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Movies, Movies, Movies!

Friday, 5 October 2007

It's Friday, which means Michael Doherty is talking Movies. He'll be giving us the inside track on the new releases hitting the country this week!


GARAGE (15A)   
 
Courtesy: Element Films
Starring: Pat Shortt, Anne-Marie Duff
Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Verdict: It's been quite a year for director Lenny Abrahamson.

First he delivered that excellent four-part television series Prosperity.

Now we have a film drama that has wowed Cannes and offered Pat Shortt the role of his life.

Shortt is superb as Josie, a well-meaning innocent who measures out his days working in a rundown garage on the outskirts of a rural town, while his nights are spent being the butt of the jokes in the local pub.

When the garage owner hires a youngster (Conor Ryan) to help out, Josie enjoys the companionship but soon events take a dark turn.

Penned by Mark O'Halloran, who earlier collaborated with the director on the excellent Adam & Paul, Garage is a blue-break drama that perfectly captures smalltown ennui, from the attitude of the barflies to the image of Josie making his meagre sandwiches.

It's a measure of Shortt's performance that the echo of Killinaskully is so quickly dispelled once the drama slowly unfolds.

Trivia: Garage was awarded the Prix Art et Essai by the International Confederation of Art House Cinemas at the Cannes Film Festival

AND WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE YOUR FATHER? (15A)                

Courtesy: Buena Vista
Starring: Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent, Elaine Cassidy
Director: Anand Tucker

Verdict: Poignant biopic based on Blake Morrison's award-winning memoir.

Colin Firth is terrific as the successful poet struggling to reconcile himself with his estranged father when the latter is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The performances (including one from our own Elaine Cassidy) are all top-notch, but Broadbent is particularly superb.

It's not easy getting an audience to care about a man who seemed to show little compassion towards his son and whose philandering ways almost split his family apart, but Broadbent manages it with ease.

There won't be a dry eye on the cinema when this one hits our screens.

Trivia: Irish actress Elaine Cassidy was discovered by a producer of Glenroe.

Michael has the story.

THE KINGDOM (15A)
 
Courtesy: Universal Pictures
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner
Director: Peter Berg

Verdict: The Kingdom in question is Saudi Arabia, to which director Berg dispatches crack FBI team Foxx, Garber and Chris Cooper to winkle out the terrorist bad guys and show everybody else the value of truth, justice and the American way.

The action sequences are fine but the jingoistic message can be overbearing and each of the characters (notably Jennifer Garner's) is drastically underwritten.

Trivia: Jennifer Garner collapsed on the set in Phoenix twice due to the extremely high temperature, over 115 degrees Fahrenheit. (Source imdb.com)

THE HEARTBREAK KID (16)

Courtesy
: Paramount Pictures
Starring: Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller
Director:  Bobby Farrelly

Verdict: Yet another comedy from the Farrelly/ Stiller stable, this one is a remake of Elaine May's 1970s comedy in which Charles Grodin married Cybill Shepherd only to realise on their honeymoon that they were completely mismatched.

This time around, there are gags aplenty as Ben Stiller takes on the Grodin role and newcomer Malin Akerman plays the bride from hell. As you would expect, this sort of stuff is meat and drink to Farrelly and Stiller and they deliver laughs aplenty.

 

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