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Mockingjay Part Two, Review by Grace Collender

Mockingjay Part Two

by Grace Collender


The girl on fire blazes onto screens for the last time in the explosive Mockingjay Part 2. In this final instalment of The Hunger Games series, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) sets her sights on the tyrannical President Snow (Donald Sutherland), resolving to assassinate him, thereby unshackling the land of Panem. However, as she takes the revolution to the dark heart of the Capitol, the ravages of war threaten to engulf Katniss, dousing her flame when she needs that spirit the most.images (1)

Mockingjay Part 2 arises from the split of the final book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, following the recent trend in page to screen adaptations. While this risks diluting the energy of the story, director Francis Lawrence successfully maintains a thrilling momentum, picking up right where the last instalment left off. Delving further into dystopian themes of mind control and erasure of identity, the opening shows Katniss is in recovery after having been attacked by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who has been brainwashed by Snow to perceive Katniss as an enemy. Snow will stop at nothing preserve his dictatorship and it becomes glaringly clear to the reluctant leader of the uprising that this time much more than merely her own survival is at stake.

hunger_games_mockingjay__part_two_ver19_xlgPosing important questions about power and control, The Hunger Games series is far more than just another adventure flick, holding real resonance in today’s world. In fact, it has been banned in a number of Asian countries for being ‘inflammatory’. For example, in Thailand several students protesting the military junta in operation there since the coup of May 2014 were detained in November 2014 for using a gesture taken from the films, a three-finger salute of resistance to authoritarian government. This disturbing occurrence, which Francis Lawrence described as both “thrilling and worrying”, illustrates the real life significance of some of the dark themes captured in this film.

images (4)Teeming with powerful performances, not only from Jennifer Lawrence, but from Donald Sutherland as the terrifying Snow, and the late Philip Seymour-Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, one of the leaders of the revolution, Mockingjay Part 2 is a gripping culmination to a series that has captivated the world. As the horrors which were previously contained to the arenas of the Hunger Games bleed out into the rest of Panem, find out who will be the ultimate victor, if indeed there can really be one.M


A Christmas Star, A Review by Grace Collender

A Christmas Star

by Grace Collender


Step into Christmas early this year with the charming festive flick, A Christmas Star. The first ever Irish Christmas film, Richard Elson’s enchanting movie is the work of Cinematic International Film and Television Festival for Young People. Made by kids, for kids, A Christmas Star has a sparkling energy which will uplift all who experience it.

images (1)             A sense of magic is sparked from the very beginning in this cheery tale. The night sky is alive with twinkling stars on Christmas Eve, one in particular out-shining them all, the Christmas star. Under this magical light, Noelle O’Hanlon (Erin Galway Kendrick) is born. As she grows up, it becomes evident that Noelle is no ordinary little girl; she possesses a very special gift – she can perform miracles. In her quaint town of Potter’s Glen, a sleepy Northern Irish hamlet, Noelle uses her miraculous powers to spread peace and happiness by bestowing onto her friends and family the greatest gift of all, love. However, the arrival of ruthless business man, Pat McKerrod (Downton Abbey’s Rob images (3)James-Collier), threatens to destroy all of that. Intent on bulldozing the town’s pride and joy, its snow-globe manufacturing pottery barn, to make way for a commercial Christmas resort, McKerrod’s Grinch-esque character must be stopped before all is lost. With the help of her faithful friends, Noelle sets out to use her powers to save her beloved town. While some big names pop up in this heart-warming story, such as Kylie Minogue, Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson, who delivers a delightfully witty narration, it is undeniably thimages (4)e talented young cast who steal the show. Erin Galway Kendrick delivers a beautiful performance as the lead and James Stockdale, as Noelle’s best friend Spud-Bob, possesses an arresting screen presence, as well as spot-on comic timing. Over 40 trainee crew members, aged between 18 and 25, worked alongside industry professionals on this project, imbuing the film with a fresh, spirited energy.
Reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas, friendship and forgiveness, A Christmas Star is this year’s must-see Yuletide film. So this Christmas, prepare to believe in miracles.


5 times Disney and Pixar teamed up to make us blub like babies

With the new Disney/Pixar collaboration, The Good Dinosaur, looking set to extract more than a few tears from those emotionally psyched to brave it, let’s reminisce on past times the duo summoned up a serious case of the sniffles. Because let’s face it, there is no escaping these feels.

5: Inside Out

bing bong

Oh Bing Bong, you’re as sweet as your cotton candy casing. This noble sacrifice made by Bing Bong for Reily without a doubt had viewers weeping into their popcorn. Mmm extra salty.

4: Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc.

We feel your pain Sully; having to bid farewell to Boo nearly broke us too.

3: Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Dory made us all laugh and cry and laugh and cry and laugh and cry… It was an emotional roller-coaster. (One that’s set to continue conveying us to new highs and plummeting us to deep lows as Finding Dory is coming to the big screen next year… just keep swimming folks).

2: Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3

So cruel. So very, very cruel.

1: Up


If this heartrending scene didn’t reduce you to a blubbering mess, what is your malfunction?

It’s official; the individuals at Disney/Pixar are monsters. And yet, we eagerly return for more heartbreak every time. Why? Well, they just conjure up the sweetest of sorrows. The Good Dinosaur, November 27, bring it on.

 By Grace Collender

Steve Jobs in Movies@Gorey

From Friday, November 13th – Book Now

Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicentre. Steve Jobs is directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle and written by Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin, working from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of the Apple founder. The producers are Mark Gordon, Guymon Casady of Film 360, Scott Rudin, Boyle and Academy Award® winner Christian Colson.

