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Director: Cate Shortland Starring: Scarlett Johannsson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, Ray Winstone Running Time: 134 minutes


 

It has been a long auld road to a solo adventure for Natasha Romanoff, who’s had movies in development on and off since long before the MCU was even a dollar-sign shaped twinkle in Kevin Feige’s eye. In-universe and out, a lot has changed for Black Widow over the years, arguably including the peak of fan demand for a movie solely devoted to the super spy’s exploits.


Which isn’t to say that Black Widow, finally in cinemas and on Disney + this month after a Covid-related postponement, is a too-late endeavour. Timing is a funny thing, and if anything the movie stands as a familiar settling back in for fans to movie-sized Marvel after a year off and an intro to what the various Disney+ series have to offer. For non diehards too, it offers a fun, by-the-numbers blockbuster, confidently comfortable big screen fare; in other words, a Marvel movie. 

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Cinemas have been back for a little bit now in the fair city of film, and with the Light House Cinema due back this Friday too, there’s the faintest sight of light at the end of the tunnel for the Irish cinema business. We’d love to hear from you if you’ve felt safe and up to go to the movies so far this June – tweet us at @filmindublin with #WhatsOnSummer2021 and let us know what you’ve seen so far this summer. In the meantime, we’re doing a Review Round-Up of a few of the flicks that we’ve seen so far since the Grand Reopening.

 

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In the latest episode of the Breakout Role Podcast, Luke and Jessica take a different approach, looking at a trio of early films from the early years of Amy Adams’ career. From the dispiriting, reductive and embarrassing Cruel Intentions 2 and the grind of a Hollywood machine that almost led Adams to quit acting altogether, to the freedom of indie drama Junebug, Oscar success but overall underappreciation, to finally launching into the mainstream (and reviving Disney?) in Enchanted, Adams’ strive to breakout is a fascinating journey through the boxes actresses get forced into by Hollywood and the drive it takes to work ones way out of them.

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Director: J.J. Abrams Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Kelly Marie Tran, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, Carrie Fischer, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo Running Time: 142 minutes

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If there is one thing we can surely all agree on, it’s that conversation around Star Wars has long since become exhausting. The most popular thing in the world seems destined to be endlessly divisive, drafted unwittingly into assorted sides of the culture wars, something that has gone from nerd fixation to an inescapable franchise conveyor belt. Surely we can all agree that a children’s movie about lasers and space goblins shouldn’t be taken too seriously one way or another. If you couldn’t care less about The Rise of Skywalker with all the baggage it has, it would be hard to blame you. If you watch it and enjoy the film’s spectacle and fan service, more power to you. But in trying to wrestle with the considerable backlash to The Last Jedi, while both concluding a nine film saga and keeping the franchise in good enough favour to continue into the future all while also also trying (one hopes) to be a functioning narrative and entertaining film in its own right, is all too much for one film to rise above. Instead, it falls down a bit of a pit, but has that ever been much of a problem where Star Wars is concerned? It never quite seems to kill things off the way it should.

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As if the attractions at the GAZE LGBT Film Festival this or any year could be limited to a mere five standouts! Still, as one of the standout annual events in the fair city of film, both as a consistently excellent programme of cinema and as one the country’s biggest LGBT gatherings outside of Dublin Pride, GAZE generates considerable excitement every summer and it’s worth looking at why. The mood of film fans is buzzing nicely ahead of GAZE 2019’s Opening Gala taking place tonight, a sold-out screening at the Light House Cinema of the documentary Deep In Vogue. You can get an overview of this year’s programme here, but with so much to choose from in the five days of film ahead, we look at five reasons why you must get yourselves into the screens for GAZE 2019.

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This evening the GAZE Film Festival hosts a sold-out preview screening of Vita & Virginia, but last night saw one of Ireland’s premiere annual festivals launch their 27th programme. Another exceptional line-up of LGBTQ cinema comes to the fair city of film this August. Read more…

Directors: Anthony & Joe Russo Starring: The Avengers Running Time: 181 minutes


What follows below is a quick-and-clean, spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame. If and after you’ve seen the film and want something with more depth and detail to continue the discussion, we’ll be back next week with a second look, which you can read at your own risk.

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If you love Pixar, you’ve got a friend in the Light House.

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Director: Ron Howard Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, Thandie Newron, Jon Favreau, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo Running Time: 135 minutes


As we settle into the reality of Star Wars as a tentpole Disney franchise, with a new film every single year and a television series in the works, it’s understandable that Kathleen Kennedy and co. would want to solidify the appeal of the spinoff films by featuring one of the property’s most popular characters. Once Solo: A Stars Wars Story finishes cleaning up at the box-office, they can start to plot a whole line of films to put the spotlight on your favourite characters from across the Galaxy. Lando Calrissean? Why not, says Kathleen Kennedy, that Donald Glover is so hot right now. Boba Fett? Maybe, if it will finally shut you fans up about him. That one lad in A New Hope that looks like the devil? Okay, maybe not him. Han Solo though, ‘everyone’s favourite’ from the original trilogy, was supposed to be the safe bet, and the exec’s adamant desire to keep it that way was partly what led them to axe original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, apparently too madcap and wacky in their ambitions for the film. They were replaced with the experienced, steady hand of Ron Howard, who reshot almost everything and presented a friendly face behind a marketing campaign nervously encouraging the somewhat sceptical viewing public that yes, they do need to know Han Solo’s origins. What Howard, veteran screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and the rest deliver is indeed the safe bet, in a film that’s far too middle of the road to be essential viewing. What we have here is one square unit of Star Wars movie, mostly milquetoast with a few rough edges born from the inelegant ‘creative differences’ and perhaps a meeting too many in the boardroom. If you’re looking for any noteworthy insights into Han Solo as a character, you’re not likely to get them here. If you’re looking to know where he got his apparently iconic blaster though, this is the film for you (somebody hands it to him).

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