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A Halloween cult classic is finding its way back to Irish cinemas this month. Beetlejuice, newly remastered, will be playing in cinemas throughout the country for its 30th anniversary from October 26th, including screenings in some of Dublin’s top cinemas.

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Director: Paul Feig Starring: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding Running Time: 117 minutes


A Simple Favour is being billed as coming “from the darker side of Paul Feig”, the man behind films like Bridesmaids, Spy and Ghostbusters; comedies with a reliance on improv and a focus on women. And while his latest film certainly is further along the Dulux spectrum than those titles, A Simple Favour is still a comfortable step just inside the comfort zone for Feig; a sexy thriller that gets how inherently silly it can be to be sexy, or thrilling. That might sound like a criticism, but it’s key to the film’s charm. It’s a combination of thriller and comedy, but rather than feeling like Feig resting on his laurels it has a refreshing feel, riffing on the genre but never thinking its above it. The result, similarly to Spy, is a pleasant surprise.

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One of Ireland’s biggest film festivals every year, the Galway Film Fleadh begins next Tuesday 10th July, kicking off a week of fantastic films from at home and abroad. And though it doesn’t happen here in Dublin, we eagerly anticipate many of the festival’s films, not least of which includes Mother, the 2017 Galway Film Centre/RTÉ Short Film Commission. The short, starring The Young Offenders’ Hilary Rose and Lochlann O’Mearáin of Ros na Rú, developed from a script by Jonathan Hughes, directed by Natasha Waugh and produced by Sharon Cronin, has an eye-catching premise. It tells the story of Grace, a mother with an ideal happy family; a loving husband and two wonderful children. But when her husband arrives home one day with a brand new kitchen appliance, she slowly starts to realize that there might not be room for both of them at home. It’s a quirky comedy light on dialogue, with an intriguing dark streak. The project received just under €15,000 in funding as part of the commission, as well as the contribution’s of Script Editor Deirdre Roycroft and director Deabhla Walsh (Penny Dreadful, Fargo, The Punisher, Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special, Little Dorrit) as mentors on the scheme. The short will premiere at the Fleadh next week, and ahead of the Mother‘s big day, we caught up with Natasha Waugh to discuss the production, the mentoring aspect of the GFC/RTE programme, and working with a very unique performer…

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Director: Jason Reitman Starring: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Ron Livingston, Mark Duplass Running Time: 96 minutes


When Diablo Cody is in a reflective mood, Jason Reitman tends to benefit. Though it will always be a divisive film based on its subject matter and the ‘hamburger phone’ of it all, Juno‘s rooting in the real life experiences of Cody as a teenager and the stories of adoptees and pregnant teens in her life gave it a laudable emotional honesty. The writer-director pair came back together for the underseen Young Adult, a darkly funny and deeply insightful look at arrested development, and the toll taken on the popular girl when she isn’t popular anymore, with a fantastic lead performance from Charlize Theron. Nearly seven years on, the now-trio have convened again for an honest look at parenthood in Tully. The result is raw, sly and very well done.

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It has been a year. In 2017 there was a lot for film fans to contemplate, but in what they say on the screen and in the wider film business. Month after month, entertaining, challenging and interesting films found their way onto Irish screens, either from Hollywood or any number of our own talented Irish directors. It was a year where the sickeningly pervasive culture of abuse in cinema was thrust into the headlines by brave survivors no longer willing to suffer in silence. It was also a year in great filmmaking, where talented, diverse directors were given the opportunity to show their talent, several for the first time, where performances transported us just as believably to the far-off future, the underprivileged, overlooked present and even outside the fluid realm of time altogether. This is Film In Dublin’s list of the best films of 2017, the films that moved us, entertained us, opened our eyes and otherwise expressed everything that cinema is meant to be, in a year that showed that cinema doesn’t always achieve those lofty ideals behind the scenes.

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Director: James Franco, Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco Running Time: 105 minutes


To know exactly how The Disaster Artist approaches its subject, know this. The film opens with a slew of Hollywood celebrities earnestly describing their love of The Room, the titular disaster, and closes with praise for the phenomenon that the film and its artist, Tommy Wiseau have become. Captions and real footage show Wiseau in attendance at some of the many midnight screenings that have transformed his terrible film from being an LA inside joke to the central story of a genuine Oscar contender, a feel-good wrap-up of an unlikely success story. It’s hard not to see a bit of self-back-patting at the heart of this endeavour. King of the so-bad-its-good films, the appeal of The Room is that it’s a genuine attempt at creating art and exploring human emotions from a man who seemingly understands neither art nor human emotions, nor human anything for that matter. A film that is just off in every way imaginable, provoking equal parts hilarity, revulsion and perverse curiosity. The appeal of The Disaster Artist is The Room. James Franco’s love of the cult film comes through and is sure to get laughs from fellow fans, inspiring a few more along the way, as he takes on the Tommy persona impressively and recreates the best-worst scenes. However, there are depths to this bottom-of-the-barrel that he is not so interested in delving into, preferring a level of insight that never reaches much higher than sketch comedy.

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Director: George Clooney Starring: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Noah Jupe Runtime: 105 minutes

Amongst the white picket fences and pristinely mowed lawns of 1950’s American suburbia, director George Clooney sets the scene for his new comedy noir, Suburbicon. Originally penned (and subsequently shelved) by the Coen Brothers in 1986, the movie found new life in the hands of Clooney and long-time writing partner Grant Heslov. After years on the shelf, the film has finally reached our screens with the same wicked sense of humour we have come to expect from the Coen Brothers throughout the years. Just like the titular town itself, there are a few cracks in the foundation of Suburbicon but not nearly enough to sink what is a watchable, surreal and funny film.

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Director: Armando Iannucci Starring: Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin Running Time: 107 minutes


For years with both The Thick of It and Veep, Armando Iannucci has brilliant and bitterly skewed the nature of politicians in the West, bumbling self-servingly from scandal to scandal, always better equipped at putting down each other than accomplishing anything on their own. Applying that style of satire to Soviet Russia seems like a recipe for great comedy, but the stakes are rather different in a political climate where no one is allowed to admit that scandals ever happened and putting down political rivals meant a few feet underground rather than a few creatively chosen swear words. Staging the aftermath of Josef Stalin’s death similarly to the events of an episode of one of those programmes results in a black comedy that’s frequently very funny, but the satire here has a somber note too. That the people in charge of a superpower could be as arrogant and incompetent as those shuffled off to The Thick of It‘s Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship has some fairly chilling implications. Thank Christ we don’t have to worry about anything like that these days.

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Director: Patrick Hughes Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Selma Hayek, Gary Oldman Running Time: 118 minutes


Movies won’t appreciate what they have in Samuel L. Jackson until he’s gone. Not the highest highs, the Djangos, but the long, long list of unmemorable, mediocre or outright awful productions that have been raised one bar higher by the sheer presence of Jackson and the level and legitimacy he brings to every performance. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a better film than many of those, but it’s many rougher edges are a lot easier to look past when Jackson is cackling hard at the latest inconvenience he’s caused Ryan Reynolds, the titular bodyguard to his titular hitman. Recalling many of the dumb but cheerful odd couple action movies of the 1980, here the at-odds pair’s chemistry is just strong enough to prop up a deeply misguided plot international intrigue, which aims to be something like a comedic episode of 24 but is more like an episode of Chuck if they were allowed to say motherfucker.

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