Posts tagged Ireland
MOVIE REVIEW: The Young Offenders

The banter and B.S. traded back and forth between Alex Murphy and Chris Walley is as hysterical as it is pleasurably uncouth.  It’s an absolute wonder to realize that The Young Offenders is mutually their first on-camera film roles.  Alex and Chris’s chemistry through sarcasm and shared shenanigans feels and looks effortless.  Flabbergasted energy blasts out of both of them and it’s a hoot to watch.  Seeing the two young actors operate these over-the-top losers with reckless abandon while still injecting a little coming-of-age heart for good measure, makes the film highly entertaining.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Dunning Man

Inspired by true events, which will cause a fun double take as the film transpires, The Dunning Man is adapted from the published short stories of producer Kevin Fortuna.  Precariously, at times, balancing somewhere between an urban drama and paperback crime novel, the film presents a seedy slice of Atlantic City calmed by nostalgic scene transitions of vintage footage of the city in its decadent heyday.

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CAPSULE REVIEWS: The third annual Irish American Movie Hooley

The third annual Irish American Movie Hooley is happening this weekend at the Gene Siskel Film Center from September 29-October 1st.  This very writer and website was both lucky and honored to cover this event last year and has again been granted coverage access this year.  The event is comprised of three feature films, two of which are directorial debuts, all of whom are making their Chicago premieres.  Here are my capsule reviews of the three films.  Get your Irish on at the Siskel Film Center this weekend!

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2017 Chicago Irish Film Festival: Short Program II

Kids not only say the darndest things, but do the darndest things too.  “The Debt” is a highly charming short film illustrating a child’s view of courtship and love.  The romantic ways of the world are foreign to the young, so they make up their own ideas.  Engaging and well-acted by youth performers, this short film will charm you to pieces.


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SHORT FILM REVIEW: More Than a Barbershop

2017 Chicago Irish Film Festival: Shorts Program II

In the world of poker, they say all you need is a chip and a chair to play and be a factor.  For a musician, all you need is a time and a place.  Your voice and instruments can do the rest.  Not every concert needs to be in front of hundreds or thousands of adoring fans powered by a stadium’s worth of light and speakers.  A singer and a microphone can fit just about anywhere.  Well, how about a barbershop, and not the quartet variety?


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2017 Chicago Irish Film Festival: Shorts Program I

Diverting from the other short films in this program at the Chicago Irish Film Festival, “Blackbird” leans to the existential and experimental.  The abstract feel and weighty themes are in place to knock one’s socks off.  However, in an ironic fashion, this is a short film that feels too short.

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EDITORIAL: The 10 best Irish-themed films

I felt obligated to update an editorial list I made five years ago in 2012 of the best Irish-themed movies in time for celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  It was due for a dusting with two new additions.  For this list, I opened the field to either movies set in Ireland or those that feature notable Irish characters or stories outside of the Emerald Isle.  That possibilities spanned movies both foreign and domestic.  Pour the Guinness, heat the corned beef, and enjoy my list of the 10 best Irish-themed movies!

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A masterfully powerful documentary, “A Doctor’s Sword,” chronicling the reflective and jarring tale of Irish World War II veteran Aidan MacCarthy, recently played as part of the second annual Irish American Movie Hooley at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.  One half of this fine film is an astounding you-wouldn't-believe-it-if-I-told-you true story of World War II survival that would make "Unbroken" look like a nursery rhyme.  Its calmer other half takes place in a present day where two proud families and two proud countries are forever bonded by shared history.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Beneath Disheveled Stars

Kevin Baggott’s darkly comedic film “Beneath Disheveled Stars" was a favorite of the Cork Indie Film Festival and Brooklyn Underground Film Festival.  The film recently opened the 2nd annual Irish American Movie Hooley at the Gene Siskel Film Center in downtown Chicago.  As a self-made film from a self-made man, there are qualities to appreciate from this quixotic wild goose choose.

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CAPSULE REVIEWS: The 2nd Annual Irish American Movie Hooley

The second annual Irish American Movie Hooley at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.  Presented by 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey and produced by Hibernian Transmedia, the spirited mini-festival has a slate of three films, two making their Chicago premieres between September 30 and October 2.  This very writer and website was privy to viewing and reviewing this year’s Irish American Movie Hooley selections in advance.  Here are my capsule reviews and recommendations.

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"Brooklyn" is an forthright, approachable, and esteemed historical drama where the dignity and honesty soar to heavenly heights to shine on the plights of love and independence.  This tremendous film nestles a powerful love triangle within a touching immigrant and independent woman's saga from the 1950s.  More than just being some high-end chick flick, "Brooklyn" stands as one of the finest films of the year and an immediate Oscar contender.

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