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Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic maestro who so expertly infuses his creepy movies with vivid emotions. The film looks flat-out amazing, with lush production design, clever effects and a cast of outrageous characters. So it's somewhat frustrating that the movie feels weighed down by a story that's more complicated than it needs to be. There's too much plot detail explained in the dialogue, and the quirkiness gets a bit exhausting by the time the film passes the two hour mark.
It's set in the present day, as Florida teen Jake (Asa Butterfield) travels to an island off the coast of Wales to bring closure after the death of his beloved grandfather (Terence Stamp). His oblivious father (Chris O'Dowd) goes with him, but doesn't notice that Jake has discovered that Grandpa's bombed-out childhood home actually still exists in a 1943 time loop created by the ymbryne Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), who can turn into a bird and maintain loops like this one. Jake also realises that the freaky Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) is on his trail, so he tries to help Miss Peregrine rescue her children, all of whom have peculiar supernatural abilities.
From here the film takes on a more traditional action trajectory, as Barron and his toothy, long-limbed Hollows try to devour the children's eyes. Yes, there are a lot of grotesque touches in this story, and Burton knows that kids in the audience love this kind of stuff. They'll also be tantalised by the busy visual landscapes, which are magnificent in 3D, grossed out by the yuckiness and excited by the thrilling set-pieces. Adults will find all of this a bit harder to stomach, simply because the wordy dialogue never quite makes sense of the messy plot.
Continue reading: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Review
Get a taste of Irish talent this St. Patrick's Day.
In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, we recognise some of the world's top Irish actors and the impact they've had on the Hollywood film industry. The list could go on forever of course, but these are just a few whose performances on the big screen have stuck with us.
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Today (March 17th) is the day that the Irish celebrate the life of the Patron Saint of Ireland, usually by drinking Guinness and wearing silly hats with shamrocks on. It's not a holiday very well understood to people outside of Ireland and, indeed, even less so outside the UK. However, we've decided to weigh in on the festivities by honouring some of the world's favourite Irish people - namely, actors that have risen to Hollywood stardom.
Chris O'Dowd found fame on 'The IT Crowd'
Jake has always been an ordinary boy but when he finds himself on a small island, things begin to happen that few people would be able to explain. His new friend, a beautiful young girl named Emma seems to be able to perform miraculous occurrences start to happen.
Things become a little clearer - yet utterly more baffling - when he's taken to meet Miss Peregrine at her exceptional orphanage for children. As Jacob is quick to learn, each of Miss Peregrine's kids has a special ability, something unique to them. Emma can control oxygen and must wear hefty boots to keep her feet firmly attached to the ground, whilst Bronwyn is a little girl with incredible physical strength.
Miss Peregrine is the protector of the children and acts as their matriarch. To keep them safe she's formulated a way of manipulating time to keep the kids away from dangerous monsters who hunt them down - however, as the dark forces become stronger the Children are placed in more and more danger - unbeknownst to Jacob, perhaps he holds the key to keeping his new friends safe.
A whooshing pace and snappy dialogue help bring this true story to life, tracing the triumphant and scandalous career of cyclist Lance Armstrong. And the energetic approach helps bring out several layers in Armstrong's perspective, exploring why a top sportsman would cheat to win. It also features a steely performance from Ben Foster that captures Armstrong's physicality and personality, but not in the usual ways.
When he was 25, Armstrong (Foster) was already a star, but his career was cut short in 1996 by advanced testicular cancer. After recovering, he retrained himself as a long-distance cyclist and launched a global cancer charity, then went on to win seven Tour de France titles. His friend, Irish journalist David Walsh (Chris O'Dowd) noticed that his improvement was too good to be true, and continually challenged him to be honest about his work with controversial doctor Michele Ferari (Guillaume Canet). Armstrong defended his name in court, but years later the truth came out that throughout his career he had been systematically cheating with banned drugs and blood-cleansing processes. The truth came out in 2010, but he didn't admit the deception until an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013.
Since this was so thoroughly reported in the media, and finely detailed in Alex Gibney's acclaimed documentary The Armstrong Lie, there aren't any surprises in this movie. And despite being based on Walsh's book Seven Deadly Sins, the film takes Armstrong's perspective, trying to get under his skin to reveal his motivation. John Hodge's screenplay is insightful, building some strong dramatic suspense along the way, and the film is sharply well-directed by Stephen Frears, a filmmaker better known for softer movies (like Philomena and The Queen). But he guides Foster to a strikingly physical performance that's sweaty and aggressive, and also darkly internalised. Stand-outs in the supporting cast include Jesse Plemons as a fellow cyclist haunted by his conscience and Denis Menochet as Armstrong's team manager.
