Talking Movies

December 8, 2019

You Have Been Listening To: Part III

It is time to discreetly begin to draw the curtains for Christmas. There will be no more reviews by me of new releases on 103.2 Dublin City FM this year. But here’s a round-up of links to the previous editions of Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle and a list of the many films we discussed since June if you’re eager to explore the back catalogue.

JUNE

X-Men: Dark Phoenix + Classic Ghostbusters II + Classic The Matrix
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/9619-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Balloon + TV Choice The Accountant + Classic Dr Strangelove
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/16619-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Brightburn + TV Choice Dial M for Murder + Classic Mean Girls
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/23619-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Yesterday + TV Choice Casino Royale + Classic Superman II
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/30619-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
JULY
Apollo 11 + TV Choice Bullitt + Classic Rear Window
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/7719-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Stuber + TV Choice Jaws + Classic Ma Nuit Chez Maud
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/the-sunday-breakfast-show-film-review-14719
The Current War + TV Choice Arrival + Classic Gone with the Wind
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/the-sunday-breakfast-show-film-review
AUGUST
Hobbs & Shaw + TV Choice The Guest + Classic It Happened One Night
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/the-sunday-breakfast-show-film-review-1
The Art of Racing in the Rain + TV Choice Patriots Day + Classic Phase IV
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/talking-film-on-the-sunday-breakfast-show
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood + TV Choice Dirty Harry + Classic Army of Shadows
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/talking-film-on-the-sunday-breakfast-show-1
Pain and Glory + TV Choice White House Down + Classic Little Women

 SEPTEMBER

Crawl + TV Choice Gone Girl + Classic Whiskey Galore!
IT: Chapter 2 + TV Choice X-Men: Days of Future Past + Classic The Italian Job
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/talking-film-on-the-sunday-breakfast-show-2
Extra Ordinary + TV Choice Batman Begins + Classic Ghostbusters
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/15919-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Ad Astra + TV Choice Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me + Classic The Godfather: Part II
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/22919-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Ready or Not + TV Choice L’Avenir + Classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/29919-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
OCTOBER
Joker + Judy + Classic White Heat
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/61019-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Gemini Man + TV Choice Now You See Me + Classic Fight Club
Dark Lies the Island + TV Choice Good Night, and Good Luck + Classic Crimes & Misdemeanours
Countdown + TV Choice The Shallows + Classic Them!
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/the-halloween-show-with-patrick-doyle/
NOVEMBER
Doctor Sleep + TV Choice Kingsman: The Secret Service + Classic Girl, Interrupted
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/101119-the-sunday-breakfast-show/
Le Mans ’66 + TV Choice Funeral in Berlin + Classic Rio Bravo
DECEMBER
Marriage Story + TV Choice World War Z + Classic Field of Dreams
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/

Notes on Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story was the catch-up film of the week much earlier today on Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michelle Quance/VARIETY/Shutterstock (10404629aa)
Noah Baumbach and Adam Driver
Variety Studio at Toronto International Film Festival, Presented by AT&T, Day 3, Canada – 08 Sep 2019

Adam Driver’s fourth collaboration with Baumbach this decade is a film that is very good, and yet also very hard to recommend. It is a film which will stay with you, from the unusual narrated opening montages, to Driver’s astonishing one-take delivery of a Stephen Sondheim song, to the absurdity of a court appointed observer silently judging a parent without ever having observed how parents handle raising their children. When it is funny it is hilarious, but the emotion and financial agony of a divorce is represented in excruciating detail where throwaway comments are weaponised and Driver’s character ends up accepting the fiction that he has always lived in LA when he has never lived in LA because that’s the narrative the court wants to hear.

Listen here:

November 17, 2019

Notes on Le Mans ’66

Le Mans ’66 was the film of the week much earlier today on Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

A more accurate title would be The Road to Le Mans ’66 and in America rather than Ford v Ferrari it should be Ford Middle Management v Shelby Racing.

