Wednesday 17 January 2018

The Film Show: George Byrne has the lowdown on 'The Equalizer' and 'Maps to the Stars'

Down in the dumps: Julianne Moore in ‘Maps to the Stars
Down in the dumps: Julianne Moore in ‘Maps to the Stars
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

This week The Herald's resident movie expert George Byrne has the lowdown on 'The Equalizer' and 'Maps to the Stars'

'The Equalizer' is a far cry from the 80s TV show of the same name, which starred Edward Woodward. 

In fact, the name is pretty much the only thing they have in common - as George points out, this big screen incarnation stars Denzel Washington who, unlike Woodward, executes his own violence.

"I suspect they're looking at a potential franchise here," says George, "He's only a few years younger than Liam Neeson so there's plenty of scope for the middle aged action man!

"He's teaming up with Antoine Fuqua who he worked with on Training Day, and then he won the Oscar.  I don't think there'll be any Oscars for this but It's a perfectly serviceable action film.

"It's perfectly entertaining.  I wonder if John Michael McDonagh might do a proper Irish remake and set it in Woodies DIY in Tallaght?"

'Maps to the Stars' is a Hollywood satire constructed around a ghost story, which is not entirely successful, but the performances are outstanding from Julianne Moore to John Cusack, Olivia Williams, and Mia Wasikowska.

"There's a lot to like, notably the performances," says George.

"It's essentially a satire on Hollywood, basically telling us Hollywood is a terrible place, not that anyone who had seen Sunset Boulevard fifty years ago, or the play, or Get Shorty, or The Canyons last year didn't know!"

He adds, "It's a bit heavy handed but the performances make it.  Julianne Moore is great, Cuask is great, Mia Wasikowska, who was brilliant in that film last year walking across the dessert with the camels, brilliant, and Robert Pattinson who was in that good Aussie film, The Rover a few weeks back, brilliant. 

"It doesn't quite tie together but it's much better than Cosmopolis but if you like good acting, it's great."

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