George V. Reilly

Review: Thor: Dark World

Title: Thor: Dark World
Director: Alan Taylor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2013
Keywords: Marvel, superhero
Watched: 16 July, 2016

Millenia ago, the Dark Elves almost destroyed the Nine Realms with their ultimate weapon known as the Aether. Now the Con­ver­gence, when the Nine Realms briefly align, is imminent and the surviving Dark Elves have returned to reclaim the Aether. Meanwhile on Midgard (Earth), as­tro­physi­cist Jane Foster discovers portals linking the realms, whereupon she in­ad­ver­tent­ly becomes the host of the Aether. Thor rescues his lover and brings her to Asgard. Many battles ensue across the Nine Realms as Thor prevents the Elves from invoking the Aether at the Con­ver­gence.

I preferred the first Thor film continue.

Review: Elysium

Title: Elysium
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Released: 2013
Keywords: sf
Watched: 15 July, 2016

By 2154, the rich have moved off-planet to a utopic habitat, while the teeming billions languish in slums below. Elysium has Med-Bays which can cure anything; Earth scrapes by. Max (Matt Damon), an ex-con des­per­ate­ly in need of a cure, agrees to shoot down the shuttle of an Elysian CEO and hijack his brain. This lethal variety of industrial espionage leaves him holding the keys of the kingdom and makes him Los Angeles' most wanted.

Blomkamp has taken the ever-growing gap that exists between rich and poor today, and ex­ag­ger­at­ed it into an un­scaleable cliff with the continue.

Review: The Tailor of Panama

Title: The Tailor of Panama
Director: John Boorman
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Released: 2001
Keywords: spy thriller, satire
Watched: 7 July, 2016

Andy Osnard (Pierce Brosnan) is a disgraced MI6 officer, packed off to Panama, where he recruits Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush), the eponymous tailor. Osnard is an un­scrupu­lous dirtbag; Pendel is a fabulist in need of money; they're made for each other. Panama is “Casablan­ca without the heroes” and Pendel spins tall tales that make their way back to London. Eventually, he outdoes himself, claiming that the Canal is to be sold to the Chinese. Osnard manages to procure $15 million to fund a revolution, which he plans to abscond with.

Brosnan plays against continue.

Review: Tomorrowland

Title: To­mor­row­land
Director: Brad Bird
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2015
Keywords: sf
Watched: 2 July, 2016

To­mor­row­land is a story of dashed dreams and recovered optimism.

In 1964, eleven-year-old Frank Walker meets a girl called Athena who takes him from the World's Fair into a futuristic city called To­mor­row­land. In the present day, where doom and gloom reign, a teenager called Casey hasn't given up hope of a better future. She is recruited by Athena—­some­how no older—to save the world. Casey finds Frank, who is embittered at having been cast out of paradise decades ago. They find their way back into the now-desolate To­mor­row­land and destroy the machine that's casting a pall continue.

Review: Jimmy's Hall

Title: Jimmy's Hall
Director: Ken Loach
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Released: 2014
Keywords: irish, historical
Watched: 1 July, 2016

Jimmy's Hall tells how Jimmy Gralton became the only Irishman ever deported from Ireland. Gralton returns to rural Ireland from the US in 1932, after being run out ten years' earlier during the Irish Civil War for Communist activity. He revives the dance hall he had built previously, as it is a much-needed outlet for the young to dance, study, and talk, and im­me­di­ate­ly runs afoul of the local powers, par­tic­u­lar­ly the parish priest. Tensions escalate, cul­mi­nat­ing in his de­por­ta­tion.

Ken Loach is never subtle about his own socialist beliefs. Jimmy's Hall is a polemic about the struggle continue.

Review: Independence Day: Resurgence

Title: In­de­pen­dence Day: Resurgence
Director: Roland Emmerich
Rating: ★ ★
Released: 2016
Keywords: sf
Watched: 24 June, 2016

As I watched In­de­pen­dence Day 2, I disliked it more and more, to the point where I was seething with anger at the stupidity of the plot and the characters.

The original 1996 In­de­pen­dence Day was at least a watchable B-movie. The sequel is leaden and plodding and makes no sense. The characters are per­func­to­ry and un­in­ter­est­ing, while the comic reliefs are teeth-grindingly irritating. You might assume that the young pilot who is the son of Will Smith's character would be the lead in this film, but he's sidelined here by Liam Hemsworth as the Top Gun jock.

My continue.

Review: The Queen of Ireland

In the last few years in Seattle, I've met the Prime Minister (Taoiseach) of Ireland, the President of Ireland, and now the Queen of Ireland.

Title: The Queen of Ireland
Director: Conor Horgan
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2015
Keywords: doc­u­men­tary, ireland, lgbt
Watched: 2 June, 2016

The Queen of Ireland is a doc­u­men­tary about Ireland's best-known drag queen, Panti Bliss (Rory O'Neill), who became an accidental activist and the face of marriage equality in Ireland.

Filming started in 2010. In early 2014, O'Neill appeared on an RTÉ chat show and alleged that some in­di­vid­u­als in Irish journalism are homophobic. They threatened to sue and RTÉ backed down, apol­o­giz­ing and paying them €85,000. This became continue.

Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Title: Avengers: Age of Ultron
Writer–Di­rec­tor: Joss Whedon
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2015
Keywords: Marvel, superhero
Watched: 20 May, 2016

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark's hubris leads to the creation of a lethal robot with daddy issues. Ultron, who is supposed to be the ultimate planetary line of defense, im­me­di­ate­ly goes rogue upon achieving sentience. He vows to destroy humanity to save the planet, and in particular to destroy his maker and the other Avengers. His ally Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch) uses her powers to sow dissension in their ranks, which nearly tears them apart. They defeat Ultron only after enormous de­struc­tion of life and property, with con­se­quences that are continue.

Review: Sing Street

Title: Sing Street
Writer-Director: John Carney
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2016
Keywords: musical comedy-drama, teen, coming of age, period, Irish
Watched: 14 May, 2016

Conor Lalor's family life is falling apart. His parents are breaking up and they're broke, there not being much work in Dublin in 1985. To economize, they take the 15-year-old out of his fee-paying Jesuit school and send him to the Christian Brothers' school in Synge Street. Conor wants to impress the beautiful girl who lives across the street and he offers to put her in his music video. Raphina accepts and then he has to pull together a band with his school mates, which they call continue.

Review: What We Do In The Shadows

Title: What We Do In The Shadows
Director: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2014
Keywords: mock­u­men­tary
Watched: 13 May, 2016

What We Do In The Shadows is a mock­u­men­tary about four vampires living in the suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand. They are being filmed by a doc­u­men­tary crew in the months running up to the Unholy Masquerade Ball, the highlight of the social season for the local vampires, witches, and zombies. Not well adapted to modern life, Viago, Vladislav, and Deacon are all hundreds of years old. 8,000-year-old Petyr turns a new vampire, Nick, who brings his human friend, Stu, a computer programmer, into their circle. Stu—who the older vampires like continue.

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