Wednesday, 21 August 2019


Rather sad article in today's Irish Independent newspaper about Ireland's most overrated female film director. She's been abroad for six years trying to make a career not in movies now but in television. Still looking for something to say in her work too she says. Too much competition and lack of support from RTE are to blame. Never mind the dozen or so more talented Irish female film directors that have appeared since Dollhouse. How many of those knobs on Filmmakers' Network who got me banned still rate her as a director? This blog would never exist only for I correctly stated she was standing on the shoulders of giants.

Sunday, 11 August 2019


Impressive movie about two women of around 30. It's like a hipster remake of the Irish film Snakes and ladders. They go to pubs, clubs, poetry readings, and gigs. Trying their best to put off adulthood they get involved with various men including a pianist and a poet. One of the girls has writer's block while her more stable sister has a baby. The other girl is just strange. Set in Dublin though there are few direct references apart from some dialogue. Most of it is set at night. Some good scenes include the wedding dress and the taxi journey at the end. It's lively, funny, uneven and unpredictable. How many Irish films fit that description?

Title: Animals
Genre: Clubbing
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Saturday, 10 August 2019


Back in 2009 three films got made under our Film Board's low-budget Catalyst scheme to help fund new directors. The resulting films were promising: 100 mornings was a Corman-cabin-in-the-woods-futuristic effort, Eamon was a naughty-kid-on-holiday movie and Rewind was an ex-boyfriend-stalker thriller. The scheme was set up to help promising filmmakers. Sadly, a decade on not one of these title's directors has made another feature. So what was the point of this scheme?

Monday, 15 July 2019

Metal heart

Lame movie about twin girls who don't get along: one is a blonde while the other a goth. There's a strange neighbour which both get involved with. The goth girl tries to form a band while her sister hurts her own neck. The parents have gone away for six weeks so they organise a party. Not exactly original and even less good. It's very bland and the characters are boring. The only good one was the blonde girl's Love Island boyfriend. I could easily list the Irish movies this effort has copied: summer of the Leaving Cert (Last of the high kings), goth who stands out in South Dublin (This must be the place), local teens starting a band (Sing Street), the house party (Stitches) and the dropout kid forced to go to college by his stern father (practically every Hollywood teen movie from the 1980s). What also annoyed me is that the neighbour said he had an old Moog music keyboard yet they didn't show it. Why? Because the filmmakers didn't have one as it's too expensive. Even better, everyone in the movie says the name wrong: it's pronounced moag not muug.

Title: Metal heart
Genre: Teenage
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Monday, 22 October 2018


That's how much Irish 'blockbuster' Black 47 has made at the USA box office! As expected our illiterate media describes it as Ireland's first famine movie but anyone who reads this blog will have heard of Under the hawthorn tree. The problem with Irish film is it will always be considered art house abroad; there's a tiny market for this. Roll on the IFTAS!

Monday, 16 July 2018

Lost and found

Set at Portarlington train station this is a multi-storied film about various characters there. A man proposes at an airport; a woman visits a funeral; a man begs for money; a pub tries out different themes; a woman decides to marry on a date; and a man digs a hole abroad. Watchable and enjoyable with a good cast. It's filmed over several years so some actors have aged! Unlike most Irish films it's not trying to win awards, promote tourism, or criticise the Church! Well-paced, well written, and middle-class! Best scene was the Australian sing-song at the pub. The main actor (WC, Book that wrote itself) also directs. Worth a look.

Title: Lost and found
Genre: Anthology
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Michael inside

Yet another prison movie from the Film Board this one is about a young guy who gets sucked into the system. He fails to hide a bag of drugs and gets sentenced. The dealers come after his granddad who has to pay them money. The prisoner gets attacked and has to learn to stand up for himself. Then he gets out and has to face up to the dealer. Shot like a documentary it's slow in pace which only works in the prison scenes. The usual weak music on the soundtrack that you'll hear in every second Irish movie. The ending didn't make much sense; surely the dealers would have gone after him rather than get the police involved? The best thing about this movie is it's well cast. Other that that it's routine and no match on similar films like Scum and Penitentiary. The violent scenes are too brief and not effective. This picture is too restrained and has nothing to say. The young man is too passive and seems to be responsible for his own misfortunes.

Title: Michael inside
Genre: Crime
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Sunday, 22 April 2018


Another Irish horror movie this one is about the survivors of a virus that turns people into zombies. A few are still infected and they get locked up. Fast-paced and confusing it's based on older Romero movies like Day of the Dead and The crazies. This plague seems to have wiped out our non-nationals because the only survivors are indigenous Irish mostly in their 30s! They're all based around Croke Park in Dublin! Lots of brief scares and tension with loud effects but you won't care what happens as the characters are not likable. Completely unoriginal yet well made; that's Irish cinema in a nutshell. Compared with Dead meat and Boy eats girl this a is minor masterpiece!

Title: The cured
Genre: Horror
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Monday, 26 March 2018


With our media ridiculing the proposed Dublin Metrolink no-one wants to discuss this new film studio for Meath. Work spaces, offices, make-up rooms, CGI facilities, and dining areas are proposed. Have we learned nothing over the last 20 years? The kind of movies that require studios don't work here. They don't get good reviews, make money, or create a sustainable industry. Top American director Soderbergh makes his new movie with a camera phone but here in lil' old Ireland we still need to think big. Because film making isn't about talent, passion, ideas, or saying anything new. Instead, it's about awards, training courses, jobs, and producing small-screen movies for the multiplexes. To paraphrase Truffaut: put good writers, directors, designers, actors, editors, and composers together and you get TV dramas set in the 1950s.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Damo and Ivor the movie

Enjoyable and funny road movie about three brothers, two trying to locate the third. Based on a TV show it's better than expected though has lots of holes in the story e.g. Ivor's marriage troubles. The romance between the Granny and the Garda gets tedious but the movie is fast-paced so you won't get bored. Some of it is hilarious e.g. the dog not allowed into the hospital and the traveller brother offering thousands of Euro for it. Tina Kellegher looks older than the Granny! Instantly forgettable but worth a look and you won't need to have seen the TV show to follow it.

Title: Damo and Ivor the movie
Genre: Comedy
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Tuesday, 13 March 2018


Another movie set in the 1920s in a Big House. This one adds horror elements but it's not up to much. Most of the cast are the same age and it's difficult to tell who's who. There's a lake nearby that goes under the house and dead people are living there. The ending is good though no-one could hold their breath that long. Add in the usual bad acting, dire piano music, confusing story, brief scenes, clean costumes, and a general sense of seen it all before so another average effort. One good scene shows petty locals mistreating a WW1 veteran who's lost part of his leg. Good to Deirdre O'Kane here arguing with her Anglo-Irish neighbours but in last year's Halal Daddy she got on great with our new Muslim arrivals! Another movie where a character carries a suitcase that is obviously empty as it swings about too much!

Title: The lodgers
Genre: Big house
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema


Rather sad article in today's Irish Independent newspaper about Ireland's most overrated female film director. She's been abroad...