Le Mans ’66 starts promisingly with a startling recreation of racing Le Mans at night, mist obscuring a dark country road interspersed with fast cars being handled recklessly. But at 2 hours 34 minutes this is more accurately The Road to Le Mans ’66 as it is a good 1 hour and 42 minutes into the film before Bale sets foot in France. The script by the Brothers Butterworth and Jason Keller is fairly rambling, and leaves a distinctly bitter taste in the mouth after the epic run time. Bale’s performance is a curate’s egg: the showy weight loss, the Brummie accent that frequently hits Liverpool, the nervous tics and arrogant mouthing off like Liam Gallagher crossed with Bale’s meth-head in The Fighter. His quietest moments are most effective, so you wonder why Mangold sanctioned this way of playing Miles.

Damon is on far surer ground as Shelby, a man continually trying to find his footing as the world keeps changing on him. Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders devolve into generic Zimmer for the finale at Le Mans, but prior to that provide an interesting score inflected with the jazz of the time; with numerous delicate touches of rich double bass and whispering drums. Mangold’s semi-regular cinematographer Phedon Papamichael provides some dizzying shots of high-paced vehicular mayhem, but you yearn for an artsy long-take from a low-mounted camera to really capture the feel of the perfect 3:33 lap so often mentioned. Ultimately this isn’t really Ford v Ferrari, so much as a battle of wills between talented people who are experts in their field and just need money versus people who are complete idiots but for egregious reasons have money.

Listen here:

November 10, 2019

Notes on Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep, the very belated sequel to The Shining, was the catch-up film of the week much earlier today on Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

Rising horror maestro Mike Flanagan attempts to reconcile the book of The Shining with the movie of The Shining while at the same time making a sequel that is nothing like The Shining. No wonder this is 2 hours 30 minutes. And yet it is above all things a leisurely movie. If it were better one would compare it to how David Fincher let The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo breathe by burrowing into character and mystery. But such a comparison is unearned, instead there is a more apt (and dreaded) comparison to Ready Player One. Spielberg recreated the Overlook Hotel in CGI, and Flanagan resurrects a gargantuan set, but in both cases once the initial thrill wears off you realise you are essentially on a ride at a nostalgia theme park – the recognition is all, nothing of great pith or moment or heavens preserve us originality is going to happen here. Besides which Doctor Sleep is not very scary for most of its running time, it’s perfectly agreeable but as it goes nowhere goodwill evaporates afterward.

Listen here:

October 31, 2019

Notes on Countdown

Countdown was the film of the week for a special PG-13 horror Hallowe’en edition of Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

It’s almost hard to believe that Countdown wasn’t produced by Jason Blum. There is a certain Happy Death Day quality to proceedings, although this is far darker in tone; pushing the PG-13 rating to the limit with its demon CGI FX. The cold open certainly puts one in mind of Scream, sketching in the plot and tone of the film with great economy. The dread it generates is replicated numerous times before it starts to lose its effectiveness. Meanwhile Elizabeth Lail continues the odd flashback vibe as she seems to be channelling Kellie Martin’s ER role.

Listen here:

 

October 20, 2019

Notes on Dark Lies the Island

Dark Lies the Island was the Irish film of the week much earlier today on Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

A Film with me in it director Ian Fitzgibbon teams up with author Kevin Barry for a feature film spun out from characters in Barry’s short story collections Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms. A top Irish cast is assembled for this tale of family feuds and criminal mysteries in the Northwest. The fictional town of Dromord is presided over by Daddy Mannion (Pat Shortt), and the inhabitants have a nasty habit of chucking themselves in the lake because of existential despair. Daddy’s wife Sarah (Charlie Murphy) is worried that her alienated daughter Saoirse may be next in line for this. But as she continues an affair with her step-son Martin (Moe Dunford), while continuing to care for her ex-boyfriend, her other step-son Doggy (Peter Coonan), it may be less a question of who throws themselves into the lake than who gets thrown into it to suffer the green bloat.

