Friday, September 14, 2012

Movie Fest 2012 - Day One Reviews

Last weekend was one that Casa Cherry had been looking forward to for quite a while, the second annual Dublin Movie Fest. The excitement was palpable in the days leading up to it, with ideas shooting round as to what our mystery movies would be and if they would live up to the awesomeness of Drive last year.

The Movie Fest set up is simple, held over two full days. Each day there’s 3 movies, one of which a very mysterious mystery until the opening titles roll but all of them are exclusive to the festival and some won’t be seen in Ireland for months. The featured films are wedged between exclusive footage, trailers and sneak previews of upcoming movies, a film fan’s dream. I’ve mini reviews on each of the films for you today, as I said they’ll all be opening in the coming weeks and months, so I’d love to hear your thoughts if and when you do catch them in the cinema.


The second stop motion feature from the awe inspiring Laika Studios is ParaNorman. The story of a young boy who can talk with ghosts, his gift ostracises him from friends and family (the living ones) but ultimately could be the saviour of his small town. The underlying theme is of intolerance, misunderstanding and the consequences of acting out of fear but the tale is brought to life with sheer craftsmanship. 

The attention to detail in each scene is breathtaking and the 3D stunning. There’s twists, turns and plenty of laughs as Norman fights to save the people who have shunned him. ParaNorman is completely original and bursting with raw talent. The PG certificate is under appeal and I can see why, some scenes are a little frightening for smallies but from the age of 6 up, audiences will be thrilled. 



Purported as Freddie Krueger meets IT, Stitches is an Irish made splatter horror/comedy (homedy?) from Conor McMahon. Unfortunately, despite my initial excitement, it’s one of the unfunniest comedies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s the story of Stitches the clown, killed by a group of mischievous children, who comes back for retribution 5 years later. Truly, I’m shaking my head while typing this, it’s that bad. 

Director McMahon revealed during the Q&A that he wanted to used ordinary young actors so recruited them from school (presumably Billy Barry), this movie is a cautionary tale for any director wanting to do the same. Audience reaction to this was mixed, some splitting their sides laughing and others walking out, I do regret not being part of the latter camp. Instead I endured and that’s 86 minutes of my life I’m never getting back. No, Stiches, just no.


Pitch Perfect (Mystery Movie)

Glee fans will adore this latest Universal offering. The story of Accapella groups competing in college. Anyone that’s grown tired of actors in their late twenties playing teenage crooners, however, will shrug at the need for this movie to have ever been made. There are some funny moments amidst all the cliché and I can’t help but think that had they gone all out parody, along the lines of Scary Movie, Pitch Perfect could have been great. 

Unfortunately by the last act, it’s taking itself far too seriously and turns back into a churned out musical medley. It’s fun but there’s nothing stand out or original enough to warrant your cinema ticket price.  


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