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The Stag Review


Excellent

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.

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The Stag - Clips


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

The Stag - Premiere

Hugh O'Conor - The Jameson Dublin International Film - The Stag - Premiere - Arrivals - Dublin, Ireland - Monday 24th February 2014

Hugh O'Conor

Hilarious New Wedding Comedy, The Stag Is Released Into The Wilderness [Trailer]


Andrew Scott Hugh O'Conor Amy Huberman Peter McDonald

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.

The Stag Andrew Scott
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.

Continue reading: Hilarious New Wedding Comedy, The Stag Is Released Into The Wilderness [Trailer]

The Stag Trailer


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

Reuniting the Rubins Review


Terrible
A contrived script and clunky direction undermine this British film, which veers from silly comedy to harsh drama to dark tragedy. And this family is far too harshly dysfunctional for us to accept the filmmakers' attempts at sentimentality.

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.

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Killing Bono Review


OK
Based on a true story, this film vividly captures the frustrating randomness of fame. The sharp and funny characters are nicely played, but the plot gets lost along the way, spinning in circles and trying too hard to ramp up the action.

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).

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Killing Bono Trailer


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

The Young Poisoner's Handbook Review


Excellent
Hugh O'Conor is outstanding as Graham Young, a British teen with absolutely no sense of morality. How so? When given a chemistry set, he promptly uses it to start poisoning his friends and family, not stopping until stepmom is dead. He's promptly caught, convicted, and sentenced to psychological rehabilitation... where he continues to manipulate the system to earn his release. Reportedly based on a true story, the black comedy is so thick here it will put some viewers off, but for fans of movies like A Clockwork Orange (of which this is a clear homage), it's the kind of nihilistic work that we rarely, rarely see these days.

Hotel Splendide Review


OK
A cross between Delicatessen and The Road to Wellville, this bizarro flick puts Toni Collette in the role of a reluctant chef at a "resort" situated on a muddy "lake" and devoted to fetishism and overboiled-food to cure its patients of whatever ills them. The laughs come at the expense of a kooky cast of misfits -- unfortunately we're laughing at them, not with them. The movie's attempts at being serious, via the stern looks on Collette's face in opposition to the clearly unhealthy surroundings, come off as shallow -- and jeez, what's with that haircut??? So-so, but Delicatessen does this twice as well and with more flair.

Bloom Review


Terrible
This latest attempt to translate James Joyce's Ulysses to cinema (the first attempt was Joseph Strick's misfire back in 1967) again goes to show that literature is a completely different and often incompatible art form. Joyce's novel is a virtuoso of language, rich in melodic temperament, lewdness, profundity, metaphor and Homeric references. It elevates the mundane events of a single day in the life of three Dubliners to something epic; but shown onscreen it reduces Joyce's handiwork to simply portraying mundane events.

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.

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Chocolat Review


Weak

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.

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