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Directors: Josh Gordon and Will Speck Starring: TJ Miller, Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Jennifer Anniston Running Time: 105 minutes


It is hard to muster much enthusiasm for the latest festive themed comedy, Office Christmas Party. With the stench of Bad Santa 2 still lingering, another trip to the dark side of Christmas does not seem so appealing. There is of course hope, with the film’s cast stacked to the rafters with reliable faces (Jason Bateman, Jenifer Aniston) and padded out with a seemingly endless list of recognizable comedy actors, Office Christmas Party, from the creative team behind Blades of Glory and The Hangover could at the very least deliver on the raunchy, rambunctious and wild antics promised in the trailer.  All the boxes are ticked in the 90 min run-time: drug use, profanity, alcohol, Christmas tree jousting…yet despite a game supporting cast and some enthusiastic direction, it all feels a bit aimless, safe and not particularly exceptional.

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“Have you got Soul Brother”? It has been 25 years since Alan Parker’s The Commitments appeared on our cinema screens and charmed its way into our hearts. Comprised of unknown performers and set in working class Ireland, this adaptation of one of Roddy Doyle’s most famous works captured the brutal economic hardships of a post-recession Dublin but also the zest and exuberance of what it was like to be young and have a dream.

In 1991, Ireland had the youngest population in Europe and some of the highest unemployment. The Commitments depicted a gritty working class Dublin that up until this time was absent in Irish cinema. A lot has changed in the 25 years since the film’s initial release.  Now a hugely successful West End Musical, the show has recently enjoyed several sell out shows here in Dublin. What better time for Film in Dublin to break down this Irish classic and see if it still has soul after all these years?

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Directed by: Mark Waters Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Christina Hendricks Running Time: 92mins


Bad Santa 2 opens with our lead character sticking his head in an oven, attempting to kill himself by way of ‘inert gas asphyxiation’. Set thirteen years after the original film Bad Santa, Willie Soke (played by the ever-watchable Billy Bob Thornton) is no longer enjoying the happy ending he seemingly achieved at the conclusion of the previous installment. His life has become a living nightmare of alcoholism, loneliness, despair and banal repetition. He sees fit to end it all lest he be subjected to any more of life’s countless tortures.

Unfortunately the oven is electric.Read more…

Starring: Luke Treadway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt, Anthony Head Director: Roger Spottiswoode Running Time: 103 mins


While the history of cinema has a reasonably successful track record with feel-good movies of the canine variety; the same can’t really be said for our feline friends. A Street Cat Named Bob aims to change all that. Despite what the trailers would have you believe, the film is not just an unbearable chocolate-box of banal sentiment and uplifting fluff. It is, in all fairness, a mildly engaging human/feline interest story; One that just so happens to include a healthy dose of that banal fluffy sentiment we all know and love.Read more…

Director: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone Starring: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone Runtime: 87 minutes

Its almost impossible for Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping to avoid comparisons with This Is Spinal Tap, the benchmark of musical mockumentary. When Spinal Tap was shown to the kind of rock stars it was lampooning, they sat stone-faced, with the likes of Steven Tyler saying “everything that happened in that movie happened to me.” Its hard to say whether the vacuous pop stars sent up by Lonely Island crew Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone would have the same reaction, either because the events of Popstar are so cartoony or because the real life antics of Bieber and co are even cartoonier. Still, Popstar comes closer to Spinal Tap’s level (eleven of course) than most.

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Director: Paul Feig Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones Running Time: 116 minutes

Undesirable baggage has followed the Ghostbusters remake from the moment it was first announced. For some, the sheer horror of women being chosen to get slimed while putting ghosts in a box in a movie for children has prompted a lot of teeth gnashing, keyboard smashing and toys being thrown from the pram (though not literally, can’t depreciate the value of that fully poseable Peter Venkman). The level of vitriol is, of course, unwarranted. Lo and behold a Ghostbusters movie starring women did not lead to dogs and cats living together or anything of that sort but instead to a funny if inconsistent movie.

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