Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Velvet Brogue-mine

M: This wine is making it hard for me to keep things in my head long enough to say them. Yes, I really said that.

J: So tonight, Meredith and I indulged in a box of wine (or part of one) and a whopper of a movie. Velvet Goldmine, ladies and gentlemen, is full of brogue and music and glitter (lots of glitter), and most of all, love.

M: It's glorious.

J: Meredith, can you give us a very brief synopsis?

M: Ah hell. Well, I can try. Um. Velvet Goldmine is a very entertaining attempt at a quasi-biography of Mr. David Bowie as told through the fictional pop star of Brian Slade. Along for the ride is a young glam-rock enthusiast-turned-journalist, played by Mr. Christian Bale.

J: Let's not forget the motivational character.

M: Oh, right, right... and his talent! Mr. Ewan McGregor portrays Curt Wilde, the fictional representation of Mr. Iggy Pop, or so I'm told.

J: Excellent. I think our readers can now attempt to follow along. First question: Who was your favorite character?

M: Oh, that's brutal. (Did you just write that?)

J: (Nothing is sacred here.)

M: I think Christian Bale's character is surely easiest to relate to, and to identify with. His progression from oppressed school boy to glam-rockstar-groupie-turned-journalist is admirable and triumphant. I also found his particular brogue to be most fascinating, as it sounds distinctly different from his normal Welsh-English accent. It seems to accurately mirror the region from which his character hails.

J: He's probably the only saving grace of the movie.

M: I mean, he's probably the only one you can actually relate to. I don't know what it's like to be a crazy-ass coked-out pop star, let alone David Bowie.

J: What was your opinion of the music in the film?

M: "Generally I liked it!" I enjoyed the music very much, both the original and the more classic tracks. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is certainly no Thom Yorke, but he's not completely inept.

Pink hair.
J: Speaking of Mr. Rhys-Meyers, how did his image in the film impact your overall impression of him as an actor?

M: I thought his commitment to the character was brave and inspiring, and frankly, it also looked like a good time. The make-up was incredible, and the glitter... ahh!

J: One last thing. The, uh, talent?

M: About the talent... very talented!

J: Thank you, thank you. What's next for Blog With a Brogue?

M: Oh, it's all you lady! MacGregor. MacDougal. (Are you typing this?!)

J: (I told you! Nothing is sacred!)

M: (Jesus, Mary and Joseph.)

J: Next up will be something - as yet undetermined - from my favorite brogue-speaker of all, James McAvoy.

M: Ha, Jimmy. Jimmy McAvoy.

J: Will definitely ponder... have lots to choose from!

M: Mr. Tumnus!

J: Haha, yes, yes. We shall see! Until next time, Brogue-landers!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Brogue-y Beginning: The Guard

J: Dear loyal readers, Our sincerest apologies on our recent lengthy absence. We've been on Tumblr.

M:  It'll never happen again. (It will most surely happen again.)

J:  (You love us anyway.)

M:  * clears throat * Anyway... admittedly, it's been a few weeks since we've seen The Guard.

J:  But as it is the first movie that we watched in the name of the blog, it would be a tragedy not to document it.

M:  So Jenna, what was your initial impression?

J:  My initial impression was pleasantly surprised. We didn't have any idea what the movie was about, and walking in late had us at a bit of a disadvantage. But it very quickly became clear that the movie had action and (very) dry humor in equal parts. Plus the main character was almost instantly likable, in a gruff, I might yell at your grandkids kind of way.

M:  Indeed! Well said. Did you find you were able to follow the humor well enough, in spite of the very prominent brogue of the main character?

J:  You mean the very prominent brogue of every single character? Yes, though I know there were a couple of jokes lost on me. As well as a couple of the finer plot points. But the general gist was there, and we even got to hear a few words of traditional Irish, which was probably the highlight of the film for me.

M:  Haha, Let us not forget the brogue-less Don Cheadle! I for one found myself wondering how he was allegedly understanding so much of what the other characters were saying, as the "American".

J:  Ooh, that's a good point. As the "American," I found him to be seriously distracting, and more than a little annoying, but I think maybe that's the point. I didn't realize that obviously he was understanding everything, while the rest of us were scratching our heads. Maybe the director/screenwriters were trying to stay away from some of the more obvious cultural humor?

M:  Perhaps! So, you mentioned enjoying the bit of Gaeilge, any other favorite aspects of the film?

Brendan Gleeson, interacting with
Meredith's favorite character.
J:  Well, I loved that despite the complexities of the plot (and what police thriller doesn't have more than a few confusing moments, brogue or no brogue), the main character was delightfully single-minded in his desire to do the right thing. It made the climax of the film that much more powerful. Plus he was consistently funny, in quirky, unexpected ways.

M:  Excellent. Yes, I also found the conclusion very satisfying. Conversely, aside from not understanding all of the dialogue, were there any other drawbacks or low points of note?

J:  For me, the super thick brogues were really the main drawback. I mean, I definitely could have used some subtitles. I'm excited to go back and watch it again (perhaps in a couple weeks, after the end of our Irish class) to see if I understood anything more. Other than that, I'm just not a huge fan of the genre.

M:  Fair enough! Anything more (spoilers aside!) you'd like to add? Would you say that, generally, you liked it? Would you recommend it to a friend? An enemy?

The bad guys. 
J:  Haha I'd most certainly recommend this film to a drunken relative. Does that count? Also, anyone who appreciates a satisfying, if mysterious, conclusion to a quirky drama with good guys and bad guys.

M:  Fantastic! Well, folks. There you have it. We promise not to take as long on getting to the next one!

J:  Tune in next time for more adventures in Brogueland!

M:  Mmmm... Brogueland. So, shall we give the folks a head's up on what's to come and pick a next film?

J:  Yes!

M:  Velvet Goldmine? Or perhaps one from Mr. McAvoy?

J:  I vote Velvet Goldmine, and I'll do some thinking about Mr. McAvoy.

M:  Sweet! Well then, stay tuned for Ewan McGregor's… talent!