Wednesday, 16 August 2017

If you're only going to watch one political thriller movie this week it should be.....Snowden

From award winning director Oliver Stone, who previously tackled such controversial historical issues such as the Vietnam War (Born on the Fourth of July) and the assassination of John F. Kennedy (J.F.K) among others to the big screen, comes singly the most important and fascinating true story of the 21st century. In Snowden, a politically charged and tension filled thriller starring the always dependable Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley the audience gets an insight into the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the divisive figure polarising figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA, thus becoming one of the most wanted men in the world. Considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others this highly insightful epic tells of his reasons for his actions, the loved ones he left behind, and how he pulled it off results in a compelling political thriller and one that is well worth investing in.
Stone's political views are well documented at this stage and perhaps one slight criticism that could be levelled at this decorated film maker is that unlike other political topics that he has covered previously he does somewhat play it safe here with the personal drama shouldered by Snowden given  a slight edge over the politics in play. Some may feel this is a welcome change however, as the political implications and actions revolving around this period have been well discussed and debated at this stage. It is the personal setbacks and hardships encountered by Edward Snowden that give this saga a new angle, one that may not have been explored fully previously.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt does an admirable job as Snowden and further strengthens his standing as one of Hollywood's most dependable actors whereas there are also solid turns from Shailene Woodley as Snowden's girlfriend Lindsay Mills and Rhys Ifans as Corbin O'Brian.
Stone also does a superb job in building the tension and drama surrounding this period and this film plays as well as a high octane intense thriller as it does an emotional and personal drama piece and the combination of both result in a film that as well as reacquainting us with this important time in world politics is a solid two hours of quality movie entertainment.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Tralee Omniplex Tuesday Treat - What new release movie deserves your €6 this week?

There are four new releases for your consideration for this weeks Tuesday Treat at Tralee Omniplex and something to please all cinematic tastes. In the line up is a scary horror film, an action thriller, a hilarious comedy and a fun filled kids movie and all for the giveaway price of just €6!

Annabelle: Creation:
This scary sequel to the 2014 horror film Annabelle is receiving above average reviews and for those cinema goers that like a good fright and found such frightening and unsettling films like the Conjuring appealing then this may be just the movie for you.
Those with freaky looking doll phobias may want to give this one a miss!

Atomic Blonde:
The latest in a long line of high octane action thrillers this Cold War espionage tale stars Charlize Theron and comes from the producer and director of John Wick. Fans of high energy stunt scenes and expertly choreographed fight sequences won't be disappointed. Read my review as appeared in this weeks column here.

Girls Trip:
This road comedy about a group of old friends reconnecting is high on both crudeness and laughs and has earned rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. A solid cast and a hilarious script combined with heartwarming drama combine to make this one to watch this week.

Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
This animated sequel is getting panned by critics as the weak graphics, loud characters and jaded storyline seem to drag down this tale despite the solid vocal  talent available. Some better choices for the younger members of the family at Tralee Omniplex this week as Despicable Me 3, Captain Underpants and Cars 3 are all still on show.

Monday, 14 August 2017

This weeks Top Movies on the Telly

All is Lost - (Film Four  Monday 14th August 21:00)
This one man show directed and written by J.C. Chandor and featuring a towering Golden Globe nominated performance from Robert Redford is a true testament of the power and talent of an incredible actor and his ability to hold the viewers undivided attention as he fights to stay alive whilst lost at sea. Excellent!

Lone Survivor - RTE 1  Wednesday 16th August 21:45)
This fact based drama is another in along line of collaboration between director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg. Based on the New York Times best selling novel and containing a superb cast including Ben Foster and Eric Bana this military account of courage and survival is definitely worth checking out.

True Romance - (TCM Thursday 17th August 21:00)
With a smart screenplay scripted by Quentin Tarantino, directed by Tony Scott and featuring some top notch performances from a stellar cast this adrenalin fueled thriller sits comfortably beside any of Tarantino's other masterpieces and is certainly worthy of another look. Classic

Friday, 11 August 2017

What movies to watch this weekend?

In the Cinema:

Atomic Blonde:
Featured as part of Tralee Omniplex Secret Screening on Monday evening and now on general release, this cold war espionage thriller by director David Leitch stars Charlize Theron and is full of non-stop action and high speed thrills that is sure to please the action film fan. Read my review on tomorrow!

At Home: 

Get Out:
This highly original horror thriller is one of my movies of the year and was frightening on the big screen. Definitely worth another look at home as the premise and concept involved in this creepy and unsettling film will have it's home audience ducking behind the couch at every turn!

