Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke’s picks of the cur­rent film re­leases

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE -


Direct­ed­byJamesWan.Star­ring Ja­sonMo­moa,AmberHeard,Willem Dafoe,Pa­trick­Wil­son,Ni­cole Kid­man,DolphLund­gren

The lat­est DC adap­ta­tion starts promis­ingly with the fu­ture Aqua­man’s dad dis­cov­er­ing a wa­tery At­lantean (Kid­man) next to his re­mote light­house. The marry and raise the hero. All those bits are re­ally charm­ing. Then the sub-Thor mytho­log­i­cal stuff be­gins and the su­per­struc­ture jud­ders. There’s only so much fab­u­lous mar­itime vul­gar­ity a chap can han­dle and Wan ex­ceeds the av­er­age hu­man limit some­time be­fore the first hour. is still more di­gestible than any DC flick since

12A cert, gen re­lease, 143 min DC

Aqua­man Woman. Won­der


Direct­ed­byBryanSinger.Star­ring Rami Malek, Lucy Boyn­ton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello,

Squab­bling is a defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic of which blazes through Fred­die Mer­cury’s life in a se­ries of agree­ably cheesy vi­gnettes: Fred­die’s Parsi ori­gins and dis­ap­prov­ing dad, his life­long love for Mary Austin (Boyn­ton), the tours, the par­ties, the lone­li­ness be­tween, the hangers-on, and var­i­ous erup­tions of cre­ative dif­fer­ences with the band. The fi­nal scene, a flaw­less repli­ca­tion of Queen’s en­tire 20-minute set from Live Aid, is ab­surdly im­pres­sive, with Malek in­ter­pret­ing Mer­cury as a ge­o­mag­netic storm. A kind of magic. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 134 min TB

Bo­hemian Rhap­sody,


Direct­ed­byTrav­isKnight.Star­ring HaileeSte­in­feld,JohnCena,Jorge Len­de­borg Jr, John Or­tiz, An­gela Bas­sett

Good grief. Af­ter a decade of ear-split­ting rub­bish, Michael Bay’s

se­quence has (with­out Bay at the helm) de­liv­ered a glo­ri­ous en­ter­tain­ment. Travis Knight’s shame­lessly Spiel­ber­gian film casts Ste­in­feld as a re­bel­lious teen in 1987 who en­coun­ters au­to­bot Bum­ble­bee in the form of a VW Beetle. She be­lat­edly al­lows hu­man­ity into the se­ries and – af­ter the hor­rid ob­jec­ti­fi­ca­tion of fe­male bod­ies in ear­lier episodes – hol­lows out some wel­come fem­i­nist space. Fun for all. It’s like Knight and Bay! 12A cert, gen re­lease, 109 min DC



Direct­ed­byDó­nalÓCéil­leachair. Fea­tur­ingDan­nySheehy,Liam Holden,Bren­danBe­g­ley,Bre­andán Mo­ri­arty,GlenHansard

It takes some class of de­ter­mi­na­tion to row all the way from Ire­land to San­ti­ago de Com­postela in North­ern Spain. It takes more to do so in a tra­di­tional naomhóg. Yet four men – poet Sheehy, artist Holden, mu­si­cian

Be­g­ley and stone­ma­son Mo­ri­arty – set out to do just that in three gru­elling yearly stages, be­gin­ning in 2014. Glen Hansard joined them later. Ó Céil­leachair’s film records the jour­ney with care and grace. You’ll feel up­lifted and a lit­tle ex­hausted by the close. PG cert, QFT, Belfast (Fri only), 97 min


Di­rected by Steven Caple Jr. Star­ring Michael B Jor­dan, Sylvester Stal­lone, Tessa Thomp­son, Dolph Lund­gren,Flo­ri­anMun­teanu, Phyli­ci­aRashad,Brigit­teNielsen

The fol­low-up to Ryan Coogler’s ex­cel­lent

also stands as a be­lated se­quel to Ivan Drago (Lund­gren) is back and his son is chal­leng­ing for the ti­tle. Will Donnie Creed (Jor­dan) fight the man who killed his dad? Will Rocky (Stal­lone, OB­VI­OUSLY) be in his cor­ner? That would be telling. We can re­veal that is al­most as sleek as its pre­de­ces­sor and cer­tainly as well acted. If you don’t leave punch­ing the air, con­sider throw­ing in the towel. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 130 min DC

Creed Rocky IV. Creed II



Direct­ed­byDavidYates.Star­ring Ed­dieRed­mayne,JudeLaw, Katherine Water­ston, Dan Fogler, ZoeKravitz,John­nyDepp Fan­tas­tic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a bit of a marvel. Yates’ pic­ture fleshed out the Harry Pot­ter uni­verse with­out disappearing up its own Quid­ditch. What has gone wrong? Red­mayne is back as the mag­i­cal zo­ol­o­gist Newt Sca­man­der in a con­fus­ing, over­pop­u­lated film that plays like the work of a par­tic­u­larly anal Pot­ter Red­dit. The march of non-per­son­al­i­ties serves to bury many of the char­ac­ters we liked so much from the first film. Oh, well. The cos­tumes, at least, are lovely. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 134 min


Direct­ed­byYor­gosLan­thi­mos. Star­ring Olivia Col­man, Rachel Weisz,Em­maS­tone,Ni­cholas Hoult,JoeAl­wyn,JamesSmith, MarkGatiss

