As every Adam Curtis film loves to remind us we increasingly live in a world when….(insert massive statement here)… much of mainstream entertainment is aimed at children or young adults.
This is not particularly surprising given the power children actually hold over their parent’s purse strings and if anything is only going to take up more and more of the market place, especially during the summer months.
We have moved from a world wherein children were seen and not heard, spanked and not thanked, to one where the kids are the ones in control, holding the threat of an unstoppable hissing fit over their parent’s heads like the sword of Damocles.
Animations like the Pixar collection combine or alternate between jokes for the kids and some for the adults too and the production company along with its owner Disney have reaped the rewards of producing clever, intelligent and emotionally aware writing for screen with some of the most impressive animation one can imagine and always all-star casts.
One only needs to look at some of the company’s recent successes to see just how dominant animated films have become; Finding Dolly, Up, Toy Story 3, Inside Out etc. all topped both critics and box office lists respectively.
However, in the live action realm of the movie world, Young Adult films or children’s films have not shared in the glorious success of their cartoon cousins.
One only need think of dung hit wonders like Twilight, The Maze Runner or even The Mortal Instruments: City of Bone?
No me neither.
Thankfully for some the new film from Tim Burton, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, adapted from the novel of the same name and boasting a screenplay from Jane Goldman, steps up to the plate and delivers the goods.
At the same time being that most gothic with a small “g” filmmaker’s best work in twenty years or so, though anyone familiar with Burtons work from that said period will know that this is fainter praise than one would initially assume.
One only need think of the mawkish make you cry hysteria of Big Fish to know what I’m getting at here.
With a plot which unfolds like so many films you are sure you have seen but just can’t put your finger on it because it’s all so depressingly familiar, the film does not throw up too many surprises but it does exactly what is said on the tin and in our great age of mediocrity that is (almost) something to shout about.
When tragedy strikes close to home, 16-year-old Jacob "Jake" Portman is forced to travel to a mysterious island in order to discover the truth of what really happened.
Jake's ordinary life takes an extraordinary turn as the childhood fairy-tales he heard from his grandfather growing up start to become more plausible.
After stumbling into what seems to be a different world, Jake is introduced to the extraordinary Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children at Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
But when what seems to be a fairy-tale takes a horrific turn, Jake is forced to make a life altering decision in order to protect the ones he loves from the monsters of his own grandfather's past.
While that might not sound the most ground-breaking of plots the whole thing adds up to more than the sum of its parts.
While this film is not going to change anyone’s life if you are looking for solid entertainment for the whole family one could do a lot worse.
It’s Xmen for kids crossed with the Addams Family and there’s nothing wrong with that.
3/5 Out September 30th, 2016.
As we love to point out in our weekly blabbering here Irish cinema is currently going through an extremely prolific and successful period, both critically and commercially and the opening film of this year’s IFI Documentary Festival, Colm Quinn’s, Mattress Men has only enhanced the recent glut of quality Irish offerings.
The film takes a peak behind the mattress, telling the true storyof the man who made the legend that is Mattress Mick.
Anyone who has even a passing knowledge of Dublin City in the last ten years or so will be able to tell you who Mattress Mick is but as it’s my job also so:
In an attempt to save his struggling mattress business during the recession, sixty-something Michael Flynn teams up with aspiring filmmaker Paul Kelly to reinvent himself as the eccentric online persona ‘Mattress Mick’, a Mattress salesman who owns a number of stores in Dublin.
Through Paul’s “so bad they are good” and genuinely ham fisted hilarious YouTube and online videos coupled with a creative use of social media, Mattress Mick quickly becomes an unlikely local celebrity. However, as the business and Mick’s profile begins to grow, their friendship comes under increasing pressure.
Mattress Men is directed by Colm Quinn who has been quietly honed his trade over the past number of years, directing a number of short documentaries and fiction films as well as projects for television.
Mattress Men is his first feature and it’s an absolute whopper of a film. Donald Clarke called the film “The flashy standout of this year’s Sheffield Doc Fest’s roster.” One would be hard pressed to disagree.
Mattress Men is a warm, funny and poignant tale of economic and emotional struggle.
Most people will probably go into Mattress Men expecting proper laughs based on the films premise and trailer, and while they’ll get just that, they’ll also probably be surprised by how moving it all is.
Mattress Mick and his co-creator Paul Kelly are the new poster boys of recession recovery, even if it is a recovery few of us have come into contact with.
Mattress Men will at least remind us that sometimes good things do happen to good people. Opens start of October and everyone should go see it.