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Movies With Taragh Loughrey Grant

Friday, 7 November 2008

What films is Taragh reviewing?
. Pride and Glory
. W
. Easy Virtue
. Alarm

Pride and Glory
Directors: Gavin O'Connor
Starring: Colin Farrell, Edward Norton, Jon Voight
Running Time: 130' 03"
Rating: ***
Classification: 16
Courtesy: New Line Cinema

Extras: We have a interview with star of the movie Colin Farrell
Colin talks about how he didn't really get to work with the other talented actors in the movie (Ed Norton and Jon Voight) as he was only in two scenes with Ed and one with Jon so they couldn't really bounce of each other and speaks about how he got in the mind of a crooked cop by watching DVD's and Documentaries about crooked cops one in particular caught his eye. The former Police Officer (whose name he couldn't remember) said that he wasn't a scum bag that he had just done scummy things but their was a difference as the people who he arrested were scum who done scummy things but he wasn't scum he just done scummy things.

Plot: A saga centred on a multi-generational family of New York City Police officers. The family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney (Ed Norton), investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.

Verdict: Hard-hitting drama with Norton in top form as the good cop on the trail of those New York policemen involved in local corruption, which just might include his brother-in-law, our man Colin Farrell. It all gets a bit Stage Oirish at times but overall, it's a solid piece of work.

Other Verdict: Pride and Glory has a strong cast, with a great performance from Farrell in particular. Norton, however, is miscast; he always seems too smart and aloof to be a cop, especially compared to his dad and brother. At times he seems more like a sneering college lecturer than anything else. Voight is good, but it feels at times that he is phoning his performance in. The movie is fairly violent in places and moves at a steady pace and O'Connor does a good job of keeping it all together and keeping us interested. However, it falls apart in the last half hour or so, veering off with a contrived ending that tries to tie everything up in a nice neat package.
Review by Brian Vaughan for www.filmireland.net

W
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Thandie Newton
Running Time: 129' 13"
Rating: ***
Classification: PG
Courtesy: Loins Gate Entertainment

Plot: Josh Brolin stars as George W. Bush in this Oliver Stone biopic that traces the head of state's rise to power from a privileged alcoholic to a born-again Christian whose belief in religious destiny helped move him to the top ranks of political power. Elizabeth Banks co-stars as the first lady, James Cromwell as the elder President Bush, Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush and Richard Dreyfuss as Vice President Dick Cheney.

Verdict: Given what we know about Bush Junior's two terms in office, the phrase 'shooting fish in a barrel' springs to mind, but it's clear that director Oliver Stone has set out neither to bury nor to praise him, but simply to document his rise and fall. There's a career-best performance from Josh Brolin, who convincingly portrays Dubya as a hard-drinking, God-fearing, good-ol'-boy who never quite managed to escape from the shadow of his father.


Other verdict: W., he paints a portrait of one of the most unpopular presidents in American history as an overachieving redneck with serious 'Daddy' issues - yet holds back on completely slamming him. Stone utilises flashbacks of Bush's debaucherous youth to convey an image of an indecisive and ignorant man, easily manipulated; yet somewhat paradoxically, also as a magnetic leader that average Americans could relate to. Portraying the man is Josh Brolin, he thankfully avoids doing an out-and-out impression of Dubya, instead nailing his mannerisms subtly but effectively - bringing a boisterous charisma to the roll. It's a fantastic performance and it paints an engaging and inherently real look at a deeply-flawed former alcoholic, who got drunk with power instead of booze. Iraq hogs most of the screen time, as Dick Cheney and Carl Rove (both played with suitable sliminess by Toby Jones and Richard Dreyfus) act like devils on both of Bush's shoulders, with Colin Powell (a rock-solid Jeffery Wright) the only beacon of integrity at the centre
Review by Mike Sheridan for entertainment.ie


Easy Vitue
Directors: Stephan Elliott
Starring: Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Colin Firth; Kristin Scott Thomas
Running Time: 96' 35"
Rating: ***
Classification: 12A
Courtesy: Pathé

Plot: A young Englishman marries a glamorous American racing driver. When he brings her home to meet the parents, she arrives like a blast from the future - blowing their entrenched British stuffiness out the window.

Verdict: Noel Coward gets the Hollywood treatment and Jessica Biel finally gets a decent role as the over-the-top American gal who enters Ben Barnes' life and blows the cobwebs off his stuffy English family. Great soundtrack, too.

Other Verdict: 1920s England. Young John Whittaker (Barnes) returns to the family fold with a new bride in tow. His mother (Scott Thomas) is quietly horrified at her new daughter-in-law - Larita (Biel), an independent American much older than John - and makes life difficult for the interloper. While its tone occasionally wavers and there are some wobbly performances, this has moments of true lightness, and a welcome sense of whimsy often missing in the costume genre.
Review by Helen O'Hara for www.empireonline.com


Alarm
Directors: Gerard Stembridge
Starring: Ruth Bradley, Emmet Bergin, Owen Roe
Running Time: 103' 53"
Rating: *
Classification: 15A
Courtesy: Venus Productions

Plot: Grieving after her father's violent death Molly hopes of a fresh start, she buys a house in a new out-of-town commuter estate. But the promised suburban idyll turns increasingly sinister as Molly becomes the victim of what appears to be a violent and personal vendetta. Her life is transformed into a tightening vice of fear as she's gripped by suspicion of everyone around her - her oldest friends, the local handymen and her new lover.

Verdict: It's been a good year for Irish cinema but sadly, Gerry Stembridge's latest thriller doesn't continue the trend. The movie features Ruth Bradley as a young Dublin woman whose father was killed in front of her by a gang who broke into their home moving outside of the capital to find some peace, she instead discovers anything but as her life crumbles around her. The plot development is unsatisfactory, some of the performances are uneven and certain sequences look like they have been lit with a 40-watt bulb.


Other Verdict:
It's easy to see what writer-director Gerard Stembridge (About Adam) was trying to do - finding something odd or spooky in the ordinary, a David Lynch in Wisteria Lane psychological thriller if you will. Stembridge, however, takes so long getting down to the nitty gritty that boredom becomes an issue. In Stembridge's defence, he went for a slow burner and his reluctance to plough head on into the plot is to be commended, but his script doesn't have enough happening in the opening hour to keep interest levels high. Maybe the director felt that the performances - Bradley's descent into madness is believable, her relationship with Turner works and Owen Roe (doubling up as twins) is fun - but the lack of action kills any forward momentum.
Review by Gavin Burke for Entertainment.ie


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