On Telly

The Way(BBC2 Sunday 13th August 00:15am)
A sweet and thoughtful drama from Emilio Estevez starring his father Martin Sheem who excels in his role of a father who walks the Camino de Santiago in honour of his son who has recently passed away. Engaging drama that may be one for the Sky+ box as it doesn't begin until 12:15 am!!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Review: Glen Campbell:I'll be me - brave and powerful documentary of an iconic figure battling a cruel disease

On the sad passing of the legendary Glen Campbell, I thought it apt to review this 2014 James Keach directed documentary which deals with the country star's initial diagnosis with Alzheimer's and focuses on his attempt at one last tour surrounded by the love and support of his family and also his many many fans.
To put such a public face on this crippling disease and deal with it in such a personal and both heartbreaking and heartwarming fashion was an extremely brave decision on the part of Glen Campbell and his family and director Keach does not let anyone down with the results.
Part musical documentary, part medical documentary but first and foremost the true story of the strong and unrelenting love and support within this family unit, this film grips the viewers attention and emotions from scene one and just doesn't let go.
The heartbreaking effects of this disease on these great man and his family is counteracted by his bravery in giving the audience that last tour and one final chance to experience his brilliance before he gets too ill.
The Campbell family's decision both to participate in this film and have Glen as the public face of this disease has had a monumental effect on the awareness of Alzheimer's and has given the public a more detailed picture of what life is like battling this illness.
Over the near two hour running time, the audience will laugh, cry and generally battle a heartbreaking pain in the pit of their stomachs as they are given back stage access to this family's life and their experiences at this very difficult time.
Concluding in a touching song that Campbell wrote for his wife, this film proves yet again the power of a well made documentary and the lasting effects it can leave on it;s audience. Powerful!
Glen Campbell: I'll be Me is available to view on Netflix

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Two more excellent Open Air Cinema Events coming your way this week courtesy of Kerry Film Festival

Kerry Film Festival continues it's hugely successful Open Air Cinema programme this week with not one but two showings: the first tonight in Valentia Island with the showing of the magical "Song of the Sea" and continuing on Saturday with the showing at Lixnaw GAA ground with the almost sold out showing of the wonderful Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Tickets for both events are FREE of charge and can be obtained by clicking on the following links:
Song of the Sea: -
Willy Wonka: -

To give you a taste of the quality features on show, clips from both features can be viewed below:

For those lucky enough to have a "golden" ticket for the upcoming open air cinema events there are a few things to remember before coming along to the screening which will make your experience all the richer:
  •  All films start once dark usually 10pm approx (slightly earlier if it is dark or sometimes a little later if it's not dark enough), bring a picnic and make a night of it! Gates will be open before the screening but the screening can't operate before it gets dark. (That is how it is designed!)
  • Don’t forget to bring lots of blankets and warm clothes. As you know, it gets chilly at night so make sure to wrap up!
  •  Entry and Exit will be via the Park Gate opposite the Tourist Office on Denny Street ONLY. (This entrance/exit may change for operational needs and we will advise. Please listen to the stewards, they are there to help and for your safety)
  • No pets allowed
  • No footballs allowed
  • If you have a deck chair or camp chair, feel free to bring it with you.
  • Our ‘Summer Open Air Cinema’ screenings are suitable for kids (8+ yrs old) too but must be accompanied by an adult. Children must not be unsupervised. The onus is on parents to decide if a screening is suitable for their child.
  • Sorry, no alcohol allowed.
  • These screenings take place in Public Parks, so please be good to the environment, respect your town, and take everything home.
  • There is no parking on the grounds
  • Finally, don’t forget the insect repellent! We’ll be among trees and near water so bring something to deter the midges.
  • The festival reserves the right to refuse admission. Please pay attention to the stewards instructions.

*OPEN AIR CINEMA is dependent on fine weather, if inclement weather is forecast, screenings may/will be cancelled. Please keep an eye on social media, Facebook and Twitter.*
These Open Air screenings can only operate once it is dark and once the weather is fine. We thank you for understanding this.

I have previously written about what a special occasion these Open Air Cinema nights can be and to read that report please click here.
A vast amount of work is carried on behind the scenes to ensure that these events are held in a professional and enjoyable manner and the following video of the recent Open Air Cinema Showing of Back to the Future in Killarney this July courtesy of Starlight Media captures perfectly the hard work behind the scenes which ultimately leads to the enjoyment that is had by all at these Kerry Film Festival Open Air Cinema events.

For further information on these Open Air Cinema or indeed any other Kerry Film Festival events visit

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Tralee Omniplex Tuesday Treat - What new release movie deserves your €6 this week?

There is just the one new release for your consideration for this weeks Tuesday Treat at Tralee Omniplex and it is the latest from iconic French director Luc Besson. There are also a lot of quality features on show (which may be on their last showings at Tralee Omniplex so hurry!) such as Dunkirk, War for the Planet of the Apes, Cardboard Gangsters and Spiderman:Homecoming so plenty to view at Tralee Omniplex this Tuesday with every showing costing only €6!

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:
The new feature film from legendary director Luc Besson based on the ground-breaking comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers hits our cinema screens this weekend and initial reviews are mixed. The stunning visuals just about compensate for a less than inspiring narrative which just might be enough to entertain the cinema going masses.