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12 Movie Moments of 2012: We Built This City (Rock of Ages)

As well as counting down the top twelve films, I’m also going to count down my top twelve movie related “moments” of 2012. The term “moment” is elastic, so expect some crazy nonsense here. And, as usual, I accept that my taste is completely absurd, so I fully expect you to disagree. With that in mind, this is #12

Rock of Ages was not a terrible film. It was also not a great one. It had a lot of fundamental problems holding it back from any sort of consistent. The film didn’t seem to know quite when it was camping it up to eleven, when it was taking itself too seriously, or when it was approaching near-critical levels of irony.

Except…

When the cast broken into a medley of We Built This City and We’re Not Gonna Take It. It’s the only point in the film when it seemed like everybody involved grasped the ridiculous irony of basing a jukebox musical around the concept of rock ‘n’ roll’s refusal to sell out. Most of Rock of Ages was silly, enjoyable, hypocritical nonsense. With We Built This City, for about a minute, Rock of Ages seemed just a little bit smarter than the rest of the film might have you believe.

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Despicable Me 2 Trailer

Universal Pictures Ireland just sent on this trailer for Despicable Me 2, the sequel to the very soldi animated film starring Steve Carrell. This time, Carrell is joined by Al Pacino, which I am actually quite excited about. There’s no denying Pacino’s contributions to modern cinema, but at this point in his career Pacino is at his best when he’s gloriously chewing down on the scenery. Given his voice can be downright bombastic (“HOOO-ah!”) at times, casting him as an over-the-top supervillain in an animated film seems pretty ideal.

The trailer doesn’t offer any hints to Pacino’s role. Instead, like the Ice Age trailers, it focuses more on the engaging supporting characters – “the minions.” I like the minions, if only because they lend themselves well to broad physical comedy, in a way this isn’t really all that challenging but is quite effective. The trailer doesn’t really offer anything new in that regard, but it’s still charming enough. Silly golf clothes are always funny, and Tubular Bells always brings a smile to my face. Check out the trailer below.

Non-Review Review: Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages actually works quite well as a microcosm of the eighties – in both good and bad ways. It is loud, entertaining, engaging, shallow, beautifully constructed, hypocritical, energetic, charming, tasteless and somehow strangely irresistible in places. While the movie doesn’t necessarily always work, it is a perfect piece of cultural counter-programming to the summer’s sporting events. Light, fun and just a little dazed and confused, Rock of Ages is self-aware enough that it never collapses under its own weight. While it’s unlikely to be remembered as the best of the summer, it is a charmingly cheesy (if occasionally clumsy) power ballad musical that does exactly what it says on the tin.

He’s already made his marker…

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Minor Miracles: Supporting Characters & The Lesson of Hannibal Lecter

“Less is more.” Or so we’re often told at least. It generally seems to be used in a polite way to limit our exposure to things we don’t like. However, I can’t help but wonder if it is true of supporting characters. After all, those interesting side characters in movies that happen to capture our imaginations with a relatively minor roles. Indeed, I reckon that I could probably name more supporting characters I took a shine to, rather than iconic lead characters. While we undoubtedly relish every moment they appear on-screen, and perhaps lament that we only get so limited an exposure to them, I can’t help but wonder of that somewhat restricted presence might be precisely what makes them so appealing in the first place.

Bloody brilliant…

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Non-Review Review: The Tempest

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

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Julie Taymor’s Titus. It was a punk rock adaptation of perhaps Shakespeare’s trashiest play, and it was a fusion which just worked. The Tempest, on the other hand, is a very different beast. Far from being one of the Bard’s more easily forgotten plays, it has been one of his most highly regarded since its revival in the nineteenth century. It is, despite some outward cynicism, a far more optimistic and (dare I say it?) lighter piece than the orgy of death and destruction in Titus Andronicus. So Taymor’s skills aren’t quite as perfectly in step as they might be. That said, she’s still a remarkable director with a keen visual sense, and the movie manages to be engaging and entertaining, despite a few missteps.

It's a kinda magic...

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Non-Review Review: Get Him to the Greek

I quite enjoyed Get Him to the Greek. It wasn’t quite as wonderfully put together as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but it’s a pleasant little comedy that treads familiar ground, but in a witty and confident manner. The movie isn’t exactly a laugh-a-minute, it is one of the better major releases so far this summer.

Aldous is about to have his world rocked...

Note: My brother and correspondent, Ciaran, reviewed the film earlier in the week. My thoughts aren’t too different than his – save a few details here or there (I maybe liked it a tiny bit more). It’s well worth a read.

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Non-Review Review: Get Him to the Greek

I’m a big fan of Russell Brand but he seems to be somewhat overshadowed by Jonah Hill in Get Him to the Greek.  Hill easily steals the show and is the main reason this film is funny, I may even go as far as saying he’s the only reason this movie is funny.  Without Hill this movie may have fallen down, but luckily he keeps everything a float throughout the course of the film.

It's only rock'n'roll but we like it...

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