2010: ones to watch

 

THE stretch from January to April was once viewed as the armpit of the cinematic calendar. Whereas Christmas and the Oscar rush enliven the closing third of the year, the opening segment is long established as the period when Ghastly Horror Remake IVor My Lovely Rom-Com 2occupy the top spot at the box office, writes DONALD CLARKE

But fear not. There is much good news. Since pictures such as 300 scared up serious coin in recent first quarters, the studios have begun to allow us the odd respectable blockbuster before Easter. Hence the arrival of Martin Scorsese’s intriguing Shutter Islandand Tim Burton’s promising adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

Here in The Rest of the World, we also profit from delayed Oscar shock. So, excellent films such as The Road, Preciousand Up in the Air, released in the US just before the Christmas to qualify for Academy voting, end up arriving in our cinemas during the January sales. Add in more highbrow fare such as Jacques Audiard’s magnificent A Prophetand you have a very decent line-up indeed.

Maybe, the armpit years are over.

JANUARY 8

IT’S COMPLICATEDEasy-going sex comedy featuring Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin as a divorced couple whose relationship is re-ignited at their son’s graduation. What will Alec’s young wife make of it all?

IT MIGHT GET LOUDJimmy Page, Jack White and Mr The Edge gather for a summit on the art of the electric guitar in this agreeable documentary from Davis Guggenheim, director of An Inconvenient Truth.

THE ROADLong-awaited adaption of Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic drama – a book everyone seems to have read – from The Proposition’s John Hillcoat. Viggo Mortensen is the wandering survivor.

TREELESS MOUNTAINAdmired Korean film detailing the experiences of two young sisters sent to stay with their alcoholic aunt. “Skilfully unsentimental” according to the Village Voice’s great J Hoberman.

JANUARY 15

ALL ABOUT STEVEThe critical and financial low-point in Sandra Bullock’s recent dizzying career rollercoaster, this romantic comedy finds the star playing a kooky (no!) crossword-puzzle writer on a blind date with young Bradley Cooper.

44 INCH CHESTIt’s called 44 Inch Chest. It stars Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Ian McShane. It’s written by the blokes behind Sexy Beastand Gangster No 1. This sounds well tasty, my son.

UP IN THE AIRCurrently the front-runner for the best-picture Oscar, Jason “Juno” Reitman’s slick, seductive comedy stars George Clooney as a corporate axe-man who lives his life on planes and in airport lounges.

JANUARY 22

A PROPHET/UN PROPHETEHugely praised at Cannes last year, Jacques Audiard’s stunning saga of a young Arab’s experiences in a French prison finally receives a release. Winner of the inaugural best film prize at the London film festival.

ARMOUREDIt’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, but with a truck. Matt Dillon and Laurence Fishburne play two members of a gang that begins squabbling after robbing an armoured van.

THE BOYS ARE BACKLess trigger-happy than usual, Clive Owen plays a sports reporter who devises novel child-rearing strategies after his wife dies. Based on a popular non-fiction book by Simon Carr.

BROTHERSAfter the bizarre Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Jim Sheridan returns to intimate drama with this well-acted remake of a Susanne Bier film. Toby Maguire plays a soldier presumed dead in Iraq. Jake Gyllenhaal is his dissolute brother.

TOY STORY 2 IN 3-DOne of the greatest sequels ever made gets the 3-D treatment. An amuse-bouche before Toy Story 3 arrives in the summer.

NINJA ASSASSINJames McTeigue, progenitor of the culty V for Vendetta, returns with a thriller about a Ninja who is an assassin. He’s Ninja Assassin! The economically named Rain – some Korean polymath, apparently – takes the title role.

JANUARY 29

EDGE OF DARKNESSAs reward for Casino Royale, Martin Campbell got to direct a belated film version of his classic BBC conspiracy series from the 1980s. Mel Gibson takes the Bob Peck role. The up-and-coming Bojana Novakovic steps into Joanne Whalley’s shoes.

THE LOVELY BONESAlice Sebold’s enormously popular page-turner – tale of a murdered child’s watchful afterlife – gets the big-screen treatment from Peter Jackson. Saoirse Ronan excels in the lead role.

PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE.Yup. That’s the full title. Lee Daniels’s searing tale of life in 1980s Harlem has been receiving plaudits since it played at Sundance a year ago. Gabourey Sidibe is stunning as the obese, abused teen at the film’s heart.

