Category: Film

Sliding down the slippery slope of recidivism

Michael 
Inside 
(15A)   Prisons are places where small criminals become big ones. Such a transmogrification is demonstrated in graphic fashion in this tale of a meek 18-year-old from a North Dublin housing estate who’s given a two month sentence after being found  with a stash of cocaine worth €2,000. Michael McCrea (Dafhyd Flynn) is a carrier…

A feminist parable more than a revealing portrayal

Mary Magdalene (12A)   Whatever we may say about the Biblical epics of yore, they exuded power. Even the run-of-the-mill  (or should I say De Mille) ones. The problem with Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene is that it tries so hard to be ‘authentic’ it sacrifices the iconic benchmarks of scripture to subdued sidebars. It’s a plodding film…

Enigmatic homelessness on the streets of Toronto

Unless
 (15A)   What would make a normal young girl from a privileged home in Toronto drop out of college to live on the streets without telling anyone why? That’s the central conundrum surrounding this captivating moodpiece from Alan Gilsenan which begins – appropriately – with a song from Canada’s prime avatar of angst and alienation,…

Panther roars in seismic genre shift for Marvel Studios

Black
 Panther
 (PG)
   Both directed and written by Ryan Googler, this is yet another highly entertaining offering from Marvel Studios. It concerns a king, T’challa (Chadwick Boseman) who returns to the technologically advanced fictional nation of Wakanda to be its leader. His path to power is threatened by a cadre of ne-er-do-wells but a consignment of…

When the silence ends on the western front

Journey’s
 End 
(12A)   They wait. They joke about soup. They snap off one another. Days pass. The spring offensive looms… We’re in France in March 1918, the last year of World War I. The ‘Boche’ still has some fight left in him and is about to descend on a group of British soldiers in a trench…

A feast of new year releases for the big screen

There’s a mouth-watering pairing of Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in Steven Spielberg’s The Post. The title refers to The Washington Post, the newspaper that brought down Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal. Set in 1971, this centres on a leaked government study of the Vietnam war which basically admitted it was unwinnable. Streep plays…

There’s no business like snow business

Molly’s
 Game
 (15)   When Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) has a freak accident in the snow at an Olympic skiing event, she tries to build an alternative career as a cocktail waitress, a real estate agent and, finally, running high stakes poker games for VIPs. Aaron Sorkin trades heavily on Martin Scorsese’s scattergun style of directing Goodfellas…

2017 on the Big Screen

The year had hardly begun when Martin Scorsese blitzed us with Silence, his epic tale of a pair of Jesuits enduring horrendous suffering in 17th-Century Japan. It got a critical mauling for its longueurs but if you stayed with it, as is the case with most Scorsese films, it was well worth it. Most of…