Blackbird Two Stars at the cinema. Certificate 15A

This is a scene from Michael Flatley’s movie black bird A flirtatious club singer named Madeleine (Mary-Louise Kelly) has to give Flatley’s “Blackbird” (a retired secret agent) a quivering eye.

“I must say,” whispered Madeleine, looking to her good old sparkling toes. “You are so handsome.” Flatley – The name probably appears fewer times in our review than it does in his closing credits. black bird – Responsible for this line. he’s in charge of all the lines. In fact, Flatley writes, produces, directs, and stars in this flirtatious Fisher-Price action that you forget to include action.

I think – now I think – black bird It should be a spy movie. In it, we witness things that rarely happen in other spy movies. For example, consider the game-changing sequence in which Victor Blackley (“Blackbird”‘s real name) has an assistant help him change his hat for an afternoon drive.

See also the good guy/bad guy standoff at the end of the day where Victor tells the bad guys he’s “firing on all cylinders.” we could continue.

Blackbird, for those of you who don’t know, is Flatley’s long-running feature debut and fully-loaded vanity project that’s so peculiar and inexcusably tacky that its You can transcend the awful and become something else altogether. make.

As the aforementioned Victor, the former MI6 agent, a hilarious band of British and Irish spies (they call themselves “chiefs”) who disbanded following the tragic death of the main character’s fiancée, the dance The Lord will take center stage.


Michael Flatley filming Blackbird.Photo: Brian Dougherty

We know she’s dead because the movie opens with a rainy funeral – and we know Victor blames himself for her death because he refused the umbrella. , he wears a black fedora.

Patrick Bergin appears and offers his condolences. He is also a spy and wonders what Victor will do next. After all, he opens a hotel and nightclub in Barbados. Ten years later, Victor and his cronies forge a new life hosting wealthy guests at a swanky Caribbean restaurant called Blue Moon.

Life is going well, but Victor is plagued with regret and grief. The poor guy can’t even hold his cup of coffee without losing focus (you know what I mean).

Suddenly, an old flame returns in the form of Vivian (Nicole Evans). She’s staying blue on her moon. She brought in a dastardly arms dealer named Blake (Eric Roberts, outrageously top) who would become a dangerous husband who could be involved in some plot to establish the New World Order. I don’t think Flatley does either.

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But hey, there’s a MacGuffin! And a special spy laptop! And someone gets killed on the boat! Put this way, black bird From low-level spy soap operas to save-the-world thrillers in a time it takes most of us to blink, I’m sorry if I missed some of the details. . He’s only on the table He only has about 80 minutes left, so not long for him.


Blackbird’s Michael Flatley.Photo: Brian Dougherty

It has a ridiculous setting, and the hilarious follow-through doesn’t disappoint. Aside from boasting significant issues in storytelling, dialogue, acting, photography, pacing, scoring, editing, staging, lighting and directing departments, black bird All in all, a surprisingly capable display. In other words, the camera remains upright and the person in front of it remembers the lines.

I think – now I think – Flatley is trying to make his own Bond or his own CasablancaInstead, what he created is closer to Taffin (Yes, the one with Pierce Brosnan) and room (Tommy Wiseau’s illustrious self-financed head-scratcher, often regarded as the worst film ever made).

Is this the biggest cinematic punch line in Irish cinema history? Is Flatley kidding? Probably not.

he and his friends are having fun together black bird, a movie where an old white man is the hero, a young white woman exists purely to be saved or stared at, and everyone spends years trying to explain the plot. Ultimately, all the exciting things happen off-screen.

Meanwhile, our multitasking protagonist spends most of his time staring into the distance, looking like a chap desperately trying to hold back his fart.

Of course it’s absolutely garbage, but you know what? I laughed like crazy. The best comedies of 2022.​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Also display…


Purcell Ascot as Jay and George MacKay as Toby in “I Come By”

I Come By
netflix; certificate 15
two stars

The plot of this clippy, socially-oriented, yet overwhelming thriller is just part of that undoing. British-Iranian director Babak Anvari pits the ranks against each other, but his story of an anarchist home invader confronting a dastardly judge suffers from miscasting, suspense deflation, and silly believability. There is

Toby (George MacKay) and Jay (Purcell Ascott) are bona fide graffiti artists breaking into wealthy homes. At the home of retired judge Hector Blake (Hugh Bonneville), Toby makes a chilling discovery in a secret room in the basement.

He calls the police, but clearly neglects where to direct his attention in the house, so when the two PCs come to inspect, Blake is a gentleman who says he’s playing squash with the director. You can distract them with reminders.

This script by Anvari and co-writer Namsi Khan takes another difficult leap, and things start to get more and more spooky and whimsical.

Bonneville and Kelly Macdonald (as Toby’s worried mother) are the best. I Come Bybut even they couldn’t make a silk purse out of this sow’s ear.

Hillary White

IFI & some certificate
five stars

This is a highly significant documentary film from producer Darren Aronofsky that focuses on the intimate realities of rainforest depletion.

For two years, director Alex Prydz takes us to Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil. There, agricultural, political and indigenous classes clash over what land and landscape means: living space, valuable economic commodities, or cultural rights.

To Preetz’s credit is to not give us the overarching impact of rainforest deforestation and to meet real people from all sides of the dire equation. We only show the changing time-lapse satellite photos, one large mass has survived and we can see that it is inhabited by the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau tribe of aboriginal people.

With the help of courageous activist Nadinya Bandeira, young tribal leader Vitate organizes a patrol to crack down on illegal settlers, road builders and ranchers. Bolsonaro is out to grab the precious land of the tribe’s protected rainforest home. And things start getting ugly.

Expertly shot and structured, this piece warrants its classic status as an allegory about a fatally flawed species.

Hillary White


Autumn is the brilliance of B technique

Selected Cinemas; Certificate 15A
three stars

I’m scared to go up the stairs after watching autumnDirector and co-writer Scott Mann’s dizzying nerve shredder follows twenty-something best friends Becky (Grace Caroline Curry) and Hunter (Virginia Currie) trapped atop a 2,000-foot abandoned radio tower. Gardner) story. In the middle of the California desert.

why did they climb it? For Hunter, it’s all about clicking (she’s her YouTube daredevil). For poor Becky, it’s a way to remember her late husband who died after falling off a cliff. As such, his ashes will be scattered at the top of the tower. Alas, as soon as the girls get there, a bloody ladder falls and panic sets in.

If it sounds silly, it’s because it is. Thankfully, this squeaky but well-choreographed survival flick perfectly embraces his deliciously confusing B-movie setting.

The soapy melodrama is loud, and the implausible plot deflects absolute riot. Visually, Mann is making the most of his $3 million budget, autumn Basically a banana, but incredibly effective. I can’t remember the last time I sweated this much at a movie.

Chris Wasser

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