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Directors: Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence Running Time: 124 minutes

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It isn’t much of an exaggeration to call the Bad Boys series to date some of the most hateful films ever to make it to the multiplex. Bad Boys II was particularly repugnant; a cruel, homophobic, racist, cynical indulgence in all of the worst excesses of director Michael Bay, mindless and reactionary even by 2003 standards. That’s on top of incoherent action and grimly repeated buddy cop tropes, just about jolted into life by the chemistry of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Action movies have moved on, and most big budget blockbusters at least try to hide it when they have fascistic overtones or adolescent sensibilities. So seventeen years later and with its stars both in very different places in their careers, was there any good reason to resurrect these crass cops, besides their sworn oath to be bad boys til’ they die? Improbably, yes. This is very much the post Hot Fuzz vision of Bad Boys, its ludicrous macho bullshit has been exposed so thoroughly but so lovingly since by films like Edgar Wright’s that the only real way to move forward is to acknowledge and embrace the OTT tropes. Like a lot of aging franchises, For Life asks the question if it’s old gunslingers still have any gas left in the tank. Then, to raucous effect, it blows up that tank, doubling down on every excess and wallowing in something wonderfully wild.

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Directors: Josh & Bennie Safdie Starring: Adam Sandler, Eric Bogosian, Idina Menzel, Kevin Garnett, Julia Fox, Lakeith Stanfield Running Time: 135 minutes

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With a career littered by the likes of The WaterboyBilly Madison, and Happy Gilmore, it’s fair to say that Adam Sandler isn’t a name that’s been synonymous with the Awards season in film. It’s never been the case that lowbrow slapstick comedies have been the only thing that Sandler could come up with, but such films seem to be his career’s signature. There are parts of this that have always been endearing to me- for example, his loyal tendency to give his close friends consistent work, even through (at times) offensively rubbish pieces like Grown Ups 2. Notwithstanding this likable fidelity, Sandler has far too often had his name attached to horrendous, Golden Raspberry bait, with 2011’s Jack and Jill being a notable lowlight.

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Been working through our picks of international films you should watch and looking to add even more to your list? You’re just in time for the Subtitle Spotlight European Film Festival, taking place at the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire this weekend, Jan 31st – Feb 2nd. A selection of European subtitled films will invite viewers to see cinema in a whole new way.

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Director: Melina Matsoukas Starring: Jodie Turner-Smith, Daniel Kaluyaa, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloë Sevigny Running Time: 132 minutes

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The first thing I noticed about Queen and Slim was the theatrical poster. I was coming out of a cinema and was taken aback by the aesthetics of the gritty garage backdrop, contrasted with the glossy greyscale shine. While Daniel Kaluuya played a crime boss in Steve McQueen’s Widows, it was the first time he came off as a true “tough guy” to me. While intrigued as to the plot, I decided to keep prior research to a minimum and walk into Queen and Slim with a blind eye.

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The Dublin Smartphone Film Festival is an international festival dedicated to celebrating works shot using Smartphones and Tablets.  Returning for a third year, the festival will open up filmmaking to a wider circle of creatives this January, offering “limitless possibilities in the palm of your hand”.

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The Silk Road International Film Festival is returning to Dublin. One of the first festivals on the calendar in the capital, the festival will be hosting its eighth edition between the 21st & 25th January 2020, screening a variety of international cinema and providing a showcase of features, documentaries, shorts, music videos & student films. The festival this year is being held in January in order to coincide with the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, and will provide the opportunity to begin another exciting year in the fair city of film for those who appreciate celebrating a diverse range of cinema.

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Incredibly, there are only sixteen days remaining in the 2010s, and though every year of the last few years has felt like a decade unto itself in one way or another, one positive thing the 10s have undoubtedly given us is a plentiful supply of great films. And the Light House Cinema will give film fans an opportunity to see some of the best and most beloved of the decade this month and through January, screening a series of the Best of the 10s. The season will run from December 27th until January 5th, with 18 favourites to relive before another ten years of film kicks off for us.

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Film Submissions are now open for the third Dublin Smartphone Film Festival. The festival will be returning for 2020 after two widely successful sold out events. As Irelands only Smartphone Film Festival, the DUBSMARTFF aims to inspire budding directors as well as celebrate National and International filmmakers using Smartphones exclusively to tell their stories.

Dublin Smartphone Film Festival, organised by Film In Dublin alum Robert Fitzhugh, is accepting submissions now for their next festival from both local and International Filmmakers. They are expanding the scope of the event to include and Under 16 Category, looking for younger budding Filmmakers to submit their films either as individuals or in groups. Other Categories include best Fiction, Music video, Documentary, Animation, and 360/VR film. The festival advises that all entries should be no longer than 15 minutes in length. In 2019, the festival received over 100 submissions from over 24 countries and regions, ultimately screening the best 26 of the submissions at the event with the moving The Missing Things (Australia) directed by Jason Van Genderen winning the Grand prize.

After the success of the first two years, the Dubsmartff team are expecting an even larger number of submissions for year three. The festival programmers are on the lookout for captivating stories that take full advantage of the technology.

The Dublin Smartphone Film Festival is set to take place in January 2020 with the venue being announced in
the coming weeks.

The festival is open for submissions for 2020. Submission fees apply.

Entries can be sent to festival organizers via the Film Freeway portal found below.
https://filmfreeway.com/festival/DublinSmartphoneFilmfestival

Visit the Dublin Smartphone Film Festival online at  or
on social @dubsmarff

One of our most eagerly anticipated Irish releases this year, homegrown horror The Hole in the Ground has a new trailer out now that’s sure to leave your skin crawling, as Séana Kerslake surveys her son who’s come back from a mysterious hole out in the woods not quite right. The stylishly modern trailer combines some creepy imagery, old people smacking their heads off of windows, bodies flying, the ominous sight of the hole itself, set to a suitably scary version of the old classic of Irish infanticide, Weila Weila Walya. The film, premiering over at Sundance soon, will be out on Irish screens this spring. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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