This weeks movies reviewed by Paul Byrne, including Cell 211 & the final Harry Potter movie. *sob*
MOVIES.IE’S ONE TO WATCH!
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 (UK/USA/12A/130mins)
Directed by David Yates. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Evanna Lynch, Tom Felton, Ciaran Hinds.
THE PLOT: Everyone is running scared – including the evil Voldermort (Fiennes), despite now being in possession of the Elder Wand – as high noon finally arrives at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. The chosen one, Harry – along with best friends Hermione and Ron – are in a race against time as they attempt to search out and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. If only it were all that simple…
THE VERDICT: Having proven himself a steady hand since taking over Potter helming duties with 2007’s The Order of the Phoenix, Brit director David Yates delivers a fittingly rousing finale to the most successful movie franchise of all time. The kids are still just all right (Matthew Lewis nonetheless getting to shine as unexpected hero Neville), but you really can’t fault the likes of Fiennes, Gambon, Rickman and Hinds here. The Hogwarts-destroying final battle sees Yates calling on all the powers of CGI to fine effect too, meaning fans will no doubt give this highly-charged, highly emotional farewell 9 3/4 out of 10. The more sane and sedate will see it as just another big blockbuster crash, bang, wallop. Either way, this is a film that does pretty much everything it’s supposed to do… RATING: 4/5
CELL 211 (Spain/France/IFI/113mins)
Directed by Daniel Monzon. Starring Luis Tosar, Alberto Ammann, Antonio Resines, Manuel Moron, Carlos Bardem, Marta Etura.
THE PLOT: New prison guard Juan (Ammann) is knocked unconscious on his first day by falling masonry and, luckily, upon coming through, manages to convince alpha rioter Malamadre (Tosar) that he is a new prisoner. And he’s just in time to witness the rioters take three ETA members hostage, as the prisoners demand better conditions. But the authorities aren’t quite so ready to concede. When Juan’s pregnant wife ends up at the fatal end of a prison guard’s anger outside the prison, his loyalty to the bosses comes into question…
THE VERDICT: Winner of 8 Spanish Oscars (including Best Picture), this fast and furious prison thriller benefits greatly from the near-central performance of local hero Luis Tosar as the aptly-named Malamadre (which translates as Badmother). Javier Bardem would be proud of him. Director Monzon (who co-wrote the adaptation of Francisco Perez Gandul’s eponymous play) keeps the pressure on from start to finish, leaving the audience in as much of a cold sweat as his marooned rookie prison guard. The story never quite adds up, but the thrills do. RATING: 3/5
BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD (USA/UK/Iceland/IFI/93mins)
Directed by Liz Garbus. Starring Bobby Fischer, Boris Spassky, Regina Fischer, Hans-Gerhardt Fischer, Paul Nemenyi.
THE PLOT: Charting the rise and fall – and troubled life – of chess champ Bobby Fischer, who became a grandmaster in 1958, at the age of 14. Self-taught, after his mother, Regina, divorced when he was two, the young Bobby’s childhood was spent largely at home, with his older sister, Joan. Chess was his escape, and in 1972, Fischer challenged the Soviet grandmaster Boris Spassky for the World Champtionship, staged in Iceland. With the Cold War raging, the game became a worldwide phenomenon, knocking Vietnam and Watergate off the front pages…
THE VERDICT: Not quite Rumble In The Jungle, but Liz Garbus’ well-crafted documentary makes much of that headline-grabbing 1972 showdown between Fischer and Spassky. Fischer becoming a recluse for 16 years almost immediately afterwards – a time notable for a tired 1992 Spassky rematch, and Fischer’s anti-Semitic statements – is given less shrift though. Which is a shame, because therein lies Fischer’s true story. As one interviewee says here, “His genius and his illness are joined at the hip”. RATING: 3/5
FASSBINDER TIMES AT IFI HIGH
Together with the GAZE Film Festival, the IFI will be holding a retrospective of Rainer Werner Fassbinder from July 30th to August 1st.
The short season of Fassbinder films brings to Ireland two films almost never before seen – World On A Wire, his newly-discovered sci-fi masterpiece, and Beward Of A Holy Whore, his study of the emotional mechanics of the filmmaking process. Two of Fassbinder’s classics, The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant and Querelle, will also be screening. Supported by the Goethe-Institut, Dublin, full details are available on ifi.ie.
BOYS KEEP SWINGING
The GAZE festival will also be looking at the legendary partnership of two of Dublin’s most famous theatrical figures, Micheal MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards.
Under the title The Boys On Film, the Irish Film Archive has been raided for a selection of films examining the work of MacLiammoir and Edwards – for decades Dublin’s only openly gay couple in public life – as film producers. The event takes place at the IFI on July 31st at 2pm. Full details on ifi.ie.
Calling all teenage film critics! The IFI and GAZE have teamed up to invite young film fans to be part of a panel selecting their favourite ‘teen pick’ at this year’s festival. To become part of the Teengazer panel, email firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a Teengazer Panel Discussion on July 30th at 11.30am.