with the other reviewer who said this movie has been harshly criticised on here. I think many people go into films with very fixed expectations - just because its a Ricky Gervais movie doesn't mean it's going to be just like his stand up or comedy series. I prefer this movies to all his other work. There are some usual Gervais jokes in here that can go pretty close to the mark. There are fewer laughs overall, but a lot more depth. The guys have a great rapport and their stories are dealt with sensitively. My favourite scene is at the insurance companies party, which the three guys attend - some great laughs - and a moment where an old retiring guy is given a glass bowl for many years of services, which is sort of heartbreaking and says so much. Snork is a brilliant character with a truly terrible tattoo and this guy Tom Hughes is surely a major film star of the future. A brilliant very brief cameo from Mr Merchant and look out for Karl Pilkington, blink and you might miss him. So overall the film has some very funny laddish elements, but is sentimental, sensitive, and life affirming.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing, if predictable with great 70s nostalgia, 10 Jan 2011
Yes, it is predictable, yes there are 70s cliches but much of it was spot on. If you were a child of the 70s you cannot help but raise a wry smile or 3 at this. There were some genuinely funny bits and , while Ricky Gervais can sometimes be smug an annoying, he's perfect in this (and now I read the script was tailored for US audiences, I can see why some of it was like it was). I would have liked to see more scenes with him and his family, especially the (somewhat sterotypical) bigoted gran!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feel-good rock 'n' roll Brit flick with a dark comic edge!, 27 Oct 2011
By 
This film has been unfairly slated by some Amazon reviewers, and in my view it deserves a much better rating.

You can pick any film to pieces and accuse it of not being 100% true-to-life. However, if you watch the DVD special features, you'll see that this is quite intentional, and that it's meant to be a representation rather than a documentary-type portrayal (though it's still far more true-to-life than most films).

Part of the reason for it being slated is likely that it's being unfairly compared with 'The Office' and 'Extras', and even with Gervais's stand-up comedy. However, it's clearly not meant to be in the same mould, and the humour is altogether more subtle and understated - though still of the same insightful brilliance.

If you're expecting obvious Gervais/Merchant comedy of the type that we all know and love, you might be disappointed. But think instead of a feel-good rock 'n' roll Brit flick with a dark comic edge - some kind of a wonderful cross between 'Starter for 10' and the genius that is 'Withnail and I' - and you won't go far wrong.

The soundtrack is pretty damn good, too, and any film featuring a shot of Karl Pilkington sporting a moustache and big sideburns, and looking more perplexed than he usually does, can't be all bad!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, 11 Feb 2012
As I adore Christian Cooke, this product was beyond perfect! The movie is brilliant and with great humorous touches and very real to the time! My parents kept saying they remember scenes well from when they lived through the time :)
The delivery was very fast and efficient..... I have no complaints what so ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 Jan 2013
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This is now one of my favourite films, a super story well acted with great music from my generation of songs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 17 Mar 2012
By 
C. Porter (Worcester, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This vehicle for Gervais/Merchant is great taken on its own terms. A slice of 70s life, shot through with their characteristic humour. All the humour that IS in it (and there is a lot, I think some of these viewers have had their funny bones removed)is borne of real life getting in the way of the protagonists' plans.

It's largely the humour of awkwardness (check out the Winner's ball scene, and the appearance, twice, of the 'C' word) rather than fine characterisation - but the drive here is all about the narrative, not the characters' development.

It's not perfect, but it's certainly not bad or rubbish, either. I laughed out loud quite a few times - not least at the fashion, the wallpaper, the hairdos.

It's an affectionate boy's-own tale, really - all raging hormones and aspirant 70s living - all Peter Stuyvesant and cabin crew chic. You can see the story resolution coming a mile off, but I still wanted to watch it unfold.

A diverting hour and a half. And boasting an hilarious 1 minute cameo from Stephen Merchant. Gervais is fine, too - business as usual for him, though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life Insurance, Reading and a Cemetery - don't worry it's not that bad!, 28 Feb 2011
By 
Fraser the Frank Fish "paul m" (Benfleet) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Quite a good "coming of age" drama set in 1973 Reading, revolving around three friends coming to terms with responsibility and reality in the adult world.

