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Director: Seth Gordon Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach Running Time: 119 minutes


After a near-totally negative reaction from critics to his latest film, Baywatch lead Dwayne Johnson took to Twitter to insist that “the fans’ love the movie” and that it was made for them anyway, not the critics. It is entirely possible that Baywatch fans wouldn’t set the bar too high. They did after all keep the television series on the air for 11(!) years, ogling heaving chests as inane plots about diamond smuggling surfers or other such sub-airport novel cheese sailed by mostly unnoticed. A few laughs, some beautiful people and a heavy dose of cheese would probably be enough, but Baywatch‘s biggest problem is how often it loses sight of its own stupidity, somehow buying into itself as though its stories about teamwork, overcoming selfishness and thwarting corrupt beachside property developers are actually compelling. Just like Dwayne Johnson tackles bad reviews with all the emojis, exclamation marks and critic-bashing of someone who unconvincingly insists that they aren’t mad at all, Baywatch isn’t as in on the joke as it wants you to believe it is.

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Director: Dax Shepard Starring: Dax Shepard, Michael Peña, Kristen Bell, Vincent D’Onofrio Running Time: 101 minutes


Dax Shepard, the star of such old Xtra-vision dust-gatherers as Without a PaddleEmployee of the Month and Let’s Go to Prison does not appear to be a fan of the television show CHiPs on which his new movie is based. Shepard is the writer, director and lead of CHiPs, but he’s no auteur working on a passion project, nor is he a bankable star in need of a vehicle. Actual fans of the cheesy late 70s/early 80s show appear to be less than enthused with this broad remake. It isn’t a guaranteed box office property. Look the executives who gave the greenlight to this sub-par comedy and ask them why they thought this film needed to exist at all, and what possible answer could they give, apart from a half hearted shrug of the shoulders and a “I dunno, 21 Jump Street?”

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The current incarnation of HBO’S Westworld series is now on the eve of its fourth episode and enjoying universal critical approval. Mixing thought-provoking science fiction with disturbing horror, the show poses a number of ethical and social questions about socialites rapid adoption and integration with technology. Where do we draw the line between artificial life and human life? Is it murder or infidelity if none of it is real? These are poignant questions in 2016 and the show could not have arrived at a better time to explore these themes. To get a better understanding of this new incarnation we here at Film in Dublin have decided to revisit the Cult 1973 original. Released incidentally only 2 days after the opening of Disney World Florida, Westworld posits a future where rich tourists can enjoy luxury vacations in a state of the art adult theme park, their every needs served by lifelike robots. The vacation becomes a nightmare when the androids start malfunctioning and killing the guests. 43 years after its release, this low budget SCI-FI now seems sharply relevant. It is a cautionary tale of man’s inability to see its own fallibility in the pursuit of innovation.

 

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In  Movie Memories, the notable and quotable from all over Dublin reminisce about their formative film experiences. From date movie disasters to a first time with a classic, they recall it all.

Dr. Harvey O’Brien keeps a lot of plates spinning in the Irish film scene, teaching Film Studies at UCD, co-editing Film and Film Culture and serving as a member of the Irish Film Institute’s Board of Directors. He’s been a regular on RTÉ Radio One’s ‘Classic Movies’ slot and is the author of Action Movies: The Cinema of Striking Back (2012) and The Real Ireland (2004), and co-editor of Keeping it Real (2004). Harvey strives to keep the big and loud blockbusters in the conversation of Important Cinema and for the first Movie Memories, Film In Dublin spoke with him about the blockbusters of his youth, how modern movies measure up and the best approach to remakes and reboots.

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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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