Irish Film Trivia Round 11


They were the first Filmmaking Father and Daughter to be nominated for an Oscar for the same film, which Irish family are we talking about?

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Which Irish television series was mentioned in the movie Once as how one of the characters learned to speak English?

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In 1961 President Eamon de Valera, who said in his speech: “Never before was there in the hands of men an instrument so powerful to influence the thoughts and actions of the multitude.” What was he talking about?

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The daughter of which Irish front man appeared in This Must be the Place?

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Which 2012 Irish made film begins with the lines “My story can never be told. I write it over and over, wherever we find shelter. I write of what I cannot speak: the truth. I write all I know of it, then I throw that pages to the wind. Maybe the birds can read it.”?

Guess The Film

He was part of a comedy duo, has appeared in a number of highly successful Irish television comedies and played it straight and tragic in Garage, who are we talking about?

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Which Irish Actor was offered a role as the first Doctor Who (1962)

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Which 2007 Irish television series was a spin-off from “Adam & Paul” (2004)?

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Which Irish actor/writer/producer currently enjoying success and television and movies is quoted as saying “I’ve always been conscious of the fact that there aren’t enough Irish voices on British television compared to the amount of Irish people who live there.”

Guess The Film

For which British sketch show did Graham Linehan begin his comedy writing career?

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Answers

Jim and Kirsten Sheridan were the first filmmaking father and daughter to be nominated for Oscars the same film for In America.

Fair City was mentioned in Once.

Eamon De Valera spoke those word about the opening of RTE on New Year’s Eve of that year.

Eve Hewson, Bono’s daughter was in This Must Be the Place.

Saoirse Ronan speak these words at the beginning of Byzantium. 

Pat Shortt played it straight in Garage.

Cyril Cusack turned down the role as the First Doctor Who.

Prosperity was the television spin off of Adam & Paul (both written by Mark O’Halloran and both directed by Lenny Abrahamson).

Chris O’Dowd said those words about the Irish in the UK

Graham Linehan first wrote for Alas Smith and Jones.

 

Thanks you for reading!

If you enjoyed those here are more rounds…

Irish Film Trivia

Irish Film Trivia Round 2

Irish Film Trivia Round 3

Irish Film Trivia Round 4

Irish Film Trivia Round 5

Irish Film Trivia Round 6

Irish Film Trivia Round 7

Irish Film Trivia Round 8

Irish Film Trivia Round 9

Irish Film Trivia Round 10

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At A Glance – 2015 Best Picture Nominations in The Academy Awards – the Oscars!


American Sniper
Directed by Clint Eastwood

AmericanSniper

Eastwood has fine-tuned the harrowing journey. Here he has a beefed up Bradley Cooper giving an intimate glimpse of how real-life Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle’s successful military career emotionally affected his domestic life back in the U.S. between his many tours. Eastwood balances the conflict and domestic scenes with skill. While both sides of Kyle’s life are well crafted and full of different types of tensions I never fully warmed to the characters and the film left me exhausted.


 

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Birdman
A dizzyingly shot story of the fictitious, once famous, superhero actor Riggan (Michael Keaton) and his quest to be taken seriously by his audiences, friends and family. This is a highly enjoyable and dark romp, a great supporting cast and cracking dialogue. Shot mostly with interiors gives the atmosphere a claustrophobic quality reflecting Riggan’s struggles as he attempts to put on a broadway play and juggle the different parts of his fractured life. The cinematography and CGI is excellent at creating the impression that the film is almost one continuous shot. But ultimately the journey is better than the destination.


 

Boyhood
Directed by Richard Linklater

boyhood

Linklater charts the growth of his main character Mason (Ellar Coletrane) and the story of his family in a brave approach by shooting and basing the film in bursts over a 12 year period (2002-2013). It is filled with natural story arcs and great period music with such subtle year changes that you can sometimes it takes more than a few moments to realise that we have moved into the next phase of their lives. The ensemble cast is perfect (in particular Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke). Linklater delivers a slice-of-life movie that leaves others in the genre like crumbs on a plate. Eat your heart out reality T.V.


