The Parole Officer [DVD] 
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DVD Special Features:
Making of Feature--22 minutes
Atomic Kitten Promo "Eternal Flame"
Hidden bonus scene (Easter Egg)
Commentary featuring Steve Coogan (Writer & Star), Henry Normal (Co-writer), John Duigan (Director) and Duncan Kenworthy (Producer)
Deleted Scenes--six separate scenes, eight minutes of unseen footage, with optional commentary
Although there are one or two belly laughs along the way, for the most part The Parole Officer gets by on the pleasantly old-fashioned charm of a latter-day Ealing comedy. And despite a handful of gross-out moments (involving a roller coaster at Blackpool, a severed head and a wasp) most of the humour comes from the interaction of a good ensemble cast.
Its the first big-screen vehicle for Steve Coogan, who plays the titular officer as a watered-down, more likeable version of his most famous creation, Alan Partridge. After being set up by a corrupt detective Coogans hapless Simon Garden--in fact always identified as a Probation Officer, so presumably the films title is an attempt to attract a transatlantic audience--must recruit a motley gang of his ex-con clients to plan and execute a bank robbery in Manchester. Indeed, one of the films principal attractions is its affectionate use of that city centre as a setting instead of the more usual seedy London locations of most British caper-comedies.
Coogans gang are a familiarly dysfunctional bunch, redeemed by sympathetic performances from, notably, Om Puri as irascible serial bigamist George and the young Emma Williams as serial car thief Kirsty. Not enough effort goes into fleshing out the characters, though, and in particular Lena Headey as Coogans policewoman girlfriend is far too thinly sketched to seem convincing. However, much fun is had by all as the team bond, bicker and construct, A Team-style, the tools they need for the big heist. The bank raid itself is the films highlight and features a surprising deus ex machina appearance from a very distinguished guest star.
If The Parole Officer never stretches to the sublime heights (or psychological depths) of Im Alan Partridge, it does play out in a brisk 90 minutes like an extended episode of Coogans Run; which is to say its got plenty of easygoing charm even if it never pushes any boundaries.
On the DVD: the handful of extra features include a surprisingly serious commentary from Coogan, cowriter Henry Normal, director John Duigan and producer Duncan Kenworthy. More interesting is the handful of deleted scenes, in which we find that some precious character development was sacrificed in the interests of pace (as well as a couple of perfectly good jokes). There's a 22-minute featurette, which isn't really a "making of" but just a series of interviews with the principal cast, plus the trailer and Atomic Kitten's "Eternal Flame" video. The picture is a good anamorphic (16:9) ratio with Dolby 5.1 sound. --Mark Walker
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"The Parole Officer" is a nice little package of a comedy regarding the efforts of a somewhat quirky yet kind-hearted guy who decides to retrieve the evidence for a murder at all costs. The film displays everyday morality, and Steve Coogan performs marvallously well here - "I saw a man strangle a human being!...Well, an accountant."
This film is worth your money and time to watch. The great thing about is that it is not something typically British that is set in London, y'know, those stereotypes of Hugh Grant, etc.
The only evidence proving his innocence is a CCTV video tape locked inside a bank vault. With the help of four inept ex-criminals and love interest Emma, Garden must break into the bank and steal the CCTV footage in order to clear his name.....
Oh the transition from TV to big screen is a long and arduous path. Some succeed with very little effort (Simon Pegg), but for others, they suffer an unfortunate Mis-step, which hinders them for a while.
2001 had two particular cases of the latter. The awful Ali G Inda House was one, and this was the other casualty.
The story is good enough, but the humour just feels so seventies TV sitcom, and the inclusion of the vomit scene on The Big One wreaks of desperation. Every one who is a fan of Coogan knows that he is a comic genius, his characters are hilarious and self deprecating, but here with Garden, it seems that he is trying to hard to channel Peter Sellers, but it always ends up with him reverting back to Partridge, which hinders the narrative.
The rest if the cast are fine, but they are relegated to stereotypes, and appearing in little sketches that the film resorts too for laughs.
It's a shame, because there are a few funny moments in the film, Om Puri is truly funny in his role, but at the end of the day, it just feels like a TV Christmas special, and no amount of Omar Sharif in a comedy wig can change it
The story takes place in Manchester where we meet the hero, Simon Garden (Steve Coogan) working as a parole officer. Simon is a hilarious character who manages to muck up every move me makes. Simon somehow finds himself in a spot of trouble when he is accused of a murder he didnt commit. The only proof of his innocence is a security video - but the tape is locked inside a bank vault. He gathers his ex-clients who have all succeeded in breaking their way out of crime and are conquering the businness world. Asking for their help in breaking into a bank was a difficult move for Simon, but as he explains his situation they eventually agree to help. This is no easy task for master criminals,for a bunch of losers, it's a mission impossible!
This film is for audiences of all ages that will make u laugh and cry ( with more laughter! hehe ). It's packed with stunts, action, romance and loads of laughter! Thankyou for reading my review.
The supporting cast more than take care of business, with Stephen Dillane as a sleazebag detective and Lena Headey as a rather implausibly gorgeous policewoman. It's a fine pizza movie without pretensions to being anything more.
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