David Brent: Life on the Road (Blu-ray)
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Review of "David Brent: Life on the Road (Blu-ray)"
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LIFE ON THE ROADI was not ever a fan of “The Office” and hated “ An Idiot Abroad” so I really didn't have much hope for this film appealing to me but one afternoon when my husband went to pick up the grandsons from school I had some time to kill and thought I'd give it a try as someone had lent it to me.
~~~~~~~ FACTS ABOUT THE FILM ~~~~~~Genre : Comedy
Length: 1 hr 36 min
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release date: 2016
Director: Ricky Gervais
Stars: Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith, Tom Basden
~~~~~~~ CAST ~~~~Ricky Gervais as David Brent
Ben Bailey Smith as Dom Johnson
Rebecca Gethings as Miriam Clarke
Jo Hartley as Pauline Gray
Andrew Brooke as Jerry 'Jezza' Collins
Tom Bennett as Nigel Martin
Tom Basden as Dan
Mandeep Dhillon as Karen Parashar
Diane Morgan as Briony Jones
Kevin Bishop as DJ
Ashley McGuire as Mo
~~~~~~~ WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? ~~~~This is a mockumentary written directed and starring Ricky Gevai s he brings back David Brent from the Office fifteen years on.
Brent is now a salesman for Lavichem selling household products and toiletries etc. He has a dream of being a rock star and takes time off from his job to tour with his band “ Foregone Conclusion”. He is funding the tour and the other members of the band really can't stand him.The tour is his final attempt to break into show bizz but the band don't exactly have huge crowded stadiums to play to.
Does he make it ? Well you will have to sit through this to find out!~~~~~~~~ MY VIEWS ~~~~~~
It is very much a mockumentary and it comes across pretty much as such as though you were actually watching a band on tour.David Brent is the same slightly poignant, edgy character, uncomfortable to watch as he is a bit sad really. He is the kind of boss most of us would hate. He is embarrassing but you kind of feel sorry for him. At times he doesn't seem to see how pathetic he is but sometimes he does feel the pain when things don't quite go to plan.
You do really feel for this rather sad little person who has spent his working life in pretty dull jobs who has this dream of success with his band. He uses his pension so really is taking a huge financial risk to try and make it with the band.He tries so hard even getting a tattoo which again fails as he passes out half way through Berkshire and ends up with BERK! He manages to shoot someone in the face with a T shirt gun during a gig!!
Strangely he doesn't sing badly and the songs are listenable and have a lot better tunes than a lot of the dross in the charts these days in my view. Apparently they were written by Gervais and ex-Razorlight musician Andy Burrows who plays a member of the band in the film.The songs have some pretty questionable lyrics at times when you have titles like “Please Don’t Make Fun Of The Disableds” it is very much dark slightly non politically correct humour. The rhymes are really off beat and rather forced. The song about Slough is hilarious – sung to a rather romantic tune and you can just imagine the lyrics describing Slough with its “Tesco Express, close to Windsor but the properties less”. Just before he signs the songs we see images of Slough with a lady begging and the High street and a bus and pool bar!
Basically this stars Ricky Gervaise and the other characters in the film are incidental. There is no character development and the other characters really only react with facial expressions or through commentary in between Gervais bits . “You think it is painful to watch. I have to stand next to him on stage.” Comments the rapper , Dom as Gervais sings a bad rap song!The band find him excruciating and try to avoid socialising with him but he asks one of them to remind them he is paying them and they all reluctantly join him for drink. It is like your worst party ever!!
Sadly this plays like an episode in a sitcom that just goes on rather too long. It is repetitive and rather excruciating. David Brent is a sad little man who wants to be liked, he tries too hard and doesn't engage brain before he opens his mouth. Unfortunately it just isn't that funny after a while and some of the humour is far from politically correct, gags about fat women , black people and native Americans are just not funny.The music lyrics are an attempt for compassion and about people who need public support for black people, indigenous people, gays and the disabled “Help the awkward through the door”. It is very questionable taste and at times offensive but innocently so as Brent doesn't realise his total lack of social awareness and what is acceptable and what is not . He really is a sad little man.
