Diss Corn Hall

The DCH Blog

March Corn Hall Comedy Club - review - Sunday 29th March 2015
More host than compere, Lewis Schaffer opened the Corn Hall comedy night as he meant to go on, with a self-loathing, nihilistic routine that was both daring and hilarious. His curious mix of avuncular charm and scabrous taboo-busting marks him out a true original - a fabulously assured compere who is as fearless as he is funny.

With his lugubrious northern twang, Ian Curtis followed – like a petulant man-child blessed with a precise and inventive mind. His analysis of search engines was reminiscent of the heady days of Jasper Carrot, while his flight of fancy over aggressive carbonation was inspired.

Headliner Dave Johns’s shambolic, discursive style perfectly suited a comedy night at ease with itself, and though his extended skit on Goldfinger was as funny as his singing voice was painful, he was at his best when wandering off message, content to see where it goes before pulling it back like the old pro he is.

As we left, there was Schaffer again, shaking the hand of everyone and thanking them for coming. This was a surprise, but also a lovely touch, and just right for an evening that is as warm as it is funny.
By David Vass

Paddington - a pre-screening review - Friday 27th March 2015
Coming next Wednesday 1st April!
Paddington Bear is held in such affection that news of its film adaptation was met with a mix of wariness and scepticism. Within minutes of watching Paul King’s movie, however, the abiding emotion is one of relief as it quickly becomes apparent that we are not just seeing a charming, sweet-natured family film, but one that pays due homage to Michael Bond’s marvellous creation. Full of wit and fun, Paddington is a constant and absolute delight from beginning to end.

Fans of the original will be pleased to see Peter Capaldi as Mr Curry, and that the refugee implications of Jim Broadbent’s Mr Gruber are not shied away from, while for audiences less familiar with the books there is some token villainy from Nicole Kidman. But the heart of the film, as with the books, is Paddington’s life with the Browns, brilliantly played by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins. Credit must also go to Ben Whishaw, who along with some superbly subtle CGI work, makes you forget within minutes that you are watching anything other than a charming young bear from Peru.

Constantly entertaining for the little ones, packed with sly jokes to keep the older little ones amused, and crammed with invention and good humour, this is nothing less than a heart-warming celebration of life that leaves your face aching from the silly grin it’s been wearing for the film’s all too brief ninety minutes.
By David Vass

Gone Girl - a pre-screening review - Tuesday 24th March 2015
In a brilliant return to form for David Fincher, Gone Girl blends the precision of Zodiac with the playfulness of The Game, presenting a finely crafted essay on deception, vengeance and murder. Part murder mystery, part social satire, the film manages to confound its audience with a gleeful wit.

The main characters all adopt and discard personalities as befits their situation – if there is a true self on show it remains hidden – leaving us in the company of an unlikeable, yet strangely compelling, couple. There is able support from Affleck’s improbable twin sister Carrie Koon, and an unusually competent police presence in the shape of a nuanced performance from Kim Dickens, but this film is all about the lead performers. Clever casting allows Ben Affleck to be shifty without alienating his audience, while the opaque Rosamund Pike is a fittingly blank canvas for the audience to project their theories on to. And what theories we have! Just as you think you have the measure of the movie it throws away what you think you’ve worked out, leaving you to wonder where it’s going next.

To say more would be to greatly diminish the pleasure of its corkscrew plot, cleverly adapted by Gillian Flynn from her novel. Suffice to say that despite a lengthy running time, the film never bores, or settles on mood. Whether that makes for an uneven tone or bold shifts in style is for the viewer to decide, but the ride is enormous fun.
By David Vass