The story of Belfast's "godfather of punk" is told with plenty of groovy style to match the 1970s setting, mixing the music with colourful locations and lively characters. But while the story is fascinating, the film itself is too cluttered and fragmented to resonate with anyone who isn't already familiar with the events.
As politics and religion rage against each other in late-1960s Northern Ireland, local DJ Terry Hooley (Dormer) rejects both sides to concentrate on the music he loves. His wife Ruth (Whittaker) loves it as well, but starts to worry when Terry catches the fire of the punk movement, which stands up boldly to society. Soon Terry is helping promote local bands through his Good Vibrations record shop, discovering the likes of Rudi, the Outcasts and, most notably, the Undertones and their mega-hit Teenage Kicks. Terry knows what he has with them, but is doing this out of passion for the music. Which means he never keeps enough cash for himself to pay his bills.
Filmmakers D'Sa and Leyburn follow Hooley closely through his rollercoaster life, from moments of high excess to more harrowing scenes as his business and marriage fall apart around him. The narrative bounces quickly through the decades, keeping the tone light while remembering the seriousness of the violent clashes in the streets and the darker emotional issues that keep coming to the surface. But Hooley is a happy-go-lucky guy, only barely aware that he is squandering his resources. And Dormer delivers a remarkably vivid performance as a funny and hugely likeable guy who prefers to help others instead of himself.
Continue reading: Good Vibrations Review
When Terri Hooley decided to open up the record shop Good Vibrations in Belfast in the 70s world of hippies and strong political messages, he had no idea that he would soon discover what would be some of the most prominent groups on the newly emerging punk scene. After managing to secure local band Rudi their first record, he was soon approached by another band: The Undertones. Although initially reluctant to sign them at first, after hearing them play he was astounded at what came through his headphones in the studio with their debut single 'Teenage Kicks'. Unfortunately, he struggled to get even a slight sign of interest from any record company in London in the beginning but the airplay soon picked up and it became one of the most recognisable punk songs in the UK. This is how Terri Hooley became one of these most significant figures in the late 70s punk progression.
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Martin Compston, Adrian Dunbar and Craig Parkinson - Martin Compston, Adrian Dunbar & Craig Parkinson, Thursday 18th October 2012 at the Specsavers Crime thriller Awards 2012 held at the Grovsenor Hotel, Park Lane.
Is it a good secret? Sure. Is it one of the most memorable in cinema's last 15 years? Possibly. But one good surprise/twist does not make a great movie, and there's very little else in director/writer Neil Jordan's drama to deserve such lavish wide-eyed acclaim. It's a solid, well-acted character study. That's it, I'm afraid.
Continue reading: The Crying Game Review
The titular peak is a small mountain in Ireland, populated primarily by wealthy widows and their kin, while the proles labor in the town at the bottom of the hill. While grand dames like Mrs. Doyle-Counihan (Joan Plowright) are the norm, Miss O'Hare (Farrow) is a bit more mysterious, obviously far lesser in stature despite hanging with the gossipy upper class. Into this sleepy mix comes English/American import Edwina Broome (Natasha Richardson), who immediately livens up the geriatric community by romancing Mrs. D-C's son (Adrian Dunbar) and getting into a series of scuffles with Miss O'Hare. Before too long, the secrets will be spilling out of both of them as the hijinks spiral out of control.
Continue reading: Widows' Peak Review