Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Awful movie about a group of musicians recording an album in Ireland and then visiting a festival in the States. Dull to watch, the songs are terrible, and none of the characters are likeable. It's about a young man who joins the band, tries to make them more commercial, but causes them to split up. It never gets out of first gear, you won't care what happens, and it gets tedious to watch. Not even one scene sparks or makes the movie interesting. Everyone is a total loser and it's not remotely funny. The kind of movie Aki Kaurismäki was making 25 years ago but he did it much better. The dead body on the raft scene was previously done in the 1950's movie The Vikings. Nothing the band do is particularly original and it all seems lame.

Title: Frank
Genre: Music
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Saturday, 24 May 2014


Good article on Irish actor Don Wycherley in yesterday's Irish daily mail newspaper. He outlines how difficult it is for established actors to find film roles in this country. He needs to fall back on his teaching career and doing plays to get by. He may be a teacher but is not too smart! He complained that the TV series Vikings (which gets made in Ireland) is not hiring Irish actors. Instead they are hiring Scandinavian actors! Let's suss out his logic! They are making a TV show about Vikings but are not hiring Cork actors like Wycherley to play these roles. Instead they are hiring people from where these Vikings come from! I can't see any problem there?

Passed away

Another Irish-themed Hollywood movie that no-one knows about. Released years before the similar Death at a funeral this one has a family gathering when a father dies. An attractive woman who might have been the deceased's mistress, an illegal alien, marital troubles, a pregnant daughter, elderly secrets, a communist nun, and Bob Hoskins (who always appears miscast). The kind of movie that sounded great on paper but doesn't work. It's about an Irish-American family with the usual names, religion, music, songs, red hair, and wake. The script is really good but the direction is awful. What should be farce ends up as a mismatched cast saying their funny lines. One great scene has a guy announce he's going for a pee and then violently embraces a woman. Then a waitress says "what would he do if he went for a sh-t!". It's interesting seeing lots of attractive women here who look strange due to their dated hairstyles, makeup, and clothes!

Title: Passed away
Genre: Emigration
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Songs for Amy

Strange that this is currently on release without any fanfare? It's certainly not terrible though is bad in parts. A singer fails to turn up for his wedding, the bride-to-be (Amy) emigrates, she gets engaged to another singer, and then the wedding just happens to take place in the same hotel that the first singer inherits! Safe to say even our Film Board wouldn't fund this contrived rubbish! Yet, despite being too long this movie has something: it's certainly watchable, you can guess what happens, some of the comedy is good (the sexy traveller women!), everyone makes an effort, the scenery is impressive, and the characters are likeable. There's a good party scene with rock group Alabama 3! Like Vox humana it's a music movie set in Galway City with several locations used. A bit of everything here: romance, comedy (the sex tape was hilarious!), road, and music (bland rock) - that's why it got such bad reviews elsewhere. The kind of movie that would do well at some 5th-rate American festival!

Title: Songs for Amy
Genre: Romcom
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Run & jump

Set in Kerry this is about a young family that tries to cope when their father gets a stroke. An American academic visits and stays in the house. Similar to recent American movies: bearded men, video footage, acoustic indie songs, family rows, sunspots on the lens, hand-held cinematography, hippie outlook, low-key acting, and domineering women. This film is just terrible! Completely bland and dull to sit through. None of these characters are interesting and the movie is about as original as The stag! Every piece of dialogue needs to get filmed from a different angle to the last line! It's exactly the kind of movie you would expect from a new Irish director: a decade late! We've seen this family stuff before in Noah and the whale and countless other recent American dramas. All that was missing was a gay character (actually the son was!). I'm surprised they didn't all pack up into a van and head on a road trip with some tuneless acoustic dirge strumming on the soundtrack! The title comes at the end when the cast hop into the sea almost fully clothed. Best scene: the visit to the zoo.

Title: Run & jump
Genre: Drama
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...