Michael Fassbender plays Steve Jobs, the pioneering founder of Apple, with Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet starring as Joanna Hoffman, former marketing chief of Macintosh. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple, is played by Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels stars as former Apple CEO John Sculley. The film also stars Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan, Jobs’ ex-girlfriend, and Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original members of the Apple Macintosh development team.

Brooklyn in Movies@Gorey

Playing Now – Book Now

BROOKLYN tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s (Jane Brennan) home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.





By Grace Collender

article-2602757-1CFC30F200000578-835_634x816A young Irish girl finds herself transplanted from quiet Enniscorthy to pulsating, fast-paced Brooklyn and must endeavour to carve out a new existence for herself far from everyone and everything she knows in the powerful and evocative Brooklyn, adapted for the big screen from Colm Toibin’s 2009 novel of the same title. Charting the emotional odyssey of Eilis Lacey, portrayed in a beautifully understated performance by Saoirse Ronan, as she’s “away to America”, John Crowley’s movie will captivate and move all. The experience of approximately 480,000 people, who were forced to leave an economically moribund and socially stifling Ireland in the 1950s in search of work and a fuller life across the Atlantic, is poignantly brought to life. Nick Hornby’s enthralling screenplay unites with beautiful set design and vintage costuming to bring a strong sense of verisimilitude to this touching coming-of-age tale.

download (1)Eilis is encouraged by her sister, Rose, to leave for America, as Rose knows Ireland cannot offer her young sister any hope of a fulfilling life. Therefore, with boarding and employment arranged for her by Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), Eilis takes the boat from Cobh to New York, undertaking an extremely distressing journey all alone. This oppressive atmosphere of isolation haunts Eilis’s first few months away from home. Battling against an all-consuming homesickness, it is not until she is swept away by the charming Tony (Emory Cohen), a young Italian-American, that our endearing protagonist begins to feel at home in Brooklyn. However, tragedy strikes, taking Eilis away from her beloved Tony, back to Enniscorthy. With a new love interest back home, the steady and reliable Jim (Domhnall Gleeson), and the offer of a permanent job, Eilis is torn. She must now choose not only between the two men in her life, but between a life in Ireland and a life in America. Two potential lives, worlds apart.

downloadAttesting to the life-altering journey courageously embarked on by thousands, Brooklyn paints a stirring picture of the turbulent wave of emotions Eilis must overcome if she is to build that bright future her sister longs for her to have. As she grows in confidence, she is transformed from a meek, unassuming young girl to a self-assured, strong woman. This transformation is depicted through a change in costume and lighting. Back in Ireland, life is cloaked by drab and dingy colours, with grey streets and dull and dowdy outfits symbolising the decaying, sluggish nature of life there.  In stark contrast, life in America is surrounded by a vivacious energy, revealed through the bright colours of Eilis’s new wardrobe. Donning rich and vibrant skirts and dresses, and even some daring red lipstick, Eilis achieves a state of self-assurance. When she must return to Ireland, her newfound confidence is made apparent by her sophisticated and colourful attire, a far cry from her former lacklustre appearance. Eilis’s emotional state is thus consistently conveyed through a beautiful combination of set and clothing design, providing a stunning visual feast.

A compelling human story about the power of endurance, determination and hope, Brooklyn is a must see. It is a work of historical importance, while also possessing contemporary resonance. Tipped by many, including acclaimed director Jim Sheridan, to win big at the Oscars, this rousing tale truly proves that home is where the heart is.




A Christmas Star in Movies@Gorey

From Friday, November 13th – Book Now




A Christmas Star is set in a fictional community within Northern Ireland and tells the heart-warming, magical story of Noelle, a spirited and special young girl. Her story is a rollercoaster journey of self-discovery, faith, doubt and loyalty.






Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse in Movies@Gorey

From Saturday, October 31st – Book Now

Three scouts and lifelong friends join forces with one badass cocktail waitress to become the world’s most unlikely team of heroes. When their peaceful town is ravaged by a zombie invasion, they’ll fight for the badge of a lifetime and put their scouting skills to the test to save mankind from the undead.






The Legend of Longwood in Movies@Gorey

From Friday, October 23th – Book Now

“The Legend of Longwood” is a thrilling and magical adventure for the whole family about a young American girl, Micky Miller destined to release a small Irish town and it’s people from an ancient curse. To succeed, Mickey must redeem a ghostly Black Knight from his long quest and single-handedly save a magical herd of horses from a ruthless woman with evil plans.



The Last Witch Hunter in Movies@Gorey

From Friday, October 23th – Book Now

The modern world holds many secrets, but the most astounding secret of all is that witches still live amongst us; vicious supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world. Armies of witch hunters battled the unnatural enemy across the globe for centuries, including KAULDER, a valiant warrior who managed to slay the all-powerful QUEEN WITCH, decimating her followers in the process. In the moments right before her death, the QUEEN curses KAULDER with her own immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Today KAULDER is the only one of his kind remaining, and has spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones. However, unbeknownst to KAULDER, the QUEEN WITCH is resurrected and seeks revenge on her killer causing an epic battle that will determine the survival of the human race.

James Bond: Spectre in Movies@Gorey

From Monday, October 26th – Book Now

A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the beautiful widow (Monica Bellucci) of an infamous criminal. After infiltrating a secret meeting, 007 uncovers the existence of the sinister organization SPECTRE. Needing the help of the daughter of an old nemesis, he embarks on a mission to find her. As Bond ventures toward the heart of SPECTRE, he discovers a chilling connection between himself and the enemy (Christoph Waltz) he seeks.




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