JACK WHITEHALL: TRAVELS WITH MY FATHER – Series One (Netflix Review)

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15 – 6 x 30mins – Streaming on UK Netflix from: Friday 22nd September 2017

Series Producer: Mark Chapman

Executive Producers: Jack Whitehall, Michael Whitehall, Ben Cavey

Produced and directed by: John Hodgson


 

DAD EDUCATION

Despite being on a plethora of popular panel shows and performing sell-out stand-up comedy tours for the best part of the last decade, Fresh Meat ‘toff’ Jack Whitehall is still in his twenties. His act has often played upon not only the naivety of his age but also his sheltered-if-cushy upbringing by his stuffy agent-to-the-stars father, Michael. The jovial comic and his often stubbornly-rigid pa have previously partnered up as an odd couple on BBC chat show Backchat, but now streaming super-service Netflix has paid for the Bad Education star to have the gap year he never went on – provided his dad tags along for the (joy)ride!

… Keep Scuttling!

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Swallows and Amazons (DVD Review)

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PG – 93mins – 2016


THE UNDISCOVERED ISLAND

Following a beloved 1974 adaptation, Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s book gets its second silver screen outing courtesy of screenwriter Andrea Gibb and TV director Philippa Lowthorpe, in her feature film debut. Andrew Sherlock Scott, Rafe The BFG Spall, Kelly Special Correspondents Macdonald, Jessica Bridget Jones’s Baby Hynes and Harry Upstart Crow Enfield add star clout in supporting roles, but the plucky kids are the real driving force here.

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Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade (TV Review)

Channel 4 – 27th March 2016 – 6:15pm


COLD CROSS BUNNY

Invigorating the stark ‘n’ samey white and blue landscape of the glacial era with a pack of perky prehistoric pals profuse with personality, 20th Century Fox’s frosty film franchise – which, scarily, started almost FIFTEEN years ago – has long been among my most frequent go-to’s when I’m in the laidback mood for chucklesome animated adventures.

Successfully juggling child-friendly japes and a warm moral core with parent-pleasing quips – mostly courtesy of hapless-but-amiable sloth Sid (voiced by John Leguizamo) – I have been (quietly) anticipating Ice Age #5 ever since the latest box office smash, Continental Drift, landed back in 2012. Excitedly, Collision Course is heading our way this summer, but to tide us over, Channel 4 broadcast a brand new holiday special this Easter Sunday, in a UK terrestrial premiere.

Totalling a taut 30 minutes including advertisement break, The Great Egg-Scapade reunited the famous voice cast and followed the same format as 2011’s festive short A Mammoth Christmas, with Sid, Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) et al unintentionally starting the holiday traditions we uphold today.

Continental Drift’s raggedy rabbit pirate Squint (Seth Green, replacing Aziz Ansari) is still seething after the Ice Age-r’s sank his iceberg ship. Ranting to his lazy brother, Clint (Blake Anderson), Squint formulates a plan to get his rascally revenge, by sabotaging Sid’s “doomed” Egg Nursery venture. This leads to a nifty take on the Easter Bunny and Easter Egg Hunts, with Sid’s precious cargo hidden with colourful camouflage painting.

Elsewhere – and for the first time yet – pesky possum pals Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck) are given a weighty subplot by trying to plot the first ever April Fool’s Day prank, which works perfectly with their irritat– sorry, hyperactive, temperaments. Only patriarchal Manny’s mammoth brood, wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) and daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer), are noticeably sidelined, granted all but a couple of lines of dialogue apiece at the start and close, implying character progression in a snapshot.

Flashing back to the events of the last movie, a raft of tongue-in-cheek, self-aware callbacks also help buoy this stand-alone Springtime special in the franchise’s ever-expanding continuity. This is easy-watching family fun, with Manny and Diego’s frustration at not being able to watch the “game” (bird’s wrestling outside their cave’s TV-shaped window) an ingenious highlight. However, unlike the wit-loaded films, I did find The Great Egg-Scapade’s concept funnier than Jim Hecht’s busy script.

CR@B Verdict: 3 stars