Movie Review: Contraband

Mark Wahlberg, akin to a Ken Doll, comes in two versions; the believable, serious, characterful, film and TV producer giving time to screen roles we know of Fighter and The Departed and also the swaggering, millennial era B-movie star who makes movie choices that are questionable, but fun to rip apart in a cinema post-mortem. In Contrband he travels firmly in the latter territory and hence in this review, he shall be Marky Mark. There isn’t too much of a plot to spoil in this type of fare; we’ve all been here before – a reformed family man slips back into the murky world of his criminal past to help out a relative, he brings together a motley crew of criminals and has to race against time to save his family. As such, things are on extremely shaky ground. Everybody is working very hard to convince us there is some … There’s more

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

And The Oscar Went To…

It’s the night that all of the Hollywood elite come out and dress to impress with hopes of taking Oscar, now at the grand old age of 84, home to proudly display on their mantel. Last night marked the show that added the cherry on top of award season, the 84th Annual Academy Awards. For film buffs like myself, this ceremony is the highlight of the season as we sit up until the wee hours of the morning hoping that our favourites will take home the highly coveted gold statuette. A lot was riding on this year’s show, given last years disappointing Oscar hosts, the boring Anne Hathaway and James Franco, so we were delighted to see the legend that is Billy Crystal was back at the helm.

Britain’s Got Talent: The BAFTA Awards

We are right in the middle of Award Show season and the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) is really the last chance for the Oscar hopefuls to see which way things might go on the night. It was a glamorous night for the British as the stars braved the icy temperatures in hopes of taking home a coveted award. Awards were won, shoes were lost and the cameramen really loved Gary Oldman. This pretty much sums up this year’s BAFTA ceremony. In the Hollywood showbiz world, which thrives on the new and exciting, it is perhaps slightly ironic that the film to sweep the awards was a silent black and white film celebrating the birth of Hollywood movies. Even on British shores, proof once again that silence truly is golden, celebrated film The Artist took a total of seven awards home. Much as the film is loved by Hollywood and critics … There’s more

Round-up: The Irish Film and Television Awards 2012

  It was the night when the crème of Irish talent came out in their finery to pay tribute to our best movies of the year. The Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) were slightly overlooked this year, but The Fass got his gong out of it (no pun intended) and here at the Culch offices, that’s all we really wanted. The IFTA ceremony is relatively new to our shores, it is only in its ninth year, but it has to be said we do put on a good show.  There was the usual finery in the fashion stakes (I want Amy Huberman’s dress) and the very fine red carpet glamour (Mr Fassbender looked mighty fine and brought his mam and dad along for the occasion, sweet or what?) Unfortunately Ryan Gosling wasn’t available to pick up his prize (boo!), he won for his role in ‘Drive’ but we did … There’s more

Culch Valentine’s: Darren’s Favourite Romantic Movie Moments

Hi there gorgeous, So, Valentine’s Day. Starry-eyed loser, star-crossed lover or cross-eyed malcontent, you’re bound to have an opinion on it, yes? Be it a memory, a barely-concealed urge to vomit, a poem for your other half that makes the rest of us vomit, a scribbled note on what a perfect valentine’s would be for you, a history lesson on the relics of St Valentine, an angry swipe at Hallmark, a cry for help because you don’t know your partner much better than you know your postman and you’re deathly scared of trying to shop for them or anything in between, we share those feelings and each day in the run up to the 14th one of Culch’s writers will bring you their own personal Valentine’s thoughts. With love and last-minute garage chocolates, Culch Yeah, I’m a romantic, I’m a sucker for a good tale and I’ve been known to … There’s more

Movie Review: Man on a Ledge

It’s difficult to articulate the mood you need to be in to enjoy ‘Man on a Ledge’. You must certainly be in a forgiving mood, or at least one where you have no intention of interrogating a plot that is on quicksand within minutes. Plenty of reviews may take the time to try to put some semblance of order on what goes on; in the spirit of efficiency, it can be summarised by saying the plot has all the sense of a box of kittens. Sam Worthington, as per the instructive title of the movie, sets about to stand on a ledge. A high one. Every strive you might make to analyse the plot beyond this should be a cautionary one.

Movie Review: Polanski causes Carnage

When a collage of Oscar winning stars and an Oscar winning director get together for a project, you know the results are going to be good.  Renowned director Roman Polanski’s latest comic clash of manners cuts through the everyday boundaries of civility to show us what really goes on when the walls come down. Carnage, based on Yasmine Reza’s hugely successful French play titled ‘God of Carnage,’ Polanski’s latest effort is a sharp satire that encompasses everything from marital strife to class values in one.

