Reviews New Films Opening February 18th 2011

Paul Byrne reviews the latest movies to hit Irish cinemas including Paul and Inside Job


PAUL (Spain/France/UK/USA/15A/104mins)

Directed by Greg Mottola. Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Jane Lynch, Jeffrey Tambor.

THE PLOT: Written by Pegg and Frost, Paul concerns two English comic-book-loving nerds (yep, Pegg and Frost) who fly to the US for the annual comic-book-loving nerds love-in known as ComicCon. As our distinctly non-dynamic duo hit the road in their rented RV to check out famous alien landmarks across the Nevada plains, they end up picking up a little green man. In khaki shorts.

Think Paul Daniels on a backpacking trip. And that’s when the men in black arrive.

THE VERDICT: Given that Pegg and Frost have been involved in some very crap movies in the last few years, their reunion was cause for as much dread as delight. And the amount of countries needed to raise the funds reflects the uncertainty. Could the duo truly live up to that early Shaun and Fuzz promise? As it turns out, Paul is pretty darn funny, and, of course, a veritable cavalcade of nods and tributes to cinema’s sci-fi classics. The top-of-the-range supporting cast helps, of course, and if the CGI alien is a tad crap, the gags pretty much save the day. RATING: 4/5


INSIDE JOB (USA/12A/120mins)

Directed by Charles Ferguson. Starring Matt Damon (narrator), William Ackman, Daniel Alpert, Jonathan Alpert, John Campbell.

THE PLOT: Charting the global financial meltdown of 2008, and the causes behind the current American recession. After a brief financial history of the US, the deregulation that triggered bad investments is examined, especially Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs).

THE VERDICT: Narrated by Matt Damon, this fast-talking, hard-hitting documentary barely leaves you time to catch your breath as it whirls through the simple facts and figures that have led us to this sorry financial mess we all currently reside in. There’s nothing new here, but that’s not to say many of the ins and outs won’t be news to some. Wait for the More4 screening. It’s cheaper. Ferguson – a multi-millionaire cinephile – would understand. RATING: 3/5



Directed by Jon Chu. Starring Justin Bieberg, Boys II Men, Miley Cyrus, Sean Kingston, Usher Raymond, and lots of screaming tweens…

THE PLOT: Following the Canadian pop sensation on his 2010 My World tour, this energetic and fittingly eye-popping 3D documentary lets its subject do most of the talking. When other pop dignitaries aren’t throwing in their tuppence worth, that is. Director Chu (Step Up 3D) reckons he’s got a true underdog story on his hand – which would explain the fairytale approach.

THE VERDICT: A film that, rightly, gives fans exactly what they want, Never Say Never is a lot moreSpiceworld than it is A Hard Day’s Night. Despite the early home footage. There’s joy to be had in any pop mania, but, unless you’ve got Justin’s face plastered all over your wall, well, this concert tour documentary is akin to watching a Natural World special on an animal you’d happily step on. RATING: 3/5



Directed by John Whitesell. Starring Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson, Jessica Lucas, Michelle Ang, Portia Doubleday.

THE PLOT: Hey, the cross-dressing FBI agent Malcolm Tucker (Lawrence) is back – and this time he’s going undercover at an all-girls performing arts school with his stepson, Trent (Jackson). The latter having witnessed a murder. Think Some Like It Shit.

THE VERDICT: Tired of waiting and hoping – and praying – for another Bad Boys payday, Martin Lawrence retreats to his other golden goose. Only this one’s a turkey. Like Father, Like Son is a movie that even Tracy Jordan would have trouble living with. Avoid. RATING: 1/5



Don’t forget, movie lovers, the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival gets underway this weekend, with a host of goodies. Most of them, of course, opening in a cinema near you within a month or two, but, hey, it’s the thought of being able to bore your friends before then that makes these kinds of festivals so welcome. Check out for full details…



Running from the 6th to the 13th of March, this year’s Cork French Film Festival boasts the usual line-up of the latest big-screen releases from our Gallic friends, as well as retrospectives, workshops, exhibitions, unearthed treasures and some rockin’ out from Donal Dineen and Etienne Jaumet from Zombie Zombie.

This year’s big cheese is the legendary Agnes Varda, the festival acting as the Irish and UK premiere for her exhibition of fine art photography and video installations, entitled Open Windows.

Check out for full details.