films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Sing Street

2016 / 106m - Ireland
Music, Drama
Sing Street poster

A sweet coming of age story, though one that lacks a bit of punch. It felt like I'd seen this film before. Young romance, some Britpop from the 80s, a gang of losers forming a band and overcoming adversities. It's really just a mix of popular elements that offers little or no suprise at all. But at least the execution was on point.

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Conor is a young kid whose parents are short on cash. He has to switch school and ends up in a world that isn't really his. To get his mind off of things, he starts a band to impress a band. He recruits some guys from his new school and invites the girl to perform in a music video. For that, they'll have to write a song first.

Performances are solid, the comedy is pleasant, and the characters are charming. The music/retro angle isn't very original though and both the drama and the romance feel a little too flimsy to leave a real impression. It's certainly not a bad film just not quite distinctive enough to set itself apart.

Begin Again

2013 / 104m - USA
Drama, Music, Romance
Begin Again poster


2007 / 86m - Ireland
Music, Drama
Once poster

A sing-songwriter's wet dream. I guess this is about as lo-fi as a film can get, which is kind of appropriate considering the characters and the music that Carney puts forward. This is really a collection of everything music-related I dislike, kudos to Carney for still managing to inject a bit of charm into the relationship between the leads.

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Glen works in the hoover repair shop of his dad, but he's mostly out and about, making music on the street. One day he meets Mark├ęta, a single mom who loves the piano. It clicks between the two, but they both have unfinished business that keeps them from hooking up. It doesn't stop them from making music together though.

Two tortured artists in an uplifting romance, though stuck in a film crammed to the rim with whiny singer-songwriter music. The cinematography is ugly as can be, the music is terrible, and the characters are dim, but when they are together there is some chemistry. 200% not my type of film, but Carney is better at this than the Coen brothers (cfr. Inside Llewyn Davis).