Jam was aired on Channel 4 in 2000 featuring the same team as its radio precursor and written by Chris Morris jam pushes the boundaries of television comedy further than any other show has done for many years. Jam retains the same macabre subject matter and ambient soundtracks as Blue Jam and presents the material in a sequence of distorted disorienting visuals.
Written by and starring Rob Brydon and Julia Davis, Human Remains features six different "mockumentaries" with the pair playing couples caught in bizarre, dysfunctional or hopelessly imbalanced relationships. These include an upper-class couple, in which wife openly pines for her first, lost love, whom she has buried on the grounds; a thoroughly homely hubby and wife who run a guest house in the Midlands that features an S&M parlour; and a ghastly pair of God-botherers who live in a state of curtain-twitching loathing of their neighbours. While the sheer range of characters depicted in Human Remains represents a prodigious feat on the part of both actors, the show has much in common with Brydon's other hit Marion and Geoff. The strangeness or awfulness of each couple's situation generally takes a while to come into focus, the deeper truths conveyed through low-level bickering, cumulatively revealed in deceptively banal interviews to camera. Brydon and Davis are sometimes merciless in their satirical savagery, as with the Alanis Morissette wannabe Fonte Bund; at other times, Human Remains is too bleak to watch. However, the sheer acuity and detail with which these characters are unwittingly realised, coupled with the brilliance of the (semi-improvised) monologues/dialogue means that our encounters with them, although mercifully brief, are both hilarious and touching. This is an exceptional series. On the DVD: Human Remains features a generous package of extras, including deleted scenes and outtakes, among them an extension of the "healing" scene featured in the episode with the S&M couple, footage of the early rehearsals and improvisations from which the characters took shape, a commentary in which Davis and Brydon recap on the circumstances of the filming, an excerpt of the pair in S&M gear singing "American Pie" in rich Brummie accents and, best of all, the Fonte Bund Band in which the folk-rock duo featured in the series have an added, Spinal Tap-type documentary also starring John Martyn (who supplies the series' theme). --David Stubbs
An orphaned dinosaur raised by lemurs joins an arduous trek to a sancturary after a meteorite shower destroys his family home.
At University Hospital School of Medicine a group of ambitious medical students are about to die and live to describe the experience. Embarking on a daring and arrogant experiment the five aim to push through the confines of life and touch the face of death. In their search for knowledge however the five discover the chilling consequences of daring to tamper with immortality.
An orphaned dinosaur raised by lemurs joins an arduous trek to a sancturary after a meteorite shower destroys his family home.
The award winning Ideal is one of the most original and uncompromising TV comedy shows ever. With plots involving murder, multiple affairs, kidnapping, severed hands and some very bizarre hallucinations, IDEAL is witty, rude and devilishly inventive.Johnny Vegas stars as Moz, the Manchester weed dealer with a circle of 20-odd customers. And some of them are very odd indeed, including Jenny the dim witted child minder, Brian the gay serial shagger, screwdriver wielding gangster Psycho Paul and mouse masked hit-man Cartoon Head.Featuring a mind blowing musical soundtrack and special guests including Sean Lock, Paul Weller, Julia Davis, Janeane Garofalo and Mark E. Smith, Ideal is TV at its most provocative and addictive.
Series 1 Meet Jill, the unhinged owner of a small town beauty salon, and enter her dysfunctional world. Pretending that her hospitalised husband is dying, Jill is on a mission to find a man. She joins the 'Lassoo the Moon' Dating Agency, but when her dates don't come up to scratch, she sets her sights on her neighbour Don, a doctor, and develops a very unhealthy obsession about him. Moving in to 'nurse' his terminally ill wife, she is determined to seduce him and bring their marriage...