Christain Cooke stars as the enthusiastic novice insurance salesman who becomes increasingly disillusioned with his lot as his relationship with old friends is put under pressure and his ex-girlfriend turns out to be his boss's daughter, engaged to his direct superior.

Described as "hilarious" but it's not really a "funny" comedy, it's more of a social drama about unfulfilment, although there are a couple of amusing moments. Ralph Fiennes stars as Cooke's ultimate boss, with Ricky Gervais and Emily Watson playing Cooke's working class parents.

The historical setting is good, although probably not grimy enough for the 1970s, and there are a few anachronisms. Not sure if the term "Social Services" was widely used back then, but I'm pretty certain that the phrase "anti-social" behaviour was a later arrival.

Overall a good film, nothinig spectacular, just solid. One thing that disappointed me was that Gervais's homage to Reading ddin't really reflect the town itself. Having lived near "Cemmy Junction" I can attest that Cemetery Junction is not a quaint suburb with a nice station, its a busy somewhat run down area with a road junction, an old cemetery and lots of students. There's also a kebab shop called Ye Babaam Ye which seems to have been there forever. That aside, I'd give it 4 stars, not unmissable but worth a watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good, 17 Jan 2012
a very good film, not that hilarious but then its not really meant to be as its a drama. recommended
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good, but not origional, 18 Nov 2011
By 
bizmandan (staffordshire, england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cemetery Junction [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Cemetery Junction is Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's attempt to do a British coming of age comedy just like so many of the American counterparts, that is to create a feel-good film that deals with the trials and tribulations of growing up in a sensitive, honest and entertaining manner.
However, while they manage to mix comedy and drama as effortlessly as they did on Extras, the pair are rather less successful in terms of creating something unique as the film is constantly spouting cliché after cliché, Which is a shame as the sense of time and place is impeccable and the performances from their young and largely unknown cast is spot on.
Set in Reading in the 1970's, the story is of a town that missed the swinging '60s, and of a group of three friends desperate to escape their suburban surroundings and working class roots. Freddie is the pivot of the three, a young, handsome, confident lad who swaps jeans for suits and glam rock for classical music in an effort to better himself and turn his blue collar white. Bruce is his charismatic friend whose only wish is to escape a troubled home life, but whose violent self-destructive streak holds him back at every turn. And Snork is their well-meaning but slightly simple partner in crime, whose efforts to get laid are scuppered by his lack of conversational judgement and tendency to talk in anec-don'ts.
The story would have been reasonable enough, were it not so painfully predictable. Every twist and turn is sign-posted so far in advance that there isn't a surprise to be had throughout. This tale has been told so many times that it demands a spark of invention or originality to spice things up, but Cemetery Junction sticks to story conventions, with nothing new or imaginative to say. The cast, however, are perfect, rescuing the film from its mundane predictability, and charming their way through proceedings and making their characters very believable. It very much looked like Ralph Fiennes had great fun as the pig-headed misogynist, delivering a master-class in insensitivity and turning the sleaze dial up to 11. Gervais is also as good as ever as Freddie's Dad, his casual racism, sexism and pre-occupation with class underlining all that was wrong with society at the time. Indeed his banter with Freddie's Grandma creates some of the film's funniest moments.
Unfortunately the story does have a slight feeling of déjà vu as there are love triangles similar to that played out in The Office as well as some redemption themes similar to what Ricky Gervais's character experienced in both the end of The Office and Extras.
Repetition and slightly flawed story aside, Gervais and Merchant really come into their own when wearing their director's hats, in Cemetery Junction, the 1970s are lovingly re-created, the pair have also given the film a sunny, glossy Hollywood sheen, creating a beautifully romanticised vision of 1970s Reading. The result is a film that feels more American but when combined with a belting home-grown soundtrack featuring the likes of Elton John and Mott the Hoople, the result is distinctly British.
Taken on its own terms, it's a minor miss-fire - a film with good intentions that never quite hits the marks. However, the fact that Cemetery Junction has been crafted by two of the UK's sharpest comedy minds makes it a slight disappointment and suggests that their unique brand of humour is perhaps best suited to the half-hour format on the small screen.
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Cemetery Junction [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free]
Cemetery Junction [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free] by Stephen Merchant (Blu-ray - 2010)
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