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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #44!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast! Almost live from the Dublin Feminist Film Festival this week.

Recorded late on Wednesday evening, following the screening of the festival shorts and Parklands. Directed by Kathryn Millard, with cinematography by Mandy Walker, Parklands is notable as Cate Blanchett’s first starring role. So Jay Coyle, Ronan Doyle and I talk a little bit about our reactions to both the shorts and the film itself.

As usual, we talk about the top ten and the new releases, as well as what we’ve watched this week outside of the festival. In this episode, Jay discusses both the massive list of great films he has to watch before the end of the year, and his decision to watch both The Meg and Skyscraper instead. Ronan has seen two of the films in the top ten, having very strong opinions about both A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody.

There is a lot to cover in news, including the announcement of a new Criterion streaming service risen from the ashes of Filmstruck, the awards at the Cork Film Festival, the Irish Film Festival London, the Polish Film Festival at the Irish Film Institute and the launch of Screen Skills Ireland. So a busy week.

The top ten:

  1. Overlord
  2. Johnny English Strikes Again
  3. Burn The Stage: The Movie
  4. Smallfoot
  5. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
  6. Widows
  7. A Star is Born
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody
  9. The Grinch
  10. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

New releases:

You can download the episode here, or listen to it below.

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Non-Review Review: The Meg

The Meg is proof that bigger is not always better.

There are moments when The Meg works beautifully, the film embracing its ridiculous concept by going all-in on a couple of absurdly heightened images. There are a number of shots in The Meg, particularly towards the climax, that are gleefully and unapologetically “too much.” It would undercut these moments to discuss them in any great detail in a review of the film, particularly since they are the moments when everything in the film seems to click into place. In these beats, there is a reckless abandon, as if the film understands the appeal of “Jason Statham in Jurassic Shark.”

Lifeboats find a way.

Unfortunately, these moments serve to highlight what is missing from so much of the rest of the film. The Meg is a movie committed to the idea of “more”, but is more invested in promise than in delivery. Everything in The Meg happens at breakneck pace, to the point where the first act of the film might make a compelling blockbuster on its own terms, given room to breath. However, like the sea-faring predator that inspired it, The Meg is eager to get to the next thing and the next thing after that. The result is a movie that feels rushed, but never urgent.

The Meg is so busy trying to heighten its stakes and its scale that it never quite manages to establish them.

Don’t bait him!

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