Posts Tagged ‘Steve Coogan’

Alpha Papa (2013) Now on DVD/BlU

Director: Declan Lowney

Cast: Steve Coogan, Colm Meamey, Sean Pertwee, Anna Maxwell Martin, Felicity Montagu, Jason Tresswell

Writers: Armando Iannucci, Peter Baynham, Steve Coogan, Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons

90mins  Comedy UK

Gun_Cropped-672x1024Steve Coogan’s famous local radio DJ and talk show host Alan Partridge is one of the UK’s favourite comedy characters and has now arrived on the big screen in this Summer’s unmissable British comedy ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA.

There are plenty of laughs to be had in this close-up and personal film debut of the saddo presenter at North Norfolk Radio. Awash with ‘too much information’ (he loses his trousers, quite literally!), it records every crack and crevice of Alan’s cringeworthy physique and shamelessly pursues a politically incorrect agenda of witty one-liners skilfully crafted by co-writers Peter Baynham and Armando Iannucci (“Forget about Jesus, as far as I’m concerned, Neil Diamond is the real King of the Jews!.) and helmed by the safe hands of ‘Father Ted’ creator Declan Lowney.

Featuring the usual team of co-presenter Simon (Tim Key), Radio Norwich pal Dave Clifton (Phil Cornwell), long-suffering PA, Lynn (Felicity Montagu), ageing DJ, Pat Farrell (Colm Meamey) and his Geordie friend Michael (Simon Greenhall) now a security guard, this outing is sadly missing a love interest for Alan, more’s the pity!.

After the unfortunate turn of events on his BBC show ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ where a guest accidentally gets shot, Alan’s fighting for his career for the second time around when a multimedia conglomerate “Shape” takes over the station threatening a round of redundancies and putting his slot ‘Mid-Morning Matters’ into jeopardy.  The first head to roll is that of fellow presenter and ‘has-been’ Pat Farrell. But Pat’s having none of it and returns with a gun, fully-loaded and firing on all cylinders to plunge the station into full siege mode, forcing Michael into a cupboard (‘Like a Geordie version of Ann Frank’) and Alan into the limelight acting as a mediator between Pat and the Police.


Naturally Alan relishes this chance to take centre stage in a media circus of heightened melodrama, but the emphasis here shifts onto fast-paced action and slapstick sequences descending into banality at times, and away from the element we’ve all been waiting for: the next chapter of Alan’s life as a delusional porn-obsessed loser whose children no longer speak to him, whose PA’s preoccupation with him is unwanted and unwholesome and whose ‘mildly cretinous’ Ukrainian girlfriend ‘Sonja’ has him firmly by the short and curlies.

That said, this big screen debut offers great entertainment value, preserving the integrity of the ‘Alan Partridge brand’ where so many others such as League of Gentlemen, Borat and Brüno are a shadow of their TV and radio versions. Alan may have lost his trousers but Alpha Papa definitely has us wanting more. MT


  DVD / Blu-ray / Steelbook Extras:

  Hectic Danger Days: The Making of Alpha Papa

  Deleted Scenes


  Audio Commentary with Steve Coogan and Writers Rob & Neil Gibbons

  ASDA 2-Disc Bonus Extras:

  Exclusive Interviews with Steve Coogan / Rob & Neil Gibbons / Declan Lowney

  Exclusive Q&A with Armando Iannucci

  Premiere Day Sizzle Reel

  Irish Screening Introduction

  Trailers – Teaser and Full

  TV Spots


What Maisie Knew (2013) Curzon Home cinema from 23rd August

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WHAT MAISIE KNEW is a custody battle drama showing at CURZON CINEMAS from 23 August 2013.

The Look Of Love (2012) **** Sundance London

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Producer: Revolution films/Melissa Parmenter
Cast: Steve Coogan, Tamsin Egerton, Imogen Potts, Anna Friel, Chris Addison, James Lance, Matthew Beard, David Walliams
105min     UK  Comedy Drama










Michael Winterbottom’s biopic of sixties porn publisher and property magnate Paul Raymond marks a return to comedy drama for the director and what a cracking film it is!

Starring his regular collaborator Steve Coogan, who’s absolutely magnificent in the role of Raymond: brimming with hard-edged joie de vivre and embuing in Raymond a crude and letcherous charm: The story will have particular appeal to those who remember with nostalgia the swinging sixties for the sheer decadence, joy-filled optimism of an era that broke down the barriers of stiff-lipped tradition.

Told with great gusto, the story really centres on Raymond’s relationships with the main women in his life: his wife, daughter and lover in the shape of Fiona Richmond.  And anybody with an older brother or father will remember her as the first really strong English sex symbol: both alluring and powerful in the early seventies: a business woman AND a centre-page cover girl.  And this is a film about strong personalities but particularly about feisty female characters.

The story charts 30 years of Raymond’s hedonistic life starting in1958 with his brief dalliance as a stage hypnotist through to club owner, theatre producer to property magnate to publishing by 1992. He emerges as a coke-snorting, cold fish but also cuts rather a sad figure who, in the rush to make a commercial success of his life, fails to engage on any meaningful level with the women who really make it all worthwhile.

Anna Friel is gutsy and believable as his wife Jean and mother of his daughter Deborah.  Imogen Poots excels in the role of the vulnerable, needy, yet strong-willed Deborah who casts around looking for a niche, first as an actress and then a singer. The film gives insight into Paul Raymond’s work methods and really unlocks the business man in him, through his relationship with his wife and daughter.  Although Paul loves her madly as a dad, he  lets money stand in the way of her happiness when a West End production she’s starring in fails: “I can’t keep haemorrhaging money into something that’s not working just to keep you happy”. Like many businessmen he sees only the balance sheet and never what money can do to make those important to him feel validated.

But it’s with Fiona Richmond that he really meets his match, sexually and intellectually.  Tamsin Egerton makes for fabulously graceful casting here.  She’s also appears way ahead of him class-wise leaving him slightly back-footed but looking like the cat that got the cream on more than one occasion: they make a appealing double act and are both better looking than the originals.  Sadly, Paul’s eldest son (Derry McCarthy) from his first partner, is played here by Liam Boyle, makes a small appearance but gets short-shrift and goes away empty-handed, as he does in real life.

This is a richly entertaining film and the best that Michael Winterbottom has made in a long while. Particularly appealing to those interested in the era with its excellent footage of London’s Soho and sixties life offering a colourful back-drop from Kettners, Ronnie Scott’s, to L’Escargot in Greek Street; all still going strong.  Paul Raymond emerges as a sad, cypher, reflecting the striking charisma of the women around him, yet possessing little depth and personality himself despite his shrewd business acumen.  He certainly liked money and he liked sex but, at the end of the day, it appears the ‘King Of Soho’ only really loved himself. MT



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