This is British humour which may not appeal to people beyond these four shores. It is uncomfortable and edgy. It is dark humour that is on the side of sad really. Brent is the same rather 'foot in mouth' character with the silly grin and odd laugh who looks awkward and is awkward and socially inept.I think that this film needed to have more input from the other characters as none of them really developed beyond a cameo. Their only role in the film was to react to Brent either in shock or by rolling their eyes either physically or metaphorically and I think it might have been better if maybe they had had a bit more to do in the film.
~~~~~~~ ABOUT THE BLU RAY ELEMENT~~~~~~I have only seen this in Blu ray so cannot comment on how much it differs from the standard dvd. I don't honestly feel this film would lose much in non Blu ray as it is mainly shot inside or around motorways around London so hardly scenic and of course there is no CGI that I noticed so in reality cinematically it is like a documentary so the detail and depth of the images really didn't make much impact on me. I honestly cannot see how watching this in Blu ray can be any better than watching it in standard dvd form.
~~~~~~~ EXTRAS ~~~~~This has an incredible two hours of extra footage never seen in cinemas. Seriously another two hours on top of the long one and a half hours that requires a serious fan to watch all that. Sorry but even in the interests of this review I was not going to sit through another two hours . If they were cut for the cinema then there was probably a reason for that and the original hour and a half was quite enough for me. For those interested these extras include a making of documentary, some out takes, deleted scenes, a selection of music videos , viral videos, and a full audio commentary from Ricky Gervaise.
EMPIRE MAGAZINE : “Ricky Gervais very much plays the hits in an undercooked but occasionally funny big screen revival that suffers from a crippling case of de ja vu. Brent’s last goodbye? You’d hope so.”
~~~~~ WHAT THE CRITICS SAID ~~~~~~
www.rogerebert.com :“It's still a bit of a shame that this movie doesn't have more to offer than one more go-round for a great character, a bigoted twit who has delusions of musical grandeur but knows deep down how limited he is.”THE GUARDIAN: “Fans of The Office will enjoy seeing the sitcom’s shabby antihero again, as he tours his pop band towards inevitable disaster, but it’s a patchy comic reunion.”
VARIETY.COM “ Ricky Gervais' most enduring creation hits the road for one last attempt at cracking showbiz, in a funny if meandering big-screen adventure.”theplaylist.net : “ It’d be easy for “David Brent: Life on the Road” to be a shallow, deeply unnecessary return, yet Gervais is smart enough to not make this character revival as poorly-realized as Brent’s musical mission.”
The telegraph.co.uk : “Ricky Gervais at his toe-twistingly funny and poignant best.”~~~~~~~ AND MORE ~~~~
You can buy this from Tesco for £10 which is where my friend bought his. The same price in Sainsburys and amazon but the non Blu ray is around £6.99 if you are not bothered by Blu ry clarity.On Amazon Prime you can watch this for free as part of your Prim membership. Had my friend not lent me his that is how I would have endured this.
~~~~~~~~ RECOMMENDED ? ~~~~~~~~Well I think that depends on whether you are a fan of “The Office” as the humour is that kind of awkward , uncomfortable dead pan humour. I can honestly say I didn't laugh once through the entire film. Some small things slightly amused me but as for chuckling or actually laughing sadly nothing really grabbed me.
Had I spent money on this I would have felt cheated but I suspected I probably wouldn't like it much so waited till I could watch it free, I am glad I did as all I have lost is a couple of hours of my time.Thanks for reading.
©Catsholiday10th March 2017
Product Information : David Brent: Life on the Road (Blu-ray)
Manufacturer's product description
Classification: 15 years and over
DVD Region: Blu-ray
Video Category: Feature Film
Actor(s): Ricky Gervais, Jo Hartley
Production Year: 2016
Main Language: English
Director(s): Ricky Gervais
Listed on Ciao since: 08/01/2017