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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Marmite movie if ever there was one - you'll either enjoy it or hate it
John Landis' Burke and Hare takes us back to Edinburgh in 1828, where life is cheap but the price skyrockets when you die. As Bill Bailey's genial hangman breezily fills us in on the historical background while he's preparing to execute an elderly and decrepit whore, it's the time of the Scottish Enlightenment and the city has become the medical capital of the world, but...
Published on 11 Dec. 2011 by Trevor Willsmer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Burke and Hare - Enjoyable enough, but doesn't quite deliver
This is an enjoyable romp detailing the adventurers of two Irish rogues who would go on to be two of the most infamous murderers in Scottish history, the body snatchers Burke and Hare. This is, from the off, a comedy, so don't expect any grim realities. Burke and Hare have been reimagined from the evil low life of reality into Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis's loveable Irish...
Published on 17 Jan. 2012 by Victor


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of fun, 23 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: Burke and Hare [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I've always had an interest in Burke and Hare and have read quite a lot about them. It's safe to say I didn't expect this film to be historically accurate in any way, and as soon as the word "graverobbing" was mentioned my suspicions were proven correct. Burke and Hare didn't go near a graveyard, they were simply murderers. Having said that, it doesn't claim to be accurate in any way.

The cast of this film is brilliant and it promises a lot. Tim Curry, Tom Wilkinson, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Ronnie Corbett to name but a few all feature. I also have to say, as a Scot, I was impressed with how good the Scottish accents were. Some of the actors (Hugh Bonneville/Lord Harrington) in particular. I didn't realise he was putting the accent on until I had a look at IMDB. Isla Fisher's accent is a lot more dubious however.

I watched this film expecting a bit of light hearted fun and that's exactly what this film delivers. If you want a comparative film, think of The Mummy. A (very) small degree of historical fact and the rest created to give a story with some light -hearted moments thrown in. Most of the humour is more on the slapstick side of things, and I did find it funny, but I wasn't set up to expect anything other than a playful take on Burke and Hare's business ventures.

Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis do well in the main roles. Pegg in particular is very lovable as Burke, the more reluctant of the two. But, this likable, happy-go-lucky attitude of the main characters detracts from the main issue in that Burke and Hare were not pleasant men at all. I did enjoy this film, but I'm thinking that the Burke and Hare story could have been told how it really was, and the humour need not have been sacrificed, allbeit the humour would become dark.

But, dark humour works, and there was one addition to this cast who could have made a huge input here and that's Reece Shearsmith (League of Gentlemen/Psychoville). Reece's talents are extremely under used in this film, and it's a shame. They should have let him have input in the writing. The whole feel of this film could have been altered from slapstick to dark, and sinister but also very funny.

All in all, don't put this on expecting something that will blow you away because it won't. Equally don't expect a hugely elaborate plot, because it doesn't have one. Watch it for what it is, a playful and completely fabricated account of one of the most notorious periods in Edinburgh's history. It's a bit of light hearted fun.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Outrageously Funny?, 9 Mar. 2011
By 
TMUK (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Burke and Hare [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Ok let's kick off by saying I really wanted this film to blow my socks off. The whole idea for the movie being based on the notorious Edinburgh grave robbers Burke and Hare may not sound like the most natural comedy but I just had a feeling it would work. Alas it's a case of nearly.

The Blu-Ray box has "Outrageously Funny" and that always worries me when they feel obliged to print something like that as a banner on the box. It's like a bad impressionist naming all the people he is doing impressions of as they aren't that good.

The Blu-Ray is 1080P and although good quality I have to say that I think some sort of sepia filter may have been in use to age the images and at times I found them a little drab. I also had to mess around some with my player settings (something I rarely if ever have to do) to stop what appeared to be an occasional very minor skips in some scenes. The Audio is DTS-HD Master 5.1 and through a home cinema system gives great clarity and atmosphere to the street scenes. Extras on the disk include cast and crew interviews, outtakes and deleted scenes although most of the bloopers are standard Definition and I felt they really scrapped the cutting room floor to get these as most seemed humourless or obscured.

