Movie Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

At last Hugh Grant plays a likeable character! The Pirate Captain is on a quest to win the Pirate of the Year Award with the aid of his motley crew of pirates that includes Brendan Gleeson and Martin Freeman. They are as adventurous and plunderous as any pirate crew worth its salt and they think they’re in with a good chance. Their confidence starts to waiver however when rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and bad-to-the-bone Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) ride in on a wave of booty with their steels flashing. The Pirate Captain and his crew take to the high seas in an effort to get some serious pirating done to catch up with his competitors. Along the way they plunder a science ship where they find no gold but manage to pick up Charles Darwin (ooh David Tennant) and his very clever butler monkey. Darwin points out that there … There’s more

Review: Sensation

When an elderly Tipperary farmer dies, his lonely and socially awkward son Donal (Domhnall Gleeson) is left with the farm and a new-found freedom, only he’s not quite sure what to do with either. Frustrated with his fumbling attempts to approach or strike up any kind of coherent conversation with local girls, he turns to the world of online escorts and arranges an appointment with Kim (Luanne Gordon), a call girl from New Zealand. A few saucy shenanigans and unexpected bonding (I said BONDING) events later, the pair decide to go into business together. Kim is keen to get out of escort work and into the management side of things and Donal’s money can easily take care of the start-up costs. Apart from the fact that running a brothel is completely illegal, it turns out that Tipperary isn’t quite ready for their new venture and maybe Donal wasn’t either.

Movie Review: The Green Lantern

Director: Martin Campbell Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins, Geoffrey Rush. Well, during April, kicking off the summer blockbuster season, we had Thor, which was then closely followed by X-Men First Class, gracing the box office a mere two weeks ago. This week sees the release of the “eagerly anticipated” Green Lantern and following that we will have Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon and Captain America. Let me further point out that this is just the comic book blockbusters and doesn’t include the sequels Cars 2 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part, wait for it, yes you’ve guessed it, 2. So today, I am issuing a plea to the major film companies in the States, please, for the love of good and the preservation of all that is right and good, please stop. The Green Lantern, for all intents and purposes, … There’s more

Movie Review: Win Win

Director: Thomas McCarthy Cast: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Alex Shaffer, Burt Young Every now and then, a little unassuming film will come from left of field and entirely bowl you over and although Win Win is certainly making an impact on the festival circuit and is achieving critical acclaim in the States, it certainly will not have the same drive behind it as the summer blockbusters hitting our screens.  Sometimes, this is all for the better because when you leave the screen as the credits roll, you will feel like you have discovered the diamond in the rough.  Think Little Miss Sunshine and you are on the right path.

Movie Review: Blitz

  Director: Elliott Lester Cast: Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, Aidan Gillen The fact that Jason Statham is in this film will give you a clear indication of what you are to expect here.  The kind of guy most people would imagine gets up in the morning and pours whiskey on his cornflakes, Statham is almost the exact same character in every feature film.  Not that it is a problem.  It clearly works for him.  Although he popped up in a couple of Guy Ritchie productions, it was The Transporter that put Statham on the map.  Down the line came Crank and ever since he has been earning millions reprising similar roles, embracing borderline ridiculous action flicks. This is more of the same.  Directed by Elliott Lester who has been off the map since Love is the Drug, Blitz is based on the book by Ken Bruen, one of a series … There’s more

Retro Movie Review: Phase IV

So defenceless in the individual; so powerful in the mass. Graphic designer Saul Bass (1920–1996) is best known for his iconic film posters and title sequences, the latter including The Man with the Golden Arm, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, Spartacus, West Side Story, Big, Goodfellas, and Cape Fear. Though not generally known as a director, he made a couple of shorts and one feature-length film: a 1974 science-fiction oddity called Phase IV. The film opens with a shimmery synthesiser soundtrack and a voiceover that tells us: “When the effect came, it was almost unnoticed, because it happened to such a small and insignificant form of life”. The “effect” came from a blast of energy waves caused by an obscure cosmic event. We see a few cryptic images, then a long, documentary-style montage of ants being ants. But all is not as it appears. We’re told they’re “doing things that … There’s more

Movie Review: Cedar Rapids

Small town guy gets a shake-up and must temporarily take leave of his uneventful, mundane, depressing life.  During said shake-up, he realises there is a much bigger world out there than he first realised.  Lo and behold, his life is changed forever.  Nothing too unfamiliar about that plot, but somehow, surprisingly, Cedar Rapids manages to pull this all off and manages to get a few laughs in the process. Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) has lived a humdrum life in Brown Valley, Wisconsin, selling insurance to his loyal clients and “pre-engaged” to his 7th grade teacher, Macy (Sigourney Weaver).  However, following the inevitable suicide of his work colleague (it was inevitable, read the last sentence), Tim is sent to a conference in Cedar Rapids, where he must save his colleagues jobs and his own, by winning the Two Diamonds, a coveted accolade which will distinguish his company from the others.  Although … There’s more

