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The arrival of the first trailer for Cats back in July 2019 was one of those landmark occasions in social media history. In a time where quick and constant access to conversation is paired with a media machine designed to pile misery on all sides to leave us more divided than ever, the 2 minute trailer -its first glimpses of the uncanny combination of human faces and cat bodies, its clearly rushed special effects, the enduring brown note that blarps through the voice of James Corden – it all served as a brief and perfect moment of unity. Everyone was confused, everyone was upset. Everyone was transfixed. The sight of “miniature yet huge cats with human celebrity faces and sexy breasts performing a demented dream ballet for kids” was an Event Horizon for the terminally online, something that could only begin to be processed by the immediate and fervent application of memes. Yet the majority of those who had been cursed to watch the trailer were also united in another way: they were absolutely going to watch the film no matter what.

Cats is out in cinemas now, but it appears that the only ones going to see it are those who became unnervingly compelled t0 do so back on that wild summer day. And fans of the Broadway show maybe. Also furries. Still, opening during the busy Christmas period at the same time as a Star Wars (even a terrible one) is turning out to be a bad decision by Universal, with the film flopping at the box office so far. The reviews may be even worse, with critics lining up to skewer the film as if the writer with the most venomous take will be chosen by Old Deuteronomy to die blissfully and be reborn as a person blessed to have never seen Cats. It is “an abomination“. It is “what death feels like“, but also “surprisingly boring“, a film that “will haunt viewers for generations“. And yet, could this terrible nightmare film also serve as a landmark moment in cinematic history? Is Cats in fact a trailblazer in its unifying awfulness, the first Cursed Blockbuster?

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Prestige comes to Dublin this February as one of the most acclaimed directors of screen and stage in recent times visits the Irish Film Institute for a Q&A session to follow his new film. Kenneth Branagh will be in attendance at the Institute to discuss his latest directing/acting performance as William Shakespeare in the Ben Elton-scripted All Is True.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is not exactly filled to the brim with talking points, so we reviewed the latest Tim Burton film in the style of one of the director’s own poems.

There was a director

Whose films were quite good,

With big hair and big eyes

And a love for Ed Wood.

 

But some time ago

Ol’ Tim lost his step

When he followed the money

And followed Johnny Depp.

 

Though his latest film isn’t

A total disaster

It still is a pity

It couldn’t end faster.

 

So if you have a minute

I’ll help you get filled in

On Miss Peregrine’s Home

For Peculiar Children.

 

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