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Movie Madness

Friday, 18 January 2008

Film buff Michael Doherty joins us today to have a look at the latest movies to hit Irish screens and  he has a quick chat with super star Halle Berry.

Things We Lost In The Fire (15A)             

Courtesy: Paramount Pictures
Starring:  Benicio Del Toro, Halle Berry, David Duchovny
Director: Susanne Bier

Verdict: Directed by Susanne Blier, this is a powerful drama of love and loss with Halle Berry in top form as the mother piecing her life back together again following the death of her husband (David Duchovny).

Co-starring an equally impressive, Benicio Del Toro, the movie manages to be both moving and dramatic without sliding into that dangerous, Dr Phil, territory.

Courtesy of their strong performances in this film, both Berry and Del Toro could be in the running when it comes to next month's Oscars.

No Country For Old Men (15A)                              
Courtesy: Paramount Pictures
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Verdict: This was always going to be a curious fit. As a novelist, Cormac McCarthy has a unique voice that offers a distinctive, bleak vision of America in his award-winning novels. As film-makers, the Coens Brothers, too, have a unique quality to their work but their vision of America is wonderfully quirky and populated by ordinary characters who often find themselves caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Look closer, however & you will see there are areas where the artistic intentions of both McCarthy & the Coens overlap, notably in their sweeping depictions of American landscapes & the presence of characters in their works that represent the force of evil.

And if you think Tex Cobb in Raising Arizona & John Goodman in Barton Fink are playing nasty characters, wait until you get a load of Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men. Bardem (complete with cattle stun-gun and dodgy haircut) plays a merciless killer on the trail of the Texan hunter (Brolin) who has pocketed a suitcase full of drug money. As a streetwise hunter, Brolin assumes he can manage to keep one step ahead of Bardem, but he comes to realise that you can run but you can't hide from the shadow of doom. Also in the mix are Sheriff Tommy Lee Jones and bounty hunter Woody Harrelson. Beautifully shot, edited, paced and acted, No Country for Old Men is a stark, morality tale that features an unforgettable turn from Bardem and proves that, even without their marvellous quirky touches, the Coens can still deliver a movie to savour.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (16)

Courtesy: Sony Pictures  
Starring: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer  
Director: Jake Kasdan

Synopsis: The story is about a fictional music legend, Dewey Cox, whose life becomes as messy as that of the protagonists in Ray and Walk the Line. The film is a satire of the musical biopics.