Tuesday, 20 March 2018

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

There are no less than four new releases for your consideration for this weeks Tuesday Treat at Tralee Omniplex. A family favourite, a video game adaptation, a religious tale and the big screen treatment for an Irish TV comedy. Something for everyone on show this week at Tralee Omniplex with all shows today just €6!

Peter Rabbit
This week's family film to watch is undoubtedly this Beatrix Potter adaptation directed and written by Will Gluck and starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne and James Corden. Reviews have been mixed so far but with fantastic visuals and such a great cast this promises to be a lot of fun for all the family!

Tomb Raider
Games console favourite Lara Croft gets a reboot with Alicia Vikander in the hot seat and Roar Uthaug behind the lens. With a supporting cast that includes Walton Goggins, Nick Frost and Dominic West this mega budget blockbuster should have all the ingredients for a swashbuckling adventure and yet despite Vikanders best efforts does fall somewhat short thus continuing the curse of the video game adaptation movie!

Mary Magdelene
Garth Davis' follow up to the marvellous Lion sees Rooney Mara take the title role in this biblical tale that also stars Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus. Stellar performances from it's talented cast and a strong director at the helm have meant that critical reviews have been favourable so this one may be worth a watch!

Damo & Ivor: The Movie
Andy Quirke's double creation gets the big screen treatment in a film as the two brothers embark on the mother of all adventures to find the last piece of their family puzzle and track down their long lost brother John Joe. This one benefits from a strong supporting cast which includes Ruth McCabe, Tine Kellegher and Simon Delaney. I'll be reserving judgement on this one!!

Sunday, 18 March 2018

This weeks Top Movies on the Telly

The Snapper - (be3  Monday 19th March 23:30)
A classic Irish film, this Stephen Frears directed comedy based on the Roddy Doyle novel, is packed with quotable lines, great performances and a sharp script. An infectious comedy that needs to be revisited on a regular basis!

About a Boy- (Film Four  Wednesday 21st March 18:55)
Heartwarming comedy drama directed by Chris and Paul Weitz, based on the Nick Hornby book of the same name, this feature works due to a deeper than usual Hugh Grant performance and a funny and charming tale that never over sweetens! Recommended!

The Drop(Film Four Thursday 22nd March 00:40)
Written by Dennis Lehane and with a cast that boasts the likes of the late great James Gandofini (in his final film role), Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace this crime drama from Academy Award nominated director Michaƫl R. Roskam was always going to be something a bit special. Excellent!

Friday, 16 March 2018

Review: The Shape of Water - A Wonderfully crafted Oscar winning film that may not be for everyone!

With an underlying sense of injustice among some cinema goers at Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri missing out on the Best Picture Academy Award among audiences to The Shape of Water on reviewing Guillermo Del Toro's latest fantastical fable, it's important to judge this film on it's own merits rather than any ill feeling that may linger due to the preference of Martin McDonagh's darkly comic drama over the Mexican director's other wordly fairy tale.
Set against the back drop of the Cold War era America in 1962, this romantic fantasy drama feature tells the story of Elisa, a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government lab in Baltimore. As her life changes forever when she discovers the lab's classified secret -- a mysterious, scaled creature that lives in a water tank Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.
Anyone familiar with Guillermo Tel Doro's previous work (Pan's Labyrinth, Crimson Peak) will be aware of the director's vivid imagination, unique creativity and ability to conjure up visually stunning set pieces and The Shape of Water has all these qualities in spades, and lot more besides.
Sally Hawkins who plays Elisa, is simply incredible in this film and is largely the emotional heartbeat of this highly original feature. To deliver such a performance using no dialogue is an outstanding achievement and one that was well worthy of the Oscar nomination she received.
The supporting cast also excel here with Richard Jenkins, Octivia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg and Michael Shannon all adding their considerable talents to the production.
It is in Guillermo Del Toro's outlandish, imaginative hands that this film really soars however with the original concept and it's execution delivered perfectly by a wonderfully crafted piece of film filled with extraordinary stunning set pieces, heart stopping thrills and overflowing with heart and emotion.
It is worth noting however, that this film may not be for everyone. A bit like Blade Runner 2049 last year, this fantasy film will be appreciated a lot more by fans of Del Toro's work and may leave a lot of audience members wondering what all the fuss was about - but isn't that the beauty of great cinema?
Overall, The Shape of Water is a beautifully constructed fairy tale filled with some incredible illustrative images and amazing performances and whereas it may not appeal to the cinematic masses is still a wonderful film.

What movies to watch this bank holiday weekend?

In the Cinema:

Peter Rabbit
What better way to kick off  the long weekend than in the company of Peter Rabbit. This update of the classic Beatrix Potter character written and directed by Will Gluck has received lukewarm initial reviews but there should be enough in this tale to entertain young and old alike!


Annihilation (Netflix)
Another feature rescued by Netflix, this Alex Garland directed film boasts an impressive cast that includes Natalie Portman, Osar Isaac and Jennifer Jason Leigh and whilst looking impressive also leaves plenty of food for thought for viewers in this highly rated sci-fi/horror production. Recommended!

