Nick Frost

We've seen Hot Fuzz!

Tonight we took ourselves off to see the new Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright film, Hot Fuzz. We've been eagerly awaiting this film since Shaun of the Dead, and got tickets at our first realistic opportunity.

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright have been most unsportsmanlike in their promotion of the film, giving interviews to every media outlet that'll take them. Heck, they were even on Five Live this afternoon! Whatever happened to the studio system and aloof stars, eh?

The film is a British police film (and there are precious few of those), set in the west country (and there are even fewer of those). Nick Angel (Pegg) has been transferred down from the Metropolitan police, and is teamed up with PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost).

There are some great moments in the film, the music in the Daltonator's car (Tim Dalton's on set nickname), the slow buildup is great, and some of the action is simply ridiculously well done.

It felt like a real 'company' piece, with familiar faces from 'Spaced' appearing (Bill Bailey, Julia Deakin), cast from Shaun (Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman), as well as other people who just 'fit' (Steve Coogan, Jim Broadbent)

At one point, I'm sure that a character rejecting a DVD in a supermarket threw it back into a bargain bin on top of a copy of 'Shaun'.

We felt that 'Shaun' had some better set pieces (e.g. there is nothing that topped the scene in Shaun with the Queen song for us) - but Hot Fuzz was still thoroughly enjoyable. There were lots of nods (after explicit references though) to 'Bad Boys 2' and 'Point Break'.

I did really enjoy the ultimate fight between Pegg and Dalton. The phrase from the opening of Babylon 5 popped into my head: 'Giants in the playground'.

I wasn't hugely keen on the ending - the bit after Nick Frost made his dive when Edward Woodward's character showed up again didn't sit right with me, but on the whole, that was pretty minor.

The question that remains, what's next for the entity that is Pegg/Wright? Simon Pegg is to appear in the David Schwimmer film, 'Run, Fat Boy, Run', and will shortly start filming 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People'. Edgar Wright has done a fake trailer segment for Grindhouse, and has also directed the Jack Black film, 'Them'. However, that's as individuals, what next for the gestalt that is Pegg/Wright?

Hot Fuzz? Fried Gold....!

Following their wonderful film, 'Shaun of the Dead', Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright are collaborating again on 'Hot Fuzz'. Video diaries have started to appear on the Working Title films website. Hot Fuzz is slated for release in February 2007.

Unfortunately the site is without an RSS feed as far as I can see.

Shaun of the Dead

I have been waiting to see 'Shaun of the Dead' for what seems like an age, and last night we finally got to see it.

Though for most people, Shaun has only been on their radar (if at all) for a week or so, I first heard about Shaun early last year. I was a bit concerned that I'd built up expectations in my mind about it, and would be disappointed. Not a bit of it. As far as I can recall I had not laughed as hard in a Cinema ever.

This Rom-Com-Zom has everything. Surprisingly good effects, and not just for a film of this budget - a well written script with genuine shocks and aching belly laughs.

Shaun was put together by the same team that makes the excellent channel four show, 'Spaced'. Virtually all of the cast in Spaced were in Shaun (though some had minor roles). Shaun was directed by Edgar Wright who also directed 'Spaced'.

Shaun is played by Simon Pegg, and is essentially a man who wanders through life in a Zombie like trance. The film starts in a slow way, introducing us to Shaun's world which slowly begins to disintegrate around him in a way that he barely notices.

Nick Frost plays Shaun's best friend, who is a likeable sponger with the social graces of a lobotomised tourettes patient.

As the film progresses, Shaun does what he can to survive the growing Zombie menace. Ending up an unlikely leader of a small group trying to survive.

There are excellent performances from everyone concerned, this is a highly recommended film. Some spoilers follow.

If you like 'Spaced' one can play the 'spot the actor game. There is also the cast of 'Black Books' in the film, though I didn't spot Bill Bailey - but he could easily have been a Zombie!

Watch out for the scene in the pub where they attack the Zombie to the backing of Queen playing 'Don't stop me Now'!

Don't go to the toilet when there is the scene with the girl in the garden. They spent a nice sum for that effects shot, don't miss it.

Watch the couple outside the pub.

I could go on... but I wouldn't know where to stop. See the film in the cinema!