This Week’s Cinema Round-Up

Cinema roundup Nov 22

When it was announced early last year that acclaimed novelist Cormac McCarthy had written his first ever film script, to be adapted by veteran director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner), expectations were high.

The Coen Brothers had successfully filmed his novel No Country For Old Men in 2007, collecting a Best Picture Oscar in the process. The Counsellor, opening in Irish cinemas this week, is the first time McCarthy has written for the screen himself, and the result is an epic failure.

The film’s problems all lie with McCarthy’s highly pretentious script. The plot is structured in such a way as to render it indecipherable, while the dialogue, of which there is a lot, consists of a series of laughably heavy handed metaphors.

Despite the talent involved (the film stars Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem and Michael Fassbender), The Counsellor is one to avoid.

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt turns his hand to writing and directing with Don Jon, the story of a womaniser whose porn addiction gets in the way of his real life relationships. While he does a fine job on the directing front, Gordon-Levitt’s script feels all too familiar, its “No man is an island” theme handled far more successfully in films like 1987’s The Pick-Up Artist and 2002’s About a Boy.

The best of this week’s releases is In Fear, a low budget horror movie set on the back roads of rural Ireland. Most of the action takes place inside a car yet the film’s creepy and paranoid atmosphere gets under your skin. You’ll think twice about taking a late night drive after watching this one.

Picture: Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in The Counsellor
By Eric Hillis