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Non-Review Review: Safe House

Safe House is a perfectly fine international thriller, which manages to effectively capture the look and feel of its setting in South Africa. Light on plot and characterisation, but heavy on action and atmosphere, Safe House isn’t necessarily required viewing. In fact, it has a great deal of difficulty convincing the audience to emotionally invest in either of the two lead characters. Still, director Daniel Espinosa keeps things ticking over with a workman-like efficiency on a simple plot and Denzel Washington is as charming a leading man as ever.

Safe as houses…

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Non-Review Review: Saving the Titanic

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012.

Saving the Titanic is an interesting blend of documentary and drama, exploring the efforts of the engineers onboard the ill-fated ship, fighting to keep her afloat and alight just a little bit longer. The narration from Liam Cunningham suggests that the selfless bravery of those working in the bowels of the ship allowed her to survive more than an hour and a half longer than she should have. While the docu-drama never really reconciles the two approaches it takes to events – creating the impression that it should have opted for a “one or the other” style of approach – it is a fascinating look at one of the most important events of the twentieth century.

It's a dirty job...

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Non-Review Review: The Guard

“Good to go,” an Irish drug smuggler remarks as the plan comes together for a big delivery. His English colleague derisively remarks, “I f**king hate that. Americanisms. ‘Good to go’!” It’s hard not to read small moments like this as a bit of self-reference on the part of John Michael McDonagh, as the film takes every opportunity to reflect on the Irish fascination and digestion of American pop culture, as contrasted against the somewhat unique national character. Sparkling with witty dialogue and packed with sharply-observed commentaries on Ireland and its relationship with our bigger Atlantic cousin, The Guard is a clever little film that is well worth your time.

Once upon a time in the West...

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