FEBRUARY 5

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROGWalt Disney Pictures returns to traditional 2-D animation with largely delightful results. Featuring the first African-American heroine in one of the corporation’s cartoons, the picture will fuel more blather about “post-racial America”.

INVICTUSClint Eastwood’s fecund late period continues. The great man’s latest concerns post-Apartheid South Africa’s efforts to win the Rugby World Cup. Morgan Freeman (who else?) plays Nelson Mandela.

YOUTH IN REVOLTMiguel Arteta, director of Chuck Buck, offers us an adaptation of C D Payne’s epistolary novel concerning a young man’s sexual adventures while holidaying at a trailer park. You hardly needed to be told that Michael Cera stars.

FEBRUARY 12

PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEFChris Columbus, first director on the Harry Potter flicks, attempts to launch another fantasy franchise. This one is based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson The Olympiansseries.

PONYOThe latest delightful animation from Hayao Miyazaki, the genius behind Spirited Awayand My Neighbour Totoro, could be seen as an ecological take on T he Little Mermaid.

A SINGLE MANFashion guru and perfume flogger Tom Ford turns to film directing with this highly-praised adaptation of a wry Christopher Isherwood novel. Colin Firth won the best actor price at Venice for his portrayal of a gay professor.

THE WOLFMANReally? The latest remake of the 1940s horror classic has been juggled around the schedules more often than a verruca patient at an emergency ward following a bus crash. Benicio Del Toro plays the titular werewolf.

FRIDAY 19

CRAZY HEARTJeff Bridges has every chance of winning an Oscar for his performance as an aging country and western singer desperately seeking a comeback. Sounds like The Wrestlerwith slide guitars.

SHUTTER ISLANDDespite the delay in its release, Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of a Dennis Lehane thriller still has punters excited. If the superb trailer is any guide, the flick could be a classic exercise in chewy melodrama.

THE LAST STATIONWarning, warning! It’s awards-bait time. Christopher Plummer plays Leo Tolstoy and Helen Mirren his long-suffering wife in a well-reviewed film by Michael Hoffman. The impressive cast also includes James McAvoy and Paul Giamatti.

FEBRUARY 26

CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORYMichael Moore’s latest polemical documentary finds the big man attacking the edifice that is capitalism. Hang on. Hasn’t he been doing that for the past 20 years? Expect good jokes and clever montages.

THE CRAZIESWill they ever stop remaking classic horror films? It seems not. This time George Romero’s underrated 1973 shocker – the one in which citizens go barmy after the accidental discharge of a biological weapon – gets an updating.

EXTRAORDINARY MEASURESTrue-life drama detailing a biotech executive’s efforts to find a cure for the genetic disease affecting two of his children. Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser star.

COP OUTFor some odd reason the title was changed from “A Couple of Dicks.” Cop Out delivers the terrifying vista of Kevin Smith directing Bruce Willis. The plot has something to do with a stolen baseball card.

LEAP YEARAmy Adams travels to Dublin on February 29th with the intention – noting the old “Irish custom” – of proposing to her boyfriend. But, along the way, she gets diverted to Wales. Oh, don’t be so negative. It could be okay.

EVERYBODY’S FINERobert De Niro plays a flawed man who, after receiving bad news from the doctor, tours the United States to make amends with his children. Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell are among the offspring.

MARCH 5

ALICE IN WONDERLANDOne of the most anticipated releases of the season, Tim Burton’s adaptation of the Lewis Carroll story features Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Helena Bonham Carter a terrifying Red Queen.

FROM PARIS WITH LOVEFollowing-up Taken, a huge smash, action specialist Pierre Morel directs Jonathan Rhys Meyers and John Travolta in another festival of bangs and car crashes. It’s set in Paris, you know.

CASE 39The latest from Christian Alvart, director of the passable Pandorum, has been lurking in the vaults for aeons. Case 39 stars Renée Zellweger in what looks like another addition to the scary-stary-child school of horror film.

LEGIONIt seems that God has lost faith with humanity and has sent an angel to launch the Apocalypse. Groovy! Starring Paul Bettany as the wingéd bastard, Legionseems unlikely to be confused with a Mike Leigh film.

MARCH 12

THE BLIND SIDEThe critical and financial high-point in Sandra Bullock’s recent dizzying career rollercoaster, this sports movie – something about an American football player and his adoptive mother – was an unexpected hit in the US.

