Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Legend of Longwood

Very few Irish movies aimed at kids and they're all rubbish. This latest addition is no different. A schoolgirl moves from America to Ireland and tries to save a herd of horses (white of course). They are due to get killed in order to renovate a castle and its land once a woman marries the owner. Too advanced for kids, confusing for adults, and laughably unoriginal. Lots of decent scenes followed by bad ones. It's like bits taken from different movies to make a decent trailer. I can't see too many kids following the story here with everything rushed and events happening at once with some nifty animation to explain backstory. Even better, some characters die shortly after they appear, off screen of course (one comes back in the closing credits). There's a really strange scene with two kids about to kiss each other slowly with some Barry White-type song playing on their record player. Like a movie version of an afternoon TV drama financed by some Euro-pudding scheme this is terrible. I know what happened, it's too tame - the baddies are not evil enough, the caretaker not kind enough, the school bully not nasty enough, Glascott not sexy enough, this whole thing is just lame. There are far better films similar to this. It's like Black ice vs Fast and furious.

Title: Legend of Longwood
Genre: Kids
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Hit producer

Another Irish title that creeps into cinemas without much notice. This one is a crime movie featuring Michelle Doherty in the lead role. Similar to the obscure Gobshite: lots of ugly men, dialogue driven, fast paced, crude violence, nauseating camerawork, and instantly forgettable. She plays a part-time hit woman with the day job as a movie producer. It's the portrayal of the jerks involved in the film business that stands out. The rest of the movie is like watching a collection of lads who dropped out of school and did nothing with their lives before deciding to become 'actors'. Anytime a shooting arrives it's rushed, you won't care who gets killed, there's the obligatory establishing shot every ten minutes (with sped up footage of cars), a confusing storyline that you won't care about, and an overlong running time. As soon as the opening credits started with the music volume turned down in the mix I knew what to expect! If the Sunday World newspaper was to give away an Irish movie free on DVD this is the one they'd distribute.

Title: Hit producer
Genre: Gangster
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Shooting for Socrates

Not sure why anyone would make a movie about Northern Ireland's disastrous World Cup performance in 1986 but here it is! Better than the other Irish titles (Best, Studs) but appears contrived and flat. Probably sounded good on paper but poorly executed and unsure of its point? What's the connection with footballer Socrates anyway? Similar in production values to Killing Bono: stays in first gear; worse than it sounds; set in the past but with present day values/nostalgia; local 'characters'; mildly funny; lots of songs on the soundtrack; celebrates failure; and a feel good vibe. Some good parts were the Protestant players visiting a Catholic church in Mexico to light candles, the kid crying at the end, the SLF covers on the soundtrack, and the manager accepting bribes from the press for interviews with his players. Best part was it explains where that 'We're not Brazil we're Northern Ireland' chant came from. One annoyance was the referent to 'Southern Ireland' in the continuity credits - there's no such place, it's just 'Ireland' (check the Constitution). Also, why does EVERYONE in these Northern Ireland movies live in terraced homes? Have they no bungalows/semis/apartments up there?

Title: Shooting for Socrates
Genre: Football
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Monday, 19 October 2015


Another of those student Filmbase features, requiring three directors! A group of mismatched lads take/sell drugs and visit various Dublin nightspots. It's Get up and go meets Standby with a touch of Headrush but more enjoyable to watch. But, several old Irish movies already used Dublin rave scenes (Snakes and Ladders) so nothing new here. The main actors are good and so is the script. One guy (Gerry Ryan's son) is gay but gets his girlfriend pregnant, the other is an office nerd, while the last is a wannabe-gangster/scumbag who's lost his friends. It's this last guy who can really act. What this movie lacked was violence, the cathartic scene at the end needed a good fight not dialogue. Just too samey and unoriginal which was probably the point. After all, if you're going to pay over SIX GRAND to do this Masters course the last thing you want is to take risks.

Title: Monged
Genre: Drugs
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Wednesday, 14 October 2015


For anyone fed up with IRA movies here's a UVF one! Set in New Zealand (with flashbacks to the North) it's about an informer who lives under a new name. The terrorists arrive Down Under to kill him. The local police get involved and try to figure out what's going on. Made back in the 1980s this is similar in style to Cry of the innocent. Has a routine thriller feel with some great scenery, tragic killings, police wearing sharp suits, strange haircuts, rugby, family strife, and a rural finale. Why does the main guy keep his Nordie accent when he's hiding out in another country? Completely forgotten, never mentioned in books on Irish cinema, but available on DVD in charity and game shops.

Title: The grasscutter
Genre: Loyalist
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...