Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Property of the state

Strange this movie has received little publicity. Set up to the 1990s it's about a young man who has mental health issues. Even worse, he lives in the rural country surrounded by locals who get involved and make him worse. Sent in and out of hospital and institutions he get pumped with valium and ends up killing a priest and a women and her kid in the woods. This could have been a really good movie. Sadly, it's the usual TV-drama style with lots of fast cuts and emphasis on the story. With uneven acting and direction you won't care what happens. A lot of it gets told in reverse sequence so gets confusing. The image is too slick and polished for this kind of movie. A lot of it is unintentionally funny: the overreaction of his family, the way he keeps getting help but ends up worse, the bad news TV clips, and the local Garda. You get the impression that if O'Donnell lived in Dublin he would avoid so much trouble. There are other similar Irish stories waiting to get made into movies (e.g. Abbeylara shooting) but I hope they avoid this bad style of film making.

Title: Property of the state
Genre: Bio
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Maze

How many IRA prison movies has our Film Board now funded? This latest one is set in 1983 and details a true escape. The film is well paced and builds up to the break out. The rest is the usual dull lighting (well it is a prison!) and quick edits. It's certainly watchable and better than expected. The prison officers aren't as strict as usual and there's a lot of information given to prisoners without any suspicions. The clothing and haircuts accurately show what the 1980s was like. Enjoyable movie but like most Irish titles it offers nothing new.

Title: Maze
Genre: IRA
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Drummer and the keeper

Another mismatched two-hander this one is set in the music scene and involves mental health issues. The drummer is supposed to be bipolar yet is always miserable throughout the movie. The (goal)keeper has Aspergers yet this syndrome gets disproved in the movie. The rest of the film is dull and has lots of Fat lady sings-piano music. Nothing original and references various similar Irish movies: goths at the table; doctor's meeting, band falling out. Nothing new and runs along at a drab pace. Aimed at undemanding teenagers this is underwhelming and unoriginal. The opening scene sets the tone: a couch gets set on fire on a beach. That's supposed to be the hook that grabs you into this movie but doesn't. Another example in Irish cinema of mediocre, lame, lifeless, bland, derivative, predictable filmmaking. There's no story, it's more character-based but these people are too boring to make you care.

Title: The drummer and the keeper
Genre: Drama
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Monday, 17 July 2017

GENDER QUOTAS WILL TURN OUR FILM BOARD INTO A LAUGHING STOCK

The IFB has launched a new funding scheme for writers and directors and only people without a penis may apply. The only thing ground breaking about this is its stupidity. The problem is lack of talent among our female filmmakers not sexism. The only impressive recent title made here by a woman was Snap and that didn't even get a DVD release. The rest were mostly dire: Dollhouse/48 angels/Death games/Goldfish memory and so on. Most talented Irish filmmakers don't need the IFB - the director of Cardboard gangsters would still be making features if our Film Board closed down. Now we can expect one awful film after another because its director is a woman. Bland, dull, PC, inoffensive, diluted, over-directed, stylish, glossy crap that will only appeal to feminists attending the Galway Fleadh. Can anyone in Ireland make their own feature without State assistance? There's nothing diverse about this scheme either - where are the Irish feature films by muslim/black/blind/Loyalist/underage/Plymouth Brethren directors? Films from these people would be more interesting than from some middle-class, 'oppressed', female film graduate.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Cardboard gangsters

Beyond the canals! Four new dealers in the Dublin suburb of Darndale cross paths with an established drugs gang. One of them gets involved with the rival leader's wife. From the first scene with them as the kids it's like a clich├ęd rap movie from the 1990s starring Gavin Kelty! Full of dimwits who don't learn from their actions and keep making silly decisions. You can see exactly what's going to happen: the rival leader's son getting off his bike hiding a hand in a pocket; Connors turning back at the airport. Some scenes are too brief and don't ring true: Connors pulls a gun on Smallhorne (director of the supberb 2by4), the ex-girlfriend agreeing after a few seconds to move over to Spain, where's Connors' bedroom-DJ system?, the pair of cops who look like they're in a different movie, the fourth gang member disappearing at the end, why didn't Smallhorne already know about Connors' supplier? Unlike most Irish titles it has energy and the fast pacing keeps you hooked. There's a lot going on here. The best parts are the short pauses in the story to show kids on motor bikes or an aeroplane in the sky.

