Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Murphy's stroke

Obscure film from the 1980s about a famous horse-betting scam. With famous faces (Brosnan and Toibin) it starts off in Cork and then shows different stages where a group of Irish men con bookies over in England. They switch a horse, hold another pair from racing, and then place lots of bets in different bookies on a race on a small course. It's a TV movie (out on DVD) and though badly dated is worth a look. There's little music on the soundtrack, an explanation of the word 'craic', jumps in the storyline, lots of smoking and leering at plain women, and everyone in brown suits. Routine enough though certainly deserves to be better known.

Title: Murphy's stroke
Genre: Sports
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Sing Street

Back to the 1980s even though it will be never as good as similar movies from that decade. A new kid in Synge Street school gets bullied and starts a band. His parents are separating and everyone older is emigrating. Except the stoner brother who looks like he's time travelled back from 1995. As expected the original songs are great while the new ones are not. The main problem is that there are dozens of similar music videos online from the 1980s that capture that era better. Check out Vision's Love dance to see similar ideas used in this movie. Best scenes were the Rio cover (I liked the way the kid played that keyboard riff instead of using a sequencer) and the imaginary school dance from the 1950s. No mention of Live Aid? This movie has its moments but overall it's a bit lame and bland. Why does his family have such a good record collection yet no money? That final scene was a Fellini rip-off.

Title: Sing Street
Genre: Musical
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Saturday, 12 March 2016


Another Film Board movie that's like a cheap Irish version of a famous Hollywood title. A man gets involved with an online competition where two people fight to the death and collect the cash winnings. The best thing here is the washed-out look while the worst part is the hand-held camera work. Like most of these films you won't care who gets killed or what happens. It tires you out and several sup-plots (the bank chasing the mortgage, the promotion at work) disappear. There's nothing Irish here either apart from accents and bus numbers. Like every Irish movie there's no set piece. Instead, lots of cuts and fast pacing but nothing worth remembering. A one-idea story that can't sustain interest for feature length.

Title: Traders
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...