Originally shown in 1998, Big Train was the eagerly awaited follow-up to Father Ted from writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews. Resisting the pressure to make another sitcom, Big Train is, instead, a sketch show in the best Monty Python tradition, updated with influences from arch-surrealist Chris Morris as well as the contemporary The Fast Show. The sketches can be joyously odd--Pythonesque firefighting showjumpers, the evil hypnotist, and the outrageous onanistic office workers, for example--but the show never neglects to keep the punchlines coming thick and fast (though the animated staring contest does rather drag after a while). The cast comprises some of the best new names in comedy, including Kevin Eldon, Simon Pegg, Mark Heap, Julia Davis and Amelia Bullmore (who went on to become Alan Partridge's Ukrainian girlfriend). Series 2 didn't pull into the platform until 2002, by which time Graham Linehan was absent writing Black Books. But Arthur Matthews maintains the quality of the first series on the whole--the man with oversized hands, the creepy cult questionnaire, the zookeeper's recruitment agency--adding some spot-on French art house cinema spoofs and other movie-style take offs somewhat in the manner of Spaced, which Pegg and Heap had gone on to make. That duo return here for more silliness along with new cast members Rebecca Front (The Day Today, Knowing Me, Knowing You) and Tracey-Ann Oberman (better known now as Chrissie Watts in Eastenders). On the DVD: Big Train belatedly arrives on DVD in a two-disc set which includes a plethora of deleted scenes for both Series 1 and 2. There are cast biogs plus three of the sketches as performed on a German TV sketch show. Commentary on the first series is by both writers, though happily Pegg, Heap and Eldon gatecrash halfway through. Matthews and Eldon join director and producer for the somewhat more straight-faced commentary on the second disc. Menu options thankfully include the treasurable "Play all" facility. --Mark Walker
In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.
Hunderby 1831 - A young woman thought to be a spinster missionary is washed up on the beach. In an attempt to escape her terrible past, she assumes the name of Helene Blone and marries the local widowed pastor and master of Hunderby. Once wed, it soon becomes apparent that Pastor Edmund is not quite the man he appeared to be and his peculiar housekeeper Dorothy (Julia Davis) makes it clear she prefers the dead wife, doing all she can to undermine the new mistress. Such trials push Helene towards the sturdy arms of the dashing Doctor Foggerty. Can she resist his charms and birth her husband an heir to save Hunderby?
Robert Redford and Lena Olin star in Oscar-winning director Sydney Pollack's passionate romantic adventure set in a place once called ""the sexiest city in the world."" High-rolling poker player Jack Weil (Redford) is trying to make one big score in 1958 Havana a pleasure-seeker's paradise on the verge of revolution. But his plan doesn't include falling for Roberta (Olin) the beautiful enigmatic wife of revolutionary Arturo Duran (Raul Julia). After Arturo is removed by the police Jack is drawn closer to Roberta who ignites a passion that threatens his last chance for the big score. Breathtaking cinematography a powerful story and a sensual score be Dave Grusin make Havana an unforgettable experience.
"Confetti" follows three couples as they duke it out to win a bridal magazine contest for "Most Original Wedding of the Year."
It really shouldnt work. A black comedy thats basically about four terrorists, planning an atrocity on UK soil? Thats surely a film thats designed to wind up tabloid newspapers? In the wrong hands, it certainly could have been. But under the diligent stewardship of Chris Morris, Four Lions emerges as one of the best films of the year. Its a perfectly pitched, at times rightly uncomfortable comedy, that brings together a quartet of inept terrorists, who when we meet them, cant even put a video together without it falling into farce. Its an opening scene that sets up Four Lions perfectly. And led by the terrific Riz Ahmed and the scene-stealing Nigel Lindsay, the company of actors rise to the challenge that Chris Morris sets them. Four Lions isnt a perfect film, though. The tone is a little uneven at times, and its very much one thats going to feel more at home on a television than a cinema screen. But its still a daring, risky and at times extremely funny piece of work. And its one not afraid to pull the rug on you, either, never shielding itself away from the undercurrents of its subject matter. Its the most ambitious comedy in a long, long time, and its credit to all concerned that it works as well as it does. --Simon Brew
After newlywed Georgina's billionaire husband Constantine is killed in a yacht explosion, she is shocked to discover the fortune and lifestyle he maintained was surrounded by violence, lies, secrets and murder. She soon must step out of her comfort zone to protect the family and herself.
