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3D, 2D Movies, Culture-Live in Hd, Opera, Ballet & Theatre

Fifty Shades Freed Review. The climax to trilogy is here at last.

Fifty Shades Freed is the third and final instalment of the Fifty Shades trilogy taken from the original books by E. L. James. The last movie ended with Christian Greys dramatic proposal to Anastasia Steele and this one picks up quickly from there by skimming over the wedding with an early monologue. This leads us nicely into the movie itself which definitely does not try to reinvent the wheel here as it continues down a similar path to the previous two.After the new Mr and Mrs Grey return from there extended honeymoon in Europe Anastasia quickly has to adjustment to her new husband very busy work schedule and domineering attitude that has been the main problem between the couple since day one. This of course continues in fifty shades freed as Ana finds herself wanting a bit more freedom and space not long into their married lives together. Ana’s old boss from the publishing company also returns to cause trouble as he seems intent on destroying the seemingly perfect lives of Anastasia & Christian.The plot for this one feels disappointingly weak at times and does feel that this franchise has run its course. It’s hard to believe after 3 movies Anastasia still seems surprised when she finds out Christian owns his own Jet. E. L. James has made a lot of Money from the Movies & Books and there is no doubting she is an excellent writer, it just seems she may have gone to the well once too often for this one. With that being said, Fifty Shades has a truly massive fan base that are sure to pack out cinema’s all over the world for this one over the coming weeks.

Bill Tubbritt

Rating 3/5

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Den of Thieves Review. Possibly Gerard Butler’s best action movie to date.

Gerard Butler, 50 Cent, Pablo Schreiber and O’Shea Jackson Jr star in this new all action heist movie which many are comparing heavily with the classic 1995 Movie Heat starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Den of Thieves sees Butler returning to work with director and producer Christian Gudegast who he also worked with in London has fallen back in 2016. These two combine well again as they both seem really suited to these types of all-out action bullet feasts that are still a lot of movie fans guilty pleasures in this High-Tec digital age.Den of Thieves follows an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. which is lead up by bad boy Detective Nick “Big Nick” O’Brien (Gerard Butler).Ray Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber) is the recently paroled leader of the state’s most successful bank robbery crew who are known as “The Outlaws” The movie quickly puts both groups on an explosive collision course when The Outlaws plan to pull off an seemingly impossible heist by attempting to rob the city’s Federal Reserve bank. This task is not made any easier as Detective Nick and his crew will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening.As previously mentioned the movie has received a little criticism for its similarity to Heat but that should not put people off because even if that fact is true, it still doesn’t stop Den of thieves from been a very entertaining movie. Gerard Butler had to put on a lot of weight for this role and really did a fine job in his role. The movie runs for 140 Minutes which may sound long but the run time really doesn’t make it feel like an overly long movie but definitely there were some unnecessary scenes that were not entirely relevant to the story.

Rating 3.5/5

Bill Tubbritt

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Preview of Shakespeare’s Riotous yet Profound “Twelfth Night” (Broadcast Live here Feb 14th @ 7.15 pm)

If you love theatre, don’t miss this screening of one of the greatest, most joyous plays ever written. What better way to battle through the cold and drear of winter than seeing a great comedy – and a good production of “Twelfth Night” is a heart-warming, often hilarious, experience.A live screening from Shakespeare’s birthplace is always something to look forward to with eagerness, and “Twelfth Night” on Feb 14th brings to us one of his most performed and popular dramas. In fact, a fairly recent survey of all performances of Shakespeare’s plays at The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, later the Royal Shakespeare Company, at Stratford-Upon Avon, from 1879 to 2004, this play is the second most performed of all the canon – there are no prizes for guessing the most performed; “Hamlet”. This delightful comedy is among the greatest and most popular comedies ever penned. I have loved it ever since I studied it as a student many moons ago. In the characters of Viola and Olivia we have two of the dramatist’s largest and most wonderful female roles.

