Friday the 13th’s Cinema Round-up

By Eric Hillis

cinema roundup december 12th
Ryan O’Neal and Bruce Dern in The Driver.

Legendary character actor Bruce Dern returned to our screens at the ripe age of 77 recently in the excellent bittersweet comedy Nebraska. His performance has been tipped for an Oscar by many and in celebration of his return, the Irish Film Institute are screening four of his more notable films: Drive He Said, The King of Marvin Gardens, Coming Home and the movie that contains my personal favourite Dern performance, the 1978 masterpiece The Driver, in which Dern plays a cop determined to bring Ryan O’Neal’s getaway driver to justice. The must see movie of the week.

The IFI are also bringing us the return of 1961’s The Innocents, one of the creepiest films in cinema history. Based on Henry James’ novel The Turn of the Screw, it’s a stunningly shot film that uses its black and white photography to establish a chilling air of impending dread. With a newly remastered print, Jack Clayton’s horror classic should look amazing on the big screen.

If you fancy popping out to see a Christmas themed classic you’ve got several options. At the IFI you can catch Trading Places while The Lighthouse are screening It’s a Wonderful Life and Die Hard. Both venues are also screening Gremlins. Visit and to check screening times for all the above films.

In terms of new releases it’s one of the quietest weeks of the year with only two new movies opening. No, it’s not because film distributors are too superstitious to open a movie on Friday 13th, it’s because today sees arguably the biggest movie of the year hit cinemas. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the middle part of Peter Jackson’s mega budget Hobbit trilogy and is every bit as dull as the first installment. At two and a half hours, it feels like twice that length, thanks mainly to an overwritten script that favours dialogue over action. If you loved the first movie, you’ll likely feel the same way about this but if you didn’t, be warned: this is an endurance test.

The only movie brave enough to open against Jackson’s behemoth is the Iranian drama The Patience Stone, an equally dull movie that would work well as a stage play but just doesn’t cut it as a piece of cinema.