Tag Archives: Movies

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What a year!

Said very few people.

‘sheet movie critic Mark Ryall’s favourite and least favourite moments of drama on screens both big and small this year.

Best Movie: Birdman

Michael Keaton runs through Times Square in his pants, and his career gets a well-deserved boost. Yes, Birdman was released in 2015 (Waaay back on the 1st of January in fact). Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s one-take meta-textual dramedy was hilarious, creative and wholly original. Amongst all the sequels, prequels, reboots and retcons, Birdman was a reminder that mainstream film still has the potential to give us something fresh.

Honourable Mention: Mad Max Fury RoadThe mad, undiluted genius of Dr. George Miller.

Best TV Show: Fargo Season 2

Because The Leftovers was just too damn bleak. Yah sure Fargo’s first season was real good there, but season 2 went back to the 1970s and upped the ante. With a little Bruce Campbell and a lot of Minnesotan weirdness, Fargo was shocking, funny (often at the same time) and thoroughly brilliant. You betcha.

Honourable Mention: This is England ’90 – Shane Meadows’ happy ending. In your face, Linklater.

Best Documentary: The Queen of Ireland

Long live the Queen! Conor Horgan’s documentary is as much a snapshot of Irish society in 2015 as it is the story of a drag queen from Ballinrobe. Chin up, it could be worse.

Honourable Mention: Cartel LandSavage, brutal and utterly compelling. Cartel Land is no fun, but it’s essential viewing.

Best Male Performance: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything).

Daniel DayLewis in My Left Foot is the obvious comparison, but for my money, you’d have to go back to John Hurt’s Elephant Man to find a better physical performance. A tough gig bagged Redmayne the Oscar, and deservedly so.

Honourable Mention: Bertie Ahern (The Banking Inquiry) – I believe I can fly etc.

Best Female Performance: Cate Blanchett (Carol)

Blanchett’s effortlessly elegant turn in Todd Haynes’ homage to old school Hollywood hit every note on the emotional spectrum. From the giddy excitement of first love to the melancholy of heartbreak, Blanchett was profoundly affecting throughout.

Honourable Mention: Emily Blunt (Sicario) . Blunt’s bit-part years finally pay off.

Worst Movie: Love

“I hear you’re a pornographer now, Father.”  If Terry Richardson made a movie, it would be Love. The competition was fierce (I’m looking at you, Entourage), but Gaspar Noé’s meditation on “sexual sentimentality” blew the rest away. I would assume that at least half of the production budget went on class A drugs, which might account for a seven-page script. Exhausting and unrelentingly foul.  And can you imagine the stink on that set?

Dishonourable Mention: Ted 2Like the first one, just without the jokes.

Worst TV Show: True Detective Season 2

Sure, Orange is the New Black was a real chore this year, but True Detective 2 was the biggest anti-climax since the millennium bug. Despite Colin Farrell’s best efforts, nothing could save this mess of miscast actors, clunky dialogue and an underwhelming story.

Dishonourable Mention: Broadchurch 2Pointless, unnecessary, and oh so boring.

Good stuff coming in 2016: The Revenant, Room, Spotlight, Trumbo, The X-Files, Peaky Blinders, Westworld and of course… Twin Peaks.

*popcorn*

Fight!

Yesterday: ‘Damn near Perfect’

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Cineaste Stephen Murphy writes:

Just like to share my latest video essay with you: Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Greatest Film Actor of All Time? Taking a look at how limited we are in our thinking when it comes to great cinema acting….

Arnie one?

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Endeavouring, as far as possible, to avoid superpowers and animation, editor Clara Darko assembles an ultraviolent edit of action women from 61 movies.

Previously: The Duel

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A tribute to 80s teen movies (on the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club) by editor Robert Jones.

We couldn’t possibly forget about them.

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madeordinary

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5fv7zxgUyI

Coming soon.

Made Ordinary, a fantasy superhero drama set in an Ireland from ‘a parallel dimension’….

Starring Michelle Costello and Tristan Heanue and featuring Morgan C Jones as the world’s greatest super villain, Dr. Devastation who has been released after “30 years of imprisonment. With no powers, no money and no allies he must adapt to a world that has long forgotten who he is”.

Director Christian Kotey, of makers Rising Films sez:

”This is a real first. A science fiction story told from the viewpoint of the defeated villain. There’s huge interest in the site and the online comic. We are interested in co-producers and broadcasters who wish to come on board and help us bring Made Ordinary and it’s universe to as wide an audience as possible…”

Anyone?

Made Ordinary

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The Filmography Of Guns – a new illustration by Belfast born, Brooklyn based designer Cathryn Lavery – 115 intricately detailed representations of movie-related shooters, blasters and launchers from Harry Callahan’s ’44 Magnum’ to the esoteric cannons of Forbidden Planet and The Terminator.

The edition, currently funding on Kickstarter, is limited to 1,500 signed and numbered 60cm x 90cm prints (on ‘100lb archival recycled cover stock with fade-resistant organic archival quality inks’, if you don’t mind) and we have two of these lethal compendiums (with an accompanying  collector’s book) to give away.

If you do in fact, feel lucky, punk, just complete the following tiebreaker:

‘If I had my sweaty mitts on an EM-1 Rail Gun right now, why I’d…….’

Entries accepted until midnight Sunday. Winners announced Monday.

Previously by Cathryn: In Flight Movies & Cars In Film

Calm The Ham

fleadh

The world’s best film fleadh.

Day 1.

Laura Gaynor writes:

“I’m down in Galway for the week at the Galway Film Fleadh. This year our ‘Fleadh TV’ crew are putting up highlight videos of screenings, Q&A’s, and more. Our first video features John Carney (previously directed Once) talking about his new film ‘Begin Again (2013)’….”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irxTFObMYH8

A diligently researched and rather excellent (if largely Hollywood focussed) montage by Scott Ewing, who (prior to suddenly disappearing from Vimeo) sez:

The following montage chronicles the evolution of film from its conception in 1878 by Edward J. Muybridge to the Lumiere brothers in 1895. Georges Melies a trip to the moon in 1902 was a total game changer and from there we go to the first theatrical releases starting in 1920-2014 … this portion of the montage is chronological. There are some notable films which are absent from the montage such as the Great Train Robbery (1903), The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) and Birth of a Nation (1915). These and many others were either impossible to find or did not fit in with the creative direction of the montage. There is also a Dumb and Dumber (1994) dancing clip between Tropic Thunder and 500 Days of Summer … this was intentional I assure you.

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