Thursday, 31 March 2011

IRISH FILM GENRES PART 6: ROAD

One the more interesting of genres and Irish cinema has contributed. There was the vague Disappearance of Finbar and vaguer Molly's Way both dealing with Irish people travelling to North-Eastern Europe. Then there was the '80s recession era Hard shoulder and Joyriders. More recently there were the expensive romantic P.S. I love you and Leap year. Also, the lower-budget Crooked mile. Kids' road movies include Flight of the doves and Into the West. Should be a lot more common in Irish cinema as there's not much dialogue required and cheap to make?

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

CHEERS AUSTRALIA!

Can't get any further than Australia so cheers to whoever read this blog from there over the last few days!

Shine of rainbows

Absolute rubbish movie that tries to revive the dreaded heritage picture of the '90s. Set in Donegal back in the day it's about an adopted boy (appearing like the weakest link in his class!) who stays with his new parents, meets the local seals, neighbourhood kids, and learns about the 'magic' of the area. Stunning cinematography (really impressive) with amazing colours. But the story is slight and these movies were killed off for a reason. Really aimed at the American market but woeful stuff indeed. Still, the Irish Tourist Board should like it!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

IRISH FILM GENRES PART 5: HORROR

A few years back this post would only be one sentence but thanks to an upsurge we now have: zombies (Boy eats girl, Dead meat), mad cows (Isolation), spooky kids (Dorothy, Daisy chain), castles (Dementia 13), monster (Rawhead Rex), mushrooms (Shrooms), ghosts (Ghostwood), and the current Wake Wood. More disappointing than impressive there is still plenty of room for a decent/classic Irish horror?

Savage

Three decades after famous urban revenge movies such as MS45 and The Exterminator comes an Irish version. A press photographer is attacked in Protestant Lane, Dublin 2 and is brutally beaten. Mentally and physically scarred he seeks revenge. Sounds great and got good reviews but what a disappointment! Lifeless, over-stylish, one-dimensional, predictable, shallow, and with self-conscious direction. What should have been raw, fresh, unsettling, and memorable ends up polished and forced. It's like the filmmakers were trying to make an arty vigilante movie instead of a tasteless one? The usual obsession with film technique and the 'look' that ruins yet another Irish movie. Good performance from Healy and an impressive music score but an overrated and disappointing movie.

Monday, 28 March 2011

CHEERS INDIA!

They may have beaten us in cricket but now someone from that country has read this top film blog! So cheers India.

IRISH FILM GENRES PART 4: SPORTS

Again, not a lot to mention here! Our national sports (hurling/gaelic football/handball) are disgracefully ignored. The only one was Clash of the ash and best of luck finding that one on DVD. Made a brief appearance in Wind that shaked the barley too. Michael Collins of course had a gaelic football game scene. Soccer featured in the terrible Studs. But the most popular sport in Irish cinema is of course boxing. Strength and honour and The boxer were both below average. But the classic Irish-Hollywood movie Gentleman Jim showed how it should be done! That's it. Plenty of room for another hurling movie, or pitch-and-putt, or golf even, or even better, an Irish rugby movie?

LEIGH ARNOLD PART 2!

Seems all the shouting she's been doing about her film award in the States has been queried. According to today's Evening Herald it's a film festival that occurs about four times a year and the previous winners are nobodies too. Great to see people leaving Ireland and still getting slated by our media!

HOW IRISH WAS MY LEFT FOOT?

Well my leg is fully Irish from being born here! But the classic 'Irish' movie My left foot may not actually be? That's according to Shoot the cabbage's extensive research! Apparently there's an article in the Evening Herald newspaper from 08 July 1992 where one hundred European movies were funded to get a video release under a certain label. However, My left foot was turned down the chance to appear in this collection as it was not considered an Irish film! That's because the criterion was that each film had to be funded by their own country. So now you know! So much for the Leaving Cert programme and the various Irish film festivals around the world screening this movie
year after year!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

IRISH FILM GENRES PART 3: SCIENCE FICTION

Not much to write about here and Zonad doesn't count! The most recent one was Summer of the flying saucer which was really aimed at kids. Before that there was Sunset Heights which was a futuristic-gangster movie. Before that there was Catholics which was a futuristic religious movie. That's about it. Plenty of scope for Irish filmmakers to increase the quantity and even quality?

LEIGH ARNOLD!

