Category Archives: Blog

Murder on the Orient Express

They say nothing under the sun is new, that it’s all been done before, and the plethora of reboots, remakes and continuations of classic films has held true to this and… I’ve said all this murder_on_the_orient_express_cast_2before. Oh no, now I’m doing it. Anyway, Agatha Christie’s crime caper classic (I love alliteration), The Murder on the Orient Express starring the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, retold with an all star cast and a fresh coat of paint.

Beginning in Jerusalem 1934, Poirot (Kenneth Branagh, who also directs) stopping the theft of a priceless relic, all by deducing the thief’s identity by a single crack on a wall. Poirot then proceeds to depart for Istanbul and from there catch the Orient Express to Europe. While getting settled for the long journey, he is approached by businessman Edward Ratchet (Johnny Depp), a mobster who made a fortune selling counterfeit art work, and a few enemies. Ratchet offers to hire Poirot for protection but Poirot declines, being a man of strong moral fiber. Next morning, an avalanche derails the train and Ratchet is found murdered in his room.Murder-on-the-Orient-Express-poster-1

On shows like CSI or Law and Order, you can bet if there is a famous guest star, they are the killer. With that in mind, this particular remake has many big names to keep you guessing who the killer is (unless you already know, in which case, spoiler sport). So who are our celebrity murder suspects? (Which sounds like a reality show being waited to be made).

*deep breath* Miss Mary Debenham (Daisy Ridley) a governess, a doctor named Arbuthnot (Leslie Odom Jr.) whom Mary has some relationship with, Biniamino Marquez (Manuel Garcia murder 3Ruflo) a self-made immigrant, Hector McQueen(Josh Gad) who was Ratchets accountant and Edward Henry Masterman( Derek Jacobi) , Ratchet’s butler. Socialite Caroline Hubbard (Michelle Pfeiffer), Russian royalty Princess Dragomiroff (Judi Dench) and Austrian engineer Gerhard Hardman (Willem Dafoe). * pant* Oh and nurse turned missionary Pilar Estravades (Penelope Cruz). * fighting for breath*

By Daniel Murphy


Leave it to Marvel to make the end of the world so colourful and such good fun. Ragnarok was Thor ragsaid to be a winter that lasted three years akin to Game of Thrones Long Night, but the higher ups at Marvel decided to make the Norse Apocalypse vibrant and set to the sound of Led Zeppelin.


 After leaving the Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been searching for Infinity stones and has been having recurring nightmares about Asgards destruction. Freeing himself from the clutches of Surtur, the fiery lord of Muspelheim, Thor returns to find his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleson) impersonating Odin. Departing together in search of their father, Thor and Lokijeff gold meet Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who assists them and they find Odin (Antony Hopkins) on a Cliffside in Norway. Odin is dying, before departing he warns his sons of the return of Hela, Goddess of death… and Odin’s firstborn daughter.

Upon Odin’s death, Hela (Cate Blanchett) (Not too far from the Lady Galadriel) returns and effortlessly destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. Following Thor and Loki, Hela returns to Asgard, where her power increases greatly, while the brothers were cast off the Bifrost on-route to Asgard. Finding them on the planet Sakaar, Thor is a prisoner and Loki a guest of the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Thor opts to fight the Grandmaster’s champion to earn his freedom in the gladiator area, only problem, the champion is fellow Avenger Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

During the fight, Thor discovers his new ability to channel the power of thunder through his thor 3body without the need of Mjolnir. Meanwhile back on Asgard, Hela has taken over, slaying all who oppose her and resurrecting her old army and war-mount Fenrir, a giant wolf, to continue the conquest she and Odin began thousands of years ago. Thor persuades Hulk to help him retake Asgard along with the help of Loki, other Sakaar gladiators and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), a former shield maiden of Asgard who fought Hela once before. While those four plan plans and make wisecracks, Heimdall (Idris Elba) organises a resistance on Asgard and keeps his sword, the key to the Bifrost Bridge, out of her hands.