Limitless

Eddie (Bradley Cooper) is a bit broken. He looks like a homeless drunk but isn’t either and has been stuck in a rut for a long time. A chance encounter with his former brother-in-law leaves him in possession of NZT, a new drug that opens up the dark fields of the mind. Directed by Neil Burger, this could have gone quite wrong (Shia LeBoeuf was cast until an accident meant a postponement and the part was re-cast), but it’s an effective thriller in Burger/Cooper’s hands. NZT transforms Eddie’s life from a dead end into a highway, propelling him into high class parties, business meetings and expanding his knowledge field overnight. There’s a downside though as Eddie is shown what life without NZT actually means for former users (including an under used Anna Friel) and he’s pursued by those who know what he’s got his hands on. Robert DeNiro is more … There’s more

‘Wishful Thinking’. An evening of 16mm film- 4th March, 126 Gallery, Galway

126 Gallery in association with the Glucksman Gallery, Cork, presents: ‘Wishful Thinking’ Wishful Thinking, curated by Matt Packer from The Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork, is a travelling programme of selected 16mm film by contemporary international artists: Luke Fowler, Jaki Irvine, Ursula Mayer, Rosalind Nashashibi, Roman Ondak, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Deborah Stratman, and Moira Tierney The event starts at 6pm in the 126 Gallery, Queen Street, Galway and finishes around 9. The gallery can be contacted on 091 569871.  

Pretentious? Moi?

There was great rejoicing in my house recently when, on a few days off from work, I decreed that we would watch lots of movies. Possibly Himself thought that this would be his great opportunity to catch up on the latest big-name blockbusters; I didn’t think to ask. Then again, neither did he. Perhaps he didn’t qualify my definition of “movie” because he already knows what an off-centre thinker I am when it comes to visual entertainment. Either or, our recent popcorn session was spent over Black Swan, Winter’s Bone, and the like, films you need a coffee and a pompous chat after. Oh, and Afterschool. I’d been desperate to watch Afterschool for quite some time. We had a very loud sort of pompous chat after, because Himself took an immediate dislike to it. He found it disjointed, overblown, too stylised, and ultimately unfulfilling. Pretentious, I think was a term … There’s more

The Thinking Place

If, like me, you grew up on staple diet of 80s movies then you’re probably already familiar with The Thinking Place. If not, watch a bunch of 80s movies and you’ll begin to recognise a gradual series of events that lead up to The Thinking Place, something like this: Boy from the wrong side of the tracks meets upper middle class girl with over protective father (preferably ex-army and still sporting the crew cut). Over protective father doesn’t want Johnny-blue-jeans anywhere near his beautiful (if a little wishy washy), porcelain, academically gifted daughter. Duckie (Jon Cryer) visits The Thinking Place in Pretty in Pink. First: The father tries to bribe the boy to stay away, but Johnny’s honour is strong and his love true. Second: He threatens the boy to stay away, but with love in his heart Johnny has no fear, even when grabbed by the scruff of his … There’s more

Review – Hereafter

arts-hereafter-584

When hard-nosed director Clint Eastwood teamed up with screenwriter Peter Morgan, famed for his expertise in writing about real life people (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Last King Of Scotland) one would expect them to cook up a hard hitting socio-political biopic or at the very least a gritty crime thriller. Instead what they have delivered is a slow, ponderous, “think” piece about various aspects of the afterlife. Although perhaps at a now staggering 81 (and still The Busiest Man In Hollywood™) it is not surprising that Eastwood has become curious about the supernatural and what happens to us after we die. Hereafter follows three interweaving storylines, as a French reporter, an American medium and a London based twin are all forced to deal with how death encroaches upon their lives. The most successful thread involves Cécile De France’s reporter who, in a stunning opening set piece, suffers a near death … There’s more

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

The books began thirteen years ago and in November 2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in cinemas. After nine years, we have reached part one of the finale of the Harry Potter movies. Saying goodbye to the series is also bidding farewell to a magical childhood in many cases. These films that have brought our favourite stories to life have lit up our screens year after year and they just get better every time. Deathly Hallows Part One is no exception. The boy who lived is all grown up and he stands before us as the young man who has been left a seemingly impossible task by Dumbledore. In order to kill Voldemort, Harry must track down the remaining horcruxes which all contain a part of Voldemort’s soul. This is the first film which does not feature Hogwarts and this lack of familiarity is something that adds … There’s more

The Hands of Orlac – Halloween Silent Film at Kilruddery

The people behind the annual Kilruddery Silent Film Festival are back hosting a once off special screening for Halloween of Robert Weine’s 1924 the Hands of Orlac this Sunday 31 October at 8pm in Kilruddery House, just south of Bray. The film, which will be accompanied on the piano by Vyvienne Long, is a macabre thriller about a famed concert pianist who after having his hands amputated in a train accident, has them replaced with the hands of an executed murderer with sinister repercutions.  If you liked Noseferatu and Metropolis then you’ll like this. Set in a candlelit Kilruddery, with Halloween themed drinks after the screening, the atmosphere should be great. Tickets cost €20 including complimentary  drink.  Booking essential, call William Kinsella on 087 4198674. For more information and details of how to get to and from Kilruddery see here.