There are comedy films that come along which are a delight to sit and watch with your friends and family. They watch the film and you enjoy their laughter. Although there are really funny parts to it I have to say it doesn't maintain the laughter in the same way as say Shaun of the Dead did and at times you feel the number of cameos from well known people are somehow there to make up for this short coming. Don't get me wrong the dialogue is well scripted and sharp I just wanted more.

Overall I agree with other reviewers who said that the subsequent viewings of the movie improved the viewing pleasure. So maybe after another watch or two it will have gone up in my estimations some more. For now a sadly report the movie is alright and enjoyable enough but if you rent try to watch it twice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Aug. 2014
By 
LAURA R SMITH (huntingdon cambridgeshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Burke and Hare [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Amazingly funny. Typical British humour. Darkly delightful.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Agonising, 30 Oct. 2010
It's the world's worst-kept secret that John Landis hasn't directed a really good film in over twenty years. The real tragedy is that he spent a decade between 1978 and 1988 making what are now some of the most fondly remembered of all modern comedies: from the anarchy of Animal House, to the reckless excesses of Blues Brothers, through the sharp observations of Trading Places, via the bonkers ensemble of Three Amigos!, to the broad satire of Coming to America.

Burke and Hare, about cadaver salesmen operating in 19th century Edinburgh (a concept with body-bags of comic potential), boasts an impressive cast of British (albeit largely non-Scottish) talent, including a few familiar Landis faces - Jenny Agutter, John Woodvine and David Schofield all featured in An American Werewolf in London.

But also sadly familiar is the dearth of quality writing and comedy timing on show. Landis approaches the film with a ribald, Carry On sensibility; and yet the script delivers very few actual jokes - certainly none that can be picked out by the roots - and the production design is more Barry Lyndon grimy than Hammer Horror camp.

Scene after scene ends on a meaningless bog-eyed glare from Burke (Simon Pegg) or Hare (Andy Serkis), inspiring embarrassed silence from the audience. Isla Fisher is game as Ginny, the ex-pro with theatrical ambitions. Tom Wilkinson, as the celebrity surgeon who inadvertently inspires the eponymous anti-heroes' rampage, is dead serious in the midst of all the knockabout nonsense. Ronnie Corbett - always a welcome face - tries hard to squeeze some humour from a surprisingly prominent role, but to no avail.

It's not all doom and gloom. There are flashes of Landis at his macabre best in a couple of the murder setups, and a sex scene between Hare and Lucky (Pegg's old partner-in-crime Jessica Hynes) provides far and away the film's funniest scene. But these are atypical moments in an otherwise wasted opportunity.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 13 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: Burke and Hare [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I had been put off watching this for ages after all of the average reviews...then a few nights ago I finally saw it. What a disappointment - and that's even taking into account my not-so-high expectations. Simon Pegg has been in some very funny films - Shaun of the dead (classic!), Hot Fuzz & Paul - but Burke and Hare isn't one of them. I may have smiled a few times, but laugh I didn't. Despite a good cast with some very well known faces in cameos or small roles, they are severely let down by a poor script. Whatever reviewer on the box cover called this "Outrageously funny" must have been on something at the time! Just glad I rented it and didn't buy it. As far as the Blu-ray PQ goes the picture was very good with lots of fine detail.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Burke and Hare, 27 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Burke and Hare [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
An amazing take on what to be honest is a dark piece of medical history. A star studded cast helps the story along and those of the medical profession will find it hilarious as I found out when it was watched. A must buy!
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sporadically hilarious comedy that grows on you after the first viewing, 2 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Burke and Hare [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Since there are no reviews for the upcoming Blu-Ray of the quite funny Burke and Hare I figured I'd try my best to suede you people who are sitting on the fence regarding either buying or renting John Landis' first movie in over a decade to dip in and give this Ealing comedy a good go.