Volta: Irish Video on Demand

This past Thursday, saw the launch of Volta, a new Irish video on demand service offering a pay-as-you-go rather than subscription access, to a catalogue of Irish and international independent films titles. Obviously, its launch has occurred whether by coincidence or design within weeks of Netflix, a service with a global presence. Volta has less scope in its vision than Netflix, but it is a worthy one, as the service offers an outlet for home-grown material and the type of productions that won’t have a Bruckheimer-sized budget to make you feel a lesser person if you haven’t seen it. Adding to the unique quotient of the service, there is differing pricing to allow you stream (€3.99) or download (€6.99) your choices, some of which will be released on the same day and date as their theatrical release. Again, such an approach will serve well the limited budgets, scale of release … There’s more

The Death Dealer Is Back. Movie Review: Underworld Awakening.

Before we get started, it should be noted that I am an avid Underworld fan. With this in mind, I will be as unbiased as possible, except when referring to THAT outfit. Ass-kicking bombshell Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two Underworld films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species. Yep, this is essentially the storyline for popular Underworld flick number 4, Underworld: Awakening.  The writers, wisely decided not to mention flick number 3 ‘Rise of the Lycans‘ so our story continues where underworld 2 left off. 12  years have passed since the events of the second film and Selene (Kate Beckinsale) awakens in a lab and escapes into to a world where the human … There’s more

Movie review: A Monster in Paris

Had I gone to see this alone, this review would have been very different. Although I quite enjoyed the movie, I thought the characters a little too bland, that there was too much talking and way too much mushy stuff for it to appeal to kids. How little I know them. I took along four boys aged between 4 and 7 and they all loved it. The lead character Emile (Jay Harrington) is a timid lovelorn cinema projectionist who gets dragged astray by his friend, delivery man and wacky inventor Raoul (Adam Golberg) when they meddle in a Professor’s laboratory to the horror of the resident monkey Charles. They manage to accidently create Franc (Sean Lennon) a monstrous gigantic flea. (Not of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers variety – unfortunately). The nasty Commissioner Maynott (Danny Huston) thinks his chances of becoming mayor will be improved if he can rid paris … There’s more

Oscar Nominations 2012

While I feel compelled to tell you that, yes, this year’s Oscar nominations have been announced (hurrah!), I also must tell you that all of us here at Culch are a little devastated. That’s right, The Fass has been over looked for an Oscar this year. *throws bricks at Academy members* And quite frankly, I just want to know why. To quote  Joey from Friends : “Why, God. Why are you doing this to us?!”  I have a feeling it’s to do with the Rated R aspect of the film but still. That’s no excuse. Anyway, the brick throwing much sums up our feelings on the matter. And while this means that I shall never again look at the Oscars the same way (EVER), I must press on and congratulate all the other nominees and films that did make the cut. 

Movie Review: The Descendants

‘The Descendants’ is a quiet film, set over a few days, which sees Matt (George Clooney), as patriarch to his own immediate family and trustee of the interests of extended family, confronted with a wife suddenly in a coma and a realisation that he is ill-equipped to guide his daughters through this nor any other crisis to come. Nothing about the movie is overdone – there is no overacting, no simplification, no unneeded exposition. The film opens with a voice over narration, which can sometimes throw up flare shots of poor story to come; in this case it is scene-setting and puts Matt’s crisis front and centre before letting the film unfurl of its own accord.

Silence Is Golden… Movie Review: The Artist

It’s the film that has charmed audiences and critics alike across the globe and all without uttering a single word. For many, it’s simply the best film of the year. The Artist proves that so much can be said by saying so little. This tender, witty, charming film, which pays tribute to the classic silent movie era in Hollywood, is the best thing to hit our screens in a long long time. Sound like an exaggeration? Then you haven’t seen the film! Since premiering at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival last year, the hype surrounding the film has been huge and luckily, it does not fall foul of the hype. Having scored big at this year’s Golden Globe awards with three wins and numerous BAFTA nominations just announced, The Artist has captured us, and indeed Hollywood, like no film has done in years. It’s surely a shoo-in for Oscar glory. … There’s more

The Hits and Misses from the Golden Globes.

We’re always looking for fresh blood at Culch, because somewhere in Sinead’s attic is a portrait getting… Never mind. The point is that we are rather delighted to introduce New Girl Jen into the Culch mix, to which she has sworn to add passion, intrigue, and many pictures of George Clooney. Oh look, she’s started already. ~ Lisa Award Season officially got off to a glitzy start as this year’s Golden Globes saw the crème de la crème of the Hollywood elite come out in hopes of picking up a coveted award. We had our usual hits and misses in terms of the fashion stakes… Reese Witherspoon, when I die, I’m coming back as you but what where you thinking? Kelly Osbourne and Sarah Michelle Gellar? An entire post could be devoted to the fashion stakes, but the awards themselves proved to be more interesting. Slightly more relaxed than the … There’s more