RSS feed for Ronan
  • Far from Heaven

    Far from Heaven 2002

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Jul, 2015

    Much as I might have been moved by the end to the point where flood warnings have now been issued across Cork, I'm not entirely sure Haynes is well-served by operating in any register other than his own. As I remarked of Safe to the friend who finally pushed me to get a grip on my life and watch it, it's as if Lynch remade Sirk, only nothing like that at all; Haynes has the capacity to press along on…

  • The Look of Silence

    The Look of Silence 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 29 Jul, 2015

    "Can't we all just get along like the military dictatorship taught us to?"
    Every bit as skin-shrivellingly staggering as its predecessor, if often for different reasons entirely, Oppenheimer's [sequel? companion piece? shrewd evidence of how many different movies a documentarian can forge from enough raw material?] had me gnawing my own hands off as though I were sat right there in the room with these folks desperately trying to pass off their atrocities as anything but. And therein lies what…

  • Safe

    Safe 1995

    ★★★★½ Watched 28 Jul, 2015

    That point where Julianne Moore—wearing that look that both believably projects the well-adjusted Modern Woman she absolutely thinks herself and unmistakeably reveals its fragility—sips her milk as Haynes distorts the world around her in a dolly zoom that should immediately replace that Goodfellas shot on every Film Studies 101 course ever is one of those rare early-on instances where my metaphorical jaw hit the floor as I realised—oh boy—I was going to adore every second of the hour-and-a-half-plus to come.…

  • Inside Out

    Inside Out 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 26 Jul, 2015

    Woke up after a particularly far-ranging and fluid-intaking catch-up night with an old friend with all the voices in my head united, for once, in a single sentiment: ouch. So naturally I crawled my way into a room stuffed with very loud children and proceeded to do my best to save even just a handful of them from drowning in the river of mine own tears I eventually sailed out on. Most of them (the tears) were of laughter, actually:…

  • Lava

    Lava 2015

    ★★½ Watched 26 Jul, 2015

    Lavaing something doesn't make any fucking sense, Jesus Pixar.

  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 29 Jun, 2015

    Review from Scannain

    “It feels like the first time,” Foreigner sang over the closing credits of Magic Mike back in 2012, “like we’ve opened up the door”. And boy, did that movie, to a frisky new franchise that’s both a prototypical product of today’s studio system and an all-too rare example of the various angles it often opts to ignore. Explicitly catering to the same mass multiplex audience each year’s slate of straight male fantasies leaves wanting, Magic Mike XXL

  • World of Tomorrow

    World of Tomorrow 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 22 Jun, 2015

    Same story as with (the feature length) It's Such a Beautiful Day for me: if this were my first Hertzfeldt, I dare say I'd adore it. But that was Everything Will Be Ok, and for all the ecstatic aesthetic invention on display here, I'm not sure I took anything from World of Tomorrow I didn't already get from that first encounter*. He's a pretty singular filmmaker, Don, but I'm starting to worry that singularity's being exhausted on a single idea, however dynamically dressed-up it might be.

    * Sudden recollection that I saw Rejected before the lot; huh, make that "first positive encounter", I guess.

  • Weekend

    Weekend 2011

    ★★★★ Rewatched 12 Jun, 2015

    It's always nice to have your take on a film subtly shift over multiple viewings to appreciate its nuance, but I can't help but look back on misreadings with a wince. To lament the film's dual normalisation of gay love and lust and its impassioned anger toward heteronormativity, as I once did, is rather to miss the point: we can't have this relationship just as the story of two people falling in love, because we haven't been allowed to. Haigh…

  • [REC]⁴ Apocalypse

    [REC]⁴ Apocalypse 2014

    ★★ Watched 14 Jun, 2015

    From a genuinely exciting first entry that gave us one of all-too-few astute uses of found footage to genuinely chilling effect to this, a horror so resolutely indistinct I've already forgotten exactly what happens. Had the misguided hope that Balaguero—who spent his time off from the franchise as Plaza made the at-least interesting Genesis crafting the terrific Sleep Tight—might bring something of note back into the series, but nope: any claim Rec ever had to noteworthiness in the genre is now confined to the history books. It's hard to even get too upset when this is so utterly, utterly bland.

  • Boys

    Boys 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 19 Jun, 2015

    Not even remotely distinctive in its coming-out-and-of-age narrative on paper, but there's such lovely life to Mischa Kamp's marvellous aesthetic—even if it's a tad over-eager in its extreme close-ups and slo-mo—that I couldn't help but be won over by the vibrant sensuality of it all. It helps, too, that the big stand-off into which it consistently threatens to devolve never quite happens: Boys is stuffed with the archetypes that always occupy these stories, but none of them quite behaves as expected; none get in the way of Kamp's deeply touching evocation of the simple, sublime joy of falling in love.

  • The Tribe

    The Tribe 2014

    ★★★ Watched 15 Jun, 2015

    Review from Next Projection

    Code Unknown, Michael Haneke’s masterpiece of miscommunication, concludes with the unsubtitled shot of a mute child signing, his half-minute gesticulations an evidently articulate evocation of a meaning to which the great majority of the audience, of course, will have no access. It’s the ideal bookend, together with the charades-centric opening scene, for a film fixated not only with the limits of language, but with the cinema’s capacity to transcend them too. That’s ostensibly the idea behind…

  • Set Fire to the Stars

    Set Fire to the Stars 2014

    ★★★ Watched 27 May, 2015

    Review from Next Projection

    Though it would take a purist pedant to legitimately lament the evolution of colour stock as a negative turning point in film history, there’s no doubt something was lost in Technicolor’s takeover as monochrome movies moved from mainstream to niche, and the basic joy of black and white became impossible to appreciate without express attention. It’s the great strength of Andy Goddard’s Set Fire to the Stars that its self-conscious emulation of yesteryear’s style in its…