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Cinema
Love and Mercy (12A) ****1/2
A co-founding member of The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson is nowadays regarded as a true musical genius, thanks mainly to the Pet Sounds album, but for most of the 1970s and '80s he was considered a rock 'n' roll casualty.
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Love and Mercy focuses on these two pivotal periods, and goes a long way towards explaining what happened to him and how he managed to come out the other end, although far from unscathed.
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Paul Dano and John Cusack are both superb as the young and middle-aged Wilson, in this ultimately uplifting biopic.
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John Byrne
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Song Of The Sea *****
Song of The Sea draws on one of the most resonant creatures in Celtic/Icelandic/Faroese myth, that of the selkie who was said to live as a seal but sheds its skin to become human on land. It is really best not to spoil the tale, but suffice to say it concerns a family unit, broken forever by the lure of the sea for such creatures, who are torn between their earthly and marine existences. It's a marvelous animation gem from director Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon fame. Paddy Kehoe
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Amy ****
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Magic Mike XXL ***
Directed by Steven Soderbergh's long-time assistant, Emmy Award winner Gregory Jacobs, the follow-up picks up three years after Mike (Channing) kicks his stripper life to the curb, which left the remaining Kings of Tampa, with their thongs in a twist. Following a failed engagement and a few bumps in the road with his furniture-design business, Tatum decides to go on with last epic hurrah with the original crew, to a stripping convention (yes,they exist) in Myrtle Beach. Cue the pelvic thrusting, baby oil overload, cheese-grater abs and equally cheesy tunes.
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Magic Mike XXL has just enough tricks up its sleeve to make you want Magic Mike 3: The Stripping Sons happen - and for that it worth your hard earned dolla.
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Terminator: Genisys (12A) ***
Ol' Red Eyes is back - Genisys is no must see, but it's no popcorn-wasting disaster either. Messing around with alternate timelines and possible futures, it lacks strong enough performances from Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor and Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese respectively, but Arnold Schwarzenegger saves the day.
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If this is the start of a new trilogy, there is loads of work to be done in terms of heart, hell-raising and humour. The Austrian Oak has shown there's lots of life in the old robot yet; now let's see if the humans can measure up. Harry Guerin
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Minions ***
The yellow numbskulls from Despicable Me get their own spin-off movie and while it’s no ground-breaking Pixar wonderment, Minions will enthral the kids and raise a few wry smiles for the grown-ups.
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Our hapless peons fall under the spell of the world's first female villainess Scarlett Overkill and she's played with lip-smacking gusto and a cut glass English accent by Sandra Bullock.
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From there, we are taken on a jape through the streets of old swinging London town and straight into franchise and toy spin-off heaven for the film studio. Will you be getting a cuddly Kevin, Stuart or Bob this Christmas? Alan Corr
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Slow West (15A) ****
Fans of Westerns' reward for 2015 is the trippy and touching Slow West, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance earlier this year and a great example of the small story, done well.
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Michael Fassbender plays the worn-out gun-for-hire who agrees to become the guide for a young Scottish naif (Kodi Smit-McPhee) searching for his love in Colorado.
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This story of an odd couple out in the middle of nowhere mixes humour, pathos and the bizarre to create a quest where you're unsure about what's going to happen. Recommended. Harry Guerin
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Mr Holmes (PG) ***1/2
Oscar winner Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) reunites with Ian McKellen to take on the world's greatest detective in a case that's very close to home.
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Based on Mitch Cullen's 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, Jeffrey Hatcher's screenplay sees Sherlock (McKellen) as a 93-year-old raking over his last case.
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Mr Holmes won't keep you guessing throughout but the performances are great and the movie reminds us that regret is one of life's most dangerous pollutants. Laura Delaney
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Entourage (15A) ***
Released four years after the TV show ended, Entourage takes up the plot just a few weeks later. Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), just split from his wife, is having a party on board a boat, and along come Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny (Kevin Dillon).
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If you're a fan of the show you shouldn't be disappointed, but the film rarely rises above the mediocre. As ever, there's much to admire in the performance of Jeremy Piven, who returns as the comically aggressive Ari Gold. John Byrne
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Let Us Prey (18) ****
Director Brian O'Malley and fellow Dubliner Liam Cunningham bring the best out in each other in this well-worked horror set in a Scottish police station (it was mostly shot in Galway) over one night.
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Pollyanna McIntosh is the rookie cop who has a baptism of fire, brimstone, blood and guts when a mysterious stranger (Cunningham) becomes a guest in the holding cells.
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Anyone who loves the genre greats should make time for this movie. Give the Devil his due. Harry Guerin
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