Ross Noble is comedy nobility. For the past 21 years, he has been one of our leading stand-ups. Over that time, he has proved himself a comic tour de force. He has been responsible for 13 sell-out tours and seven top-selling DVDs. He came 10th in Channel 4’s 2010 poll of 100 Greatest Stand-Ups.
Sam Wills needs no introduction. His actions speak louder than words. Although he claims it was an accident, there’s no denying that Wills (aka ‘The Boy With Tape on His Face’) has rewritten the rules of silent comedy. He left behind going over and over his lines in favour of scavenging the aisles of his local hardware store in search of the perfect comedy prop. The Boy adeptly blends speechless stand-up (there is a mic on stage), perfectly suited soundtracks, puppetry and extreme audience participation to create a positively unconventional experience.
London based trio ‘The Midnight Beast’ have been delighting YouTube audiences with their own brand of comedy music, high jinx videos and well played parodies. With enough hits to populate a small country, a successful E4 series and a current tour underway. I sat down with the guys to talk triple bunk beds, dirty pigeons and why they should be scared of Hollywood legend Will Smith.
Abi Roberts first rose to fame in a series of sketch shows featured both on the London stage and at the Edinburgh Festival; debuting in the satirical comedy Newsrevue, followed by Bleeding Arts and A Touch of Roberts and Roper, the latter co-written with the British stand-up Matt Roper at Jermyn Street Theatre.
He’s the face of Edinburgh buses during the Fringe, and has already achieved more than the average 22 year old; having appeared on British TV comedy classics such as ‘Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Road Show’ and ‘8 Out Of 10 Cats’. With another successful Fringe run under his belt, and an upcoming 50 date UK tour, I chatted to loveable Scotsman, Daniel Sloss.
Lee Nelson is well know as the the risky, chavtastic star of the BBC Three comedy series, ‘Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show’. Given the success of the popular TV show, Lee has made the move from the goggle box to the stage, taking his show “Lee Nelson Live” to all the ‘crap towns’ in the UK. If that wasn’t enough, he’s just released a DVD of the tour in case you don’t live in or near a crap town and weren’t able to catch the show. We’ll be posting a review of the DVD this week but in the meantime, we managed to catch up with Lee for a “serious” chat to see what we can expect from his DVD/tour and what he has up his stripey polo sleeve…
A refreshing and brilliant spin is put on the found-footage flick with End of Watch, the latest film from writer-director David Ayer. Unlike anything you have seen before, the film will hit you with full-force and leave you feeling completely drained by the time the end credits roll.
End of Watch focuses on Officers Zavala (Michael Pena) and Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) as they uncover a shocking secret that makes them the prime targets of a local ruthless drug cartel.
End of Watch wastes no time and begins with an overwhelming Need For Speed-style car-chase that throws the audience into the front seat and in the position of a police officer in hot pursuit. Right from the onset, the film grips like a vice and refuses to let go. Whether it be the hard-hitting action sequences or the moments of poignancy, End of Watch is thrilling and engaging for its entire 109 minutes.
It is considerably rare to see a film that can successfully mix action and romance, without leaning too far to the either side. Thankfully, End of Watch thrives on its ability to blend its moments of sentiment with the scenes of action, making it appeal to a vast audience. It may look like a film that will only please action fans, but this could not be further from the truth. End of Watch covers universal themes that everyone can enjoy and relate to.
End of Watch explores love, loyalty, death and family in an equal manner. However, the themes are not split into chunks and divided over the run-time; instead they are intertwined and overlap each other. The strongest sections of the film are the ones that have you on the edge of your seat with a smile on your face. This is thanks to the incredible performances by Pena and Gyllenhaal. The fantastic chemistry between Zavala and Taylor makes for such an unforgettable and incredible viewing experience. Neither actor dominates the screen; the two bounce off each other and in turn, create a friendship that is both wholly credible and undeniably absorbing.
Underneath the hard-hitting and explosive action there is a film that hits hard for much different reasons. The bare bones of End of Watch sees it as a buddy movie; a touching tale about two best friends who have a job that pushes their friendship to the limit. The stand-out moments exploit the wonderfully witty and truly sincere script that has been perfectly written and is delivered equally as well by the two leads. The audience gets to know and love the two policemen and the whole film builds up superbly to the heart-stopping and downright devastating ending.
The longer it is on the screen, the better it gets and the closer it creeps to its end the more you will wish it didn’t have to. For a film this tiring to watch, to not become tiresome is a sign of brilliant direction. David Ayer has a worthy contender for one of the top films of 2012 here, and that really is a fantastic surprise considering End Of Watch probably didn’t make many people’s lists of most anticipated films of this year.
Ayer has created something refreshing and much-needed for the near-exhausted found-footage/hand-held camera sub-genre of filmmaking. As it doesn’t totally devote itself to the found-footage idea, End of Watch does not succumb to the clichés and stereotypes often seen within these films. It chops and changes; keeping the audience guessing and doesn’t spiral into complete predictability.
Not only is End of Watch a complete adrenaline rush from start to finish, it has a massive heart to go with it. Beneath the hard and exciting exterior, there lies a wonderful story that is sprinkled with a perfect helping of comedy and romance.
PPSF Rating: 8/10
End of Watch is released in the UK on the 23rd of November.
Here’s the official trailer to get you on the edge of your seat in the meantime.
Comedian Paul Tonkinson, who you most likely saw win Come Dine With Me is in full force with a massive tour spanning the UK right up until March of next year. Amazingly, after almost 20 years on the comedy circuit, this is his first ever full UK tour. Other recent TV appearances include a spot on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow on BBC1 and Live At The Comedy Store on Comedy Central. Despite being on tour he still has time to develop a sitcom with Baby Cow productions and also writes a monthly column for Runners World given the fact he used to be a Marathon runner. Given the fact that Marathons aren’t held in particularly high esteem thanks to a certain children’s TV presenter (even the New York Marathon has now been cancelled) we got that touchy subject out of the way in the first question in a chat we had with Paul:
Phil Nichol, acclaimed actor, award winning comedian, producer, presenter, writer and musician. This year, he performed his 14th solo show Phil Nichol Rants at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to rave reviews all across the board whilst also appearing in Dave Florez’s drama The Intervention. Now, six years after originally recording his two shows Nearly Gay and The Naked Racist, which were never originally released on DVD, they have both been unleashed.
Last week we spoke with actor/comedian Riaad Moosa, star of the hit South African film Material. The film co-stars Vincent Ebrahim (The Kumars at No. 42) who plays Riaad’s traditionalist father. We spoke to Vincent for a greater insight into this father son relationship so excellently portrayed by both actors.