Great to see someone mouthing off about the Irish Film Industry. This time it's actress Leigh 'Failed her Leaving Cert because of bullying' Arnold who is getting acclaim in America for her role in Charlie Casanova*. She has now left Ireland and complains about the fact that no-one wanted to know about her movie here. Hope she does better in the States than Caroline Morahan?
* Today's Irish Mail on Sunday

Shell shock

Anyone remember Triage? Even one person? It was the Colin Farrell movie funded by the IFB that illustrated the healthy and bright future for Irish cinema. However, after failing to get a theatrical release it now creeps out on DVD under a new title. So what's it about? Farrell plays a war photographer in Iraq and suffers from shell shock (get it?) when he returns to Dublin City centre (off Denmark Street). You know exactly what this movie looks like: Quality cinematography and battle scenes with Farrell shouting 'don't shoot'! We've seen this stuff before in Hollywood movies like Salvador and Under fire. What makes this movie interesting is that it's set in the late '80s and there's an impressive party scene where the cast dance to New Order and Belouis Some. Even better is the arrival of Christopher Lee and it's bizarre seeing him sitting on a beer keg in a Dublin lane! But it's hard to feel sorry for Farrell as it's no-one's fault he travelled to Iraq is it? Also, for such a dull character he has lots of friends and helpers? Worth a look and better than most Irish rubbish that gets screened in our cinemas!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

IRISH FILM GENRES PART 2: EMIGRATION

Topical theme these days with all of the overeducated Celtic Tiger morons crying and heading away to 'better' countries. Suppose these films could be divided into the lands they are set in. While there are lots of films about the Irish abroad these are different to the ones directly dealing with emigration. The ones on Britain (Kings, I could read the sky) deal with miserable old men looking back on their wasted years. The ones on America (Beyond the pale, In America, Gold in the streets) deal with younger and less angry people. The ones in Canada (Luck of Ginger Coffey) deal with the hardships that emigration can cause. The ones in Australia (Under Capricorn) deal with the acceptance of ambitious Irish trying to escape their past. Strange that there are no recent examples with the current recession but that's Irish cinema for you - out of touch as usual!

WHERE'S WAKE WOOD PART 2?

Seems it's only getting a theatrical release in Donegal. Donegal! Even the world's top Irish Film Blog is not prepared visit that kip! The land of Daniel O'Donnell and massive unemployment. Supposed to be getting a DVD release next week anyway.

Best

If ever an Irish movie had the wrong title it's this one; 'Worst' would be a more appropriate title! A much-hyped biopic about Ireland's most famous footballer. It concentrates on the downfall of Best where he turns alcoholic and has women trouble. The kind of movie that makes a big deal about the clothes and hairstyles from the late '60s and early '70s yet uses a modern heavy-metal guitar on the soundtrack! Fast-paced movie where scenes and characters appear and disappear. So fast paced that the famous song 'Come up and see me make me smile' over the end credits has been sped up to sound like the Chipmunks! For some reason various Irish directors appear in cameo roles: Jim Sheridan, Ian Fitzgibbon, and Mary McGuckian. Normally Shoot the cabbage would advise followers not to watch this movie but the chances of finding a DVD copy are remote!

Friday, 25 March 2011

WHERE'S WAKE WOOD?

Seems this hyped (as usual) Irish horror movie is on release today (according to its website). Not in Dublin it ain't? None of the cinemas here seem to be screening it?

Rewind

One of the best French films ever was Chabrol's La femme infidele. A middle-class, married couple are threatened when the wife gets involved with a stranger. Now, over forty years later an Irish version of this story gets made. Is it any good? Not really. Lots of Satie-like piano music (far too much), lots of stylish (and out-of-focus) cinematography, 'stretched' scenes that take longer than usual, dull weather, washed-out colours, a big deal made out of the smallest of things, and far too much direction. This is the second of the Catalyst-scheme films to get a release and it's a lot better than Eamon. Reminded me of the terrible Alarm where a Dublin woman (surely Huberman's character would has lost her working-class accent when she 'married up') moves to Kildare? Nothing special though.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

CHEERS INDONESIA!

Yet another far-away country has read this fine blog. This time it's Indonesia so cheers!

WHERE'S THE IRISH FILM NOIR?

