HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Bill All The World's A Stage
Year: 2015
Director: Richard Bracewell
Stars: Matthew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond, Helen McCrory, Damian Lewis, David Crow, Rufus Jones, Justin Edwards, John Henry Falle, Jamie Demetriou, Richard Atwill, Stephen Grief
Genre: Comedy, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the late sixteenth century and Spain has been at war with England, with the former sending an armada to take down the latter's forces at sea and conquer the country, though thanks to the English being stronger than they expected and the particularly bad weather, the Spanish have been sent packing with the smell of failure in their nostrils. But King Philip II (Ben Willbond) will not be deterred, he means to take the throne of the northern nation and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, hence when the English Sir Richard Hawkins (Damian Lewis) is caught trying to pilfer some valuables from his palace, it provides the perfect excuse to travel to London and meet Queen Elizabeth (Helen McCroy) with a cunning plan...

Horrible Histories was a popular children's television series based on a series of books which took an irreverent yet factual look at days of yore played out by the same cast of talented comic actors every episode. Though Bill was not affiliated with that series officially, not based on the same source material, it was a BBC production made by the same team who adopted as their model the classic movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail thanks to its methods of generating hilarity and historical detail on a paltry budget. Whether this would go on to the success of the Pythons was debateable, doubtful even, but you could see the same irreverent humour was at play, if more toned down for family audiences.

Nevertheless, there was language and references that would not have gone down too well on the small screen for the kiddies, though nothing here that the younglings would not have heard their parents say once in a while. But who was Bill? He was William, William Shakespeare to be exact, the greatest playwright who ever lived (played by Matthew Baynton) whose so-called "lost years" had long been the subject of speculation: just how did he get from his relatively lowly beginnings to the success he became in the theatre? There are no records of those in between days, so your guess is as good as anybody's, and has been the cause of many a conspiracy theory that Shakespeare was not the author of the plays in the first place.

Some like to point the finger at his contemporary Christopher Marlowe as the originator, which was presumably why the script included him as a character, taking Bill under his wing to guide him through the finer aspects of play writing. That said, they did make it clear that once he had that grounding, Shakespeare was able to work on his own masterpieces solo, though there was a plot that saw his efforts attributed to a nobleman, here the Earl of Croydon, in a spoof of the Roland Emmerich historical supposition Anonymous where the Earl of Oxford was claimed to be the real genius. But this was more than a parody of existing material, for while the Oscar-winner Shakespeare in Love could have been regarded as beating this to the punch by over fifteen years, there was a particular sensibility here.

That was to be very silly, and in a way that was frequently laugh out loud funny with its references to other, more modern pop culture, characters having their own quirks that were more twenty-first century than Elizabethan, but were of a piece with the rest of the historical trappings, and a genuine wit in the dialogue that spoke to a real investment in making the past come alive, as even if it was making jokes it presented actual figures from the period who interacted in an absurd manner. But even if you hadn't brushed up your Shakespeare, you would still be laughing as much as somebody who had, it was that type of film, with a cast who obviously were very familiar with each other's strengths and a script by Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond that showed them off to their best advantage. Although they doubtless would have wanted more money, the low budget meant innovations and a true sense of an unglamorous yesteryear, and the ensemble who Python-style took many roles were pitch perfect in knowing where the humour lay. If its cinematic qualities were rather in doubt, it was well worth taking a chance on for comedy fans. Music by Andrew Hewitt.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1983 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: