Review: Robert Webb’s Great Movie Mistakes
SARAH MCCANN finds ‘after sitting down to watch a bit of it in between others programmes, you find yourself glued to the TV set and with no ad breaks on the BBC, there’s no chance for an early escape.’
Broadcast on Sunday 4th April at 8.05pm and Monday 5th April at 1.30am. Available on iPlayer.
‘Right, let’s get cracking’ sneers Webb, sat in a grungy studio wearing a shirt Noel Edmunds would be proud of. Not another BBC Three countdown clip show I hear you cry! Well, no it’s not. It’s not often in a comedian’s career that they get a three-hour long arena to enjoy, and that’s what this programme really boils down to: Robert Webb ft. assorted movie blunder clips.
But what’s wrong with that? Most of the clips shown on the programme are on Youtube anyway; it’s Webb’s peculiar remarks that really make the show what it is. And after all, it’s always nice to see an ex-Cantab making his way in the world.
The basic premise is that Webb and his team of nerds (his word not mine) have been trawling the list of all-time blockbusters for those split seconds where a cameraman’s arm comes across the shot, or a stuntman’s safety wire is visible. They really hit the big ones too: Star Wars; Indiana Jones; Spiderman; Bratz: The Movie? Frankly, it’s a well tried-and-tested format, the old clip-show with a funny host, with the machinery kept well-oiled by the ever-present autocue. But putting this cynicism behind us, fans of the wittier British comedian (like David Mitchell, Alexander Armstrong or Ben Miller) will revel in the prospect of three hours of Webb’s quite indefinable style of comedy.
As for the clips, well there are some great ones, and some nit-pickers. Naturally with such a large time-slot to fill, some of the clips feel like padding, like Bart’s fig-leaf-style blade of grass in The Simpson’s Movie. But some are well worth seeing: the head-bumping Storm Trooper from Star Wars, and Hugh Grant’s indecision about what’s in his hand in Two Weeks Notice are two of my personal favourites.
You’ll want to smack your head on the nearest hard surface when you realise how blind you’ve been; it’s amazing what glaring mistakes these continuity editors miss, like the cameraman squatting in plain sight during the duelling scene of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I spent the credits asking myself, 'what do these people get paid for exactly'?
Overall, this programme may seem like any other clip show on telly nowadays, but really it’s a one-off. It’s three hours of glory for the film pedant and the lover of Flashdancing Robert Webb alike; they’ve even thrown in a few intentional (I hope) blunders of their own for the eagle-eyed viewer, like calling Bruce Almighty a sequel, and revealing their own camera crew in the giant mirrored ‘B’ standing behind Webb. But after sitting down to watch a bit of it in between others programmes, you find yourself glued to the TV set and with no ad breaks on the BBC, there’s no chance for an early escape. You have already committed yourself to wasting three hours of your life.