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Archive for the tag “comedy”

Autumn of Terror: Thing’s That Go Bump In The Night

By Geeky Gem

Horror movies come in many forms, slasher movies, monster movies and then there are ghost movies. These movies are about the things you can’t see, the things that go bump in the night. Here I am going to tell you about some of the ones that I really like. Yes folks its yet another list, you may see that I am a fan of a good list.

The Devils Backbone

The Devils Backbone is not a movie you would expect me to hae on this list but this Spanish movie made by Guillermo del Toro, was a movie I saw a few years ago when I wanted to watch all of del Toro’s back catalogue and it kind of stuck in my mind, yes it is a ghost movie. A young bot is taken to a orphange to stay for a bit and then strange things start to happen he starts to see ghost’s and what is the kindly Dr. Casares up to? If you haven’t seen this but like del Toro’s work it really is worth a watch.

Poltergeist

Now I am not going to lie to you, I like this movie however there is one scene that really does bother me and that’s because the thing in the scene is the one thing that scares me more than anything. if you know outside of the blog you will know what this is. If you don’t tough because I am not going to tell you. However back to the movies, Tobe Hooper who was on one of my other lists earlier in the series directed this movie and did a fine job. Poltergeist is a really good movie and spawned a number of squeals.

Ringu

Before the American remake in 2002, Ringu was made in Japan back in 1998 and soon became a cult classic. The tale is simple there is a cursed video that if you should watch it in 7 days you die a horrible death. The movie moves on from there really and is a brilliant bit of Japanese horror directed by Hideo Nakata based on the book by Kōji Suzuki, it tells the tale of a reporter trying to find out what ad how this has happened. It’s a race against time with twists and turns all over the place.

Paranormal Activity

Now I have had a hard time finding movies in modern horror that I have liked, Saw was brilliant but got a bit stupid by the time they got to 7. The 3D remake of My Bloody Valentine was the first 3D movie I saw which I enjoyed, since then I have found it hard to like modern horror. However this little chestnut crept up on me. At first I thought I am not going to like this it screams Blair Witch Project all over. However I found I did like it and I have watched them all, directed by  Oren Peli it follows the story of  Katie and Micah, who are trying to find out what is haunting their home, the movie is pieced together from footage that te coupe taped in order to see what was going on in their home. If you havent seen it then way not give it go.

Ghostbusters

Can you tell I was a child of the 1980’s? I love this movie, and still live in hope that the rumored third movie will still come out. Nw had the people the movies above has just called these guys they wouldn’t have had such a bad time now would they. The Ghostbusters was directed by Ivan Reitman and written by two of the movies stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis which I think adds something to the movie. Its one of those movies you can watch over and over again. Basically the Ghostbusters help people who have ghost problem by catching said ghost for a small fee,  it’s a funny movie and I had to have on this list.

I hope these things that go bump in the night didn’t scare you too much, and that some of these movies are best watched from behind your duvet or behind your hands. See you next time, I have to go and call some one as they’re here.

Stand Up Spotlight: Stewart Lee

By @hmsbeefnuts

In my last Stand Up Spotlight blog, I highlighted Richard Herring, a comedian almost beyond compare. I say almost because of the gentleman I will be highlighting today, his former partner, and 41stBest Stand Up Ever Stewart Lee. Now if you read my last blog, you will be aware that Lee and Herring were a double act at their inception, and sometime around 1999, they went their separate ways in the comedy world. Sad news in a way, but also good, because now fans of the duo had twice as much material to delve into.

Outside of the world of comedy Stewart Lee is perhaps best known as one of the few men of the modern era that has been accused of blasphemy. This was al down to the Opera that he wrote with This Morning With Richard Not Judy alumni, Richard Thomas, Jerry Springer The Opera. I didn’t see this at the time, but have seen it subsequently, and to be honest, I’m not a fan, it’s funny, but I don’t really appreciate musical theatre, or opera, yeah I know, I’m so uncultured. Court battles and two years of stress must have taken their toll on Lee both financially and mentally, but luckily, being a comedian, shitty stuff often results in brilliant material.