The earliest recorded performance of this delightful comedy took place in one of the London colleges of law, the Middle Temple, in February, 1602 – a number of points in the play which suggest an audience of law students. There are a number of literary and historical clues in the text which, scholars believe, indicate that it was first performed in late 1599 or 1600. While there is nothing in the play to connect it to the twelfth night, (i.e. January 6th) the play, full of merriment, high jinks and drinking scenes, would be a fitting entertainment for an evening which brought the Christmas festivities to a close. The main plot is a loose adaptation of a tale from a novel published in 1581 and this novel was itself based on an Italian comedy which was performed in Cambridge University in 1537. (Perhaps originality is an overprized entity; it’s salutary to reflect that of the Bard’s thirty-seven plays only one, “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, is considered to have an original plot.)As the curtain rises, the lovesick Orsino, Duke of Illyria, is embarking on one of the most famous speeches in drama:- “If music be the food of love, play on. // Give me excess of it that, surfeiting, // The appetite may sicken and so die.”

He is using a deputy to court the rich Countess Olivia, who, we soon discover, is unable to love him in return. His emissary is a newly-employed favourite pageboy named Cesario – what he doesn’t know is that Cesario is in reality a shipwrecked gentlewoman of noble birth whose true name is Viola – and it being a comedy by Shakespeare, confusion is worse confounded when it emerges that Cesario/Viola is in love with Orsino. As Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy might say:- ”What a fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into”! The emissary (in disguise) is herself in love with the man for whom she is pleading. To make matters more complicated, when Cesario/Viola goes a-wooing Olivia (on Orsino’s behalf, you remember), the latter falls in love with him/her.

So, in case you’re as hopelessly lost as I am at this point:- Orsino loves Olivia (who doesn’t love him) who loves Cesario/Viola who, in turn, loves Orsino – nothing could be more simple! There is also Viola’s identical twin brother, Sebastian, presumed drowned, who later comes on the scene – of course, the identical twin is one of the great engines of comedy in the theatre. The mayhem that arises from mistaken identity is a rich source of farce in Shakespeare and many another playwright – with “Twelfth Night”, as events take their course you must be ever on the alert if you are “to keep up with the plot”.

Then there’s puritanical, self-righteous, melancholy Malvolia, Olivia’s steward, who is cruelly gulled into believing that she is in love with him. There’s also Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a wealthy, foolish knight, (in fact an utter idiot) who provides the funds for Olivia’s riotous, drunken uncle, Sir Toby Belch. As in a number of Shakespeare’s plays, there’s also a clown, Feste who is Olivia’s court jester – and it has to be said the clown/fool is often the wisest and shrewdest character in the play. Olivia’s sharp-witted serving woman, Maria, also plays a delightful role in the comic scenes.

“Twelfth Night” Live from the RSC – what is there to beat that? Just penning the above whets my appetite for this magical play.

“Twelfth Night” Broadcast Live from RSC, Stratford, Thurs, Feb 14th @ 7.15 pm.

Jim Ryan

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Learmhais The Greatest Showman

Is scannán é seo a chuireann dea-ghiúmar ort. Tá sé an-oiriúnach don Athbhliain, mar is scannán creathach é seo. Ar fíor-eachtraí atá an scannán bunaithe; saol P.T. Barnum. Fear gan mórán airgead a thiteann i ngrá le cailín óg saibhir darbh ainm Charity. Leanann an lucht féachana a shaol ó phósadh, beirt leanbh agus a streachailt le airgid go dtí go mbíonn smaoineamh conspóideach aige. Chruinnigh sé le chéile na daoine ar imeall an tsochaí chun impresario sorcas a chur ar shiúil. Chuaigh sé ón bpúirín go dtí an pálás. Ach ní thuras éasca a bhí ann, is iomaí dúshláin a raibh ina bhealach. Tá an fuaimrian sa cheoldráma seo spreagúil agus draíochtúil agus chuaigh na rian go barr na gcairteacha i Meiriceá ar feadh dhá sheachtaine. Caithimid a admhaigh gur aisteoir an-chumasach é Hugh Jackman a cuireann beocht sa cheol, ról iomlán difriúil ó Wolverine. Chum P.T. Barnum anam gnó na siamsaíochta comhaimseartha toisc go raibh an-chumas aige dul i ndiaidh mian a chroí. Tá an scannán seo oiriúnach do gach uile duine sa chlann is féidir leo an teachtaireacht ón amhráin “This is me” a chur i bhfeidhm ina saol féin. Mholaim go láidir é a fheiceáil agus ná déan dearmaid súigí siar agus bainigí taithneamh as an seó!


