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Non-Review Review: Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa successfully brings the BBC icon to the big screen. He’s come a long way from a sports desk persona on a BBC4 parody radio show, and modern British comedy owes a lot to Coogan’s creation. Partridge has been around for over twenty years at this point, in many ways becoming more recognisable than Steve Coogan himself. It’s surprising that it’s taken this long to shepherd Partridge to the big screen.

Partridge is the king of what might be termed “cringe comedy”, and is a clear forbearer of Ricky Gervais’ David Brent. As such, it’s possible to feel that Partridge is a little dated. Certainly, there are times when Alpha Papa plays out like it could be an extended holiday special featuring North Norfolk’s most famous radio DJ. To be fair, that’s not a bad thing. Coogan is on fine form here, the comedy is broad and the wit is quick enough that there’s never a dull moment.

It’s a giant-sized helping of the comedy character, one which stays true to his roots even if it does occasionally feel like it over-simplifies him a bit.

On the air, and on the line...

On the air, and on the line…

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Non-Review Review: Café de Flore

Café de Flore is very much a game of two halves. The first half is almost a psychedelic stream of consciousness collecting a series of intriguing and interesting moments that seem to refuse to add up. It perfectly evokes Pink Floyd, somewhat appropriate given how frequently the movie returns to the haunting opening of Dark Side of the Moon and even incorporates the iconic prism into its logo. However, the second half not only fails to live up to the promise of the more surreal first part of the film, it comes with several worrying implications that seriously undermine what had been a fascinating meditation on the way that music shapes our experiences.

Taking steps in the right direction?

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Non-Review Review: Project X

Project X is a mess, but it’s a high-octane and energetic mess, with an incredible youthful exuberance and a desire to throw anything it can at the wall to see if it sticks. Though it starts out a bit slow, it accelerates pretty quickly, with the film managing to hold itself together as the party on-screen starts to fall apart. The best way to describe Project X might be to define it as Superbad‘s hyper-active, less focused, more crass, more direct and less sweet younger brother. It lacks the heart that defined that other recent coming-of-age teenage comedy, but it more than makes up for its relative shallowness with an enthusiasm that’s infectious and hard to resist.

Razing the roof...

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