Friday, 27 September 2013


Finally seen two features from this director and can safely now include him alongside other 'talents' from previous posts. The guy has been involved in the Irish film scene since the late 1980s but has only managed 4 features (of which two I have not and probably will never see!). They all seems to have several things in common: badly-designed posters, unoriginal stories, terrible lighting, crap acting, no DVD release, and worst of all nobody seems to be bothered! Compared to the criticism the director of Charlie Casanova has received it's strange that Gogan can continue making sh-te without anyone caring?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Belfast story

Watchable IRA movie about a pair of men killing retired provisionals with detective Meaney trying to solve who is behind it all. It's one killing after another while Meaney gets watched by his own men. I'll say this - not a bad movie despite the woeful reviews. Sure, it's more straight-to-DVD material (ala Patriots) than another Hunger but has its moments. Ruined by bad dialogue direction where everyone stands in a room talking to each other with zero background action. Good script and keeps you guessing but everything about this movie looks cheap, from the ill-fitting clothes to the set design. Silly stuff though like executing three former IRA members on a hill in full view from a road! Later an assassin walks through a police cordon without any bother! The movie though is well-paced and keeps you interested in the story so is worth a look.

Title: Belfast story
Genre: IRA thriller
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Monday, 23 September 2013

Black ice

Johnny Gogan continues his practice of remaking bad Irish movies with this, an updating of Accelerator. The usual fast cars, techno music, plain faces, bad acting, bad lighting, and nothing original. One good scene involved a pub do for one of the characters leaving for Australia, at least that bit was relevant. The rest is a dated movie filmed in a fog with nothing of interest apart from the Donegal setting. If I was a teenage boy-racer and wanted to watch a movie like this I would pay to see similar but superior Hollywood stuff like Fast and furious. Shame on our Film Board for wasting taxpayers' money funding this crap. Will no doubt be exclusively available on the Volta website next year!

Title: Black ice
Genre: Road race
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Thursday, 19 September 2013


About Irish director William Desmond Taylor from the 1920s. The recent Sight and Sound greatest movies list had THREE silent titles in the top 10 so they still matter. Unlike Sheridan and Jordan (who should both be working fulltime in television) Taylor was a genuine great film director.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Big article in last week's paper about the poor performance of recent Irish movies at the box office. One of our more successful jobbing hacks, Kieran J Walsh, offered an hilarious explanation. He said(!) that Irish audiences are to blame for not paying to see new home-grown features during the FIRST week on release. Then the movie gets pulled despite good reviews. So let's check this logic out! The director of derivative crap like When Brendan met Trudy, Watermelon, and Jump expects the public (in the middle of a recession) to check out his stuff within days of its release even though there are similar and better Hollywood titles available? If that tool had even 1% of originality then maybe his movies would actually be worth seeing and paying for. They would stand out better in the marketplace not appear like bad copies of other titles. Here's me thinking director Graham Cantwell was the biggest joke in Irish cinema!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Stolen summer

Another Irish-American movie and like the others it's bland and boring. The usual respect for family, neighbours, and religion. The usual full names and family dramas. Even worse, it casts some of the most annoying actors available: Aidan Quinn, Bonnie Hunt, and Kevin Pollack. It's about a young Catholic boy who tries to get his Jewish friend into heaven. Set in 1976 for some reason we are supposed to find this movie interesting where slight tensions arise between Quinn and his older son who wants to study medicine. There's an interesting point about the professions being for Jews while the less demanding jobs are for the Catholics. This is the kind of crap our Film Board would fund but most Irish audiences would find this movie uncomfortable to sit through. A good script but badly directed it looks like a TV movie but is out on DVD.

Title: Stolen summer
Genre: Light-family drama
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


Almost a decade before Seven psychopaths here's another movie about an Irish screenwriter abroad. This one stars comedian Ed Byrne (with his hair cut) and details his sex encounters in England and habits of repeating himself. It's supposed to be funny but isn't. There are lots of voiceovers, witty observations, and sexy women. Byrne portays his Irish character as a sociable outsider and resembles a young Michael O'Leary (of Ryanair)! He does a silly jig in one scene but the movie is dated and not good. The only interesting part was the dialogue but overall it's amateurish and silly.

Title: Zemanovaload
Genre: Sex comedy
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD


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