Le Claire Ní Neachtain.

The Commuter Review

Liam Neeson is back in yet another action movie which seems perfect for his “Particular set of skills”. Many might think at 60 years of age he may be getting a little bit old to be beating up guys half his age in all out action movies but few will disagree that Neeson always shines in these types of roles. The Commuter is an action thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Byron Willinger. Along with Liam Neeson the cast also includes Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks and Sam Neill. Despite this healthy cast it feels a little like they were all under used as most of them do not command major screen time throughout the movie.The plot can be summed up very quickly as it’s really not that complicated which is not always a bad thing for this genre of movie. Neeson character Michael MacCauley commute to his job as an Insurance manager every day is always the same as he boards the same train and meets the same people almost every day. This day of course turns out to be a little different as Michael meets a woman on the train who promises to pay him $100,000 if he can find someone on the train for her before it makes its final stop at Cold Springs. Things of course do not stay that simple for Michael as his families safety quickly becomes involved as he enters in a race against time.This movie entertains without being brilliant, it’s fast moving with plenty of action which is what we have come to expect from Liam Neeson movies lately. The plot itself is a little hollow in places but not enough to make this a movie bad, it just lacks any real surprises.

Rating 3/5

Bill Tubbritt


All The Money In The World Review

All the Money in the World is a 2017 crime thriller film directed by Ridley Scott. The Movie stars Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams who all really do amazing jobs with their individual roles. Extra praise going to Plummer as he famously was only a late call up for the part of John Paul Getty which was originally shot and finished with Kevin Spacy in that role before a reshoot was completed with Plummer in just 2 weeks. The Movie is based on a true story which was first portrayed back in 1995 in John Pearson’s book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty.The story is about John Paul Getty who at the time was one of the world’s richest men. When his grandson John Paul Getty’s III was kidnapped his captors thought he would be the perfect bait to draw off a hefty ransom from J P Getty senior. It turned out that Getty is not willing to hand over the 17 million dollar ransom which was demanded. What follows is a desperate bid by the young boy’s mother (Michelle Williams) to get her son back, this included many emotional bids to JP Getty to pay the ransom.This Movie really is a riveting watch from start to finish with lots of excitement along the way. Only slight negative I would say is that the run time maybe a little long for some. It a very dialog heavy movie which is going to be well up there for a couple of awards come Oscar time. This Ridley Scott movie certainly came in under the radar but won’t stay there for long as this is one well worth seeing.

Rating 4/5

Bill Tubbritt


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Review

The previous Jumanji movie came out way back in the 90’s and centred around a group of children who got sucked into the world of the Jumanji board game. This new version seems to have been upgraded with the times as this time round they are sucked in to the Jungle in the Jumanji video game. This Family Comedy Action adventure has an impressive cast made up of Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, who all really gel together very well to make this movie both funny and exciting throughout.We join the story as 4 high school teenagers from a varying degree of social back grounds find themselves in school detention together. As their punishment they are all assigned to clear out the school basement together.  They soon discover an old video game called Jumanji. After all four decided to play the game they are each sucked into the Jungle taking the part of their chosen game avatars. They soon learn that to escape this world and return to their own they must first locate the Jaguar’s Eye jewel and return it to a huge Jaguar statue. There are a few catches as like most video games they only have 3 live and will die for real if they lose all three. This Movie for me is one of the surprises packages of the year as it really is a very entertaining watch that contains a lot of comedy moments that really seem to work well. This is the perfect family movie this Christmas and really deserves to go down quite well over the holidays.