Marvel (pun intended) as Ragnarok breaks out all your favourite tropes, wisecracks, epic battle scenes, world building and of course the obligatory shirtless hero scene, twice in fact, andThor-Ragnarok-02 introducing… the Hulk’s bare green buttocks, even the mighty Thor is powerless before it. Speaking of Hulk, he speaks mostly full sentences now and his friendship with Valkyrie is adorable. Between Cate Blanchett flaunting her godly presence and Jeff Goldblum chewing the scenery, it’s amazing the sets stay upright. But the real emotional core is the brotherly love between Loki and Thor, with the redemption arc from Dark World coming full circle. Karl Urban’s Skurge is a great reluctant villain and Thor’s gladiator buddies provide comic relief just by existing. By Odin, once again Marvel provides another solid entry in their ever expanding universe.

(If only DC’s upcoming apocalypse in Justice League looked as fun)

(So Tessa Thompson is Valkyrie and Michael B. Jordan is Killmonger in the upcoming Black Panther movie? Set sails fair shippers!)

 By Daniel Murphy

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo’s newest Zelda game, was released on the Wii U and the Switch – Nintendo’s newest zeldaconsole – on the 3rd of March. Most agree, that it’s the best game in the series so far. As of now it has a 97% score on Meta-critic and while I agree, that it is an amazing game. I think 97% is a massive overstatement.

The story is pretty much what you’d expect from a Nintendo game: princess gets captured, you must save her. The game has a backstory but it’s mostly just a token gesture and doesn’t add much. The game is also the first in the series to have a full voice-acting, a long overdue feature. Unfortunately, the voice-acting ranges from mediocre to awful. The dialogue is also not great at times. However, Zelda games have never been about the story; gameplay has always been their main draw.zelda 2

The game has many obvious positives. The overworld puts every prior Zelda game to shame by being bigger and granting more freedom than ever before. Within about three hours of play, the entire world is available. The game also has more content, with five dungeons, 120 mini-dungeons – or shrines as they’re called – over 150 different weapons and 901 hidden collectables.

The game, while on larger scale than previous titles, does a worse job at basic things. The combat is a huge step down from previous games, going from motion controls to button mashing.  Also runs at a measly 30 frames-per-second, half the current standard. Even at that,zelda 3 the game often lags. The only workaround is to download the game on PC, which unfortunately is completely illegal. On top of that the 901 collectables are far too much. After only a few dozen they become tedious to collect. The last few hundred don’t even give any reward. This makes fully completing the game not worthwhile.

Overall, Breath of the Wild, is a great game that is revolutionary for the series. But, it’s not the perfect masterpiece the world makes it out to be. It struggles with too many fundamental things like framerate and combat for that title. It’s still definitely worth playing and an easy recommendation.

By Dean Copeland

The Snowman

‘’Serial killer’’ is not the first thing I think of when I here ‘’snowman’’, my first thought is ‘Frosty’’, the-snowman-2017-serial-killer-thrillerbut don’t fear for your childhood, Frosty hasn’t become a sadistic murderer. (Although that would make for a much more interesting plot twist, and what court would convict Frosty?)

Based on the novel by Jo Nesbo, the story follows Norwegian detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender). Let’s run down the list, Harry is: an alcoholic (check), chain smoker (check) and a deadbeat father (big ol’ check-a-roo) so congratulations’ Harry- you’ve been awarded Generic Noir Protagonist of the year. And of course he’s also a ‘’legend’’ around Oslo PD, so the titular serial killer sends him a letter taunting him about all the killing he’s about to do.

Assigned together with new transfer Katherine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), Harry investigates a 17175642_the-snowman-2017-movie-trailer_d6f4905d_mmissing person’s case, a wife and mother kidnapped and the perp left a snowman outside the victim’s house. After some spending some time with his estranged son Oleg, Harry and Katherine get a tip on another victim, and find her decapitated, with her head placed atop a snowman.

