Friday, July 25, 2014

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie

Director: Ben Kellett

Starring : Brendan O'Carroll, Rory Cowan, Robert Bathurst, Pat Shields, Paddy Houlihan, Eilish O’Carroll, Danny O’Carroll

Rarely does a TV sit com translate to the big screen and Mrs Brown’s Boys D movie is no exception. Agnes Brown (Brendan O'Carroll) is a Dublin housewife and Moore Street trader. She is facing financial ruin and under threatening pressure from a sinister property developer along with Russian heavies to sell her stall. Agnes rallies the troops and her sons Mark (Pat Shields), Rory (Rory Cowan) and Dermot (Paddy Houlihan), next-door neighbour Winnie (Eilish O’Carroll), along with boozy solicitor Buster Brady (Danny O’Carroll) come to the rescue. Look out for the hapless Blind ninjas but if you are offended by a stream of expletives cover your ears. In the final court room battle a posh barrister (Robert Bathurst) with Tourette's tries his best to save the day. Full of low-brow jokes and smutty innuendos. There are a few good belly laughs and the rest is pure pantomime. I loved the inclusion of mucked up scenes which raises this average comedy into the surreal. Don’t miss the beginning of the movie otherwise you will miss the best gag.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz's War)

Director: Luigi Aquisto and Bety Reis

Starring: Irim Tolentino, Jose Da Costa, Sandra Da Costa, Eugenio Soares, Doretea Soares, Augusta Soares, Osme Gonsalves, Commander Funu Lakan

An East Temor film which is a reworking of the 16th century French ‘Martin Guerre’ story (The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) but transposed from Medievil France to Portuguese Timor during the Indonesian occupation. Beatriz (Irim Tolentino) ’s young husband Thomas (Jose Da Costa ) disappears during a brutal massacre by occupying Indonesian forces, sixteen years later the revolutionary is troubled by his return. Could this mysterious stranger be her husband or is he an impostor? The film explores the intimate relationship between men and women in the backdrop of continued violence in the country. It is a haunting, passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves and the country for which she fought. The movie is slow to start but makes for compelling viewing. 'Beatriz's War' is the first East Timor's feature film in its post-colonization period.

Deepsea Challenge 3D

Director and Narrator: James Cameron

Filmmaker James Cameron has dreamed of a journey to the deepest part of the ocean since he was a boy. Deep Sea Challenge 3D chronicles his historic expedition to deep-sea Mariana Trenches in the Pacific Ocean. These are the deepest recesses on the planet as more deep than Everest is high. The movie does however concentrate more on the design and building of Deepsea Challenger, the state of the art submersible that can withstand the extraordinary pressure of being seven miles under the sea. Only laterally do we actually witness the solo dive combined with a few hiccups along the way. Interesting without being riveting.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Still Life

Director: Uberto Pasolini

Starring: Eddie Marsan, Joanne Froggatt, Karen Drury, Andrew Buchan

John May (Eddie Marsan) is a local council worker responsible for arranging the funerals of people who die and have no known next of kin. Dedicated to the task he spends his spare time combing through any available clues the deceased have left behind such as photographs, letters, music, clothes, and composes a funeral service to bid them farewell from this world. He organizes funerals for all denominations that invariably only he and the local priest are in attendance. When no relatives can be found he also scatters the ashes of the deceased, adding their file photo to the album he keeps in his sad council flat. Dedicated to the vocation May suddenly finds himself redundant after 22 years when his department is downsized. Determined to complete his last case in his own time, he begins to reflect on the narrowness of his life. Comedy and tragedy are closely intertwined in this sober, human drama where Marsan’s performance is superb. Exquisitely morbid.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Most Wanted Man

A spy movie based on a novel by John le Carré. Gunther Bachmann, (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a seedy spy in Hamburg and belongs to low-profile intelligence unit involved in preventing security threats by any means they see fit. The shrewd leader keeps his finger on the pulse whilst taking all the hard decisions as they monitor the local Muslim community post Sept 11. When a Chechen-Russian, Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) appears from nowhere seeking political asylum, it sets the spy community on high alert. The situation becomes cloudier when a local banker and civil rights advocate (Rachel McAdams) gets involved, along with a shady money man (Willem Dafoe) who is hired to help the refugee gain access to a sizable inheritance. CIA agent Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright) is keen to discover all. Meantime Issa, a seemingly devout Muslim, is establishing contacts with a prominent local Muslim community leader, Dr. Faisal Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi), whose moderate credentials are deeply doubted by Bachmann and Sullivan. The shadowy story is a jigsaw puzzle in which all the pieces are of an indistinguishable grey, making fitting them together a tricky matter. Not a patch on Tinker taylor soldier spy, but for fans of the genre not to be missed. Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his last roles is excellent.