If there is one genre completely missing from Irish cinema it's Film Noir. Look at the great directors in French cinema: Truffaut, Chabrol, Tavernier, Godard, Franju, Bresson, Beneix, Dassin, Melville, Besson, and Clouzot. They all made films in the Noir genre. It's easy to see why too. Film Noir allows the director to make personal yet commercial cinema. Honestly, if a decent Irish Film Noir got made it would win awards, do well commercially, and the Hollywood studios would probably do a remake. The problem though is that Film Noir requires a good knowledge of cinema and a director with a voice. Most Irish directors have neither of these! So that's that then?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

IRISH FILM GENRES PART 1: CHICK FLICK

Most of these titles could also be considered 'road movies'. P.S. I love you was crap, too serious, depressing, and had too much 'acting'. Another was Leap year which was a bit better. At least the lead actress was pretty. Then there was Tara Road. Never seems to be in the Irish section in the DVD shops for some reason? It was about a house swap. Then there was The honeymooners. This was a Dogma 95-type movie but without the originality, nudity, intellectual statements, and energy. One of the move unpopular genres critically but usually a box-office hit. The Irish chick flick!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Between the canals

Back in the '90s the rap movie came of age. Gangstas shooting each other, selling drugs, trying to 'get out', and family problems. A decent white version from that era was Laws of gravity. Now, over fifteen years later we get a Dublin movie very similar. Lots of shaky camerawork, violence, sub-plots, older and wiser men giving advice, famous locations, pubs, poolhalls, drugs, defeated women, police, and a younger more violent generation waiting in the wings. Fair play to the filmmakers for producing this. It should do well in Boston if it's ever released there. However, the movie is full of clichés and you can see a mile off what's going to happen next. Also, you don't feel bothered when the characters get killed as they are so unlikeable. Still, it's good to see an Irish movie have a bit of energy and anything that moves aways from the middle-class muck that gets produced here is a refreshing change.

Monday, 21 March 2011

SAVAGE OUT ON DVD!

Good to see this acclaimed Irish movie getting a DVD release. Strange that it's low-key compared to its theatrical promotion? Must buy a copy soon.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

IFCO IS BIASED!

Anyone else think that the Irish Film Censor's Office is biased towards Irish-related movies? For example today's Irish Mail on Sunday has an article on how a Saoirse Ronan film was give a 12A rating when it should have got a more severe one? The article mentions upset young girls sitting through The Lovely Bones when they should not have been allowed into the cinema! Seems the IFCO 'goes easy' on films with an Irish actor/director/subject?

Saturday, 19 March 2011

WHERE IS SAINT STEPHEN'S GREEN PARK?

Yes I know where it is! Top of Grafton Street in Dublin 2. However, the question still stands. Why don't Irish films use the park as a location? A few do (Adam and Paul, Leap Year) but most do not. Look at most New York movies. They have no problem using Central Park as a location. From Death Wish to the latest rom-com there is always a scene set in their park. So why don't Irish films use our famous park? Is filming illegal there? Why won't the Film Board include the park in their promotional trailers? Surely it's easier to access than the Cliffs of Moher? Shame that a great film location on our doorstep is being underused?

Friday, 18 March 2011

How to cheat in the Leaving Certificate

Infamous low-budget Irish movie from the '90s. One of the few films that everyone has heard of but few seen? It's about the break in to the Athlone building that holds the exam papers. Then the guy who got 7 A1s admits he cheated and the reaction is told in flashback. The acting is terrible (I didn't realise we had so many posh actors!) and the story is trite (everyone knows that the same questions keep coming up in the Leaving Cert exam anyway so why cheat?) but the film is still impressive because: It's in black and white; there are some famous cameos (Chris De Burgh as a garage attendant?); the pacing and editing are really well done; and some of the songs on the soundtrack are good. Strange that the director never followed up with another feature. Surely he didn't get blacklisted after this?

ANOTHER WOODY ALLEN POST!

Seems he would love to make a movie in Ireland as long as our Film Board provide the funds*. What a great idea! Let's get one of the word's most overrated directors to come here, give him tax payers' money to produce his 44th or 45th feature, and then claim it's an Irish movie. Heck, we could even give him an IFTA award before it even gets released. I can see it now: Who do the Film Board support? A new Irish director who wants to make his first feature or Woody Allen? Hmmmmm....
*Today's Irish examiner

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bloody Sunday

Not to be confused with the similar movie Sunday or the boring '70s film Sunday, Bloody Sunday (which gets a mention in this movie). This picture is about the killing of thirteen civilians in Derry which made headlines around the world. It's the kind of film that wins awards due to the stylish filmmaking and low-key, observant approach to the story. Washed out colours, shakey camera work (lots of off-focus scenes), little music on the soundtrack, and extras playing themselves. Then there's the behind-the-scenes of the British soldiers and the different reasons why they opened fire. Like a lot of Irish films this is overrated and got made too late to make much of an impact.

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY!

To all visitors and followers of this blog. It's a great day for the Irish!