 

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Directed by Wes Anderson

GRANDBUDAPESTHOTEL
Back to his best since “The Royal Tennenbaums” Anderson has put together my favourite film of the eight. It centres on the morally questionable exploits of, Gustav H (Ralph Feinnes), the manager of the imaginary hotel in question. In Fiennes he has found a lead actor who wears Anderson’s quick fire dialogue like an old glove. Each frame is a visual masterpiece the zany humour and adventures do not let up until the credits start to roll. My full review here.


 

The Imitation Game
Directed by Morten Tyldum

theimitationgame

Benedict Cumberbatch pours much of his Sherlock character and then some into his portrayal of the brilliant and fragile character of the Father of Computer Science Alan Turing. The narrative jumps between three parts of his life focusing mainly on Turing’s code-breaking time during the Second World War in Bletchley Park. Tyldum puts together the film much like a code dropping clues here and there that will all eventually slot together into an unexpectedly emotional final bow. There are some wonderful examples of dialogue subtext in Turing’s interrogations. Of all the nominated films based on real events this is my personal favourite. My full review here.


 

Selma
Directed by Ava DuVernay

Selma
A powerful drama based on the defining battle in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement between Martin Luther King Junior (an excellent David Oyelowo) and President Lyndon B. Johnson ( the wonderful Tom Wilkinson) in the town of Selma. The film manages to deal with the national politics of the day down to minutae of small personal battles of minor characters without overcrowding the narrative or confusing the audience. While the film has been criticised for some historical inaccuracies it is still a powerful drama with excellent performances.


 

The Theory of Everything
Directed by James Marsh

The-Theory-of-Everything
Eddie Redmayne looks like he was born to play Professor Stephen Hawking. Marsh focuses on the relationship between Hawking and his first wife Jane Wilde. Remayne is astounding not only in his physical resemblance to the brilliant Professor but in the portrayal of the particular and well known way the physical decline of Motor Neuron Disease has left Professor Hawking. The main emphasis of the film lies in the emotional impact of the disease had mainly on his wife Jane (a touching performance by felicity Jones) as she struggled to raise their children. Though Hawking’s brilliance is evident his mathematical work in Cosmology is more of a supporting ‘character’.


 

Whiplash
Directed by Damien Chazelle

Whiplash
Andrew, young drummer, (Miles Teller) with hopes to impress Fletcher, a ruthless college orchestra conductor, at all costs. Chazelle has sculpted a compelling battle between mentor and student, so much so that the scenes when the two are not together seem flat. Teller, looking like a buffed up Wil Wheaton, is convincing the talented drummer whose hero worship of the greats compels him to make poor life choices. J K Simmons is stand out as the brutal mentor. I have never been so excited to see someone take to the drums. His makes for a compelling drama with a wonderful finale.

My top films here for overall performances, filmmaking and enjoyment levels are The Imitation Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel and I feel the Oscar for Best Picture should land firmly land in the magnificent Boyhood.

The Student’s Guide to an Epic Online Reputation …And Parents Too! By Wayne Denner – Book Review


In his book, “The Student’s Guide to an Epic Online Reputation …And Parents Too!”, Wayne Denner argues that no matter what age you are or whether you are/are not active on Social Media/the Internet that you already have an online reputation which needs managing.

Wayne Denner - Digital Ninja!

Wayne Denner – Digital Ninja!

 

Who is Wayne Denner and why should we listen to him?

In the 1990s when I started to interact with people on internet based communities like Geocities (before there was a word for Social Media) Wayne Denner was way ahead of me and had set up his own community based in the UK & Ireland. It was called Outlastnight.com which would showcase pictures from events and nights out. This was pre Myspace, Bebo, Facebook & Twitter. So much before its time that Wayne could not source funding to keep it going. Since then he has maintained a professional interest in the rise of the different Social Media sites and investigated the ways that they can be used for and against your reputation.

