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Director: Ron Howard Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, Thandie Newron, Jon Favreau, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo Running Time: 135 minutes


As we settle into the reality of Star Wars as a tentpole Disney franchise, with a new film every single year and a television series in the works, it’s understandable that Kathleen Kennedy and co. would want to solidify the appeal of the spinoff films by featuring one of the property’s most popular characters. Once Solo: A Stars Wars Story finishes cleaning up at the box-office, they can start to plot a whole line of films to put the spotlight on your favourite characters from across the Galaxy. Lando Calrissean? Why not, says Kathleen Kennedy, that Donald Glover is so hot right now. Boba Fett? Maybe, if it will finally shut you fans up about him. That one lad in A New Hope that looks like the devil? Okay, maybe not him. Han Solo though, ‘everyone’s favourite’ from the original trilogy, was supposed to be the safe bet, and the exec’s adamant desire to keep it that way was partly what led them to axe original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, apparently too madcap and wacky in their ambitions for the film. They were replaced with the experienced, steady hand of Ron Howard, who reshot almost everything and presented a friendly face behind a marketing campaign nervously encouraging the somewhat sceptical viewing public that yes, they do need to know Han Solo’s origins. What Howard, veteran screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and the rest deliver is indeed the safe bet, in a film that’s far too middle of the road to be essential viewing. What we have here is one square unit of Star Wars movie, mostly milquetoast with a few rough edges born from the inelegant ‘creative differences’ and perhaps a meeting too many in the boardroom. If you’re looking for any noteworthy insights into Han Solo as a character, you’re not likely to get them here. If you’re looking to know where he got his apparently iconic blaster though, this is the film for you (somebody hands it to him).

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Young filmmakers Matthew Roche and Elliot Milofsky are putting out interesting short films at a fast pace, through their production company Extra Extra. Their latest short, Philomela is the story of a woman who experiences a break-in to her home and is forced to keep the intruder. Though Mela attempts to persuade the guards, her parents and others of the injustice, her words go unheard and the psychological toll on her hits hard. Blunt and stark, it nevertheless makes its point very clearly. It isn’t difficult to figure out the political subtext of Roche and Milofsky’s film, this week in particular. Film In Dublin spoke with Matthew Roche about the thinking behind the short.

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With just 10 days to go until the Referendum on the regulation of termination of pregnancy, it is a vital time to provide information that is honest, both factually and emotionally, to the public. One of a number in the Irish film community making efforts in this regard is Karl Callan, whose short film, simply titled  Repeal aims to tell the stories of women for whom the repealing of the 8th amendment is vital.

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For decades, Nick Cave has kept up an impressive juggling act of many creative talents. The Aussie has won plaudits as a songwriter, a screenwriter, atop live performer, and a unique vocalist – but above all the Bad Seeds frontman is considered a storyteller, and his skills as a storyteller will be celebrated at the Light House Cinema this June.

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On June 27th 2003, the career of aspiring actor Greg Sestero was changed forever with the release of The Room. The bizarre, terrible but captivating film, the So Bad It’s Good cult classic to rule them all, made improbable stars out of Greg and his co-star, director, friend and former roommate, Tommy Wiseau, with the pair frequenting screenings in LA and around the world. Years later, Greg wrote the tell-all book The Disaster Artist with Tom Bissell, and found himself on the N.Y. Times Best Sellers list. His book was a funny, fascinating and poignant look at a crazy story and the friendship behind it, proving to be strong enough to be adapted into a film that raised Greg and Tommy’s profiles higher than ever. More recently Greg turned to writing a screenplay, resulting in Best F(r)iends, described as “a two-volume cinematic ‘saga’ that promises to interweave mystery, intrigue, and more than a few dark laughs”. Before screening he and Tommy’s latest film at the Light House Cinema this past weekend, Greg spoke with Film In Dublin about some of his Movie Memories, his experiences as a writer and of course, about Tommy Wiseau.

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This May, the Cinemagic Film and Television Festival for Young People returns to Dublin from its annual film festival. From May 10th-20th, a bursting schedule featuring 100 events including world cinema screenings, film and television masterclasses, school workshops, Q&As and young critics panels will set out to inspire and motivate young film fans.

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A series of classic road movies will be showing in Smithfield over the next week, as the Light House Cinema celebrates the arrival of the Road House Cinema to Smithfield Square.

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