Friday, 29 April 2011
Gervais and Merchant should do this more often
Lover: Taken from IMDB
“Though I knew Ricky Gervais and Steve merchant directed it, I had no prior expectations about this movie. I did not know what it was about nor did i read any reviews before watching. Trust me, that is the best way to watch Cemetery Junction. Don't listen to the reviews of jaded film critics who over-analyze and complain about other movies being similar. This is a movie that make you feel good without explicitly being a feel-good movie. I came out feeling nostalgic for 70s Britain though I grew up in 90s USA. The dialog is witty, smart, often funny and sometimes touching. It deftly touches on themes of loss, regret, friendship, love, and following one's dreams. This is my favorite British film in quite some time. You will not regret watching this movie.”
There’s nothing here to back up their points however they are completely right.
Hater: Taken from IMDB
“This film isn't funny. It's just not. And without the excuse of comedy, it's simply lame. In the September issue of The Word, Andrew Harrison, discussing the way popular culture eats itself, describes yesterday's cutting edge as "...impossibly tame and in fact cloyingly wholesome, the components of Heartbeat." And that's exactly this movie. Bland nostalgia, the trappings of kitchen sink reality and none of its truth. Twee love wins out and the lovers eventually escape the deadening boredom of their hometown existence (which isn't so bad really, so their ambitions are fuzzy and vague). Nothing we haven't seen before, and no drama to make it interesting. Cemetery Junction is just an episode of Heartbeat - the easy view, rose-tinted version of a bygone era churned out in inoffensive weekly installments for a family audience who want reassurance rather than insight. A few laughs would have made it bearable. Pity that Gervais and Merchant should squander their opportunities on inconsequential twaddle like this.”
Describing it as an episode of Heartbeat is very wrong, all it really has in common is the era its set in. The point of cemetery junction I like to think is that life and that particular moment in time was mundane, hence no big drama this would-be critic clearly wanted. Just think of The Office, apart from the superbly written and performed comedy its actually just a mundane series about life in an office and look how that turned out.
What I thought:
What I like most about Cemetery Junction is that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have only a bit part and cameo respectively. The reason I like that is because the performances of Gervais and Merchant (Gervais more so) are just getting plain dry and repetitive. After his trips to America in which he played David Brent in some shape or form in EVERYTHING, it was important that he wrote material for someone else. To prove me right just watch the moments he’s in, exactly the same!
His usual spiel works fine for stand up but when you start using that as a crutch when you’re trying to act; it’s best left alone. So that aside what are you watching, well a coming of age tale set in Reading, Berkshire. Reading or more precisely Cemetery Junction home of a fine music festival, Gervais himself and my sister-in-law is a great setting for this. Whilst there is nothing quintessentially wrong with the place (I love visiting) It’s one of those places that if your born and raised there you’ll spend half of your youth moaning about getting away from it (I empathise as I’m from Croydon another place like this). That’s basically what this film is about, going through that stage in your life where it feels that if you don’t get away now you never will.
That’s What Cemetery Junction is about and the way it does it so well is in its casting, our three heroes are unknowns who take on the rebellious young upstart roles with brilliant gusto. They are also brilliantly written, Gervais and Merchants usual humour coming from some you up and coming actors is brilliant and fun to watch. In those respects its refreshing and hopefully will usher both to move behind the camera more often.