CHEERS SINGAPORE!

Yet another far-away country has read this blog over the last few days. Cheers Singapore!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

WHAT'S WITH ALL THESE IRISH WOMEN DIRECTORS?

Time Shoot the cabbage did a post on all these women directors! Ireland has a larger proportion of female directors than most countries. Is this a good thing? Well the recent IFTA Best Film winner was directed by a woman. However, it was not an Irish-themed film. One of the first feature films made at Ardmore Studios was directed by a woman called Muriel Box. However most recent Irish films directed by women are terrible! There was the football film Best, the horror film Daisy chain, the mess that was Disco pigs, the embarrassing Eamon, the disastrous Chaos,the rubbish Goldfish memory, the flat emigration film Gold in the streets, and the voiceless Situations vacant. The only impressive recent film directed here by a woman was Foxes but that was directed by a foreigner so got ignored. The Irish Film industry seems to be pushng women directors thinking one will break through internationally? In fact if there was a new feature film scheme for three new movies one would certainly go to a woman. The idea that there's a 'quota' in place is of course nonsense but there is the impression that the Irish Film industry is trying to support 'marginal voices' particularly female ones. The only problem is that there are no truly great international female directors outside of the French language. This idea that the Irish Film industry should support women directors because they are a 'minority' is just silly. In fact men are actually the minority in Ireland! Funding and pushing Irish films just because the director is female is a waste of time. No matter how many get made most of these titles will be terrible, particularly the genre ones. Some people will no doubt find this post offensive but tough.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Gentleman Jim

Here's another old black and white movie with a strong Irish theme. It's about the early days of boxing in the 1890s and banker Errol Flynn switches to boxing. There are references to the 'old country', a strong Irish family, and a fight against the English champion. The boxing scenes are too brief though but the movie is well above average. Because it's a Warners production the cinematography is top notch and there are loads of supporting actors. Most people have little time for these old movies but this title is far superior to recent Irish boxing pictures such as Strength and honour or The boxer. Next to John Ford, Raoul Walsh was the most 'Irish' of the old-school Hollywood directors.

CHEERS BRAZIL!

Shoot the cabbage reaches yet more corners of the globe. This week it's South America and Brazil are the latest country to acccess this blog. Cheers!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Gentle gunman

Confusing and sometimes bizarre black and white IRA movie. Made in the early '50s but set a decade earlier it's about an IRA bombing campaign in England during World War 2. Then the action switches to Ireland and the usual clichés result. There's the mother who wants her son to leave and not come back; the IRA member (John Mills) who's considered a traitor;and a truly bizarre rant between two middle-aged men (one Irish, one English). Anyone who has seen the cricket fanatics Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne arguing in the older movies will be immediately reminded of this pair. What's really strange is that the movie appears to be some kind of propaganda comedy to discourage the IRA from bombing England! The rest of the movie is competent, has a famous cast, and is confusing. Yes, it is better than Anton!

MAN OF ARAN OUT ON DVD!

Good to see this movie is now out on DVD. Considered by some to be a documentary Shoot the Cabbage considers this film to be a fiction feature. So a future review here awaits!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

GENTLE GUNMAN OUT ON DVD!

Good to see this IRA movie from the '50s is finally out on DVD. Must get a copy soon. Can't be any worse than Anton?

Saturday, 12 March 2011

FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY POSTS!

Yes, the world's best Irish-film blog now has 450 posts! People in China, Korea, United Arab Emirates, and other far-away countries have read this blog. It will continue too - reviewing every possible Irish movie there is, passing comment on the rubbish our Film Board funds, bringing notice to forgotten Irish acting talent, and making observations on the state of Irish cinema. For the most accurate, honest, and non-biased opinions on Irish cinema read Shoot the cabbage!

ALL GOOD CHILDREN OUT ON DVD!

Good to see the recent Irish-themed movie All good children has got a DVD release. Must buy a copy soon.

Friday, 11 March 2011

IRELAND'S GREATEST ACTORS: PATRICK MAGEE

Memorable Northern actor from the '60s. Famous titles include: Dementia 13, Servant, Zulu, Seance on a wet afternoon, Masque of the red death, King Lear (also appeared in a later TV version), Clockwork orange, Barry Lyndon, Chariots of fire, and Monster club.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Philadelphia here I come

Based on the famous play this is an impressive film about emigration. The last day before he heads off to America McCann meets his friends and locals. The ending is poignant as he gets on the TWA plane and it's relevant once again. Best scene has him saying to a young doctor that he's getting out while the rest are staying. The rest of the movie has uneven lighting but an interesting premise where McCann talks to his inner self. One of many American Film Theatre productions which has now gotten a DVD release.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

DON'T APOLOGISE TO THE IFTAS!

