Sing Street

A new review from The Movie Snob.

Sing Street  (B-).  I’m back from a 10-day holiday, plus an extra week-long sabbatical nursing a bad cold, and I’m eager to see some current releases.  This one, from John Carney (director of Begin Again and Once), was OK but a little bit of a disappointment.  The year is 1985.  A sensitive Dublin teenager named Conor (newcomer Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) falls in love with an older girl named Raphina (Lucy Boynton, Miss Potter) and tries to impress her by asking her to be in a music video for his rock band.  When she agrees, he has to come up with said band, and the rest of the movie kind of goes from there.  I liked a couple of the supporting characters, like Conor’s song-writing buddy who’s strangely fond of rabbits, and Conor’s older brother Brendan, who’s a screw-up but genuinely cares about his little brother and helps him grow his musical taste.  Boynton looks a little too old for 16, but she’s a suitably attractive muse; she looks a little like Emma Roberts (We’re the Millers) with a splash of Debbie Gibson (Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark).  Conor’s mom (Maria Doyle Kennedy) looked very familiar, and it turns out she was in another famous Irish rock-n-roll movie, The Commitments.  On the downside, Carney makes the Catholic priest who runs his school unnecessarily mean, and implies he’s a predator to boot, and I didn’t care for the movie’s ending at all.  So it’s kind of a mixed bag.

The Name of the Wind (book review)

A book review from The Movie Snob.

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss (2007).  A friend of mine from way back put me on the trail of this hefty (662 pages) fantasy novel.  And it’s just the first in a series!  I thought it was quite good.  Dark forces seem to be stirring out in the wilderness near some remote village, and humble innkeeper Kote seems to have some unusual insight into what is going on.  Turns out that Kote is more than a humble innkeeper, and then the great bulk of the novel turns into a big flashback as Kote relates the story of his life to a visiting scribe.  So the book is mainly the story of Kote’s childhood and adolescence, and his early training as an “arcanist.”  It’s a pretty gritty tale in places, but I didn’t think it ever crossed the line into cruelty for cruelty’s sake.  And some might think Kote is just a little too precocious and brilliant to be believable, but Rothfuss makes sure he has a few character flaws to balance him out.

Deadpool – a second opinion

The Movie Snob dissents!

Deadpool (D).  Alas, I cannot agree with the glowing review of this movie posted by my amiable colleague the Motor City Reviewer.  It’s yet another superhero movie, but I gather that Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds, Adventureland) is supposed to be a different kind of superhero.  He’s a cynical, motor-mouthed mercenary who doesn’t care about anything or anyone except his beautiful girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin, Serenity).  Unlike your usual Marvel fare, this flick is tarted up with gory violence, incessant vulgar language, and gratuitous sex and nudity.  And Deadpool himself frequently breaks the fourth wall by looking at the camera and commenting on the action for the audience’s benefit.  Some of that commentary is kind of funny.  Reynolds is a likable enough performer, and Baccarin is stunning.  But the plot is same-old-same-old, and the R-rated stuff is really beyond juvenile.  Here’s hoping Captain America: Civil War breaks the recent superhero slump.