tue 07/07/2020

humour

Maria Reva: Good Citizens Need Not Fear review - tales of gloomy humour and absurdist charm

Maria Reva’s humorously gloomy debut collection, centring on the inhabitants of a block of stuffy apartments in Soviet (and post-Soviet) Ukraine, starts, predictably enough, with Lenin. Instead of an austere symbol of ideology, he’s a statue who “...

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Blu-Ray: Curling

Curling could be an enigmatic contemporary noir, but for the fact that it was made in the depths of winter in rural Quebec. Shades of brilliant white and murky grey predominate, as witnessed in an early sequence where Jean-François and his 12-year...

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Code 404, Sky One review - surreal cop comedy presses the right buttons

DI John Major (Daniel Mays) has been dead a year, shot in the line of duty, though we’re far from that series in terms of tone. Now he’s back at the London Met, artificially augmented, but not very intelligently. If anything he’s a bit more shit...

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After Life series 2, Netflix review - Ricky Gervais's study of bereavement continues

It's interesting to note that this Netflix series – the second of Ricky Gervais's study of bereavement, which he writes, directs and stars in – is broadcast during lockdown. We've quickly become used to a different pace of life – slower, less rooted...

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Roy Hudd: 'I was just trying to make 'em laugh'

Roy Hudd, who has died at the age of 83, was the last link to the age of entertainment before television. Born in 1936, he entered the business just as music hall and variety were dying out. But he knew the luminaries of that era: Gracie Fields, Max...

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Misbehaviour review - crowd-pleaser tackles Seventies sexism

Created in the mould of Made in Dagenham and Pride, Philippa Lowthrope offers up a cheery, kitschy British comedy centred around the 1970 Miss World Contest that was disrupted by feminist protests. Leading this crowd-pleaser are...

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Onward review - do you believe in magic?

Welcome to New Mushroomton: a fantasy land that’s forgotten itself. This is how we’re introduced to Pixar’s Onward, which is set in a Dungeons & Dragons daydream of suburbia. Director Dan Scanlon’s film is a tribute to his late father, but it...

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The Trouble With Maggie Cole, ITV review - Dawn French stars in new comedy drama

ITV's drama department is in overdrive at the moment, with a seemingly endless release of series with high production values and stellar casts, and the latest is The Trouble With Maggie Cole. It's a six-parter based on an idea by Dawn French (...

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Downhill review - American remake wanders off-piste

It’s hard to believe that Jesse Armstrong (Succession, Veep) co-wrote the screenplay for this feeble American remake of Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s Force Majeure (2014). Where Force Majeure is subtle, dark and original (never have electric...

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Greed review - so-so satire of the über rich

Steve Coogan’s long partnership with director Michael Winterbottom is probably best known for The Trip and its spin-offs, involving Coogan’s comic culinary excursions alongside Rob Brydon. But for its serious undercurrents and disreputable...

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Parasite review - a class war with grand designs

With the Oscars approaching, one film building momentum in the fight for best picture – and whose victory would delight all but the most blinkered – is the Korean Bong Joon Ho’s deliriously dark and entertaining black comedy, Parasite. It...

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Birds of Prey review - the DCU is back on track

Back in 2016, David Ayer’s infantile Suicide Squad burst upon us in a wash of lurid greens and purples. Ayer’s film had a myriad of problems, not least the hyper-sexualisation of Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. While controversy abounded,...

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