The Guard

   Director: John Michael McDonagh, Element Pictures, Rated MA, 96 mins

After starring as a crim in the crime drama In Bruges it is no surprise to see Brendan Gleeson deliver another great performance, this time as a cop in the role made for him in John Michael McDonagh’s debut production of The Guard for which McDonagh also wrote the script.
   The movie’s opening sequences initially focus on the activities of Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Gleeson), a local Irish cop working out of a police station in a small Irish village who spends time between drinking, entertaining a couple of prostitutes and visiting his terminally ill mother Eileen (Fionnula Flanagan).
The Guard
   Boyle’s rather routine life quickly changes with the death of his partner Aidan McBride (Rory Keenan) and the sudden arrival of FBI agent Wendell Everett (Iron Man actor Don Cheadle) who has come to Ireland to bust an international drug-smuggling ring that includes such killers as Francis Sheehy (Liam Cunningham - Harry Brown), Liam O’Leary (David Wilmot - Dorothy Mills) and Clive Cornell (Mark Strong - Robin Hood).
   McDonagh’s gritty (at times offensive) script is compelling viewing in view of Gleeson’s gutsy and no-nonsense persona in particular the entertaining scenes between himself and Cheadle.
   Unfortunately the story appears to plod along in parts with most of the action taking place in the latter part of the movie.
   It is also somewhat surprising to see the poster showing the movie as “a raucous comedy” when in fact it is a dark comedy drama with Gleeson’s brash behaviour being constantly on display (especially his many expletives) which was McDonagh’s intention in creating such a crude cop character - with Gleeson fulfilling that role to perfection.
   Despite some flaws in The Guard it is still quite funny and entertaining - in large part due to Gleeson’s powerful performance.
VIC'S VERDICT:       3 ½ Rubber Stamp

DVD Review

Mars Needs Moms

   Release Date: 14 September 2011
   Director: Simon Wells, Walt Disney Pictures, Rated PG, 88 mins

A new DVD being released this week is Disney’s animated sci-fi adventure movie from renowned animation director Simon Wells that tells the story of nine year old Milo (Seth Green) who believes his life would be better off without his nagging mum (Joan Cusack) - that is until she is abducted by Martians.
Mars Needs Moms
   Milo’s intergalactic quest to get her back begins with him stowing away on an alien spaceship after learning that the Martians need to harvest his mum’s maternal instincts in order to nurture their young.
   Along the way Milo meets the tech-savvy human named Gribble (Dan Fogler) and a rebel Martian girl called Ki (Elizabeth Harnois), with whom he joins forces and together embark on their journey to rescue Milo’s mum before she is gone forever.
   The Mars Needs Moms DVD is for the whole family offering an enhanced entertainment experience with out-of-this world special effects and a range of enjoyable bonus features including Martian 101 which showcases how the production came up with their version of the Martian language and Fun With Seth, a featurette showcasing the on-set antics of actors Seth Green and Dan Fogler.
   This movie is ideal for parents and kids alike and besides being a thrilling journey is just fun to watch.
VIC'S VERDICT:       4 Rubber Stamp

To find out more about Victor Rebikoff click here.

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