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We Can Be Heroes (The Nominees) [DVD]
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All six episodes of the mockumentary comedy series created and performed by Australian comedian Chris Lilley, which takes a satirical look at the search for the 'Australian of the Year'. The five contenders for the title are all played by Lilley: Phil, a policeman turned rescue hero who becomes a motivational speaker after saving nine children from a runaway jumping castle; Ricky, a Chinese physics genius and aspiring actor who plays the lead in a musical about Aborigines; Ja'mie, a self-promoting private schoolgirl who shows off by sponsoring 85 Sudanese refugees; and Daniel and Nathan, twin farm boys embarking on the world's first eardrum transplant.
We Can Be Heroes is the predecessor to Chris Lilley's hilarious mockumentary creation Summer Heights High. Once again Lilley stars as the five main characters, all nominees for the Australian Of The Year award, in a mockumentary format which flits between nominees as they await the ceremony. Daniel Sims is a 17-year old aspiring beat-boxing farmer who is about to undergo pioneering surgery to donate an ear-drum to his deaf twin brother Nathan... much to Nathan's disinterest. Phil Olivetti is an ex-police officer whose accidental bravery in a fly-away bouncy castle incident and subsequent fleeting fame, has given him delusions of grandeur (not helped by his 'impressive' hand-span). Middle-aged housewife Pat Mullins has found a novel way of overcoming her physical disability (she has one leg shorter than the other), 'rolling'. Imbued with a new purpose and support from her loving husband Terry, Pat plans to roll all the way from Perth to Uluru. Chinese physics student Ricky Wong has been nominated for his work in solar energy, although it soon becomes clear that his heart really lies in performing arts - in particular to his Chinese Theatre Group's production of 'Indigeridoo' a musical about Aborigine history. Fans of Summer Heights High will recognise Ja'mie King, a self-promoting private school girl. Nominated for her contribution to 'Global Vision', Ja'mie sponsors 85 Sudanese children (depending on how often they write to thank her) and takes part in a weekly '40 Hour Famine' for charity and to stay 'hot'.
What makes We Can Be Heroes stand out from the comedy crowd is Lilley's flawless talent for character-acting and mimicry. With relatively minimal costume/make-up, the show doesn't go to great lengths to disguise the fact that a grown man is playing a schoolgirl therefore each characters' believability is a marvel in itself. Subtle, innovative, surprisingly poignant and downright hilarious, it's no wonder that the show's cult following is steadily growing.
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Top Customer Reviews
That said - this is no Gervais rip-off. Chris Lilley is a very original genius - an outstandingly talented comic actor, with a great ear for dialogue and a fantasticly quirky and inventive sense of humour. The pathos is pitched absolutely perfectly - the characters are all a little flawed in their curious ways, but they're all very human, and you end up genuinly caring about them.
Over-all - I can't praise this highly enough. I'm not easily won over, but "We Can Be Heroes" is something very special. My highest recommendation.
This DVD came before Summer Heights High, if I were you I would buy both (I did!).
Thoroughly recommended for fans of Chris Lilley or just comedy fans in general.
Chris Lilley has that wonderful talent to make you laugh and cry at exactly the same time for the same reasons. A prime example being the bit where the twin who can hear, shouts to his deaf brother as he walks away. "If you turn round now, I'll give you a thousand bucks!" One line that has so much emotion, humour and sadness. "We could be Heroes" and "Summer Heights High" (Lilley's other work) are festooned with such sharp, wonderful writing and observed life.
His comedy is sharp, black and heart-breakingly funny.
But hey! Remember that silly dance that the guy from 'The Office' did that made you cringe? No, me neither.
A number of potential Australian Hero award winners get their chance to explain why they ought to be the winner, and you get to see them in their own home environments. I won't give anything away, because that is the magic of this series. You get to see the characters through their own eyes, whilst you get to see what you feel about them as they talk utter nonsense much of the time.
But the real wonder is that Chris Lilley plays all of these potential national heroes, and manages to bring more diversity from each part than you would find in all of Ricky Gervais' characters in all of him films and programmes. In short, Lilley is a multi-character genius on a scale not seen since Alec Guiness in Kind Hearts and Coronets - Digitally Restored (80 Years of Ealing) [Blu-ray]  or Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [Blu-ray] [Region Free].
You'll find yourself wanting to see Lilley's other programmes after this, although I haven't had the chance to see Angry Boys [DVD] yet - it has only just arrived.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hilarious - if you enjoyed this I recommend Chris Lilley's other work (very funny)Published 11 months ago by A.D
I took a punt on this and it really surprised me as to how funny it was.
Chris Lilley plays all the lead parts. Read more
This is a must for Chris Lilley fans. Absolute genius. It had me in stitches from start to finish. Money well spent.Published 18 months ago by brenda murdoch
Chris Lilley is a genius.....If he was American or English he'd be all over the media. He captures the characters brilliantly, we all know or have met people like them. Read morePublished 18 months ago by TtopTea