From Ireland, this looks like yet another Hangover-style stag-night comedy, but the script has surprising depth to it, and even the sillier characters find some resonance as the events spiral into the requisite chaos. So while the movie's gross-out humour feels utterly contrived, there's meaning behind it. And the relationships between the central characters are remarkably complex.
The groom is theatre designer Fionnan (O'Conor), who is driving his fiancee Ruth (Huberman) crazy by being too-interested in planning the wedding. So she asks his best man Davin (Scott) to plan a stag getaway. They decide to go on a camping trip with Fionnan's brother (Legge) and his partner (Bennett), plus their friend Simon (Gleeson). But they fail in their efforts to avoid inviting Ruth's intense brother The Machine (McDonald). And sure enough, he takes over the weekend, causing abject mayhem at every turn as their casual hike becomes a series of frantic adventures.
The sharp actors create characters who are realistic and, for the most part, likeable. The exception is The Machine, and McDonald plays him mercilessly, chomping madly on the scenery. It's an over-the-top performance that constantly throws us outside the movie until we begin to see the man underneath the crazed bravado. But he causes the other guys to do inexplicable things as well, which sparks a reaction in us and allows for a bit of depth, especially for Scott in the meatiest role.
Continue reading: The Stag Review
Fionnan is the sensitive sort who's filled with excitement about his upcoming nuptials to partner Ruth. He's a nervous perfectionist who wants everything to be just right when the day comes, but makes no secret about his aversion to a traditional stag do of wild antics and drinking. When Ruth insists best man Davin take him on an outdoor adventure up a mountain for their bachelor's weekend, Fionnan is horrified but eventually agrees that he may enjoy a trek in the great outdoors. However, it is soon revealed that Ruth's insane brother nicknamed The Machine will be joining Fionnan and his friends - a fact that even makes Davin consider calling off their adventure. Instead, he attempts to deter him from coming along with a weird voicemail but, alas, he makes his presence known as he repeatedly brings trouble raining down on them on their journey.
Continue: The Stag - Clips
It seems that the wedding theme for comedies hasn't got old yet.
The trailer has been released for new bachelor comedy The Stag, a movie which sets out to prove that the theme of weddings and stag parties hasn't been outgrown by the comedy genre. Hugh O'Conor plays Fionnan, the groom at the centre of John Butler and Peter McDonald's funny new film.
Andrew Scott Stars As The Best Man In New Comedy 'The Stag.'
In the movie, perfectionist Fionnan is preparing for his wedding to Ruth (Amy Huberman) but the only thing he can focus on is the smooth running of the nuptials. When faced with the prospects of the traditional pre-wedding stag do, Fionnan says he'd much rather go along with Ruth and her friends on the hen do or plan the floral arrangements.
It's usually the bride that enjoys organising every little detail for their wedding, but in Ruth and Fionnan's relationship, planning the nuptials has become the only thing that guarded perfectionist Fionnan thinks about. However, concerned about his increasing seriousness and his hatred of adventure, Ruth enlists his best friend Davin to organise a stag night on a mountain. Fionnan eventually warms to the idea of a wildlife trek. that is until Ruth mentions that her ruthless brother The Machine is coming along too. Coping with The Machine becomes an uphill struggle when he throws away the stag group's compass and gets them lost, sets their tent on fire and insists on a nude streak through the woodland that almost gets them shot. But is he a blessing in disguise for strait-laced Fionnan, who may find this trip more of a milestone than a stag?
Continue: The Stag Trailer
When his mother (Blackman) purchases the old family home, Lenny (Spall) must cancel his retirement cruise and reunite his four estranged children for a Jewish holiday celebration. But gathering the ruthless capitalist (Callis), eco-warrior (Mitra), ultra-orthodox rabbi (O'Connor) and Buddhist monk (Newman) in the same place will require a miracle. Sure enough, it's a disaster, and Lenny's only hope is that he can stop the war long enough to have dinner together.
Continue reading: Reuniting The Rubins Review
In late-70s Dublin, brothers Neil and Ivan (Barnes and Sheehan) form a band called The Undertakers, creating a friendly rivalry with their friends Paul, David, Larry and Adam (McCann, Mark Griffin, Sean Doyle and David Tudor), who form The Hype. Then The Hype changes its name to U2 and becomes the biggest band in the world. Over the years, Neil's bull-headed attitude scuppers every chance he and Ivan get, even when they find minor fame in London with the help of manager/girlfriend Gloria (Ritter). he also indebts them to an Irish gangster (Townsend).
Continue reading: Killing Bono Review
Neil McCormick always had a dream of becoming a rock n' roll star. Having auditioned to join a band at school, Neil found himself losing out and his best friend Paul being picked as the lead singer of the hottest band in Dublin The Hype. Feeling he would've been the better person for the job, Neil sets up the band 'Shook Up' with his brother Ivan - their most important aim: to be more successful than The Hype.
Continue: Killing Bono Trailer
A Jewish everyman, Leopold Bloom (Stephen Rea) wakes up on the morning of June 16, 1904, goes through his day running various errands, nearly gets into a fight with a one-eyed drunken citizen (Patrick Bergin), has a few earthy encounters with women on the beach and whores in the brothel, doesn't think about his wife (Angeline Ball) cheating on him that afternoon, and becomes a father figure to a young artist (Hugh O'Conor), whom he saves from getting into trouble with Dublin riff-raff.
Continue reading: Bloom Review
A fanciful fairy tale for grown-ups, "Chocolat" takes place in a sleepy French village, circa 1959, and stars Juliette Binoche as a nomadic confectioner of sublime candy delicacies whose arrival -- just as Lent has begun -- stirs curiosity, gossip and scornful disdain among the locals.
Happy-go-lucky in the face of adversity and apparently a boat-rocker by nature, she sets up shop practically across the street from the church, providing almost cruel temptation to a population observing 40 days of fasting and penitence.
But the influence of the chocolaterie and its proprietor soon extends beyond simple taste bud enticement. Her enchanted chocolates and therapeutic personality have soon rekindled the marriage of a local couple, returned a smile to the face of her cantankerous landlady (Judi Dench), and inspired an abused wife (Lena Olin) to leave her husband (and come work for Binoche). This disruption in the status quo ruffles the feathers of the zealous and austere local nobleman (Alfred Molina), who considers the chocolate shop to be the work of the devil and sets his mind to seeing Binoche run out of town for interrupting the village's static tranquility.
Continue reading: Chocolat Review
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