On September 8th and 9th Scannain had the great privilege to be present at the second annual Movies.ie Movie Fest held in Cineworld, Dublin. This two day event featured 6 Irish premieres and offered Irish movie fans their first glimpses at the upcoming slates from all of the big film producers and distributors. What follows is an experience of day two…
What we saw: Day Two: Movies:
Premium Rush – A fast paced and frantic start to Sunday, Premium Rush is the story of Wilee (Joseph Gordon Levitt) a bike messenger who picks up a package for delivery all the way down to the bottom of Manhattan island in 90 minutes. Aside from the traffic and general urban chaos the contents of the package have attracted the attention of renegade cop Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) who is prepared to do anything to get it. With a confined time-frame the movie has the perfect setting for an adrenaline fuelled chase through the busy New York streets, and that’s exactly what it delivers. The movie is visually amazing, although one or two editing issues zap some of the sheer rush for the film. That is counter-balanced by the performances as JGL adds to his impressive resume with another top performance and Shannon does another big-bad-definitely-deranged-guy as only he can. A pumping soundtrack adds to the wallop and leaves audiences short of breath come the end.
Hit & Run (Mystery Movie #2) – Again the surprise film was completely unpredicted and again it divided audiences. This time around more fell into the sadly-disappointed group than into the surprisingly-entertained camp. Not a bad movie by any means Hit & Run is one of those films that seems to have been made just for the entertainment of the cast and crew. The film follows Charlie Bronson (Dax Shephard) a lay-about guy in witness protection who has a girl that’s way too good for him. When she’s offered a job in LA rather than risk losing her he risks his own neck by returning to the city against the advice of his hapless US Marshall protector. What this film amounts to is a sequence of well-executed car chases, some laughs, huge plot-holes and a collection of cameos where director/writer/star Shephard shows of all of his Hollywood chums.
Looper – Ending on a high-note Looper was the film of the festival. Set in a dystopian USA Looper imagines a future where time-travel has not yet been invented but soon will be. Immediately outlawed the only people who use time-travel are criminals from the future who send their victims into the past to be assassinated by men known as Loopers. Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Joe is one of these, and when one of his targets escapes he himself has to go on the run to track him down. Imaginative and inventive Looper is a hard sci-fi film that dispenses with the techno-babble in lieu of plot, character development and great acting. Which is always welcome. The spectacle is all there, with the future looking bleak and uncompromising, harsh yet futuristic, but that’s background to a study on human-nature and causality that unravels in such a way as to never overwhelm the audience. Director Rian Johnson brilliantly structures the film so that even good and bad are not easily distinguished, and JGL, Emily Blunt and even Bruce Willis are all given space to act and shine. Easily the best sci-fi film in years, mostly because you don’t even notice that it is one.
What we saw: Day Two: Footage:
Byzantium – Several minutes of footage introducing Gemma Arterton’s character and explaining her origin story. Visually impressive but lacking in that something that makes the audience want more.
Seven Psychopaths – Extended introduction featuring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. Gave a good account of the humour that can be expected in Martin McDonagh’s second film.
Rise of the Guardians – 28 minutes from the beginning of the movie. Sublime use of 3D and stunning CGI, coupled with an engaging story. Audience was visibly disappointed by the abrupt ending.
What we saw: Day Two: Trailers
Beasts of the Southern Wild – Previously released theatrical trailer. Received one of the best audience responses of the day.
Rust & Bone – Previously released theatrical trailer. Very well received.
Skyfall – Previously released theatrical trailer. Well received.
Death of a Superhero – Previously released theatrical trailer. Well received.
Day two followed the tradition of day one with a strong mix of films, footage and trailers. Perhaps too many trailers were shown, and too little footage but as the festival gains traction I expect that to change. Hit & Run was a disappointing mystery movie but that was more than made up for with the brilliance of Looper. Scannain will definitely be back for more and probably first in line!