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Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Inbetweeners Movie

The Inbetweeners Movie is rude, crude and offensive….so everything you’d expect from it then.

The movie starts off with the famous foursome’s lives just after leaving sixth form, showing how they are getting on. Will is being his weirdly normal self. Jay is (again as per usual) performing in some form of self sexual act. Neil is working at a supermarket fish counter and Simon is with Carly. After a turn of unfortunate events (mainly for Simon) the group decide to go on holiday. The movie sees the “Pussay Patrol” (as they become known as) going to the location of Malia, Crete, one of the many party capitals of the world. As expected from the Inbetweeners, the comic situations involving the lads are many and just as hilarious as ever (just watch out for the dancing, it’s the greatest sketch ever!), and watching them worm their way out of these situations is just as funny.

Compared to the TV show, the actual gags involved (expect for the dancing!) are actually a slight disappoint as they aren’t as witty or, coming from Jay, as disgusting. This doesn’t make the film less enjoyable though as a gag a minute in a film lasting an hour and a half can get tedious. On the other hand the addition of a proper narrative running throughout is a real delight. The writers have perfectly captured the balance between different emotions perfectly. The vulnerability and depression of Simon one second, juxtaposed with a quick gag by Jay or Neil just shows how excellent the writers actually are and how well they understand a film compared to the TV series.

I give the film a 9/10

One Line Conclusion…the transition from the TV to the big screen has been worked perfectly and is an excellent send off for the series, it’s just a shame there won’t be anymore written.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Last Night I went to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes. For anybody who doesn’t already know, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a reboot of the series but with its own original plot loosely following the story of the 1960s films. Unlike the originals being set in the future, “Rise of” is set in the present day taking chunks from its predecessor (not the awful 2001 remake starring Mark Wahlberg) using several plots that ran throughout the original series and merging them into one.

For a summary of the plot (without revealing anything!), the story starts off with Dr. Will Rodman (played by James Franco) searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, as his dad (John Lithgow) is suffering with it. As apes are the closest animal to humans biologically, the test for this cure are done of them. After extensive research it is revealed that this cure not only restores brain cells to their original state but enhances intelligence. There is a problem at the lab and Will has to take home a baby ape (called Caesar, played by Andy Serkis) home helping him better his work with the cure. With some further development on the cure it is found that the latest cure develops the apes brain even more but causes harm to humans. The later virus gets out at a monkey sanctuary (thanks to Caesar and his clever ways) and the monkeys rebel against the humans.

Onto my opinion of the film.

I believe that the film has a higher artistic value than a productive value. The narrative isn’t anything spectacular. It rolls along at a steady pace (in some places a steady pace is too slow) and there isn’t nearly enough action in the film. The story unveils around the ape Caesar’s life. It is more about him and his decisions than it is anybody else. The story builds up and builds up in a fight on a huge bridge (not sure which one, not too good at geography) and into an anticlimactic ending, but leaving it open for a sequel. Caesar the monkey is what sells the film. Andy Serkis is a phenomenal actor, easily one of the best, and it shows in this film. His portrayal as Caesar is really believable (even the point when the ape is riding a horse!). The CGI for the film is also incredible. Everything looks superbly polished from the close-ups of the apes to the landscapes they are in.

I give the film a 7/10.

One line conclusion…All in all the movie is very good, but wait for the DVD release as there are better alternatives to spend your money on.

Old vs New

We’ve all heard middle aged and old people claim that TV used to be better than TV nowadays, but why? Has TV changed THAT much that it has become unwatchable to older generations?

Well, from the 1950’s right up until the 00’s, there were TV programs like Monty Python, Blackadder and Yes Prime Minister, classics in their own right and the “grandfathers” of comedy,  but the modern day has The Inbetweeners, Skins and Black Books, which, in years to come could be classics themselves. Over the years the content within the programs produced has changed but the formulas used to create a comedy have stayed the same. I don’t believe that TV has changed per se but the audience and society surrounding TV has affected in greatly. Go back 40 to 50 years and you would never have heard the words “Fanny” or “Clunge” said on TV as much as you do nowadays (thanks Jay), mainly because the words never existed or the viewers would have been horrified at the use of them. Teenagers act differently now than they did 20-30 years ago therefore changing the way teenagers are represented on TV. No, not all teenagers go around mugging and stabbing old people but the majority do act like idiots thinking with their sexual organs instead of their brains. To  compare, look at the programs “The Young Ones” (1982), then look at the program “The Inbetweeners” (2008), both stereotypical of the youth/young society at the time.  The Young Ones contains four student best friends trying to get along in both, life and their studies, each one a stereotype of a young adult at the time. An outrageous punk, A manic depressive who’s always trying to kill himself, a money hungry con-man and an anarchist. They are always getting themselves into situations that usually results in a crazy, idiotic escape plan (including the punk eating the TV). Move 20+ years onwards from this and the Inbetweeners was created. Four student best friends who get themselves into situations that (again) normally results in a stupid escape plan. They are always trying to act like “out of control” teenagers, drinking and trying to sleep with girls but fail at it. Both programs follow the same mould and formula for comedy that has been used for years, with most programs taking influence from older shows and adapting it to a different social situation. I’m not saying The Inbetweeners would have worked in the 1960s because the audience of the time wouldn’t have understood it but if The Inbetweeners was created in the 60s based around the society at the time with the same humour, maybe it would have worked.

As I suggested (in my own opinion), the change in society has played the biggest part in TV programs (mainly comedy) changing, not the actual style of the humour changing. Yes, the style of humour has changed but most shows do follow very similar lines and formulas.