Cinema Roundup: February 27th

Cinema roundup February 27th

What better way to spend a Friday night than watching a classic seventies action flick? Tomorrow night The Lighthouse plays host to a late night screening of John Carpenter’s 1976 masterpiece, Assault on Precinct 13.

Heavily inspired by classic westerns, the film is a master class in tension with cracking dialogue, brilliantly staged set pieces and an electronic score you’ll be humming for weeks after.
This week sees the release of Nymphomaniac, the latest from cinema’s most controversial film-maker, Lars Von Trier (Breaking the Waves, Antichrist). There are few directors who divide audience opinion as much as Von Trier and for this reason Nymphomaniac’s release has been equally eagerly anticipated and dreaded.
Some have called his latest a juvenile attempt to shock, dismissing it as pornography, while others have hailed it a cinematic triumph. In my opinion, both views are valid. At times you do feel Von Trier is pushing the boundaries of taboo for the sake of it but the film is a fascinating watch and is certainly never dull.
Nymphomaniac is released in two parts and both the Irish Film Institute and Lighthouse have conveniently scheduled their screenings to accommodate back to back viewings, the best way to view the film if you can handle a four hour assault on both your senses and sensibilities. Be warned, this is arguably the most explicit film in the history of mainstream cinema.
An altogether different experience is The Book Thief, a coming of age tale set in Germany during World War II. The movie is a bit schmaltzy and lazily structured but its charm envelopes you regardless and Geoffrey Rush delivers another effortlessly impressive performance.
Liam Neeson continues his reinvention as an aging action hero in Non-Stop, a thriller set on board a New York to London flight. The film moves at a cracking pace and Neeson is convincing in the tough guy role but this one has plot-holes large enough to fly an Airbus through.
A surprise hit stateside back in January, buddy cop movie Ride Along now hits Irish screens. It’s a highly derivative and painfully unfunny movie that plays like it should have been released 30 years ago. Leading man Kevin Hart has been hailed as the new Eddie Murphy, but he possesses neither Murphy’s charisma nor comic timing.
By Eric Hillis
Picture caption: Movie of the Week, Assault on Precinct 13