“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wicka Wicka Wild West

I’ve no idea what it is they’re putting in the water over there these days, but the west coast of Ireland, if what we’re seeing on screen is to be believed, is going to hell in a hand-basket. RTE’s acclaimed TV series about a lone rural cop, ‘Single-Handed’, recently had its fourth run; Ken Bruen’s THE GUARDS was adapted as ‘Jack Taylor’, starring Iain Glen; now comes ‘The Guard’, which this week opened the Sundance Festival World Dramatic Competition. To wit:
‘The Guard’ is a thriller-comedy set on the west coast of Ireland where Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is a small-town cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humour, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) to his door.
The film is written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, brother to playwright and film director Martin McDonagh (‘The Lonesome West’ et al, ‘In Bruges’), who doubles up here, along with Don Cheadle, as executive producer. The big attraction for me here is Brendan Gleeson, though, an immensely likeable and always watchable actor, and by all accounts a thoroughly nice bloke to boot. Variety likes him too, with the gist of its Sundance review running thusly:
“… it’s Gleeson who rightly owns the screen as a beer-swilling, crotch-grabbing, Derringer-firing crusader with one hell of a filthy mouth to go along with his heart of gold,” while the director John Michael McDonagh’s “filmmaking crackles with energy.”
According to Element Pictures, the movie will be getting a summer release here in Ireland. Should be a cracker.