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Burke and Hare [Blu-ray]
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John Landis directs this British black-comedy horror based on the real-life exploits of Irish murderers William Burke and William Hare. In the early 19th century, Burke (Simon Pegg) and Hare (Andy Serkis) decide to exploit a lucrative gap in the market by providing Edinburgh's world-renowned medical school with fresh cadavers for its research. Their methods of procuring the bodies, however, are unconventional to say the least. Christopher Lee, Isla Fisher, Tom Wilkinson and Jenny Agutter co-star.
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Top Customer Reviews
The subject of many a horror film, Landis and the revived Ealing Studios take their lead more from the studio's classic black comedies like Kind Hearts and Coronets and The Ladykillers than Hammer (though Landis is enough of a buff to more than just doff his cap in their direction), updated with plenty of talk of business models and swipes at society's hypocrisy as our evil Laurel and Hardy ply their trade. Burke's romance with Isla Fisher's actress/working girl looking for a backer for her all-female version of MacBeth doesn't really add much to the mix beyond giving him the opportunity to fob off her queries about where he gets his money from with "I'm in surgical supplies," but the film is brisk and breezy enough to never outstay its welcome and manages to pull off turning a pair of `Irish psychopaths' into romantic heroes of a sort in a feelgood comedy.Read more ›
The plot is that the titular Burke and Hare are down on their luck in 19th century Edinburgh, United Kingdom, where a new law means that Dr Know cannot get cadavers for his anatomy class. Through a series of contrivances, our "heroes" wind up murdering people and selling their bodies before the law catches up with them.
The cast is strong: in addition to Simon Pegg, there is Tim Curry, Isla Fisher (who looks very hot), Bill Bailey, Hugh Bonneville, Ronnie Corbett, Stephen Merchant, Paul Whitehouse... you get the idea. Best of British.
There are two problems with this movie. The first is the "comedy" tag. There were instances where I smiled, but there were no belly laughs.
The second is the ending. Accepting that this is not a historically accurate film, the ending was disappointing because all of the worst villains got away whilst the "hero-villain" sacrificed himself for an ideal that never existed.
The sex scenes mean that this is unsuitable for children, but the characters don't have enough depth to generate the tension necessary to grip and adult. Ultimately this was an average film that you will watch once, and then never again.
It isn't 'outrageously funny' as it says on the case. I always think it's a bit of a mistake to big up films in this way, or well, anything really; just like someone I once worked with who kept on and on about how amazing looking her husband was. He wasn't. You set yourself up for a bit of a fall. 'Side-splittingly uproarious' is another I've seen. It wasn't.
This was a good fun 'romp' of a film; great cast, authentic looking sets and costumes and a lot of gruesome shennanigans thrown in for good measure. I've never been too sure of Simon Pegg as a film actor-I primarily remember him from Spaced and that seemed to fit him quite well-he always seems a little out of his depth on film, but he isn't bad. Andy Serkis too...hmmm...always thought he overacted a tad until I saw him in Little Dorrit where he was quite good, and he was actually pretty good in this too; well, he didn't annoy me like he did as Lumpy the Cook in King Kong...
It is a real who's who of British actors and I did like people such as Christopher Lee popping up and Ronnie Corbett. Tom Wilkinson and Hugh Bonneville were good too and Isla Fisher was pretty convincing seeing as the only thing I've seen her in was Home and Away about 100 years ago.
So, not bad at all - we did laugh out loud at some things and the 'bedroom' scene is pretty funny too. Well worth watching if you don't take it too seriously.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hi ya folks. Just bought this on blu ray for a pound. It was in poundland. Grab a bargain.Published 18 days ago by Jason Longhurst
In 1828 Edinburgh, William Burke (SIMON PEGG) and William Hare (ANDY SERKIS) are down on their luck – and dead broke! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Napoleon
Excellent, that is the only word to use when discribing this film. A great cast, great acting, great setting. Read morePublished 2 months ago by marc7419
A very funny film - based on a true story. I suppose it could offend some people(?)Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then this film was made with a lot of love for classic British films. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Moira