Listen here:

October 14, 2019

Notes on Gemini Man

Will Smith’s Gemini Man was the underwhelming film of the week early yesterday morning on Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

Watching Gemini Man is a disconcerting experience, and not just because of the uncanny valley effect that (and this is very baffling) intermittently afflicts scenes with the CGI’d 1990s Will Smith. No, what truly disorients is that Ang Lee, director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Sense & Sensibility, has made a film of very occasional muddled and dull action surrounded by a cast of fine actors (Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Benedict Wong, Clive Owen) mumbling their way blankly thru endless tedious exposition in an idiotic script that waits for about 55 minutes to reveal what we know from the poster in the cinema lobby – that Will Smith is being hunted by his younger clone. David Benioff and Billy Ray are given the lion’s share of the credit for this mess after 20 odd years of development hell and one can only dream of what Andrew Niccol’s draft of this material might have done with the philosophical implications of cloning because this movie has zip interest except as a stepping stone to a shootout.

Listen here:

October 6, 2019

Notes on Joker

Joaquin Phoenix’s turn in Joker was the film of the week much earlier today on Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

Todd Phillips gets by with a little help from his friends; Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Alan Moore and Frank Miller. No joke, Joker will frequently leave you with your jaw on the floor as ideas, scenes, camera moves, style and sequences are lifted from other, better films. If you have seen The King of Comedy or Fight Club or House MD you will be getting some severe deja vu. Joker is grimly impressive, from Mark Friedberg’s decrepit production design modelled on the awful appearance of NYC of the mid 1970s, to the artfully framed and held cinematography of Lawrence Sher imitating to a tee the work of Michael Chapman, Jeff Cronenweth and Wally Pfister, to the oppressive score from Hildur Gudnadottir which adds featured drums and horns to the Zimmer dissonant strings approach to the character. But all these production values can’t hide the emptiness of this enterprise. You show nothing of your own work Todd Phillips, how this film won a Golden Lion at Venice is amazing, as Marshall MacLuhan might say.

Listen here:

Notes on Judy

Judy was the secondary film of the week in an innovation much earlier today on Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

The finances of Judy Garland (Zellweger) are perpetually in a state of vague distress. When she is forced to house her children at the home of their father Sidney (Rufus Sewell), after her hotel releases her suite, she finds herself accepting a five week engagement in London over Christmas 1968 to try and raise some quick cash. Impresario Delfont (Michael Gambon), his fixer Rosalyn (Jessie Buckley), and bandleader Burt (Royce Pierreson) are unprepared for the ramshackle performer who arrives, despite her reputation. Adding to the volatility is her unwise romance with much younger musician Mickey (Finn Wittrock), who she meets at a party where daughter Liza (Gemma-Leah Deveraux) reveals she is about to star in a musical. Such breaks are beyond Judy at this point; her voice and body failing after years of substance abuse, these concerts become a swansong.

Judy isn’t as colourful as one might hope from director Rupert Goold of the Almeida Theatre. Instead it feels an awful lot like the sumptuous but sedate My Week with Marilyn, another BBC Films biopic of an American starlet in post-war London that was simply straining itself to earn Oscar nods. Production designer Kave Quinn and costume designer Jany Temime do a sterling job of recreating a late 1960s London that feels by turns swinging and solid, but the screenplay by Tom Edge; reshaping Peter Quilter’s play and fleshing out Judy’s mistreatment by Louis B Mayer (Richard Cordery in a highly creepy performance perhaps informed by Harvey Weinstein); only occasionally reaches high notes of emotion or insight. On the whole proceedings are quite dull.

Listen here:

September 29, 2019

Notes on Ready or Not

Shlocky horror-comedy Ready or Not was the film of the week much earlier today on Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

It is semi-remarkable that this is the work of directing duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who made the found footage Rosemary’s Baby riff Devil’s Due that (apparently unwittingly) used the Euro sign as a Satanic symbol. Admittedly Ready or Not boasts a far better script, by Guy Busick (Urge) and (no, not that) Ryan Murphy, but it also looks gorgeous. Andrew M Stearn’s production design for the De Lomas mansion and grounds are lit by Brett Jutkiewicz to bring out the warmth of the wood panelling and lamps and to cast us into a more Fincheresque colour scheme outdoors. Meanwhile in support John Ralston as major-domo Stevens gamely plays a kitchen sequence of Hitchcockian delight and a truly delirious conceit that would do Scream proud; featuring the most improbable and incredibly inopportune rocking along to Tchaikovksy’s 1812 Overture imaginable.

Listen here:

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