With this new victim, Katherine begins to put together a psychological profile on the killer, he apparently targets women he disapproves of, women with fertility issues or have had miscarriages, and he always leaves his victims on display, and it appears the falling of winter snow sets him off.  This line of thinking leads Katherine to suspect a prolific doctor Idar Vetlesen, who has ties with influential philanthropist Arve Stop (J.K. Simmons). Harry meanwhile looks into the apparent suicide of a detective, Gert Rafto (Val Kilmer) who was investigating a similar string of deaths and discovers that they are The-Snowman-first-poster-featuredfollowing the same killer.

As a mystery it’s pretty par the course, it’s not even edge of your seat tense, certainly gory in places but no real substance. The reveal in the third act isn’t worth a spoiler warning and Val Kilmer, J.K Simmons and Toby Jones are all underutilised. Fassbender fills his role to its fullest, but his character is dull and uninteresting, and perhaps the biggest sin is we never get clear reasons for why the killer does what he does and instead gives us some vague motive that’s really unsatisfying.

(is it wrong that I almost wish it was Frosty the snowman?).

By Daniel Murphy



Blade Runner

Many science fiction stories focus around the idea of artificial intelligence, and then taking it a bl3step further by creating artificial humans. Well known and recent examples include the hosts in Westworld and the synths in Fallout 4 and Ava in Ex Machina. Inevitably questions arise as to whether these thinking machines could be- or are- as human as humans themselves. Of all the above listed examples, the Hollywood granddaddy of the cyberpunk sci-fi genre that captivated audiences for 30 years, could very well be considered the progenitor of all that has come since, Ridley Scott’’s Blade Runner.

Some movies are so revered by critics and fans that the very idea of sequels is unimaginable. But director Denis Villeneuve – and Harrison Ford- took the gamble and now we have Blade Runner 2049 (because round numbers are boring I suppose) (Also, why are the Replicant hunters called ‘’blade runners’’, does it just sound cool?).


Replicant- an artificial human created by the Wallace Corporation as slave labour, expendable bl1soldiers and prostitutes. Replicants who go ‘’off the reservation’’ are hunted down by a Blade Runner, K (Ryan Gosling) and ‘’retired’’ (no benefits or ‘nuthin, you ingrates!). K tracks down one such Replicant Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) and kills him. On Morton’s farm K discovers a box containing the remains of a skeleton which he brings into the LAPD for analysis. There is revealed the bones belonged to a Replicant… who died in childbirth. The idea that a Replicant could procreate is unthinkable and K is ordered to kill the investigation and destroy all evidence because the discovery ‘’breaks the world’’.

K resolves to find the truth; he goes to the Wallace Corporation and meets Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) to compare notes on the Replicant, after K leaves, Luv informs her boss/creator Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) and he wants the child found for study. K’s investigation brings him to question his own identity as he doubts if he truly is a Replicant after discovering a carved wooden horse, which he had only seen in what he thought was an implanted memory of his non-existent childhood. Confiding in Joi (Ana de Armas) who is his virtual girlfriend, a la Cortana meets Her , and together they go in search of the father of the Replicant child, none other than Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford).

If you were hoping this film would definitively answer the decades old question ‘’is Deckard a bl2Replicant?’’ well I can tell you, it also raises the question ‘’is K a Replicant?’’. The truth is left intentionally vague and I’m sure the internet will spent years debating and throwing out theories to explain and make sense of the mystery. After all, its part of the appeal of Blade Runner is obsessive fun of unravelling the plot. The film itself is long, its 2 hours and 40 minutes long! But it does draw you in and make you want to know and I wouldn’t go so far to call it boring. The action is sparse, which helps to preserve the drama for when a fight does break out and there’s a lot of world building going on in the background that informs the city of LA in 2049.

(Bet if K would found Deckard sooner if he enlisted the help of Nick Valentine).

Scannánaíocht – Lá 1

On a glorious Thursday morning, the transition year students of Meanscoil Gharman flocked to 22070475_10154936652440222_1882839135_oroom 21, to begin the first session of our documentary activity with SETV.IE commissioned by Creative Ireland. The students had high hopes for this activity as we will be missing out on PE class for the 5 weeks in which the course will take place on, no pressure! As we entered the room, the first object we saw was a very sophisticated camera, which we later learned was worth a whopping €12,500.