By Bill Tubbritt


Learmhais Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Tugann an scannán seo ómós don bhunsraith – tá scéal ann a chuireann The Empire Strikes Back (1980) i gcuimhne dúinn (an Resistance ag cosaint a mbunáite ón namhaid mór, mar shampla). San am céanna, áfach, tá go leor fo-phlota agus cúpla casadh ann a chuireann blas nua-aimseartha ar an scannán. Anuas air sin, tá áilleacht na Gaeltachta le feiscint mar chúlra do bhuacphointe an scannáin. Conas gan a bheith i ngrá leis sin?

Tosnaíonn an scannán le dhá scéal éagsúil: ar thaobh amháin, tháinig Rey (Daisy Ridley) ar Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) i bplainéad iargúlta darbh ainm Ahch-To (sin just ainm fancyáilte ficsean-eolaíochta le haghaidh Sceilg Mhichíl i nGaeltacht Chiarraí, ach ná habraigí tada). An chúis go bhfuil Luke ina chónaí in áit chomh scaoite amach sin ná “chun bás a fháil” mar a dúirt sé féin. Tá díomá mór millteach aige leis na Jedis só níl sé ag iarraidh a bheith páirteach sa chogaíocht níos mó. Beidh ar Rey cur ina luí air gurb éisean an dóchas deireanach atá ag an Resistance agus nach féidir leis dul ar scor go fóill. Cé go bhfuil Rey cinnte maidir lena sprioc ansan, tugann sí fé ndeara go bhfuil an fórsa á ceangail leis an namhaid Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) agus is féidir leo labhairt le chéile ó chian ar chúis éigint.

Cé go bhfuil go leor aicsin ann ó thús go deireadh, tá misteachas láidir taobh thiar den méid a tharlaíonn sa scéal – tagraítear do na Jedis mar “reiligiún” agus tá miniúchán bainteach leis an “bhfórsa” do go leor eachtraí sa scannán. I gcodarsnacht leis an scannán a tháinig roimhe – The Force Awakens (2015) ina raibh béim ar chumas fisiceach agus seift le linn troda, cuireann The Last Jedi níos mó béime ar chumhacht osnádúrtha. Ar deireadh, faigheann na lucht féachana amach go bhfuil an bua ag an té is cumasaí ag láimhseáil “fórsa”, is cuma ar an taobh geal nó dorch.

San am céanna go raibh sár-obair déanta leis na fo-phlotaí go léir, is dóigh liom go bhfuil cúpla locht sa phríomhscéal. Ar dtús baire, an bhfuil Rey ag éirí cosúil le Superman? Ní hamháin go bhfuil sí seiftiúil mar a léirítear in The Force Awakens, ach anois thugamar fé ndeara nach féidir teorainn a chur lena cumhacht – neamhchosúil leis na Jedis eile a tháinig roimpi, tá “gach rud sa Bhíobla Jedi ar eolas aici” mar a dúirt Máistir Yoda. Bhí ar Anakin (ceann de na Jedis “ba chumasaí”) streachailt ar feadh na mílte uair chun an oiliúint céanna a fháil, agus níl ach dhá chleachta ag teastáil ón “gcailín comónta a tháinig ó áit ar bith”? Fiú má tá sí gaolta le lucht Skywalker, níl sé sin inchreidte. Nach greannmhar go bhfuil sé mar thraidisiún ag an sraith Star Wars carachtair casta a chruthú – laochra a iompraíonn ina namhaid, namhaid a iompraíonn ina laoch (Finn), go leor laoch a dhéanann droch-chinneadh, agus anois (I gcás Kylo) namhaid a dhéanann an rud ceart ó am go ham… Ach níl aon locht le feiscint ar ár laoch is déanaí de réir cosúlachta.

