Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Cornetto Trilogy - Shaun Of The Dead - Hot Fuzz - The World's End

As a long time fan of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz, I was incredibly excited about the prospect of another collaboration between Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and writer/director Edgar Wright. So when my best friend informed me that Worthing Theatre would be showing The Cornetto Trilogy, in full, on my birthday weekend, with a free Cornetto to accompany each film, well I just had to go along. Especially as I'd not seen Shaun Of The Dead on the big screen, and had yet to see The World's End. So we started the day with Shaun and a Strawberry Cornetto (it's red for the blood see)...

Brief synopsis of SOTD: The first ever RomZomCom (as my brother pointed out) and an inspiration that lead the way for films like Zombieland and Warm Bodies to name but a few. Shaun of the Dead tells the story of a man in his late 20s who needs to get his act together. Stuck in a dead end job (geddit?), still living with housemates, and a best friend who thinks farts are funny (we all know someone like Ed don't we?). Everything starts to really fall apart for Shaun though when his girlfriend dumps him. Oh yeah, and then a zombie apocalypse happens. Shaun must think fast and finally get his arse in gear if he's going to save his girl. 

As I was a fan of Spaced when it first aired I honestly couldn't tell you how I missed Shaun at the cinema when it was first released, but what I can tell you is that it was an absolute joy to watch on the big screen. I love that SOTD is just so daft in places, and so endlessly quotable. I think my favourite is "Ooh he's got an arm off." 

It's ground breaking, funny, touching and, in my opinion, one of the best british films ever made. How's that for a slice of fried gold?! 9 out of 10. 

Viewing Date - 28th July 2013
UK Release Date - 9th April 2004

Cast Overview:
Simon Pegg ~ Shaun
Nick Frost ~ Ed
Kate Ashfield ~ Liz
Lucy Davis ~ Dianne
Dylan Moran ~ David
Peter Serafinowicz ~ Pete
Rafe Spall ~ Noel
Bill Nighy ~ Philip
Penelope Wilton ~ Barbara
Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson) ~ Yvonne
Martin Freeman ~ Declan
Reece Shearsmith ~ Mark
Tamsin Greig ~ Maggie
Julia Deakin ~ Yvonne's Mum
Matt Lucas ~ Cousin Tom

Director ~ Edgar Wright
Writer(s) ~ Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright

Next up was Hot Fuzz, a film I had seen on the big screen before, but if you're going to commit to a trilogy you can't leave out the filling in the sandwich! And this was of course accompanied by a Vanilla Cornetto - the packaging is blue see, like the boys in blue...

Brief synopsis of HF: London PC Nicholas Angel is good at his job. A little too good. He's making the rest of his colleagues look bad. So they ship him off to sleepy Sandford, a village in Gloucestershire with the lowest murder rate in the country. The most action he'll see there is chasing down a missing swan. That is until a series of 'accidents' starts to plague the village, and Nicholas uncovers a plot to keep the Village of the Year award in Sandford at all costs!

Hot Fuzz upped the ante from Shaun of the Dead considerably. There was a much bigger cast, more locations, and action sequences that will blow your socks off (not literally). But in some respects I do feel like the film suffers for this. It's over long and feels like there are one too many endings. Just when you think it's finished, someone else makes a last ditch attempt to be the bad guy. Having said that, it's still immensely enjoyable and whenever it's on the TV I will always watch it. HF is also filled with the quotable lines and homages to other movies, much like Shaun and Spaced were. The added bonus for me with Hot Fuzz is that Nick Frost finally got to play a lovable character. Danny is such a sweetie and his scenes with Pegg's Nicholas Angel are a delight. 

Not as good as Shaun for me, but only because they tried to outdo themselves and reached a little too far. 8.5 out of 10.