ONDINEThe latest film from Neil Jordan finds Colin Farrell playing a fisherman who believes he has caught a mermaid in his net. Alicja Bachleda plays the mysterious girl. Stephen Rea and Dervla Kirwan also make appearances.

GREEN ZONE Paul Greengrass adapts Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book about life in Baghdad’s International Zone. The increasingly impressive Matt Damon stars as a CIA operative searching for weapons of mass destruction. But can movie-goers overcome their apparent allergy to Iraq movies?

SOLOMON KANEMichael J Bassett, the director of first World War horror Deathwatch, returns with a melodrama based on stories by Robert E Howard (of Conanfame). James Purefoy essays an Elizabethan puritan who slays occultists in his spare time.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOOBefore Hollywood woke up to the phenomenon that was the late Stieg Larsson’s novel, Swedish director Niels Arden Oplev got hold of the rights. The crime drama has already been a huge hit in Europe.

MARCH 19

THE BACK-UP PLANCall off the search parties. Ms Jennifer Lopez is back in the house. The sometime J-Lo stars in a romantic comedy involving artificial insemination. Someone named Alex O’Loughlin is standing beside her in the poster.

THE GHOST WRITERControversial for many reasons, Roman Polanksi’s political drama features Ewan McGregor as the man ghost-writing the memoirs of Pierce Brosnan’s distinctly Blairish ex-Prime Minister. Polanski? Why does that name ring a bell?

MY FIVE LAST GIRLFRIENDSRomantic comedy based on a book by – of all people – Alain de Botton. Constructed as a series of largely discrete comic episodes, the picture features Michael Sheen, Naomie Harris and (really?) Johnny Ball.

OLD DOGSNow, this is what you’ve been waiting for. It’s a comedy in which Robin Williams discovers, somewhat late in life, that he has two children. They say “from the director of Wild Hogs” like that’s a good thing.

SEASON OF THE WITCHRun away, scenery! Run away! Chewy Nicholas Cage and rumbly Ron Perlman star in a drama about witches in plague-ridden medieval Europe. Sounds like an absolute hoot.

MARCH 26

CLASH OF THE TITANSThank you very much, 300. The success of that shouty epic has surely inspired this remake of the 1981 film about the myth of Perseus. Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton and Liam Neeson exercise their vocal chords.

LIFE DURING WARTIMEArch provocateur Todd Solondz revisits the characters from his classic 1998 film Happiness. With typical weirdness, however, he casts different actors – sometimes very different – in the major roles. Unmissable.

NANNY MCPHEE AND THE BIG BANGEmma Thompson returns as the warty child-carer in a sequel to a film that made more money than you might have guessed. Whether the film concerns the origins of the universe is not clear.

TAKERSTakers? They’re bank-robbers, you see. Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen are persuaded to attempt (what else?) one last heist, but detective Matt Dillon is on hand to stop them.

MARCH 31

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGONDreamworks’ latest 3-D animation follows a young Viking as he attempts to, well, train his dragon. Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois – the chaps behind the charming Lilo & Stitch– helm this longship.

APRIL 2

BOUNTY HUNTERWhat’s the very most you could hope for with that title? A romantic comedy in which bounty hunter Gerard Butler has to recapture fleeing ex-wife Jennifer Aniston, perhaps? Don’t look so sad.

IT’S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFEGurinder Chadha, director of Bend it Like Beckham, again tackles a story from the Anglo-Indian community. This time an obsessive mother is driven to murder. Sally Hawkins is among the cast.

KICK-ASSMatthew Vaughn, director of Stardust, tackles Mark Millar’s cult comic about a very ordinary kid who dreams of becoming a superhero. Nowhere Boy’sAaron Johnson plays the easily-bruised protagonist.

REMEMBER MECan Robert Pattinson escape the shadow of Twilight? The young hunk plays a New Yorker who, when not squabbling with dad Pierce Brosnan, snuggles up to Emilie de Ravin.

THE SPY NEXT DOORThe indestructible Jackie Chan plays a baby-sitter who is forced to defend his charges from attacks by evil secret agents. I don’t fancy their chances much.

APRIL 9

CEMETARY JUNCTIONFollowing the ho-hum Invention of Lying,Ricky Gervais reunites with Stephen Merchant, his co-writer on The Office, for a drama set in Reading during the grim 1970s. Ralph Fiennes is among the throng.