I was lucky enough to see Burke and Hare in a very comfortable Cineworld whilst working away in Wales. I was also lucky enough to be sitting in an auditorium of a shed load of Welsh folk who love a good comedy. Never before have I been so delighted to be squished in amongst so many people spitting their popcorn over me with laughter.... and that helped.

Simon Pegg is an extremely likeable gentleman and if your a fan of his work and have followed his career it's quite prevalent that Mr Pegg works best when he is either working with Nick Frost, Edgar Wright, Jessica Hynes or writing the material himself. Being a follower of Mr Pegg, (I love it when reviewers refer to an actor as Mr or Miss etc, I'm not sure whether the reviewer him or herself is trying to prove - respect presumably - but I shall continue the trend as of now simply because I hate the chummy way of referring to an actor I have never met by their first name) from Spaced onwards I always look forward to his upcoming features, some of which have been great (usually when involved with the aforementioned Mr Wright and Mr Frost) but on his own working with other peoples material rarely works with Mr Pegg's comic ability. So even with what I found to be a so-so trailer I ventured out to the cinema that late Thursday night hoping that Mr Pegg has at last picked a good outlet for his comic (and acting) ability. Well, he has..almost!

Burke and Hare is a really fun movie, there are a handful of really big laugh out loud moments but not necessarily all the time. Burke and Hare works best as a road movie without going anywhere. Usually with a road movie what keeps your interest up is the constant change in new characters and circumstances introduced. Well that's what we have here, except its simply set in one place (Edinburgh) but the sheer amount of cameos in this thing is outrageously entertaining, a whose who of British talent if you will. I won't give away all of the nice cameos, but if your a fan of Simon Pegg's and Jessica Hynes former work on Spaced you'll be hard pressed to not be happy with the use of so many actors from the show, a handful of American Werewolf cameos and just about every other current comedic actor. The only two who I did miss were Ricky Gervais and of course Nick Frost, whom absences I'd hope could be explained by prior commitments or scheduling issues.

Andy Serkis - whom if you didn't know was a last minute replacement for Dr Who actor David Tennant - does such a good job with the role and chemistry with Pegg that you'd think the roles were written for Mr Pegg AND Mr Serkis, but the biggest surprise was that the beautiful Jessica Hynes excels in this movie. Mrs Hynes also performs one if not the funniest sex scenes in a movie for a long, long time. I hope to see her in a lot more after this, she's been absent from the big screen in main roles for some time but after the hilarious (and quite sexy) role of Lucky, William Hare's wife I hope she scores some really juicy parts, she deserves it.

I suppose I could talk and talk about this movie, the cameos, the HUGE cast for many, many more paragraphs but I really you should just buy, rent or watch this film one way or another. It also grew on me as soon as I left the theatre after being pleasantly surprised by the movie being quite unlike I expected (in what ended up was in a very good way). I'll be buying the Blu Ray when it is eventually released, and if you like a good comedy you will too!
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4.0 out of 5 stars if you like a tongue-in-cheek look at history then you will like ..., 18 April 2015
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This review is from: Burke and Hare [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
If you are looking for a serious film forget it,if you like a tongue-in-cheek look at history then you will like this as the title characters must be the most inept murderers ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, 8 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Burke and Hare [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
DVD arrived within a couple of days in perfect condition. This is also an extremely funny film with loads of cameo roles being played by lots of famous actors. Highly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Black Comedy In Great, Grim Edinburgh, 28 April 2015
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Arachne202 - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Burke and Hare [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Everything Trevor Willsmer says in his review.

I was kept in a spate of giggles for nearly all of the film, and every absurd moment was enhanced and perfectly timed.
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Burke and Hare [DVD] [2010]
Burke and Hare [DVD] [2010] by John Landis (DVD - 2011)
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