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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2019) #22!

It’s time for the Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Jay CoyleGrace Duffy and Luke Dunne from Film in Dublin to discuss what we watched, the week in film news, the top ten and the new releases.

What We Watched

The Week in Film News

The top ten:

  1. Paw Patrol Mighty Pups
  2. The Hustle
  3. Avengers: Endgame
  4. John Wick: Chapter III – Parabellum
  5. Ma
  6. Detective Pikachu
  7. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
  8. Rocketman
  9. The Secret Lives of Pets II
  10. Aladdin

New releases:

You can listen to the podcast directly here.

Note: Due to unforeseen technical issues, the audio quality is a little rougher this week than usual, and there was some audio lost towards the end of the conversation – including the discussion of Late Night.

New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2019) #21!

It’s time for the Scannain podcast!

This week, I’m back hosting and I’m joined by Jay Coyle and Ronan Doyle to discuss the week in film. Ronan is fresh back from the Trish McAdams and “Memory on Screen” seasons at the Irish Film Institute, and so has a lot to cover from Spider to Memento to the work of Terrence Davies. Jay has had a busy week as well, watching The Virgin Suicides, The Childhood of a Leader and Valley of the Dolls. I’ve had a more eclectic week, watching animated versions of lost Doctor Who episodes, Holmes and Watson, and the surreality that is The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorised Bash Brothers Experience.

A lot of news this week, including Roman Polanski’s (failed) efforts to sell his latest movie at Cannes, Woody Allen releasing a trailer for A Rainy Day in New York on his personal Facebook, the major studios dealing with the Georgia Abortion ban, Dublin Oldschool arriving on Netflix, and a €3,000 prize on offer at the Galway Film Market in July.

The top ten:

  1. A Dog’s Journey
  2. Dumbo
  3. Paw Patrol Mighty Pups
  4. The Hustle
  5. Avengers: Endgame
  6. John Wick: Chapter III – Parabellum
  7. Detective Pikachu
  8. Rocketman
  9. The Secret Lives of Pets II
  10. Aladdin

New releases:

You can listen to the podcast directly here.

Non-Review Review: Booksmart

Booksmart has charm to burn.

Olivia Wilde’s feature length directorial debut is built from a familiar high school coming-of-age template. It is the story of two kids who just want to party before graduation and before heading their separate ways. There are any number of films built outward from that premise, or even core components of that premise. Booksmart is canny enough to understand the genre in which it is working. Indeed, the casting of Beanie Feldstein seems designed to directing invoke two key touchstones; Feldstein’s most notable role to date remains her supporting role in Lady Bird, and her brother Jonah Hill launched his career (in part) off the success of Superbad.

Partying is such sweet sorrow.

As with any movie in a familiar genre, the success Booksmart hinges on the execution more than the concept. There are dozens of films riffing on similar ideas, so Booksmart needs to distinguish itself in how it approaches the material in question. The film elevates this somewhat stock premise through the use of a charming cast and surprising emotional earnestness. It helps that the comedy driving the film is both very well-observed on its own terms and tends towards the affectionate rather than the mean-spirited. There’s an affectionate humanism in Booksmart, and the recurring suggestion that characters are more than just the roles that they play in the highly performative environment of high school.

However, it is the two leads that truly elevate Booksmart, working with a sharp script and confident direction to create an engaging and endearing portrait of teenage insecurities.

Hold on!

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