I can’t really remember when I got back into Stewart Lee, but it must have been around the same time as I found Richard Herring again. They seemed like shinning beacons in a scene filled with boring samey comedians. I have seen Stew twice live, and both times, the gig has been absolutely fantastic. I quickly looked back at the shows I had missed; 90’s Comedian, Stand Up Comedian, and was firmly on board by the time The 41st Best Stand Up Ever and If You Would Prefer A Milder Comedian Please Ask For One, were touring. Lee has a style of comedy often reffered to as intelligent and knowing, and I would agree, he isn’t a joke machine, but he builds and crafts stories, often using repetition and slowly, you realise, you could be listening to the best joke ever. Take a look…

Certainly, Lee has not kept himself out of contraversy in the last few years, his joke about Top Gears Richard Hammond caused a bit of a fuss a few years back, but the routine is so good, the fuss was only caused by people not really understanding it. Check it out…

The comedians comedian, Stewart Lee was granted two series of his show Comedy Vehicle on BBC 2, with a third on the way. These half hour shows have been the highlight of comedy on TV in recent years. I urge everyone to watch some Stewart Lee, I appreciate he is probably not for everyone, but check out the videos and give him a try. Here he is with a routine on toilet books…

Stand Up Spotlight: Richard Herring

By @hmsbeefnuts

I’m a fan of comedy, or rather, I am a fan of certain comedies and comedians. There are a lot of bad comedians on the stand up scene in the UK. A lot of very poor comedians, in my opinion, fill an awful lot of stadium gigs. Comedians like Michael McIntyre, Pete Kay and Lee Evans earn millions of pounds a year selling out stadiums up and down the country and entertaining literally hundreds of thousands of people. But I don’t like them, sure they a chuckle worthy at times, but their comedy is mass market trash for the multitude. Now there is nothing wrong with that, it entertains a whole load of people, but it just isn’t for me. I like my comedy with a bit more of an edge than; ‘Garlic? Bread?’, or ‘everyone has got a draw in the kitchen with stuff in it’.

 

That kind of comedy isn’t big or clever, it does nothing except illicit a recognition chuckle; ‘yes! I have one of those!! Haha’. Boring, and samey, and not what I’m after. OK, so we know what I don’t like, but what do I actually like? Well here is the first blog, of two, so far, where I will put the spot light on my favourite stand up comedians. This week we shall look at the great Richard Herring, self proclaimed King of Edinburgh, Lord of the Podcast and one of my two favourite comedy type blokes. But why is he so good? Well I’m not entirely sure I will be able to fully illustrate how great Mr. Herring is, but I shall try my best. What? Don’t look at me like that, you know what you want? You want the moon on a stick. Hahaha, see what I did there? No? Well you should go away and watch some early Lee and Herring, then re-read that joke…. see, funny eh?

 

I first became aware of Richard Herring during secondary school. At the time I was watching stuff like The Day Today, and Brass Eye, and then one Friday Night, I sat down and watched Lee and Herring’s Fist of Fun. I instantly had a new favourite show. A stand up show with skits and sketches, Fist of Fun was incredibly fresh, and incredibly funny. It was the kind of show that we would all talk about in the playground on Monday morning, quoting the best lines and going over the best bits. It became priority viewing. I still use some of the phrases I picked up from Fist of Fun, including moon on a stick, and there were an amazing array of characters, including Simon Quinlank, master of all hobbies (including Vicar’s arse rubbing), and Rod Hull, an imposter to the beloved children’s entertainer, who loved jelly, played by the actor Kevin Elden. Check out one brilliant comedy moment below.

Fist of Fun ran for two series, and then stopped. The BBC however did an unbelievable thing. They commissioned a new Lee and Herring show, This Morning With Richard Not Judy (TMWRNJ) on a Sunday morning, in a slot usually reserved for religious programmes and cooking shows. TMWRNJ was even better than Fist of Fun, and in school we couldn’t believe the BBC were allowing Rich and Stew to do this sort of thing at 11.15am on a Sunday. Once again Stewart Lee was the grouchy cool one, with Herring acting like a naughty school child, and it worked perfectly. It was around this time I first saw live comedy, and thankfully it was Lee and Herring tour. Live comedy was new and exciting and felt almost dangerous. I have seen many gigs since, but this was an awesome first time out. TMWRNJ was treated poorly by the BBC, but it managed to last for two series before it all went quiet on the Lee and Herring front, at least my knowledge of it.