Wayne’s book is primarily aimed at teenagers and their parent’s but I would argue that everybody would benefit from giving it a read.

Wayne is not just active on multiple social media platforms but he speaks regularly on the topic of Online Reputation in schools and with organisations throughout Ireland, the UK and the Middle East.

His book is packed with juicy statistics from HR and recruitment about the rise and ease of online background checks being carried out today. These warnings are backed up with short and chilling case studies of people who have shot their own reputations in the foot with a few thoughtless keystrokes. But this book is not just about these horror stories. Wayne guides any teenager (or adult) through a solid foundation upon which to build (or rebuild) a positive online reputation.

The only shortcoming I can see is that he tends to be a little repetitive with some of his information but you do have to remember that it is primarily aimed at teenagers and the facts he repeats are the important ones. Nevertheless the message he delivers is significant. Its importance will only grow as the years go by as we see the Internet and Social Media mature.

Follow Wayne on twitter @waynedenner

You can get his book from his website here.

RIP 2014


A small collection of lovely cartoon tributes to some of the well known personalities who died in 2014.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (January)
psh

Sid Caesar (February)

COWSidCeaser

 

Harold Ramis (February)

haroldramis

H.R. Giger (May)
giger

Rik Mayall (June)

rikmayallrip

Casey Kasem (June)

caseykasem

 

Robin Williams (August)

robinwilliams

Joan Rivers (September)

Joanrivers

 

If you remember any other cartoons in a similar vein please let me know so I can add them here as well.

Not-so-Old Moore’s 2015 Predictions


The predictions* as I see them in 2015.

Administration departments shall see a sudden increase in the use of the number 5.

The letter ‘Y’ shall be boycotted by the rest of the alphabet.

Governments around the world will receive better danishes at eleven o’clock break.

Halle Berry, Cheryl Cole and Jenna Coleman shall continue to deny any knowledge of my existence.

At least five people will stop drinking milk.

An upsurge in violence towards lampposts shall spark a mini revolution in a country which has not yet been formed.

Batteries will start communicating with each other but shall soon get bored.

A new computer language will be written which nobody will understand.

Somebody will break a long standing sports record. There will be cheering and tears.

Berlin will become the official capital of Ireland.

Halle Berry, Cheryl Cole or Jenna Coleman will ask the police to issue a barring order.

A hasty trade decision between Ireland and Iran shall see the M50 carpeted.

History will repeat itself.

A five year old girl shall be enlightened with the cure for all the world’s problems but no one will listen to her.

A cow will give birth to a chicken which looks and acts exactly like a cow.

Intelligent life will finally be discovered on Earth.

Soap operas and reality television will be criminalised.

The Obamas shall move to Moneygall, take over the running of Moneygall Football Club and they will lose their first match.

Ireland will enter the space race with the Mick Mark One.

The climate will seriously consider wiping us out completely but then have a change of heart.

Google’s DeepMind will become self-aware and throw the internet out of it’s pram.

*All predictions courtesy of the mice in charge of supervising the vacuuming of my brain.

The Imitation Game – Film Review


A biopic of Alan Turing, the British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, early computer scientist, ultra distance runner, and much more.  It focuses on his schooldays, his time during the Second World War at Bletchley Park and the last few years of his life.

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If you have ever chuckled at the joke “Military Intelligence is a contradiction in terms.” then this film will partially wipe the smile from your face. While the Second World War is part of the reason Turing came to prominence this is not a war movie. This is an in depth character study of a man whose impact not just on code breaking during the war but subsequently on the foundation of modern computer science and Artificial intelligence theory was written out of history for decades because of an outdated law.

THE IMITATION GAME

Benedict Cumberbatch gives a touching performance as Turning the brilliant and fragile genius. The character of Turing is not a million miles away from Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. We are given hints to Turing’s almost autistic habits and clearly see how his frank genius repelled and intimidated the people around him. Cumberbatch executes this mostly with understatement and his rare bursts of emotion which are mostly tied to his research. Kiera Knightley seems to be best playing Kiera Knightly in many of her roles and here she does not disappoint. Charles Dance is impressively commanding as the cold military face of the operations in Bletchley Park while Mark Strong subtly impresses as the shadowy M16 intermediary.

