People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan is a Kuruptingly good comedy

People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan is a Kuruptingly good comedy




(15) 97mins

TURNING any TV comedy into a movie is a gamble.

But where Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and Ali G Indahouse struggled, People Just Do Nothing is that rare beast — a resounding big-screen triumph.

For the uninitiated, the original BBC Three mockumentary followed inept UK garage crew MC Grindah (Allan Mustafa), DJ Beats (Hugo Chegwin), Steves (Steve Stamp) and Decoy (Dan Sylvester) who run pirate radio station Kurupt FM from a flat in Brentford, West London.

The final series ended with the lads, and their renegade manager Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry), abandoning dreams of fame and closing the station for good.

Now Grindah, still with partner Miche (Lily Brazier), is a postie, Beats works in a bowling alley and Chabuddy G is sleeping in a van when the success they always dreamed about seems to happen overnight.

Their single Heart Monitor Riddem has been used on a game show in Japan and a record label wants to fly them over there. It appears they’ve finally made it.

From the off, you’ll be belly- laughing thanks to the razor-sharp but always affectionate humour from Allan Mustafa and Steve Stamp’s screenplay.

Director Jack Clough sticks to the mockumentary style, and long-term fans will love in-jokes thrown in to reward them.

Plenty of funny lines land straight from the urban dictionary. When drug dustbin Steves gets a love interest, Beats tells him: “You’re exotic out here. Back home you’re just a butters freak.”

But the comedy is also cleverly given more visual appeal and a broader international flavour by taking the Kurupt crew to Tokyo where record label flunky Taka (Ken Yamamura) wants them to sell out their old-skool roots.

This neatly ensures first-time viewers, and those who can’t name-check the classic garage anthems on the soundtrack, can still get in on the jokes. From the “ragga rap” delivered to bemused Japanese label execs, the boyband makeover — complete with gelled hair, dance routines and daft costumes — to a slapstick scene with the crew dressed in Teletubby-style catsuits, it is all done so brilliantly you will cry laughing.

An insanely talented British cast, with incredible writing, non-stop quotable lines and perfect pace, you won’t want to miss this Kuruptingly good comedy.



(15) 91mins

NICOLAS CAGE might not command £20million for a film any more but this emotionally wrought drama proves he can still make a priceless contribution.

Michael Sarnoski’s feature-length directorial debut centres on Rob (Cage), a solitary truffle hunter in Portland, Oregon, whose companion – a prized pig – is violently stolen from him during the dead of night.

With the help of Amir (Alex Wolff), the young supplier to whom Rob sells his truffles, the reclusive antihero embarks on a hunt to find his hog, forcing him to face his past and re-enter the seedy culinary world he had left behind a decade earlier.

Cage carries himself with such sorrowful weight, through his eyes, facial expressions and posture, that the minimal dialogue he is given by Sarnoski’s script only emphasises the stoic demeanour of his character in crisis.

His poignant performance is a reminder that Cage’s talents stretch well beyond the crazed roles for which he is best known these days.

Sarnoski has served up a magnificent platter for Cage to showcase some of his finest work in many a year, pairing the ingredients of loss, familial strife, masculinity and love in a journey marinated with a tender, soulful score and compassionate storytelling.

My compliments to the chef.




(15) 84mins

BEFORE there were ultra-violent computer games and porn was easily accessible online, horror films on VHS were shared on the sly between fans.

It falls to Enid (Niamh Algar) to ensure these grainy chillers are not too extreme to be certified 18.

But in Thatcher’s Britain, moral panic is high about these movies. That means dowdy, buttoned-up Enid takes her responsibilities extremely seriously. She spends her days watching horror movies in a smoky, window-less office and writing notes that say things like: “Eye-gouging is too realistic.”

Her evenings are spent in a beige house, doing the crossword . . . alone. But that changes when she sees a film with uncanny echoes of her own life – and the disappearance of her younger sister, who was never found.

This plunges Enid into a world of fear, fuzzy flash-back footage and an obsession that leads to a fair amount of bloodshed.

Censor takes a fascinating concept and gets you pondering the extent to which constantly watching violence leads Enid to partake in it.

There are one too many dream sequences for my liking. But the intriguing story and excellent evocation of the Eighties, plus a couple of clever camera tricks in the final scene, are enough to earn Censor a solid stamp of approval.

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