We were then introduced to Colum, who was the director of SETV.IE. He gave a presentation and spoke to us about the different elements involved in producing a documentary. We learned that producing the end product which we all see on screen involves more than just recording footage and throwing it together. We also learned about the various roles that are needed to produce a documentary, leading us into a discussion on which role we would be interested in taking on, for our documentary.

I felt that this was a very informative session as the majority of the class had very little 22095437_10154936652500222_298427530_oinformation on this topic this presentation. I personally felt intrigued into the process of making a documentary and was looking forward to hearing more. After lunch, the students returned to room 21, for the afternoon section of the activity.

Róisín came into us from SETV.IE to speak to us about the importance of social media and marketing in today’s world. This session was slightly shorter than the earlier section as we began to discuss ideas for the documentary we would be making. We split up into groups to think of some potential ideas for the documentary on 10 Years of Meanscoil Gharman. The class had some great concepts, some of which could become reality in the near future. Overall, it was a very enjoyable day for the class and I believe everybody is really looking forward to getting stuck in to the project and begin working on it.

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By student Conor

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

 If manners maketh man, then tight camera shots, kinetic choreography and feel-good music coupled with delicious ultra-violence make Matthew Vaughan the go-to action director who seamlessly combines style and substance in this proper spy comedy.kings

Life is good for Eggsy (Taron Egerton); he is now a fully fledged Kingsman agent and dating Swedish princess Tilde (Hanna Alstrom) but before he can meet her parents, he is attacked by his old rival Charlie (Edward Holcroft), rogue Kingsman now enhanced with a bionic arm. (I suppose he’s a Doomfist main now). Following a high speed chase and fight, Eggsy escapes but Charlie’s robot arm remotely hacks the Kingsman network. The next day simultaneous missile strikes destroy the Kingsman, including Roxy/ Lancelot (Sophie Cookson) and even JB, Eggsy’s pet pug. (John Wick would not approve).

 Only Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) survive and activate the Doomsday protocol, which leads them to Kentucky, discovering the Statesmen, an independent intelligence agency and the ‘Murican cousins to the Kingsmen.  Since Statesmen’s fortune was founded by distillery all their agents code-name is alcohol themed. Channing Tatum is Agent Tequila, the resident bad boy of Statesman. Halle Berry is Ginger Ale, the tech guru, Pedro Pascal is whip cracking Agent Whiskey and Jeff Bridges is Champagne, or better know as ‘’Champ’’. (Who else but the Dude right?).



And to top it all off, who should show up but none other than Harry/Galahad (Colin Firth). Turn out the Statesmen picked him up a year ago after he’d been shot in the head and where able to revive him with special medical technology (yes, the Statesmen have found the long sought after cure to a bullet in the head). Unfortunately Harry has retrograde amnesia and Merlin and Eggsy have to find a way to jog his memory and get him back to active duty.

The person responsible for the downfall of Kingsmen and Charlie’s new arm is the worlds biggest drug lord, Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore). Her scheme is to corner a monopoly on all illicit substances, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and then infecting the world’s supply of drugs with a virus that slowly kills users. With millions of people infected Poppy demands the President to legalize all substances, ending the war on drugs and in doing so making herself richer and beyond the laws grasp. If the President doesn’t comply, all those infected will die… except the President is a @$$hole who decides to let people die under the pretense of ‘’we don’t negotiate with terrorists’’.   tatum

The Kingsmen and Statesmen team up to take down Poppy and save the world. The story here feels like a plot ripped straight from Archer and older, camper spy movies, but it absolutely works. What was wrong for James Bond in the 90’s is perfect for the world of Kingsmen. So while newer spy films focus on realism and seriousness, Kingsmen delivers exciting action and ingenious innovation with a dash of campy humour without ever losing sight of the plot and the end result is the same: save the world.

(I wonder if Statesmen have a position open for Agent Guinness?).

By Daniel Murphy

Wind River

’Danger comes with the territory’’, the tagline say it all. Director Taylor Sheridan takes us on a Wind rivermurder mystery on an Indian reservation in Wyoming, a veritable Third World country in the American heartland. (If only there was someone who could, I dunno, make America great again for its Native citizens, but alas such a person doesn’t exist).