It was a few years later, I was now out of Uni and hadn’t really heard of anything that Herring, or Lee had done. Then one day I Googled Herring, and noticed he had a book, Talking Cock, based on one of his stand up shows. I bought it, read it and immediatley wanted more. Luckily for me Herring was constantly touring, he happened to be in a local theatre, I booked tickets and my first Herring experience in a while was Menage et Un. His stand up was intelligent, hilarious and actually meant something. Oh Fuck I’m 40 quickly followed, then The Head Master’s Son, Hitler Moustache and Christ On a Bike. I caught up on the shows I had missed, Some One Like Yoghurt and The 12 Tasks of Hercules Terrace. Herring’s stand up is often filthy, but always has a heart to it, always has a point. His try at reclaiming the Hitler Moustache for comedy was a show that was both hilarious and meaningful. When I and a group of friends saw it live we all left with a slightly changed opinion on voting, I highly recommend everyone watches the DVD, it is eye opening. Christ On A Bike is seemingly an attack on Christianity, and whilst it does poke fun, and Herring clearly likes to point out the ridiculous nature of organised religions, at it’s heart, it has interesting things to say about religion as a whole, and the ending may come as a surprise to some.

Richard Herring has also done a hell of a lot of free content, downloadable from here. As It Occurs To Me is well worth a listen, as are his Leicester Square and Edinbrugh podcasts, where he interviews fellow comedians. It is hard to pick between Herring and his former partner Stewart Lee as my favourite comedian, but as no one is forcing me to make such a decision, I will not. Stewart Lee will be the focus of my next Stand up Spotlight, so for more information on him, keep checking back. As for Richard Herring, I missed his latest show What Is Love Anyway, but will pick it up from GoFasterstripe.com  an excellent independent comedy website that has a treasure trove of brilliant comedy DVD’s including many from Richard Herring and Stewart Lee. I think the best way to illustrate the comedy of Richard Herring is to actually see some, so here we are, enjoy…

PODCASTS THAT ARE WORTH YOUR TIME* *IF YOU SHARE THE EXACT LIKES AS ME.

By @hmsbeefnuts

Four years ago, I didn’t know what a podcast was. Or, if I did, I certainly had no interest in listening to them. Right now however, I’m listening to a podcast, I listen to podcasts when I walk my dog, when I chill out, whenever I can really. I only really listen to music now in my car, the rest of the time, I want to listen to like minded geeks, comedians, journalists and ex pro wrestlers talk about important stuff, or more likely, rubbish for an hour or so. I have found most of the podcasts I currently listen to on my own, for to my knowledge, few of my friends listen to them. I thought then, it was about time I wrote a little something about the shows I never miss, shows that offer free entertainment every week, and who can argue with free?

VIDEO GAMES

Eons ago now it seems, Gaming website Gamesradar.com had one of the greatest podcasts of all time, TalkRadar. Sadly this has gone, but the current crop of gaming goodfellas are back with a new podcast, RadioRadar. Only one episode old, RadioRadar is a serious gaming podcast, with a sense of fun, a great listen for all the relevant gaming news. Here is a link to Gamesradar.com, where you can find RadioRadar, as well as another podcast, and one of my favourites. GamesRadar UK Podcast is quite simply anarchic genius. All the regular hosts are funny, interesting and simply awesome. I always laugh at this, Cundy is a personal hero of mine, top bloke.

The other major video game podcast I listen to, well, it isn’t really about video games at all. Podtoid is a 2 hour glimpse into the mind of games industry hate figure Jim Sterling, as he talks a load of rubbish with his colleges Jonathan Holmes, and others. I can’t really explain what this podcast is about, but expect Willem Defoe movie pitches, Jim’s ideas for crazy schemes that Jonathan Holmes can get involved in, (past adventures have included grave robbery, a one man zoo, and a pirate adventure cove with a rotting corpse). Not for the easily offended, but this is genius, very different, but comfortably similar, every week is a sonic adventure to the dark reaches of the human mind, in a funny way, check it out here.

GEEK/COMICS

When TalkRadar died, the regular crew went out on their own and created Lasertime. Lasertime is a podcast obsessed with nostalgia. Great topics such as WWE, 80’s adverts, movies, food and drink mascots, TV shows, they cover something for everyone, always funny, always interesting, well worth a listen. An offshoot of Lasertime is Cape Crisis, a podcast dedicated to comics and comic related subjects. One again, I can’t talk highly enough about this one, and these guys are partly responsible for my comic obsession. The same guys do Lasertime, so if you like that, you are sure to like this too.

The Geek Box and Comic Conspiracy are both podcasts that are produced by the same people, slightly different casts. The Geek Box discusses all things of a geek nature, usually things in the news, Comic Conspiracy is obviously a comic based podcast, and deals with all the news of a comic bent. Check them out here.

COMEDY

King of Edinburgh, Richard Herring is always doing something podcast wise. He is one of my favourite comedians and is always worth a listen. Currently he is in Edinburgh and doing his daily podcasts from there, as he interviews fellow comedians. Another comedy podcast is The Comedy Button, from some of the same people who bring you The Geek Box. This is always funny, with stories from the cast and genuine tomfoolery.

