Archive for Domhnall Gleeson

The Revenant: Proof That It Really Could Always Be Worse

Posted in 7, Action, Drama, Horror, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , on February 10, 2016 by mducoing

Revenant - IMDBThere is beauty in misery. For the most part, this sums of Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s latest film, The Revenant, which basically follows a colonial version of Job through every horror one can imagine. Beautiful, engaging but also exhausting and ultimately over-the-top.

Premise: A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival in pursuit of revenge. Result: A dark, emotional draining crucible of horror and madness that is both beautiful and traumatic.

Iñárritu‘s newest film forgoes much of the brilliant, often esoteric meta-tale of one man’s personal woes in favor of a far more direct route. Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his “half-breed” Native American son are trackers who appear to be the only hope of a band of American fur traders out in the Northern Wilderness who have just been trounced in one of the most jarring camp raids to hit audiences in recent memory. Observers will be shaken by the powerful and painful direction and will welcome the subsequent low-burn tension that pits Glass against John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), who has declared his opposition to Glass’s recommended plan in spite of Captain Andrew Henry’s (Domhnall Gleeson) decision to side with Glass.

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Star Wars – The Force Awakens: A Modern Version of What Fans Have Always Loved

Posted in 8, Action, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2015 by mducoing

SWTFA-IMDBSet to break every box office record that has ever existed in Hollywood, J.J. Abrams’ contribution to the Star Wars universe appears to be a gamble that has paid off in spades. An often stunning, fun, and deeply exhilarating film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is likely as good as it gets in Star Wars, delivering much of the power of the original in a modern, yet somehow nostalgic, incarnation.

Premise: Thirty years after the defeat of the Empire, The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy. With the help of the Resistance, only a reluctant and unexpected group of heroes can stop them. Result: The Star Wars film we have been looking for.

Harnessing the power fanboys everywhere (their hopes, their fears, their terrifyingly obsessive attention to detail), Abrams has created a Star Wars film that is as close to the original in look, feel and result as the original. It is quirky and yet sophisticated, combining action and comedy with the grandeur of a galactic storyline much as the originals did.

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Ex Machina: Beautiful, Staggering and Chilling to Watch

Posted in 9, Horror, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy, Thriller with tags , , , , on May 17, 2015 by mducoing

Ex Machina - IMDBWhile the concept of AI is by no means new in modern filmmaking (A.I., iRobot, Chappie, Her to name a few) writer/director (Alex Garland) has delivered a tale that has a powerful new perspective on the notion of Artificial Intelligence. Scene after scene, moment after moment is a slow-burn thrill for audiences with a very smart, hyper-cynical perspective on humanity and the things that make us the Intelligent Being we believe we are.

Premise: A young programmer has been selected to help test a breakthrough artificial intelligence artificial intelligence that is even more than he suspects. Result: An immediate classic, this film will torment its viewers and have them coming back for more.

While it is certainly an understatement to say that Ex Machina is a pleasant surprise, it may be the only thing pleasant about it. The storyline, performances and visuals are disruptive, unsettling threads in a tapestry of genuine discomforting thrill. It is survivable electrocution by film: the energy will not destroy us but will create a wave of genuine terror, disquiet and unexplained pleasure from which we cannot escape.

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Unbroken: Pretty Good When It Isn’t Bordering on Interminable Torture Porn

Posted in 7, Drama, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2015 by mducoing

UnbrokenAdapted from the Laura Hillenbrand novel based on the harrowing and inspirational tale of Louis Zamperini, director Angelina Jolie teams with the Joel Coen and Ethan Coen to deliver a film that is as harrowing for audiences as it is inspirational.

Premise: The disturbing saga of Olympian Louis Zamperini who finds himself lost at sea only to be captured by the Japanese during WWII. Result: Overall well developed but too many issues crept in and dragged this film down a notch or two.

Unbroken follows Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) in three stages of his life – tortured by Life (Growing up), tortured by Nature (lost at sea), and tortured by the Japanese (prisoner of war). The first segment finds Louis the victim of bullies and bad behavior (drinking, stealing, looking up girls’ skirts) until his brother Pete (played as a boy by John D’Leo and later as an adult by Alex Russell) essentially rescues him from himself, coaching him in life and on the track, where he excelled as a long-distance runner.

This segment is a brief, more somber Forest Gump take on running peppered by Pete’s insufferable maxims: he is essentially a catch phrase delivery device with no other impact, spouting slogans like “If you can take it, you can make it” ad nauseum. But we applaud and are excited by team Zamperini, because of our collective, secret desire to see a young kid beat odds.

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Frank: Pretty Strange But Pretty Great

Posted in 7, Comedy, Drama, Independent, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2014 by mducoing

FrankDirector Lenny Abrahamson, along with writers Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan, delivers one of the most peculiar films in recent memory. Based on the true story of Frank Sidebottom and captured for the screen by his actual bandmate Jon Ronson, this film forces audiences to contemplate mental illness, marginal but powerful music, stability and acceptance while wrapping the story in a deep layer of dark humor.

Premise: Wanna-be musician Jon, discovers he’s in over his head when he joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious Frank. Result: A mixture of complex ingredients, this is a strong film that is funny and ripe with emotion.

Frank is likely to take many observers out of their comfort zones. It begins with Jon Burroughs (Domhnall Gleeson), an ordinary office worker, floundering as a start-up song writer. Inadvertently, he stumbles upon a band with an unpronounceable name led by Frank (Michael Fassbender), a man in a papier-mâché head that he never takes off. Ever! He has a certificate.

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