We follow US wildlife agent Cody Lambert (Jeremy Renner), as he takes his son to visit his ex-wife’s Native parents on the Wind River reservation. While tracking a mountain lion that attacked cattle, Lambert discovers the body of Natalie Hensen, a girl who was friends with Lamberts own late daughter. Calling in the Tribal police who in turn call in FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) to investigate. Banner enlists the help of Lambert and his expertise as a tracker to help find Natalie’s killer, Lambert agrees to after promising Natalie’s father Martin that he’ll kill the person responsible.

The autopsy reveals Natalie was raped before escaping, having run six miles in the snow,wind riv 2 barefoot before collapsing from frozen air bursting her lungs. Banner and Lambert then interrogate Natalie’s brother Chip (Martin Sensmeier) who tells them Natalie was dating a white man named Matt (Jon Bernthal). Along with Tribal police they head to the oil refinery where Matt works. Matt’s co-workers attack, a flashback sequence revealing they where the ones who assaulted Natalie and beat Matt to death. In the following shootout, Banner gets blasted; saved only by her Kevlar, while the Tribe cops are all killed, but Lambert shoots the remaining oil workers, gets Banner a medical helicopter and then hunts the last man.

After tracking down Pete, the man responsible for Natalie and Matt’s death, Lambert forces him to confess before letting him run off, where Pete then dies the same way Natalie did. Banner recovers and Lambert returns to Martin to tell him his daughter have been avenged (and you thought I wouldn’t slip an Avengers reference in there, this film has 3 Marvel actors for crying out loud!)

Wind River could best be described as a modern Western, like a western it features a small town,wind riv 3 a killer on the loose and a lone lawman out to bring justice. It also doubles as a social commentary about life on Native American reservations, which are beset by poverty, drugs and mental illness, the Tribal police chief even says how many Natives will get arrested just to have a 3 warm meals and a place to sleep. It also touches on the sexual victimization of Native women, and how they are the highest demographic of missing persons in the US, the characters of Lambert and Matt are motivated to protect the women they love without going into full white savior territory and you do feel for not only them but for all those still resigned to reservations like Wind River.

If you want to check out more police procedurals like this, I recommend Skinwalkers: the Navajo Mysteries available on Netflix or if you’re more of a reader pick up Vertigo comics series Scalped.

By Daniel Murphy



We All Float Down Here!

Dara O Briain once stated in one of his shows that nostalgia is basically, “heroin for old people…. it4Oh the good old days.” I know what you’re thinking, what has this got to do with, if anything, the new version of Stepehen King’s IT? Well dear reader if you will allow me to indulge for a bit, I will explain. When news broke of this reboot in 2009, I was actually quite happy. Calm down Tim Curry fans, chill the beans. I saw the original miniseries years and years ago. It terrified me, mostly because of Tim Curry truth be told. The miniseries riveted me to the spot and I lost sleep for at least a fortnight. But I re-watched it upon hearing the reboot idea and well meh. The first half of the series stands up but it loses direction for the second half and that ending? Jesus. Woeful. So how does the remake stand up?

Well to be totally honest it blows the original out of the greywater (see what I did there?). The film has been moved out of the 1950’s and is shot into the 80’s, more specifically 1989. One of the many reasons I adored this movie. There are posters of Gremlins, Beetlejuice adorning the kid’s walls and the local movie theatre is showing Batman and later on that faithful summer, rather tellingly A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 5: Dream 3

The posters on the walls belong to the kids central to the plot. Bill, Richie, Ben, Mike, Eddie, Stan and Bev, or as they affectionately call themselves, The Losers Club. These kids are dealing with a lot, an awful lot. That awkward phase that most of us went through, unsure of where you stand in life but comforted by familiar faces and generally having solid friendships. They have to deal with parents that either won’t accept what is happening in the town of Derry, Maine. That is the disappearance of a lot of kids and the suspected cause, the terror that is Pennywise The Dancing Clown (a phenomenal Bill Skasgard, who is absolutely amazing and brings a terrifying clown to life).

