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5Live Review: Invention of Lying

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Mark Kermode | 10:58 UK time, Monday, 5 October 2009

5 live's resident movie critic Dr Mark Kermode reviews Invention of Lying.

Go to Mark on 5 Live for more reviews and film debate.

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  • Comment number 1.

    I still don't understand why these things aren't "available in my area"? Is this some sort of a "rights" thing? If I can subscribe to the film podcast and listen to those reviews from iTunes anyway, what's wrong with watching them from here as well? This ISN'T an invitation to restrict the podcast as well. (I like your reviews very much.) Just so you know.

  • Comment number 2.

    Dear Mark,

    As a Mary Poppins fan, are you aware (most probably) of Disney's "The Gnome Mobile" which also stars (the film actually credits this) 'The Mary Poppins Kids'?

  • Comment number 3.

    I think this film is a cop out and a twilight zone-esque high concept theme being spread too thinly across the stretch of a film. It's funny how normal looking people in films are classed as 'chubby losers' in contrast to sparkling toothed, botox ridden, john wayne americanised types. I think people of Gervais' ilk should go back to british comedies, rather than targeted box office mediocrity that marrys a boring english man with american culture. Why can't we produce eccentric english comedies again, like the Terry Thomas films I have got to know and love. I also think both the Coens, Gilliam, Apatow and Pixar are probably the best at making intelligent/interesting comedies that arent really television high concept cop outs like invention of lying.

  • Comment number 4.

    Just following on from by last comment - Local Hero, which I watched the other day and absolutely loved portrays the eccentricity, not of english life, but of scottish life (matched in the 39 steps) and is clearly an exception to the mediocrity of usual comedies that intermix american characters with english culture / english characters and american culture. There is also a warmth of the film's setting and realisation of the main character.

  • Comment number 5.

    What I find interesting is that Gervais's comedy is perhaps best suited to TV than the big screen. Ghost Town had its moments, but dragged on for too long. His other film appearances tend to be cameos and in rather crap films.
    I also think that for all his brilliance, Gervais has maybe been thrust into the spotlight as a Hollywood leading man far too quickly. Just because others want to work with the man does not always make for great comedy success. His films may make money, but I am the only one who thinks his comedy has been watered down somewhat since his transition across the pond?
    Ironically, the american version of the office captures the essence of the original, whilst giving it a unique flavour all its own. American style.
    Maybe Gervais should return to what he does best...

  • Comment number 6.

    ^ ^
    "Coens, Gilliam, Apatow and Pixar are probably the best.."
    lol! that is, laugh right out loud! Apatooow!

    Review was spot on Mark. I remember feeling the woodeness & concept strain simply from the preview clips.
    Also, Gervais just looks weird & airbrushed. Discuss.. (joke)

  • Comment number 7.

    Yeah, Cockingasnoop, I was with you right up untill Apatapatapatapatow... no... just... just no...

  • Comment number 8.

    Dear Mr. "Good Dr. Kermode",

    I have been your most pimptastic fan/fiend addict since 2 years ago when I heard you on the interweb putting the smackdown on Tom Hanks and The Da Vinci Rubbish like nobody else.

    Even Armond White here in the States can't be the Pimp Contrarian as yourself, because he just comes across as an embittered black guy ranting about "white people movies" (such as when he slammed David Fincher's Fight Club by calling it "the ultimate whiteboy fantasy").

    See, he lacks your playful comedy and your wit.

    I laughed my arse off at your Gweneth Paltrow impression on the Iron Man review.
    YOur quip about Jeff Bridges and his "Upside down head" = classic. This was my favorite.

    Ignore the haters.

    Keep doing the impressions.

    If Mayo gives you arse, I will put him in a sandwich and eat him. Because you, Dr. Kermode, have what even that blimey bloke Jonathan 'Wossy' lacks... 'The Pimpness.'

    Dr. Mark Kermode is the Pimp.

  • Comment number 9.

    btw, the title of this blog might make he blokes here or even the good dr himself think i was kidding or 'lying'.

    let me assure you, i am serious.

    mark kermode is the best and definitely the most entertaining film critic not only in the english language, but in the world.
    i know, because i speak 30 languages.
    can't get published in any, but hey, like pacino in that stupid colin farrell (stupid in and of himself) movie, "i'm a scary judge of talent."

    and mark kermode... he brings the talent.


  • Comment number 10.

    btw, kermode: your twitter account has been suspended. what's the story on that? is twitter the anti-kermode????

  • Comment number 11.

    twitter is nothing without mark kermode.

    mark, good dr, mr. kermode:

    please get back on twitter. this time try dropping mayo.
    maybe twitter is not anti-Kermode, but just anti-Mayo.

    Kermode = excellent.
    mayo = missing from my sandwich; not needed on twitter.

  • Comment number 12.

    I want to write a novel or poetry collection about how pimp Mark Kermode is as the best English-language film critic.

    PM me for the rights, bro:

    We'll share a Nobel and/or Pulitzer Prize.

    I started an online petition, btw:
    i am serious - i have begun collecting signatures.

  • Comment number 13.

    To be more precise, the purpose of this petition is to get the BBC and the BAFTA to create a new category of awards: for the best film critics.

    Why is this important, the good Doctor Kermode may ask...

    Well, let the Jeremy Ahn tell you why, dear readers: Film critics are the ones who persuade the movie-viewing public into believing whether a movie is 'rubbish' or whether it deserves hype and awards. A movie that wins the critics' bandwagon of praise, whether deserved or not, that film is automatically shortlisted for awards consideration.
    Plus, if critics praise a movie or one of its stars for their performance even when all points involved are mediocre at best, the sheep that is the public en masse will bleat after it and go on message boards like and bleat and peep and Tweet to that effect.