It is 1708 and, as the War of the Span­ish Suc­ces­sion takes a breather, cyn­i­cal Sarah Churchill (Weisz), Duchess of Marl­bor­ough, and sly Abi­gail Hill (Stone),lat­erBaronessMasham, squab­ble for the at­ten­tions of dotty Queen Anne (Col­man). Lan­thi­mos trans­forms what could have been a straight-up pe­riod drama into a sav­age, weird, twisty com­edy of ap­palling man­ners. The di­a­logue sparkles. The pho­tog­ra­phy is weirdly bril­liant.Thep­er­for­mance­sare flaw­less. A near mas­ter­piece. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 119 min DC


Direct­ed­byEl­iz­a­bethChai Vasarhe­lyi,Jim­myChin

Some way into the year’s most white knuckle film, rock climber Alex Hon­nold re­calls that more than one ex-girl­friend has told him that he has a per­son­al­ity dis­or­der. By then we’re deep into his two-year prepa­ra­tions to climb the sheer wall of El Cap­i­tan, a kilo­me­tre-high sheer gran­ite im­pos­si­bil­ity in Yosemite Na­tional Park. If he man­ages it, he’ll be the first climber to scale the mono­lith free solo. That’s as in with­out ropes and safety equip­ment, as in one fin­ger and toe at a time up a land­mark that looks like it be­longs in a Road­run­ner car­toon. Per­son­al­ity dis­or­der? The man is bonkers. Ter­ri­fy­ing but mag­i­cal. PG cert, Light House, Dublin, 99 min TB


Di­rected by Scott Mosier and Yar­row Cheney.Voic­e­sofBene­dic­tCum­ber­batch,RashidaJones,An­gela Lans­bury,Phar­rel­lWil­liams

The lat­est adap­ta­tion of the 1957 Dr Seuss book

How the Grinch Stole Christ­mas! is jeop­ar­dised by a dis­tinct lack of bah hum­bug­ging. The Grinch, as voiced by Cum­ber­batch, dotes on his loyal dog, Max.and­spoil­sFred,the­fa­trein­deer he en­lists into his Christ­mas-steal­ing scheme. We’re told the Grinch’s heart is two sizes too small, but there’s noth­ing in his in­ter­ac­tions with the Whos of Whoville to sup­port this ab­nor­mal car­dio­vas­cu­lar the­ory. As all-ages Christ­mas porn goes, it’s a huge im­prove­ment on The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and the unlovely

Grinch. G cert, gen re­lease,

Jim Car­rey 86 min TB


Di­rected by Lars von Trier. Star­ring Mat­tDil­lon,BrunoGanz,Uma Thur­man,Siob­hanFal­lonHo­gan, SofieGråbøl,Ri­leyKeough Von Trier’s lat­est provo­ca­tion con­cerns a ma­niac (Dil­lon) mur­der­ing largely stupid women in north­west­ern bits of the aw­ful, deca­dent USA (Lars guesses, never hav­ing been there). Of course the film does. What else would it be do­ing? Af­ter two hours of navel-gaz­ing and navel-goug­ing, Jack de­scends amus­ingly and thought­fully into a ver­sion of Dante’s hell. Those scenes are the best thing the di­rec­tor’s done in years, though they don’t jus­tify plough­ing through all the pre­ced­ing wretched­ness. 18 cert, Triskel, Cork, 153 min


Direct­ed­byCather­ineCorsini. Star­ringVir­ginieE­fira,Niels Sch­nei­der, Jehnny Beth, Estelle Les­cure Beau­ti­fully made, ul­ti­mately trou­bling drama, span­ning many decades, con­cern­ing an awk­ward on-off ro­mance. View­ers fa­mil­iar with the semi-au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal nov­els of Chris­tine An­got will have some idea where the story is go­ing and will grasp am­bi­gu­i­ties in the ti­tle, but, nar­rated by the cou­ple’s daugh­ter in ver­sions of the au­thor’s prose, this dif­fi­cult saga will still ex­ert a grip. Efira is ter­rific as the woman who can’t tear her­self away from a pompous jerk. 16 cert, lim re­lease, 135 min


Di­rected by Dan Fo­gel­man. Star­ring Os­car Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, An­net­teBen­ing,An­to­nioBan­deras, Sa­muelLJack­son

Fo­gel­man is revered in many quar­ters as the cre­ator of the com­pellingly weepie US fam­ily drama. Un­hap­pily, the pro­lific writer’s sec­ond fea­ture feels like three sea­sons worth of pos­si­ble plot points for that long-form drama dis­tilled into a goopy, mawk­ish two hours.This idea is ex­panded upon by Abbey (Wilde) in her col­lege the­sis: “We think of the un­re­li­able nar­ra­tor as a gim­mick,” she gushes. “But ev­ery story ever told has an un­re­li­able nar­ra­tor. The only truly re­li­able nar­ra­tor is life it­self but life it­self is the ul­ti­mate un­re­li­able nar­ra­tor.” What now? This is not even the worst idea in the film. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 117 min TB

This Is Us,


Di­rected by Fear­gal Ward

Thomas Reid was the stub­born Kil­dare man who, in the mid­dle part of this decade, re­fused to sell a hunk of land, ear­marked for “strate­gic in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment”, to a dum­founded In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity. Ward’s hugely im­pres­sive, of­ten beau­ti­ful doc­u­men­tary (bor­der­ing on docu-drama) uses recre­ations, in­ter­views and a wan­der­ing cam­era to cre­ate a por­trait of a gen­uine orig­i­nal: ec­cen­tric, de­ter­mined, in­fu­ri­at­ing. Two worlds ex­ist in par­al­lel: the modern and the an­cient. Nei­ther has, at time of re­lease,


Wise in­vest­ment: Dick Van Dyke in Mary Pop­pins Re­turns.

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