Title: Cardboard gangsters
Genre: Crime
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Sanctuary

Another contrived feel-good movie that celebrates diversity. With almost one in seven here having a disability it's about time we had something like this. Sadly, it's a dull effort with bad acting, dull pacing, ordinary settings, unfunny scenes (most which are too short), and little that stands out. A group of people with intellectual disabilities visit the cinema. Two creep off to a hotel room for sex, another pair leaves to find the first couple, while the supervisor tries to track everyone down. It's just not funny or even good. Only the condom scene stands out and the indie songs are also quite good. But the drab pacing kills the movie, it's not slow enough for observational comedy but not fast enough to keep the audience interested. Never kicks out of first gear. Surely it would have been funnier with a flustered woman in charge rather than a dull man? Set in December though not an Xmas movie.

Title: Sanctuary
Genre: Comedy
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Halal daddy

Who says Irish cinema lacks intelligence! To celebrate our new Muslim community here's a movie set in Sligo about a slaughterhouse. It's the kind of effort that Damien O'Donnell might have directed 15 years back. Sadly, this one is badly made, unfunny, has stupid characters, uneven scenes, too many establishing shots, lots of crap indie songs on the soundtrack, and a story you won't care about. It's too slight and lame. The funny scenes aren't funny, the dramatic scenes aren't dramatic, the romance scenes aren't romantic. This is the kind of crap we have to look forward to with our new multicultural society. Like it was directed by a committee, a lot of it doesn't make sense - what's the chance of a Muslim from Bradford in England coming over here and dating a middle-class Irish girl? Even better, Deirdre "Take in as many refugees as possible and then decide how to deal with them" O'Kane is in it. It's stupid and offensive to intelligent viewers who don't share the PC outlook of the filmmakers. Yet another Irish movie explaining why not to visit crap towns in the West.

Title: Halal daddy
Genre: Comedy
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Friday, 28 April 2017

Handsome devil

Boarding-school movie about two mismatched lads. We've seen this film over and over from Hollywood, but far better. Everything here is boring: characters, dialogue, music, scenes, and story. It's the kind of film made by nice people with zero of interest to say. The songs on the soundtrack are awful and this movie isn't clever enough make these sound interesting. That gay exposure scene was done 20 years ago in Irish cinema (Last bus home). Even the rugby scenes aren't particularly exciting (how come Hollywood movies make college American football appear interesting even though most audiences over here don't understand the game?). Not clear what era it's set in, thought the 1980s until that Suede poster on the wall. All that was missing was Deirdre O'Kane as a concerned mother! Really dull stuff that makes a big fuss over every second scene but the audience won't be bothered. Scott plays a gay teacher but the film is too timid to make a statement.

Title: Handsome devil
Genre: Drama
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Gift

Dull movie about a man in Kerry who can't cope without his dead wife. Lots of flashbacks and conversations with the deceased. Similar in tone and style to Parked or The pier: lots of establishing shots, depressing feeling, characters you won't like, scenes that make sense later in the movie, bad cinematography, and lots of awful music on the soundtrack. Every fifteen minutes the lead guy attempts suicide but you won't care. He looked miserable before his wife died. The main actress has a strange nose yet he ignores the younger, sexy waitress for her. Shallow filmmaking at its dullest and totally lifeless! Best scene involved Brendan Grace as a priest. Strangely, none of these characters make reference to Ireland (which is unusual). There's one part with the headmaster walking towards the lead and the camera operator stumbles. Could they not have reshot that scene and made it better?

Title: The gift
Genre: Drama
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Free fire

Average shoot-out movie set in a warehouse. It's the late 1970s and a group of Irish terrorists (presumably IRA, not loyalists) attempt to purchase arms. Except the goods have been swapped as Libya are the preferred customer. You won't care what happens because the characters are unlikeable and stupid. Most people who get shot are only grazed to extend the story. If they all got killed after the first ten minutes it would have been OK. Everybody wears brown (of course) and there's strange acoustic guitar music on the soundtrack (and John Denver). Some of the dialogue seems too modern: "sex pest" and "chill pill". Straight-to-DVD material that isn't as good as it thinks.

Title: Free fire
Genre: IRA
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

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