    This is why movie critics are so instrumental to movie awards and thus, deserve recognition for their collective influence through the creation of a new category in the American and the British Academy Awards ceremonies to celebrate the individual achievements of film criticism and hype-building.

    I hereby propose this idea, and I hereby nominate my vote for none other than: MARK KERMODE.


    Very sincerely,
    Jeremy Ahn

    OCT. 5, 2009


  • Comment number 14.

    i am probably in the minority here, but is anyone else getting very very tired of 'one trick pony' gervais? Office was undobtably a genius piece of work - but all gervais has done since is various tweaks and incarnations of the same smug, cringe inducing character. every role from Night at the Museum thru to Ghost Town - same bloody character. Even his stand up is based upon generating really base laughs, generated by Manning-esque humour - but with the oh so important postmodern cock and a wink which gives permission to the masses to disregard their PC sensibilities and laugh at it all.

    but he is undeniably a genius for getting to where he is now, with a bulging book of a-listers queueing up to share the spotlight on the latest English funny-guy, i just think there are far funnier comics out there that dont even get a shred of this kind of adulation and opportunity

  • Comment number 15.

    gervais is just a verbose dane cook ripoff-clone with a little tweaking done to avoid being called an outright hack and crook like carlos mencia's unfunny arse. at least gervais doesn't try to pass himself off as ethnic, and for that, he gets some credit, one-trick pony that he is and has been riding on that one-trick pony until we're still beating over this dead horse past the point of purgatory.

    also, was he not the stand-up so-called 'comedian' who made fun of dan brown a lot on stage with the quip, "the famous man looked at the red cup"?

    methinks Dr. Kermode ripped on brown much better.
    for my money, i would like for Mark Kermode to try his hand at stand-up comedy. he would kill at doing a tour of hollywood impressions alone.
    that gweneth paltrow impression is still the best.
    i spit coffee all over my friend's computer screen and fried his keyboard. now that's comedic talent, mr. Kermode.
    do not deprive your fans of the comedy.
    that's what makes Mark Kermode, MARK KERMODE.


  • Comment number 16.

    At around 08:30 min there seems to be an invisible person leaving Mark to go on a trip, on his/her swivel chair...

  • Comment number 17.

    Pimp poet, I love poets, but you're kinda scary. You sound like a stalker.

  • Comment number 18.

    You are too kind to the movie- seven and a half laughs?- when, where? It is a stretch to call it a high concept movie. Even way before he discovers lying, the world he creates has no concept at all. Let’s start with the premise, the world in which lying hasn’t been invented. It falters even before it begins- does speaking the truth = discussing your existential condition, speaking what’s on your mind without a filter, speaking the truth as if it is universal truth, or more as personal belief? The film of course selectively chooses who does what (a waiter would obviously discuss his existential condition to anyone and everyone, and especially to those who do not ask about it- it’s perfectly understandable you see- he IS a waiter), the real ‘loser’ in the movie would obviously talk about killing himself, women would of course speak of being threatened by other women, and about masturbation, and all that persistent drivel about genetics without questioning why they believe it - you see they are stupid and shallow but truthful, and goddamit they are beautiful- how we love them. But now Ricky Gervais’s character, now he’s different- he has no existential self to speak of, no matter that he is a loser- no job, the woman he is after thinks he is sub-genetic material- and he definitely does not do the 'what's on my mind comes straight out of my mouth' because he is able to keep all negative truths about himself to himself and smile, albeit sadly, knowingly – you see, he does not have a compulsive confessional gene. And when he does discover lying, all he says is the unblemished universal truth, no mere opinions, subjective truths for our hero - he invented the bicycle, it must be true, he thinks the world would end, it must be true, he thinks there is a beautiful afterlife (fashioned after Christianity itself because what could be more universal?), surely it must be true- but what the female lead believes about genetic hogwash- surely that is more like an opinion? Surely.
    And what on earth was happening with that ‘African’ listening to Ricky Gervais in his godly avatar ‘somewhere’ in Africa? This movie is not so much high concept as a Ricky Gervais love fest if you’re into that sort of thing- you see we all love Ricky, he is a chubby and fat ‘loser’- but we know the truth about him, we know that he really is very clever and witty and adorable. Wait, in fact, it has been him all the time- he is the Messiah, he’s Jesus!

    The movie's disappointing because it had a wonderful premise that it did not work through!

  • Comment number 19.

    5 laughs and 5 snickers (1 laugh = 2 snickers). BTW It's a titillation of titters (obviously).

    Actually I found this quite a dull and depressing film in parts. As soon as the film starts we go straight into the masturbation jokes without any foreplay and keep pumping away without result (a bit like that). Why did the boss try to avoid telling RG's character that he was fired when the premise was that everybody speaks their mind without any qualms?

    I thought overall this was about as interesting as a screenplay about the 14th Century. It did pick up when he worked the religion angle in and I actually thought, unlike Mark, that it became slightly funnier for a while.

    Seems to me the Doctor might be giving this an easier ride than if it was written by say, Quentin Tarantino.
    But then QT has never written Mark Kermode into any of his scripts (although he did have a character who was a British film critic in his last film that was a bit of a plonker. Not saying that was based on MK because it seems that a number of British film critics over-panned Inglourious Basterds who probably all thought it was supposed to be themselves). Probably just coincidence.


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