Tag Archives: Actor

On This Day…3 October

Sunday, 3 October 2010

You know, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest; a day when we take stock of the week just done, and prepare for the week ahead.

I’m working today – so bugger that for a lark!

But before I head out to earn a crust let me regale you with historical tit-bits, starting with events on this day in…

1283 – Dafydd ap Gruffydd (try saying that with a mouthful of mothballs), prince of Gwynedd in Wales, becomes the first person executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered. See? I told you I was in a good mood today.

For the ladies: Liam Neeson as Rob Roy MacGregor

1712 – The Duke of Montrose issues a warrant for the arrest of Rob Roy MacGregor. Liam Neeson lookalikes hide out for the duration.

1849 – American author Edgar Allan Poe is found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances; it is the last time he is seen in public before his death. Nevermore!

1863 – The last Thursday in November is declared as Thanksgiving Day by President Abraham Lincoln, as are Thursdays, November 30, 1865 and November 29, 1866.

1951 – The “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, one of the greatest moments in Major League Baseball history, occurs when the New York Giants’ Bobby Thomson hits a game winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning off of the Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, to win the National League pennant after being down 14 games.

1981 – The Hunger Strike by Provisional Irish Republican Army and Irish National Liberation Army prisoners at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland ends after seven months and ten deaths.

1990 – Re-unification of Germany. The German Democratic Republic ceases to exist and its territory becomes part of the Federal Republic of Germany. East German citizens became part of the European Community, which later became the European Union. Now celebrated as German Unity Day.

1995 – O J Simpson acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. We all know what happened to O J a decade or so later.

Birthdays today include:

Another one for the ladies: birthday boy Clive Owen

Chubby Checker, American singer-songwriter, is 69.

Lindsey Buckingham, American guitarist and singer  with Fleetwood Mac, is 61.

Clive Owen, British actor, is 46.

Neve Campbell, Canadian actress and star of the Scream series of movies, is 37.

Today marks the passing of an English comic legend. Ronnie Barker, one half of The Two Ronnies, died today in 2005. This sketch is my absolute favourite. The smaller of the two is his partner in crime, Ronnie Corbett.

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Kick-Ass…WTF?

Kick-Ass Movie Poster

Kick-Ass is the 2010 movie based on the comic book of the same name created by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.

It is not a kids’ movie. No sireee! Any movie that has an eleven-year-old actress using the “c” word is definitely not one to bring the sprogs to see. But seeing that I had a night to myself I decided to rent out a couple of movies, including this one.

The film tells the story of an ordinary teenager, Dave, who sets out to become a real-life superhero calling himself Kick-Ass. Dave gets caught up in a bigger fight when he meets Big Daddy, a former cop who, in his quest to bring down the evil drug lord Frank D’Amico, has trained his 10-year-old daughter to be the ruthless vigilante Hit-Girl.

Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl (Mindy Macready)

It stars Aaron Johnson as Dave/Kick-Ass, Nicolas Cage as Damon Macready/Big Daddy, Chloe Grace Moretz as Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl, Mark Strong as Frank D’amico, and  Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D’Amico/Red Mist, Frank D’Amico’s son.

Like I said at the start, this is a movie for grown-ups. It’s violent (and not always in a cartoonish way, either) and frequently foul-mouthed. Now I’m no prude. I love these kind of movies. I was brought up on James Bond and the original Die Hard will never leave my personal Top 10 of all-time favourite flicks.

Hit-Girl tells it as it is.

While I really enjoyed this film for what it was – escapist but violent entertainment – I am well aware of the controversy surrounding it. Moretz was 11 at the time of filming and it seems wrong somehow to hear her speak in such a profane way. I live in Dublin; I’m well used to hearing that kind of language on the streets. It’s second nature to a lot of the kids here. But that doesn’t make it right, though.

Sure it’s funny and I suppose Millar is making the point of a child acting as an adult in order to survive. I can see that; but it doesn’t make for comfortable viewing.

What's wrong with this picture?

Neither would the violence meted out to Hit-Girl sit well with most movie-goers. Sure, she most definitely gives as good as she gets. Her kill-count is higher than the bad guys. Hell, her kill-count is higher than most Bond movies. But the young lady takes a severe battering at the end of the film. I read a review in the Irish Mail on Sunday where the reviewer gave Kick-Ass one star out of five mainly because of this. He wrote that violence against children is not fodder for entertainment. I can see his point, but I have to stress that while it was his personal opinion, mine is slightly different.

Yes, I agree that violence against children is not entertainment; but when you see a film like Sleepers (starring Kevin Bacon and Robert de Niro), the same argument could be made here. In both cases, though,  the children wreak revenge on their abusers. There is a happy ending of sorts, and be honest, who doesn’t like to see kids come out on top?

Mick Lally 1945-2010 R.I.P.

The late Mick Lally

One of Ireland’s most beloved character actors died today. Mick Lally, known to many of us as Miley in the long-running soap Glenroe, passed away peacefully in hospital this morning. He was 64.

Lally began his career as a teacher and secured a part in the premiere of Brian Friel’s play Translations in 1980 while a member of the Field Day Theatre. Company.

His work on television in the RTÉ series Bracken and later his role as Miley in Glenroe made him a household name.

He also starred in the BBC television series, Ballykissangel, and in the award-winning Ballroom of Romance.

Lally’s versatility as an actor extended to the cinema where he appeared in Irish language films. He was a fluent Irish speaker and an advocate of the language.

Lally also starred in Hollywood-funded films including Alexander, directed by Oliver Stone, and provided the voice in the animated film The Secret of Kells.

He is survived by his wife Peggy and their three children.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said he is ‘shocked and saddened’ by Mick Lally’s death. Mr Cowen added: “He was one of the most loved actors of his generation and will be dearly missed by the public and his colleagues in theatre and television.”

Minister for Culture Mary Hanafin has paid tribute, saying his contribution to the theatrical world had been immense. “His wonderful ability to communicate with his audiences whether in the intimate setting in the early days of Druid, on stage in the National Theatre or in the sitting rooms of homes every Sunday for over 10 years playing the character of ‘Miley’ in Glenroe, Mick Lally was an integral part of the world of acting and, by extension, our society.”

Additional reporting from RTE.ie