They also have to deal with the terror of the high school bully, in this case there are four and are led by your average local sociopath, Henry Bowers, seriously that boy ain’t right! And this is the heart of the story. These kids have a lot to deal with in their everyday lives, terrible adults it 2who should know better, adolescence, puberty, bullies and the clown. Now let’s clear something up here. IT is not Pennywise, there that had to be sorted. It is merely the form the entity, or Bob Gray takes as it is primal fear and very alluring to young kids and even bigger kids! It is merely a face of fear that moulds to fit a person’s particular fear.

Things I Loved about this film:

The Losers Club. Seriously the kids in this movie were all amazing and their chemistry was off the charts. Their adventure over the course of the summer made me laugh and cry. They were the heart and soul of this 1

Skasgard, Holy Christ, his contorting eyes, his voice, his costume his general existence. Terrifying.

The nostalgia. This movie is a mix of The Goonies and Poltergeist

The effects. I am aware that there was CG used but it looked seamless and was terrifying.

The last fifteen to twenty minutes. No spoilers here but be prepared to cry.

Things I Did Not Love:

We have to wait nearly two years for Part Two!!!! Blast it!!

No all joking aside, go see this movie. It is one of the best King adaptations ever. Loads of heart, scares were not plentiful but I’m glad for that. Modern horrors are mostly rubbish and full of cheesy jump scares which renders the film useless. The cast are phenomenal and you will leave feeling things other than abject fear!

By Jamie T. Murphy

American Made

As  be expected from Tom Cruise, he does a lot of running in this film, only its not a cardioam workout, this time he’s running drugs, guns, guerrilla fighters for the CIA, Cartels, Contra’s and the DEA all over the course of a few years. This is the Barry Seal story.

T.W.A. pilot Barry Seal (Cruise) is recruited by ‘’Schafer’’ (Domhnall Gleeson) for the CIA in 1978, to fly over Latin American countries with Communist affiliations gather intelligence on ‘enemies of democracy’’. Being a hotshot pilot, Barry agrees and pretty soon feels the need, the need for speed (you can be my wingman anytime). However he quickly becomes a victim of his own success, after arriving in Colombia in ’78 he is quickly brought before the future Medellin cartel, including a young Pablo Escobar for any fans of 1

 Instead of killing Barry, they pay him to smuggle cocaine into the US and with his wife Lucy (Sarah Wright) and his children to provide for, Barry does so. After being arrested by Colombian police, Schafer bails Barry out and makes him a new offer, smuggling guns into Nicaragua to arm the Contra’s ‘’freedom fighters’’ against the Communist regime. Schafer also re-locates Barry’s family to Mena, Arkansas, bequeathing him an air field and 300 aches of land. Barry finally tells Lucy the truth and soon they get swept up in the excess and glamour of the 80’s (*snort* HOO! BEST DECADE EVER! ) (y’know, apart from mass incarceration, AIDS and Able Archer…and bad hair)

By ’82 the Seal household is literally overflowing with cash and Barry has expanded his operations to include more pilots, affectionately called ‘’the Snowbirds’’ all the while out running the DEA, ATF and the FBI all at once while Escobar goes crazy and declares war on the Colombian government, and Lucy’s deadbeat brother steals from Barry, gets caught and after he’s taken care of  (we never learn who by) Schafer decides to burst Barry’s bubble and cut off all ties to him and then Barry is arrested but freed by the DEA  and now he’s working for the White House to get pictures incriminating the Medellin and giving the US the justification it needs to am2get behind the Contra’s and oust Communist’s from Central America.

Over the course off the film Barry narrates over old home video recordings he made in ’86 to document his side of things and shed light on the events as they transpired. In fact the director Doug Liman frames every shot like it was taken on an old VHS camera, which is a nice technique and paint the era it was set in. The plot never wastes a minute and every scene serves a purpose, and Barry goes through more alliances and loyalties than 4 seasons of Game of Thrones and after the Mummy flopped Tom Cruise is back on top form, American Made is part documentary, part history lesson, part political drama and an autobiography, all based on a true story about lies.

By Daniel Murphy