Ar iomlán, scannán iontach spéisiúil é seo. Más maith leat siamsaíocht agus aicsean, ní bheidh díomá ort leis an gcasadh sa scéal, an troid go léir agus na héifeachtaí speisialta foirfe. Más maith leat scéal le brí agus ceangal leis an gcumhacht is mó, ní bheidh díomá ort ach oiread. Tá an scannán so in ann freastal ar an dá thrá agus is mór is fiú seans a thabhairt dó.


Natália Uí Fhaoláin                                         BOOK TICKETS

Anna Netrebko in “Andrea Chenier” Preview

‘Andrea Chenier’, Umberto Giordano’s fourth opera and his only opera to achieve lasting popularity, premiered at La Scala, Milan in March 1896. It was a tremendous success. It was first performed in Ireland, by The Dublin Grand opera Society, in 1957. I first saw it, given by the same DGOS, in Dublin in 1976, and it was an exciting, lovely production. The libretto is by Luigi Illica, a prolific librettist, who wrote or co-wrote the libretti for four Puccini operas, ‘La Boheme’ ‘Madam Butterfly’ ‘Manon Lescaut’ and ‘Tosca’. The great baritone, Mario Sammarco, who often sang and recorded with John McCormack, sang on the opening night. Beniamino Gigli, one of the most renowned Cheniers, sang in the opera’s premiere at the Metropolitan in 1921; it was so popular there that it was performed there for thirteen consecutive seasons – a rare distinction.  

‘Andrea Chenier’ was performed many times with a trio of principals that can seldom have been bettered: Sammarco, the matchless Emmy Destinn and the immortal Enrico Carudo. Margaret Burke-Sheridan, from Co Mayo, Puccini’s favourite ‘Butterfly’, was a celebrated Maddalena, singing it many times with Gigli. She has left us lovely recordings from the opera.

Andrea Chenier, born in Constantinople on October, 1762, was the son of French parents. At three years of age he returned to France and remained there for the rest of his life. He was a poet of revolutionary leanings. The opera is based on events in his life. Maddalena, daughter of a Countess, is attracted by the sincerity and passion of Chenier, a harsh critic of the aristocracy. There are also some rebellious peasants, led by the Countess’s butler, Gerard. Five years elapse and Chenier is now disenchanted by the violent excesses of the Revolution. Friends advise him to flee danger, but he tells them that he received a note from a woman. They meet at her request and fall in love. Gerard, who also loves Maddalena and is now Robespierre’s spy, tries to abduct her. Chenier is arrested and Gerard signs his indictment. … And thus, this passionate, tumultuous and moving opera proceeds to its marvellous climax.

Matthew Boyden, author of “Opera: The Rough Guide” is a great ‘fan’ of this opera, and of its thrilling qualities. He writes of “the splendour of Giordano’s music … Chenier’s terrifyingly difficult role, a cornucopia of heart-tugging melodies and show-stopping climaxes … through a succession of magnificent arias, duets and monologues, to the concluding dam-buster of a duet with Maddalena.” He concludes: – “‘Andrea Chenier’ contains more than a dozen memorable arias and duets, and the opera’s absence from the stage has more to do with a dearth of genuine heroic tenors than with any intrinsic musical weakness”.

Apart from the opera’s own merits, to have the Anna Netrebko (one of today’s genuine greats of the operatic stage) singing the leading female role makes this a not-to-be-missed screening. I have seen her live in the opera house on a number of occasions and she never disappointed. Her Lucia in Donizetti’s opera a few years back was memorable. I look forward eagerly to a marvellous performance from La Scala, its spiritual home.

Fogra: On Sunday, December 31st, (the day following our “Andrea Chenier”) at 4pm, we have The Berlin Philharmonic New Year’s Eve Gala Concert. Along with the usual delights from what is, for me, this Rolls Royce of an Orchestra, we have Mezzo Soprano, Joyce di Donato, singing some Richard Strauss songs. Di Donato is a singing treasure and no serious lover of great singing will lightly pass up the chance to hear her sing. What an ideal way to warm up for a great musical New Year! Unmissable.

Anna Netrebko in “Andrea Chenier” From La Scala, Milam Saturday 30th Dec @3pm


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