DATE NIGHTSteve Carell and Tina Fey play a squabbling couple who gain understanding after a case of mistaken identity leads them towards danger and adventure.

SHELTERJulianne Moore, impeccable in offbeat material, has trouble picking mainstream scripts. Here, she plays a forensic psychologist who discovers that all of her patient’s multiple personalities are those of murder victims. Hmm?

WHIP IT!Who doesn’t like Drew Barrymore? Who doesn’t enjoy roller derby? The Drewster’s directorial debut stars Ellen Page as a wizard of the roller-skating art.

APRIL 16

ALPHA AND OMEGAIndependently produced, 3-D computer animation concerning two wolves who form a bond “after being taken away by park rangers”. Beats me. The voice talent includes Dennis Hopper and Hayden Panettiere.

DEAR JOHNThe latest film based on a three-hankie novel by the hugely popular Nicholas Sparks – he of The Notebook – stars Channing Tatum as a soldier in love with Amanda Seyfried’s conservative student. The Way we Werein reverse?

APRIL 23

SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUEAnother comedy whose title seems to tell you all you want to know. Jay Baruchel plays the geeky kid who finds himself hitched to dreamy Alice Eve.

WALL STREET 2: MONEY NEVER SLEEPSIs this really such a good idea? Well, you can’t fault the cast. Michael Douglas (always at his best when evil) is back as Gordon Gecko. Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon and Frank Langella also appear. Nothing credit-crunch about that line-up.

APRIL 30

IRON MAN 2The plaintive call of the superhero heralds the imminent arrival of summer. Robert Downey Jr is back as the squillionaire with the nifty metal suit. This time round his enemies include scary Mickey Rourke.

THE LAST SONGJust when your tear ducts have recovered from Dear John, it’s another Nicholas Sparks adaptation. The ubiquitous Miley Cyrus stars as a young pianist angry with divorced dad Greg Kinnear.

Rock/Pop listings:

Tony Clayton-Lea

tclaytonlea@irishtimes.com

Thursday 31

CORK

Mick Flannery Praised award- winning Cork singer-songwriter says goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Opera House 8pm 33/31 021-4270022

DUBLIN

Jerry Fish the Mudbug Club Fun games from exceptionally talented showman and band. Special guests tonight include Bone Idle Circus, The North Strand Kontra Band, Candice Gordon and Carol Keogh. Vicar St 9pm 29.50 0818-719390

Redneck Manifesto Cult Dublin instrumentalists return for a quick trip from 2009 to 2010. Special guests include Sarsprilla, and The Vinny Club. Whelan’s 8pm 22/20 01-4780766/1890-200078

Phantom FM New Year’s Eve Ball End-of-year indie bash featuring Delorentos, Noise Control, The Funeral Suits, Talulah Does the Hula, RSAG, Heritage Centre, Planet Parade and more DJs than you can shake a USB stick at. The Academy 9pm 22 01-8779999

The Amazing Few 3D Funhouse New Year’s Eve show from fun- loving psych-pop band. Special guests include Funzo, Gran Casino, and very special guests (it says here) from the future, the Bot Heads. The Village 8.30pm 16.50 01-4758555/ 1890-200078

GALWAY

Fight Like Apes Prepare to ruck with this fine rock/electro Irish band. Other acts performing tonight include Mesiah J the Expert, Disconnect 4, Le Galaxie and Feed the Bears. Róisín Dubh 9pm 22 091-586540

MAYO

The Saw Doctors Roots and rock from unshowy, much-loved Irish band. Theatre Royal, Castlebar 8pm 31 0818-300000

Saturday 2

DONEGAL

The Coronas Blimey, don’t these guys ever stop? 2010 could be a good year for them. Abbey Hotel, Donegal town 9pm 15 074-9721014 Also Thurs, Dublin

DUBLIN

Sister Sledge Reunion tour for Grammy Award-winning sisters Debbie, Joni, and Kim. Tripod 7.30pm 37.50/32.50 0818-719300

Juliet Turner Old favourites

and new material from skillful Irish singer-songwriter.

Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre, The Naul 7.30pm 18 01-8020898

KERRY

Do You Come Here Often?

This showband extravanganza line-up includes Roly Daniels from The Nevada, Brian Coll from The Plattermen, Derek Dean from The Freshmen and Louise Morrissey from The Morrisseys. Special guests include The Searchers. Irish National Event Centre, Killarney 8pm 35 064-71555 Also Sun, Westmeath

Sunday 3

WESTMEATH

Do You Come Here Often?

