Adam and Clare Hitchins have made the decision to re-locate themselves and their baby from London to a remote village in Ireland. Their new house is a former millhouse surrounded by mysterious woodland in which Adam begins to make frequent trips as part of his career as a conservationist. Despite the fact that he isn't doing anything to harm the environment, locals are becoming very concerned over his 'trespassing'. One local by the name of Colm Donnelly takes it upon himself to warn the family to stay away from the forest, claiming that it is home to The Hallow; a formidable presence that haunts the woods with the likes of fairies and banshees, and creatures hellbent on abducting babies. The couple initially brush off the warnings as folklore, but soon become unsettled as it becomes clear just how seriously all the townsfolk, young and old, take it. And when they start to experience terrifying phenomena in their own home, they start to understand why.
Continue: The Hallow Trailer
With a simple story and a huge amount of imagination, this gentle animated adventure feels like a blast of fresh air when compared to entertaining but formulaic Hollywood studio animation. Based on the children's book by Tomi Ungerer, it's a French-German-Irish coproduction aimed at adults as much as the kids. Youngers will enjoy its sense of whimsy, but the humour is definitely grown-up.
Over the years, the Moon Man (voiced by Thalbach) has grown bored watching over the Earth. So he grabs the tail of a passing comet and rides it to the surface. As he explores the wonders he discovers, he is chased by the President (McElhatton), a megalomaniac who has conquered the entire planet and now has his sights on the moon. So he hires brainy inventor Bunsen (Laffan) to get him there. But Bunsen soon meets Moon Man, and realises that it's more important to help him get home, because children on Earth are unable to sleep without him in the sky keeping them company.
The film has a relaxed tone that effortlessly carries us through the story, using evocative songs (including, of course, Moon River and It's Only a Paper Moon) and simple but gorgeously rendered animation. Refreshingly free of the usual digital look, the animators inventively use textures, light and colour, plus a number of sharp visual gags (watch out for the moonwalk). And while it feels like a bedtime story, the humour is definitely more sophisticated than that. There's even an implied off-screen sex scene between the President and his conniving wife (Helen Mooney).
Continue reading: Moon Man Review
David Wilmot, Aidan Gillen, James Marsh and Michael McElhatton - David Wilmot, Aidan Gillen, James Marsh, Michael McElhatton, Tuesday 21st August 2012 at the Irish premiere of 'Shadow Dancer'at the Lighthouse Cinema.
Thomas Sangster, Michael McElhatton and Dublin International Film Festival - Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Michael McElhatton Sunday 26th February 2012 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival - Closing Gala screening of 'Death of a Superhero' at the Savoy Cinema - Arrivals
Michael McElhatton and Dublin International Film Festival Sunday 26th February 2012 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival - Closing Gala screening of 'Death of a Superhero' at the Savoy Cinema - Arrivals
Michael McElhatton Thursday 9th June 2011 The cast of new Irish movie 'Shadow Dancer' (Aidan Gillen, Domhnall Gleeson, Michael McElhatton & Others) seen on set where Dublin City was made to look like Belfast during The Troubles until rain stopped play! Dublin, Ireland
"Blow Dry" is a leaden British dramedy about an estranged family of hairdressers reconciling when a big coiffeur competition comes to their small town. Like "The Big Tease" -- a similarly themed English mockumentary that came out last year, delaying the release of this one -- its laughs come mostly from tired flamboyancy stereotypes.
Hairdressers with over-styled, out-of-date dos and David Copperfield-like showmanship bite each other's backs to win what is apparently a prestigious award for clever and speedy hair cutting. Meanwhile a sad-sack local barber (Alan Rickman) enters the competition with his son (Josh Hartnett, "The Virgin Suicides") to face down his former salon partner (Bill Nighy), now the nation's star hairdresser and the dirty-tricking front-runner in the contest.
Besides suffering from the same problems "The Big Tease" had -- basically that it's a cliché-riddled underdog sports movie with a dye job and a limp wrist -- "Blow Dry" is also saddled with a maudlin, comedy-antidote subplot about Rickman's estranged lesbian ex-wife (Natasha Richardson), who is bravely dying of cancer 10 years after leaving him for his hair model (a criminally under-used Rachel Griffiths). Brought together again by the competition, everybody gets busy forgiving.
Continue reading: Blow Dry Review
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