On Telly

I Went Down (RTE Two Saturday 17th March 21:15)
This Paddy Breathnach directed film is worth a revisit for the weekend that's in it as we celebrate a sometimes forgotten Irish gem. Brendan Gleeson and Peter McDonald make the most of some sharp writing in this very funny gangster tale told Irish style! Worth another look!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

5 great Irish films currently available on Netflix

With St Patrick's Day just around the corner and a steady supply of quality film currently being produced by this artistically rich country of ours , I thought now might be a good time to shine a light on the incredibly talented filmmakers and features that this great country continues to produce and where better to start than to sift through the annals of Netflix to pick out 5 such gems to enjoy before March 17th for those of us overcome with national pride!
Here are 5 of the best:

5. Sing Street
Simply a joy of a movie from start to finish, this Golden Globe nominated feel good musical from director John Carney is bursting with heart, charm, optimism and accompanied by a killer soundtrack. This is one that can be enjoyed time and time again!

4. Cardboard Gangsters
One of the best Irish movies of 2017, this Mark O'Connor directed film enjoyed high critical and awards acclaim on it's cinematic release, driven by a strong performance by co-writer John O'Connor in this tale which follows a group of wannabe gangsters as they attempt to gain control of the drug trade in Darndale. Read my full review here.

3. Handsome Devil
After the success of The Stag, director John Butler follows up with the highly enjoyable Handsome Devil, a movie dealing with the unlikely friendship between two totally different boys at boarding school. Andrew Scott almost steals the show as teacher Mr. Perry but overall a very enjoyable comic drama! Read mu full review here.

2. The Young Offenders
Hilarious comedy caper that that has now become a very successful TV show. Witty dialogue and strong performances by the two lead actors add up to deliver one of the funniest Irish movies in years.

1. Calvary
Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh and featuring a stunning central performance from Brendan Gleeson, this highly intense and compassionate, as well as at times extremely funny feature  rightly received high critical acclaim on it's initial release.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The 10 Most Underrated Actors in Hollywood - No.8 Michael Stuhlbarg

It may have been a while since I've entered another actor to my list of underrated actors in Hollywood (and with his Oscar win a few weeks ago you could argue that Sam Rockwell no longer belongs on this list!), but with his inclusion in no less than three Oscar nominated films this year without earning a single nomination, I felt it was time to add to this list with another incredible actor yet to get full recognition for his fantastic body of work.

9. Michael Stuhlbarg:
Born in Long Beach California on 5th July 1965 Michael Stuhlbarg attended UCLA, and then The Juilliard School in New York City, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.While at UCLA, he was awarded a scholarship to study mime with Marcel Marceau.
His early acting career throughout the 90's and early 2000's consisted mainly of theatrical work with Stuhlbarg a main stay on Broadway in such productions as Cabaret, Taking Sides, Saint Joan, The Government Inspector, and The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh, which earned him a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, and his first nomination for a Tony Award.
Stuhlbarg's first major film role was in 2008 as Laurence Gopnik in Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man, for which he received his first Golden Globe nomination. He again rose to prominence in his first major television role in the period drama series, Boardwalk Empire, in which he was cast as the organised crime figure Arnold Rothstein.
In the years to follow he would a Hollywood regular in a number of high-profile films: Arrival, Steve Jobs, Blue Jasmine, Hugo, Seven Psychopaths, Men In Black III, Trumbo, Lincoln, Miss Sloane, Doctor Strange, Miles Ahead, and Pawn Sacrifice to name a few.
This year he had the unique honour of appearing in three Best Picture Oscar nominated films: Luca Guadinino and James Ivory's Call Me By Your Name, Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, and Steven Spielberg's The Post yet somehow failed to earn an Oscar nomination (his role in Call Me By Your Name arguably his best of the three and well worthy of a nomination and proving without doubt that this is an actor on top of his game.
Michael Stuhlbarg has shown his obvious versatility in his strong back catalogue of work and the fact that he is present in so many high (and not so high) profile films indicates the high esteem in which he is held amongst his peers. Surely, award recognition is soon to follow. Take a look at 5 exceptional performances below to see the rich catalogue of work this incredible actor already has with the promise of lots more to come:

5 Exceptional Michael Stuhlbarg performances:
5. Mr. Perlman - Call Me By Your Name.
4. Andy Hertzfeld - Steve Jobs.
3. Dr Robert Hoffstetler  - The Shape of Water.
2. George Yeaman - Lincoln
1. Larry Gopnick - A Serious Man.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

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

There are two new releases for your consideration for this weeks Tuesday Treat at Tralee Omniplex. A Best Picture and Best Director winner at the recent Academy Awards and another screwball action comedy. Those two additions along with plenty of award nominated features means there is plenty of selection at Tralee Omniplex this week with the added bonus of all shows today costing just €6 as part of their Tuesday Treat!

After last week's Game Night, we have another entry into the caper comedy category with Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton and David Oyelowo combining in this Nash Edgerton directed feature that is bound to be another ninety minutes plus of pure unadulterated escapism!

The Shape of Water
Guillermo Del Toro's fantasy drama comes to Tralee Omniplex giving the locals an opportunity to see this highly imaginative piece of film for themselves. May not be to everybody's taste but this Best Picture Oscar winner for 2018 is undoubtedly a prime example of a film maker in complete control of his craft! Worth a look!