RANDOM OTHER SUBJECTS

A new one for me, RodPod is Rowdy Roddy Pipers podcast. Expect old school wrestling stories, with no holds barred. Some of the things I have heard on this have shocked and amused me greatly, Piper has met a whole lot of people and lived a life few others could even imagine. Amazing.

Mysterious Universe is a great podcast all about the weird and the strange. From Bigfoot, aliens, ghosts and every other strange thing you could imagine, this is a wry look at the world of science, science fiction and the paranormal. Always interesting.

Good Job Brain is a podcast from the people who brought you The Geek Box etc. Basically QI on the radio, Good Job Brain is a quiz/general knowledge podcast that takes different subjects every week. Very interesting and funny. It is thanks to this that I know what the juice from a Beaver’s anus is used for in food stuffs!!

That’s enough for the time being I think. Hope you like some of these suggestions. Catch you soon.

Weekly Geek Trivia

By Hmsbeefnuts

Week three of my stint, and damn it, Geeky Gem come back!!! Hmm, keep it together Beefnuts, just one more week to go, one more week….just one more, one more after this one. Right, so last week we looked at the amazing super fantastic Ray Harryhausen, and his wonderful mind creations. This week, I will be telling you about some sit-com facts that you probably don’t know about, if you do, umm, I apologise. If you have not seen these comedy masterpieces, go and check them out please, if you don’t you are missing out on so much awesomeness, that Harryhausen himself would struggle to animate it, whatever that means… Anyway, on to the facts!!!

Community

 

Danny Pudi, the actor who plays Abed is actually half Polish, and can speak the language fluently, I bet you didn’t know that!

 

Arrested Development

 

Tobias Funke’s ‘nevernude’ affliction, is a real thing. Known as gymnophobia, it is the fear of nude bodies.

 

The Office’s own Dwight Schrute, Rainn Wilson, lost out to Will Arnett over the role of Gob.

The Office (US)

Steve Carell started to watch the British version of the show, only to stop a few minutes in, he didn’t want Ricky Gervais’ performance to influence his. John Krasinski, who plays Jim, however, watched it all and loved it.

During the writers strike in 2007, the show had to go on hiatus as WGA member Steve Carell refused to cross picket lines. Carell called in sick to his network bosses saying he had a nasty case of ‘enlarged balls’ and couldn’t come in.

Seinfeld

Michael Richards, who played Kramer, always wore clothes one size too big, in order to appear laid back. Jason Alexander, who played George, however, wore outfits one size too small, in order to make him look uncool and slightly uncomfortable.

In one episode, Elaine dates a guy called Joel Riftkin, who shares his name with a guy involved in a notorious New York City Murder case. Elaine tries to get him to change his name. One of the suggestions is O.J. This episode was shot in 1993, a year before O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. Weird.

 

Whilst filming the uber depressing Schindler’s List, Director Steven Spielberg has said he watched episodes of Seinfeld to cheer himself up.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

No scripts are written for any episode, instead a detailed outline is given to the cast and they improvise the dialogue. Each scene will require 7 or 8 takes on average to get, a very high amount for a tightly scheduled TV show.

In 2003 a man named Juan Catalan was arrested for a murder in Los Angeles. He repeatedly professed his innocence and asked to take a lie detector test, a request that the police denied. He also had an alibi: he swore that at the time of the murder he was at Dodger Stadium with his little girl, watching the Dodgers vs. the Braves, but his lawyer was unable to find him in any of the Dodger Vision or FOX footage he subpoenaed. However, he discovered that there was another source of crowd footage, an episode of Curb called, The Car Pool Lane, which had filmed at Dodger Stadium that night. Although Catalan did not make the final cut of the show, his lawyer was able to find him and his daughter in the out-takes, and determined from the timestamps on the tapes that Catalan could not have been the killer. When told that his show had released a wrongfully accused man from prison and a trial that could have led to the death penalty, Larry David commented, ‘I tell people that I’ve now done one decent thing in my life, albeit inadvertently’.

So there we are, another week over, and 10 more facts to cut out and keep in your Big Book of Geeky Facts. What do you mean you don’t have one of those? Why the hell am I doing this week after week if you don’t collect them all like Poke’mon? Anyway, next week, 10 more facts about He-man or something with a sword, probably Lord of the Rings, yeah Lord of the Rings, you’d like that wouldn’t you? Eating up my facts like the Nothingness in Neverending Story, it’s not easy you know…a thankless task, I only do it because I love you guys…..see you next week!!

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