Viewing Date - 28th July 2013
UK Release Date - 14th February 2007

Cast Overview:
Simon Pegg ~ Sergeant Nicholas Angel
Nick Frost ~ PC Danny Butterman
Timothy Dalton ~ Simon Skinner
Jim Broadbent ~ Inspector Frank Butterman
Paddy Considine ~ DS Andy Wainwright
Rafe Spall ~ DC Andy Cartwright
Kevin Eldon ~ Sergeant Tony Fisher
Karl Johnson ~ PC Bob Walker
Olivia Colman ~ PC Doris Thatcher
Martin Freeman ~ Met sergeant
Bill Nighy ~ Met Chief Inspector
Billie Whitelaw ~ Joyce Cooper
Peter Wight ~ Roy Porter
Julia Deakin ~ Mary Porter
Bill Bailey ~ Sergeant Turner
Paul Freeman ~ Rev Philip Shooter
Edward Woodward ~ Tom Weaver
Anne Reid ~ Leslie Tiller
Adam Buxton ~ Tim Messenger
David Threlfall ~ Martin Blower
Lucy Punch ~ Eve Draper
David Bradley ~ Arthur Webley

Director ~ Edgar Wright
Writer(s) ~ Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright

The last film of the day, and one I hadn't yet seen, was The World's End. The final film in the Pegg, Frost, Wright trilogy, known as The Cornetto Trilogy because in each film there is mention of a Cornetto, and each film has a theme that matches the colour of one of our best known Ice Cream treats. This time we had a mint one. I wonder what that could pertain to?

Brief synopsis of TWE: Gary, Andy, Oliver, Steven and Peter are childhood friends who have all gone their separate ways. Andy, Oliver, Steven and Peter all now have steady jobs and have made something of themselves, either professionally or personally. But alcoholic Gary is still living in the past. He decides that before he faces up to reality he wants to recapture his youth by having one last pub crawl with his school mates, using a route they once planned to conquer but never quite got to the end of. It takes in 12 pubs, one pint in each, and the final watering hole is called The World's End. The question is, will they make it that far?

Let me start by saying that The World's End was not what I was expecting. I had seen the trailer, and I had just watched the previous two films in the Cornetto trilogy. So you'd think I would be pretty well prepared for what was to come. But while the film had many of the same attributes as Shaun and Fuzz, most of the cast having appeared in Fuzz, and a lot having appeared in both films. The foreshadowing that appears in the previous films is also present (in Shaun they talked about having a Bloody Mary in the morning and ending up with shots at the bar - everything mentioned happens, just not in the way they thought. And then in Fuzz Danny asks Nicholas if he's ever fired a gun whilst jumping through the air etc and then they end up doing those things later on in the movie. Here the foreshadowing is in the name of each pub. Look out for it.) but it's a very different beast to the previous two films. Whilst Shaun was all about the lack of responsibility you feel in your twenties, and Fuzz was all about finding that responsibility thrust upon you in your thirties, End is all about the mid-life crisis of your forties. As such, it's quite the sombre wake up call for those of us who haven't yet made it that far in our lives. And as the previous two films were so lighthearted, it was not what I was expecting from this movie. 

The performances are top notch, especially from Pegg and Frost, who really put everything into showing how a friendship between two people can be the best thing that happens to one, and the worst thing that happens to the other. But how, despite their differences, they still mean the world to each other. The supporting cast is not only a shining example of British talent but also of the loyalty and love between the team who have brought these three movies to the screen. So many of the same people worked on all three films and it's nice to see that kind of dedication in an industry that is normally so fickle. 

Not the best of the three but certainly worth a watch if you're a fan of the other two. Just don't expect as many laughs. 7 out of 10. 

Viewing Date - 28th July 2013
UK Release Dates - 19th July 2013

Cast Overview:
Simon Pegg ~ Gary King
Nick Frost ~ Andy Knightley
Martin Freeman ~ Oliver Chamberlain
Paddy Considine ~ Steven Prince
Eddie Marsan ~ Peter Page
Rosamund Pike ~ Sam Chamberlain
Pierce Brosnan ~ Guy Shephard
David Bradley ~ Basil
Michael Smiley ~ Reverend Green
Julia Deakin ~ B&B Landlady
Rafe Spall ~ Young Man
Bill Nighy ~ The Network

Director ~ Edgar Wright
Writer(s) ~ Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright

1 comment:

  1. Fair comment. Watched FUZZ with Dot the other night and she LOVED IT!