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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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Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, John Mulaney, Nicolas Cage, Liev Schreiber Running Time: 117 minutes


The suggestion that we have hit a saturation point with superhero movies has become an increasingly pointless gesture in film criticism. One might as well say that Hollywood has hit a saturation point with making money, and the idea has always carried a degree of ignorance, or arrogance; a dismissive view of a form of storytelling whose domination of the comic book medium is closer to reaching a century than a saturation. The people are here for superhero movies, and the future for the genre isn’t to die out but to make sure they speak to all the people; growing and changing and embracing the vast potential of the medium to show superheroes, their powers and their capacity for good in exciting new ways. Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse does all this and more, with a confidence, enthusiasm and joy, all of which put it firmly in the conversation for best superhero movie of the year.

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Director: Tony Leondis Starring: T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris Running Time: 86 minutes


In Céline Sciamma’s wonderful film Girlhood, there is a scene where a group of young girls, cosied up in a hotel room in the city which they paid for with ill-gotten money, lip-sync along to Rihanna’s “Diamonds”. Hidden away, briefly, from the world and everything that it sees them as and sees that they will be, they’re free to just enjoy themselves, their joy pumping powerfully through the screen as they sing along, a literal “vision of ecstasy”. I bring this up because The Emoji Movie also uses Diamonds. The Hi-5 Emoji, Gene the Meh Emoji and Jailbreak (who is secretly the Princess Emoji, apologies for the spoiler) read a deleted e-mail draft from the boy whose phone they live in to the girl that he likes, in which he quotes the song’s lyrics and tells her “I just think you’re so cool”. It was unclear if this embarrassing e-mail was supposed to be a joke or sincere, or it would have been if it hadn’t been obvious for some time by that point that there is no sincerity to be found here. The scene in Girlhood is genuine, vibrant and current in exactly all the ways that the scene in The Emoji Movie isn’t. Watch that instead.  Watch anything instead. Maybe take your kids to the library. This film wouldn’t agree, it’s stance on words being that they are ‘lame’ and though everything you need to know about reviewing The Emoji Movie can be summed up with 💩, for thoroughness’ sake let’s proceed with the out-dated concept of words regardless.

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Director: Jon Watts Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr Running Time: 133 minutes


In recent years, the behind the scenes efforts of non-Marvel studios attempts to make films with Marvel characters could make compelling movie material all on its own. Specifically, comedy-of-errors movies. The chaos reportedly caused during the awful 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four by director Josh Trank (and his little dogs too) is one example. The leaked e-mail fiasco showing out-of-touch exec’s attempts to make an EDM-loving, humble-bragging hero that’s down with the kids for the ill-fated, ever spin-off proposing Amazing Spider-Man series is another. The lack of financial success made by the Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone-starring Spidey movies led to an “if you can’t beat them, join them” rethink and Sony drafted in Marvel Studios to help produce a reboot, with Sony retaining film distribution rights and Marvel masters Disney controlling merchandising rights. After a popular cameo in last year’s Captain America Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Marvel’s most beloved comics character take centre-stage once again. From the orchestral arrangement of the classic 60’s Spider-Man cartoon theme that opens this film onwards, the effort to bring the character (or more cynically, the IP) back to its roots is clear. This is a younger, more innocent Spider-Man, and the film is refreshing for that, even while the creative constraints of being part of the MCU never go away.

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