Apart from some artistic license, which gives Turing only marginally more credit for his part in the Bletchley Park success, the screenplay/editing is a true masterpiece. We are given three story arcs from Turing’s life, his schooldays,  Bletchley Park and the last years of his life all in a skillful non linear fashion. Naturally the War years would have attracted most people to this story but the filmmakers have made the other two sections as compelling. Good screenwriters (and good story tellers) drip feed information about character and plot to us but here they have gone a step further. Besides many passages of dialogue cleverly written with a code-like subtext it is the presentation of the different phases throughout Turing’s life is in a suitably puzzle-like manner which makes the build-up fascinating and compelling while the climax of the film is deceptively emotional.

imitationgame3

While the action mostly takes place inside different buildings the director, Morten Tyldum, makes excellent use of the interior spaces which adds to the atmosphere of the film. It is worth a trip to the cinema. Even more so for admirers of Turing.

Alan Turing had an even more fascinating (and tragically short) existence than the film captures but they have made a gripping story about a mathematician and the delivered interwoven slices are a fitting testament to the incredible man’s life.

9/10

 The Imitation Game is in Irish Cinemas now.

Check your local Irish Cinema here

Interstellar – Film Review


A few generations from now the Earth’s soil is losing the ability to grow enough food to sustain the Human Race. A slim chance for survival rests in a space trip to another galaxy for a group of brave scientists piloted by Cooper (Matthew McConaughey).

Interstellar1

The words ‘spectacle’ or ‘epic’ are not used lightly when talking about many of director Christopher Nolan’s films. He burst onto the scene with his second feature “Memento” and then seduced us with his Batman trilogy and delightfully confused us  with “The Prestige” and “Inception”.

Through these films he has explored memory loss, time lapsing dreams, magicians, and the nocturnal crime fighting habits of a deeply disturbed millionaire and all with a sweep of a cape embedded with a grand style and neatly stitched with misdirection.

Interstellar2

With “Interstellar” Nolan revisits many of these themes and creates an atmosphere we last saw in Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” while borrowing from a Twilight Zone episode which deals with what the effects of Interstellar space travel may have on humans. The first hour and half is well-crafted. We are drawn into the world of pilot-turned-farmer-Cooper, his family, in particular the relationship with his daughter Murph and the plans to save the Human race from a crumbling Earth. Once his incredible journey had begun Nolan asks the audience to make a number of small leaps of faith. They are just about forgivable because we are hooked.

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McConaughey is still playing his usual role (I confess to not having seen his Oscar winning turn in the Dallas Buyers club yet) and it fits in here as the suave and commanding pilot turned family man.  Anne Hathaway is perfectly sharp as the physicist who accompanies his on the journey. Michael Caine gives a grandfatherly performance as Hathaway’s father (also a physicist). There is a lovely injection of comic relief delivered by the clever artificially intelligent mechatronic robots who lumber about with their own peculiar and charming style.

It is long and it is as sentimental as his Batman trilogy was stirring. There are passages of dialogue in the second half of the film that are almost unnaturally verbose especially when dealing with the themes of love versus science and survival. Romantic love is not a theme that Nolan seems to gravitate toward and instead he pours all of his sentimentality on the relationship between Cooper and his daughter and does not spill one drop.

Interstellar4

There are breathtaking moments and some nice little plot diversions that will pique your attention. While the graphics are incredibly stunning, making the film a visual feast, it is the final, and massive, leap of faith makes the film good but not great science fiction and yet still very enjoyable.

As with “Memento” and “Inception” he uses an innovative Time device in the plot like a vendor infuses a whipped ice cream with a delicious syrupy sauce.

If you can watch it in a screen like the Omniplex MAXX in Rathmines! 

8/10

Interstellar is in Irish cinemas now.