Live 'N' Lewd: Meet Paul Calf - notorious student-basher and lager lout - the man who put the Shite in bag. Meet Pauline Calf - Manchester's very own size ten maneater. She's quite literally a babe with balls. Plus meet the worst comedian in the world Duncan Thickett and legendary Chief Assistant to the Fire Health and Safety Executive for the North West region Ernest Moss. And your show's host for the evening John Thomson as politically correct Bernard Righton. The Man Who Thin
Mindhorn is a must-see British comedy from co-writers and stars Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) and Simon Farnaby (Star Wars: Rogue One), with a supporting cast that includes Andrea Riseborough, Essie Davis and Steve Coogan. Washed-up actor Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt, The Mighty Boosh) is given the chance to revive his flagging career by returning to the role which made him famous: Mindhorn, a genetically modified detective whose eye was replaced by a super-advanced optical lie detector, allowing him to literally see the truth. Decades later, when a deranged Manx criminal demands only to speak to Detective Mindhorn, Thorncroft returns to the scene of his greatest triumph for one last chance to reignite his glory days and professional credibility.
The much awaited sequel to the internationally acclaimed box-office smash Once Were Warriors. This film exposes a seedier view of urban New Zealand and its gang culture. Jake the Muss (Temuera Morrison) has turned his back on his family and is up to his usual tricks in McClutchy's bar unaware as he downs his latest opponent that his son has died in a gang fight.
The BFI presents three more classic kids' films from the much loved Children’s Film Foundation. Cult favourite Sammy's Super T-Shirt (1978) - arguably the most sought after gem in the CFF library – finally comes to DVD, accompanied by two other classics from the collection. Sammy dreams of becoming a super athlete, despite his puny build. When his lucky training t-shirt is thrown into a scientist's lab it becomes imbued with 'super strength' power. When Sammy manages to recover the t-shirt he uses his new-found strength to out-run baddies and bullies alike. Soapbox Derby (1957), sees a young Michael Crawford scrapping with a rival South London gang in Battersea, while The Sky-Bike (1967) stars Liam Redmond as an eccentric inventor trying to achieve more than just speed. Special Features: Illustrated booklet
Chris Morris' "Four Lions" is a funny, thrilling comedy that illuminates modern jihadism through the prism of farce. It understands jihadists as human beings. And it understands human beings as innately ridiculous.
With Jam, the TV follow-up to his Radio 1 series Blue Jam, Chris Morris focuses more on unease more than the satire of Brass Eye. Indeed, it's a moot point whether Jam can actually be categorised as comedy at all. Each sketch is steeped in a heavy brine of dark, ambient music (including Bark Psychosis, David Sylvian and Brian Eno), grainy imagery, fast-cut editing and slo-motion. Its mirthless, Kafka-esque scenarios feel like an attempt to morph into some new species of post-comedy that is more like the stuff of nightmares. The credits, in which Morris stalks the moving camera, uttering Lear-esque words of foreboding immediately announce that this "sketch show" is a galaxy apart from The Two Ronnies. The appalled look on actor Kevin Eldon's face in the opening sketch of the series, as a young couple invite him to endure being buggered by a mutual acquaintance ("I need a break"), sets the tone. Rape, chemotherapy, wanton urination--as a naked "Robert Kilroy-Silk" goes insane in a sketch full of detestation for the oleaginous TV presenter--and recurring sketches involving callously authoritarian NHS doctors, all go to make up these annals of the bizarre and perverse. Ultimately, Jam doesn't quite work, not on TV anyway. The repetition of the same, small cast over and over, broken up too briefly by Morris' own appearances (as a "country gentleman" living outside his house, for instance), coupled with the gruelling treatment of the sketch material makes for a psyche-probing, jaw-dropping experience--but in parts also a nullifying and strangely predictable one. Morris's "failures" are far more interesting than most people's successes. --David Stubbs
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