Continue reading: The Program Review
Foster revealed last month that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs to get him in the correct mindset before making 'The Program'.
Ben Foster, the actor who is portraying the disgraced former world champion cyclist Lance Armstrong in the upcoming movie The Program, has revealed the alarming effects that performance-enhancing drugs have had on his body.
Speaking to the BBC’s ‘Newsbeat’, the 34 year old actor said that he took part in an entirely legal “programme which was supervised by a doctor” that took place before shooting commenced, because he wanted to “better understand why they took drugs”.
The Program is released on Wednesday October 14th in Britain, having been out in North America a month ago, and is an adaptation of a book called ‘Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong’ by journalist David Walsh (played by Chris O’Dowd in the movie). Foster was intent on getting as close to the mindset of a competitive cyclist as possible, but concluded that the drugs “definitely damaged” his body despite only being on them for a short time.
Lance Armstrong was an athlete the entire world loved to support. Having beaten testicular cancer the cyclist went on to win numerous titles around the world including seven gold consecutive gold medals for the Tour De France, which has become known as the hardest bike rice in the world. He had few doubters, everyone loved the superman that he'd become and wanted to believe in the story surrounding his success.
One of those few doubters was David Walsh, a sports reporter with The Sunday Times newspaper. After digging into Lance and his team mates, Walsh began to build a case with more and more information backing his thoughts on Lance. One such piece of evidence was Armstrong's connection to an Italian doctor named Michele Ferrari. What followed was years of Walsh digging and uncovering the real truth behind Armstrong.
The Program is based on David Walsh's 2012 book 'Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong'.
Lance Armstrong is a cycling legend, with seven Tour De France wins under his belt among other accolades, feats that were made all the more impressive following his battle and subsequent recovery from testicular cancer. Despite his illness, he seemed better than ever before on the road on his return and by 2004, he had attracted the attention of reporter David Walsh, who grew suspicious that the athlete was using performance enhancing drugs, along with many of his cyclist friends. Armstrong used a genius combination of loopholes and convincing acting to make people believe otherwise but he was ultimately exposed and shamed for his tactics by a determined journalist.
Continue: The Program - First Look Trailer
The Irish and his wife become first-time parents to a healthy baby boy on Sunday, January 25th.
Chris O'Dowd has recently become a father for the first time. The Irish actor and his wife Dawn O'Porter have welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world on January 25th, and they announced the exciting news in a hilarious way.
O'Dowd and his wife welcomed their first child on January 25th
On Sunday morning (Feb 1st) O'Dowd took to Twitter to share with his 600 thousand followers, "It's a boy! @HotPatooties & I would like to introduce Art O'Porter, our gorgeous baby. Well, I'm pretty sure he's ours."
Continue reading: Chris O'Dowd Welcomes First Child With Wife Dawn O'Porter
Bill Murray shines in this story of a cynical grump whose life is changed by his friendship with a bright young kid. Writer-director Theodore Melfi makes an assured debut with this hilariously astute, emotional punchy drama, which may sometimes feel a bit over-planned but gives the audience plenty to think about. And along with Murray, the film has especially strong roles for Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts and promising newcomer Jaeden Lieberher.
It's set in a New York suburb, where the neighbourhood grouch Vincent (Murray) is already having a bad day when he discovers meets the perky family next door: Maggie (McCarthy) and her curious son Oliver (Lieberher). She has just fled from her unfaithful husband (Scott Adsit) and is working extra hours to make ends meet, so she reluctantly agrees to let Oliver stay at Vincent's house after school. Intriguingly, Oliver is one of the few people Vincent can bear to be around, aside from the pregnant Russian stripper Daka (Watts) and his lively cat Felix. And Oliver is like a sponge, happily soaking up Vincent's knowledge about things like swearing, fighting and betting on the horses. Oliver has no real idea that all of this makes Vincent a seriously unsuitable role model.
Yes, the central point is that good people are sometimes hard to spot. Vincent may smoke, swear, gamble and hang out with hookers, but he also has a deep soul that Oliver witnesses in the way he takes care of Daka, or how he regularly visits his wife in a nursing home even though she has long forgotten who he is. Melfi makes the most of this perspective, seeing everything through the eyes of perceptive young actor Lieberher. And Murray shines in a role that adds clever shadings to the actor's usual on-screen bluster. The interaction between Oliver and Vincent snaps with personality, and sharp roles for McCarthy and Watts offer meaningful wrinkles, as do other side characters such as Chris O'Dowd's schoolteacher.
