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Posts Tagged ‘ Catherine Zeta-Jones ’

Side Effects

sideeffectsIn the movie world there are certain clichés for which we should be grateful. For example, when a film is described as a ‘heart-warming comedy’ we are instantly assured of its awfulness. Similarly, by placing the words ‘Sarah Jessica Parker’ on a promotional poster, the studio is graciously informing us that only stupid people need attend.

So what of the ‘smart thriller’? Without doubt a more difficult beast to predict, but certain behavioural patterns are observable. These films tend to be interesting up to a narrative point, after which they hurtle into a mandatory, significantly less interesting denouement. While the first section can offer ambiguity, delicacy and mystery, the conclusion usually just twists a few plots, ties some loose ends, and sends us on our way with a vague sense of disappointment. Continue reading

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Top Five Irish Actors Taking Centre Stage In The US

Ireland is recognised for the art of storytelling; from folklore, to literature, to music, to acting. For years it has produced remarkable stage and screen actors such as Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy to name a few, and now it would seem that there are a number of up-and-coming young male and female actors following their suit and paving their own way with their own distinctive careers. With St. Patrick’s Day not too far away, it is worth taking a look at a few actors making waves across the Atlantic and hoping that this trend only increases as time goes on.

Irish Film And Television Awards - Arrivals

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Playing for Keeps

Gerard Butler, Noah Lomax and Jessica Biel in "Playing for Keeps"

George (Gerard Butler) a former international football star (soccer to our American audience) moves to a chic Virginian suburb to be near his son Lewis (Noah Lomax). While he is trying to re-build his relationship with Lewis and win back his ex-wife Stacie (Jessica Biel) he is also desperately struggling to break into sports broadcasting. Down on his luck and with no money George steps in as his son’s football coach and suddenly becomes the centre of attention, both to male and female parents and the story gets complicated.

Playing for Keeps is a film that can’t make up its mind what its main plot should be.  There are three strands of stories that never seem to quite twist into one coherent plot. The first is about a washed–up international football player who tries to redeem himself by becoming the coach of his child’s football team, the second is a bad and very awkward slapstick comedy about MILF’s who can’t wait to get their hands on and under their kids hunky Scottish coach’s kit and lastly there is a romantic drama about two people who are still in love but who are not sure if love can really conquer all and if family trumps career.

Even the plethora of stars in the cast can’t save this film from being less than middle-of-the-road. Uma Thurman as the horny, revenge-seeking MILF Patti is lacklustre, her jealous, spendthrift husband Carl (Denis Quaid) is like a cartoon. Even the normally enjoyable Judy Greer as the emotional divorcee Barb and sexy Catherine Zeta-Jones as the queen bee of MILF’s Denise don’t give Playing for Keeps a much needed lift.

Overall Playing for Keeps is a forgettable film and one you shouldn’t pay to watch, just another one of Directors Gabriele Muccino’s flops.  But if you really think you need to see Gerard Butler at his worst and spend over 100minutes wondering how much these big stars must have been paid to be part of this film fiasco wait till it’s on TV and you have nothing better to do. Definitely don’t buy the DVD as Playing for Keeps is not worth keeping, or remembering for that matter.

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