Seems one of the award winners (The pipe) made fun of the esteemed Academy by criticising their €300 admission fee while on stage. Seem to recall seeing that happen and it was funny! Now the academy want an apology? What the fu*k? What kind of wan*ers demand an apology? Seems they take themselves too seriously the IFTAs do. Here's an awards ceremeony that's not even a decade old, failed to recognise one of the most successful features of recent years (Once), and also failed to recognise the recent Oscar-nominated short The crush. The IFTAs are a joke. Everyone knows this except themselves. F**k the IFTAs!

WHY NO REVIEW FOR AS IF I AM NOT THERE?

Strange that the world's best Irish cinema blog has no review for the award-winning feature As if I am not there? What's going on? Well the explanation is simple. Shoot the cabbage only reviews Irish-THEMED films. That means films either set in Ireland or about Irish people abroad. As if I am not there is about as Irish as Tony Cascarino. But it was funded by our Film Board? So what! So was Cracks. But it has an Irish director? So what! So did Teenage mutant ninja turtles. But it won an IFTA for Best Film? So what! They could hardly give it to Perrier's bounty could they? So now you know!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Shergar

Another Irish-themed movie filmed on the Isle of Man. This one is about the famous racehorse who was stolen back in the '80s. There's an impressive cast(Mickey Rourke, Ian Holm, David Warner) and a huge Irish support. But the movie is ruined by too much going on and of course the film is entire fiction as no-one really knows what happened to Shergar. I've never seen so many Irish supporting actors in one movie! Some of the scenes are contrived e.g. the Tourist-Board travellers and the chase by the landrovers. Little-known movie that's interesting but very routine.

Monday, 7 March 2011

War of the buttons

Enjoyable but disappointing kids' movie about two warring villages in County Cork. As expected the cinematography, locations, and soundtrack music are impressive. But there's no plot and the fighting turns tedious. It's also confusing as to what era the film is set. It looks like the '50s until a helicopter arrives! Based on a French title this is what most Irish cinema was like back in the '90s. No wonder we never became a strong film force?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

IRISH MOVIE PREVIEW: WAKE WOOD

For some reason this horror movie is getting a DVD release the same week as its theatrical release? Not sure if it's an Irish film but was made here?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

IRISH MOVIE PREVIEW: KILLING BONO

What's with all these Irish movies getting a release in the next few weeks? Ah sure it's Patrick day and everyone will want to see an Irish movie? This will misfire badly? Killing Bono is about the early days of U2. No, not about the Virgin prunes - that would be too interesting. Trailer looks rubbish. They even use the 'no-one's here because they've gone to see the Pope gag' which was already done in the movie Last bus home. Can't wait to see this rubbish!

Friday, 4 March 2011

WAR OF THE BUTTONS DVD!

Good to see one of the 'lost' Irish movies from the '90s getting a belated DVD release. Yes I know it's on Youtube already! Must buy it soon.

IRISH MOVIE PREVIEW: AS IF I'M NOT THERE

Big winner at the recent IFTAs (no recommendation) this movie is out now. Must check it out but I reckon it's not even an Irish movie?

Thursday, 3 March 2011

CHEERS MOROCCO!

Don't understand this but someone from Morocco read this blog in the last few days? The only Moroccan(?) movies that come to mind are the old Road one with Bing Crosby and another film with Marlene Dietrich. Anyway, cheers Morocco!

IRISH MOVIE PREVIEW: BETWEEN THE CANALS

March seems to be the month for releasing new Irish movies. Nothing to do with Saint Patrick's day? This one looks likes a Boston Film Festival Award winner - all gangsters, crime, and violence - except the blacks have African accents. Looking forward to this one.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

WHO NEEDS IRISH CINEMA WHEN THERE'S CRICKET!

Well done to the Irish cricket team for beating England. Now how about an Irish cricket movie?

IRISH MOVIE PREVIEW: REWIND

This is the one Amy Huberman won the IFTA for and is out this month. Don't know much about it but the trailer looks sh*te. She's being stalked by an ex in some crap town. There's a burning caravan in it too. Can't wait!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

HARD LUCK TO THE CRUSH!

This blog is no fan of short films but haven't noticed anyone else saying 'hard luck' to the makers of The crush which failed to win the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Still, well done for getting the nomination. We need more successes among the non State-funded filmmmaking scene in Ireland.

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