Continue reading: St. Vincent Review
Chris O'Dowd - Irish comedians Chris O'Dowd & Dara O'Briain at The Sugar Club for a live special Today FM's Ray Darcy Show & joined by Moone Boy cast members David Rawle, Ian O'Reilly & Norma Sheehan, Dublin, Ireland - Dublin, Ireland - Friday 24th October 2014
Vincent is living a life of hedonism in his retirement from the army. An avid smoker and drinker with few friends save for nightclub dancer Daka, he's hardly what you'd call a friendly neighbour. Nonetheless, a recently divorced Maggie has moved in nearby with her impressionable young son Oliver and she is desperate for a babysitter. Never one to judge a book by its cover, she enlists Vincent to take care of him while she's at work, and while he's not cut out to deal with children realistically, he could really do with the cash. Oliver learns a lot from Vincent, who pays him to cut his lawn and who helps him overcome his bulllies at his new school, while Vincent also learns a little from his new friend, who unwittingly shows him that there's a lot more left in life for him to enjoy.
Continue: St. Vincent - Clips
Chris O'Dowd - Actor Chris O'Dowd was assing around on the set of SKY TV's comedy 'Moone Boy' series 3 today as he filmed scenes with a donkey. He was also spotted enjoying an ice cream on his lunch break from filming.Chris is now also directing the show and will direct all six episodes in series 3. Also onset to was Deirdre O'Kane,Peter MacDonald and Patrick McDonnell. - Dublin, Ireland - Monday 29th July 2013
Date of birth
9th October, 1979
RT @RoscommonGAA: Retweet and like our a/c to be in with a chance of winning two tickets. #rosgaa #gaa #boyle https://t.co/02iZnDiw7E
@RussellHarbaugh @AndieMacDowell3 @THR Nice
@Leemountjoy Yes indeed. Till death us do part
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Looks like someone caught a re-run of my scintillating guest role on Doc Martin and couldn't take the heat.. https://t.co/C8Knf9AbaL
RT @HelpRefugeesUK: Today is World Refugee Day. If you #StandWithRefugees like we do, and support refugee children like Zayneb below, RT &…
@eunan10 congrats on your landmark ruling fella. Fair play to ye both. Also, are you really sure you want to get married? ✌️
RT @ClickHole: Fuck It: Let’s Rank The Religions https://t.co/yX0qbwrPRj https://t.co/SsSZ8jZAoN
Greatest achievement of fatherhood so far? Teaching my toddler to walk into any room and exclaim "Mumma has an Adam's Apple!"
@matthaig1 reading and enjoying it right now!
RT @LilCinemaGalway: AND THEY'RE OFF!! Good luck to all the teams making their films in the next 48 Hours for @GalwayCityFilm Challenge acr…
Ah, Flann O'Brien's rarely encountered 'fourth Policeman' https://t.co/1EC0WokV7h
@AltitudeFilms @LovingVincent @Variety @DouglasBooth @JeromeFlynn @hughwelchman @DorotaKobiela @iamclintmansell nice one! such a cool piece.
@RichardAyoade you're welcome big guy! Many happy returns. And best of luck with doctor you-know-who.. wink wink xxxxxxxxx
@AnyaSzczytowska @RichardAyoade absolutely you can. But he'll probably do some kind of 'crank call', he's a bit of a joker
hey everyone, it's @RichardAyoade 's birthday today, please send him some love, he's secretly galled at turning 44.
@RichardAyoade HAPPY BIRTHDAY DICKIE!
Yes! Of course i'd like a bigger majority. No prolemo, let's call a snap election! Wait!!!! https://t.co/l3q2QTUHc3 via @YouTube
RT @dannywallace: *record scratch* *freeze frame* Yup, that's me. You're probably wondering how I ended up in this situation. https://t.c…
Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...
Jake has always been an ordinary boy but when he finds himself on a small...
A whooshing pace and snappy dialogue help bring this true story to life, tracing the...
Lance Armstrong was an athlete the entire world loved to support. Having beaten testicular cancer...
Lance Armstrong is a cycling legend, with seven Tour De France wins under his belt...
Bill Murray shines in this story of a cynical grump whose life is changed by...
Vincent is living a life of hedonism in his retirement from the army. An avid...
After the 2011 black comedy The Guard, Brendan Gleeson reteams with writer-director John Michael McDonagh...
After his acclaimed drama Submarine, actor-turned-filmmaker Richard Ayoade applies his considerable visual skills to this...
Simon is a timid, uncharismatic and largely forgettable man who doesn't seem to be getting...
This is the kind of British rom-com that sneaks up on you when you least...