Geoff Cox’s DVDs: The Harry Hill Movie, Nebraska

The Harry Hill Movie
The Harry Hill Movie

Harry Hill is like Marmite – you either love him or hate him. I fall in the latter camp as I just don’t get the big-collared comedian’s humour.

I’m aware that the small screen TV Burp is enjoyed by millions, but Hill’s brand of absurd lunacy is stretched to breaking point over a feature-length running time.

THE HARRY HILL MOVIE (PG: Entertainment In Video) revolves around a suitably silly tale about Harry being tricked into thinking his pet hamster has only one week to live.

So Harry and his petrol-drinking nan decide to grant the pet’s dying wish (don’t ask) of a holiday in Blackpool.

Pursued by an unhinged vet (Simon Bird) and distracted by the charms of a sea-dwelling siren (Sheridan Smith), he begins to suspect his woes are being masterminded by his separated-at-birth evil twin Otto (Matt Lucas).

Despite such dependable comedy support, the film struggles to locate its funny bones and the inspired, self-contained set pieces are few and far between.

> Shot in arty monochrome and featuring some starkly beautiful images of the US Midwest, NEBRASKA (15: Paramount) is an exquisitely observed drama about family life.

The film opens in Montana where the elderly Woody (Bruce Dern) has received a letter telling him he has won a million dollars in a publishing sweepstake.

His family are fully aware that this is some kind of mailing scam, but when Woody makes several attempts to make the journey by foot, his son Davey (Will Forte) agrees to drive him to the nearby state capital to collect his ‘winnings’.

This poignant comedy really finds its feetwhen, after some colourful distractions, Davey and his father spend the night in Woody’s old home town. And once Woody’s hectoring wife Kate (June Squibb) rejoins the story, Nebraska reveals itself as a delicate examination of past lives and roots, with Stacy Keach’s overbearing neighbour the type of person you don’t mind leaving behind.

> WALKING WITH DINOSAURS: THE MOVIE (U: Twentieth Century Fox) is inspired by the BBC TV series that first aired 15 years ago.

This is the feature-length story of Patchi the pachyrhinosaurus (voiced by Justin Long), who experiences the perils and joys of life during the Cretaceous period 70 million years ago.

The prehistoric creatures are brilliantly animated and the landscapes are visually spectacular, but the natural awesomeness is ruined by jarring High School Musical-style voice-overs and a script that plays to the lowest common denominator with endless poop and butt gags.

Live-action sequences with Karl Urban trying to get his two young charges interested in paleontology are also irritating.

> Genre cheapie GETAWAY (12: Warner) is no relation to the 1972 Steve McQueen movie of a similar name.

Speaking over the phone, a mysterious villain (Jon Voight) orders former racing superstar Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) to steal an armoured hot rod. With the vehicle’s owner (Selena Gomez) in tow, he has to complete a series of daredevil missions if he ever wants to see his kidnapped wife again.

Despite the auto mayhem, this is a lumbering dud incapable of getting out of first gear.