See Saturday, Kerry. Mullingar Park Hotel 8pm 35 044-9337500

Monday 4

DUBLIN

24th Vibe for Philo The memory and musical legacy of the Thin Lizzy frontman is celebrated once again. Button Factory 8pm 35

01-6709202

Wednesday 6

CORK

Les McKeown Former Bay City Roller on tour. Silver Springs Moran Hotel 8pm 25 021-4507533

Thursday 7

DUBLIN

The Coronas See Saturday, Donegal. The Academy 9pm 17.50 01-8779999

LAOIS

Declan O’Rourke Very good Irish singer-songwriter previews material from his forthcoming album. Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise 9pm 18/15

clubs

Clubs listings: Jim Carroll

jimcarroll@irishtimes.com

Thursday 31

BELFAST

Shine Shine get their shizzle on with Green Velvet, Japanese Popstars, Miniminds, the Twitch DJs, Chris Duckenfield, The Jet Project and a classics set from Shine chiefs Alan Simms and Simon McDermott. Queen’s 9pm £23/£21 048-90324803

DUBLIN

Transmission New Year’s Eve Ball One for the indie and alt fans in the audience, with an all-covers set from Humanzi, a turn from Glasgow’s Shit Disco, and reps from such nights as Supafast, Trashed!, No Disko, Tretric and, of course, Transmission. Button Factory 8pm 20/15 01-6709202

Together Get ready to say hello to 2010 with a two-floor blowout featuring Al Keegan, Simon F, Aaron Nolan, Supafast, Saoirse Ryan, Diggers, Conor Feeny, Bren Black and many more. The Underground@Kennedy’s 9pm 10 01-6611124

Pogo Four rooms for your NYE dancing and carousing pleasure, with Barry Redsetta, Eoin Cregan and Tayor in the basement, the Nightflight posse roaming in the Mezz, a live set from Kormac and friends on the stage, and a Silent Disco in the Café. Twisted Pepper 10pm 12/8 01-8734800

NYE Spectacular A Studio 54-themed bash on Harcourt Street as you wave goodbye (and good riddance) to 2009 and say hello to 2010 with some Rockeroke, a set from David De Valera, and reps from SuperSuperDisco. POD/ Chocolate Bar/Crawdaddy 10pm 17.85 01-6624305

Studio 4 New-school disco fabness with some of the Faze Action chaps on the decks alongside Subject and Galatic Beat Club residents, plus a bar set from Chris “Goldy” Golding. 4 Dame Lane 9pm Adm free before 10pm/10 01-6790291

New Year’s Eve Pyg out as a new decade approaches and various DJs go back in time to remember the early 1990s. Dress code: ’90s. Pygmalion 8pm Adm free 01-6334479

GALWAY

Justin Robertson Well- seasoned house and techno explorer Justin Robertson heads west for the big night. Support from Graham “Stroller” Dolan. Bar 903 9pm 15 091-565991

Friday 1

BELFAST

Kinetik Keep the party going with an all-day-and-night Kinetik run. Your party people today are Dale Hooks, Gary Quinn, Steve Turnball, Rick Martin, Andrew Borgan and many, many more. Mynt, Dunbar St 3pm £7/£5 048-90234520

CORK

Wiggle Local dub-reggae warriors get 2010 off to the best possible start. The Pavilion 10pm 10 021-4276230

DUBLIN

12 New Year’s Day Festivus Doing just what it says on the tin with TR-One, Barry Donovan, Handsome Paddy, Conor L, Dazboy, John Mahon and a zillion other characters, waifs and strays. Bernard Shaw Noon Adm free

Babalonia The Babalonial kings and queens play the sounds of the underground from various downtown tropical dancefloors. South William Bar 9pm Adm free 01-6725946

Saturday 2

BELFAST

Yello The party keeps on going with Scope in Room One and Aaron Shim doing the business in Room Two. Mynt, Dunbar St 10pm £5 before midnight/£10/ £7 048-90234520

CORK

Go Deep Yet another new year dawns with Shane and Greg knocking out the premier league deep quality house goodness. The Pavilion 11pm 12 021-4276230

DUBLIN

Transmission The weekly indie, electro and noise buzz with the Transmission selectors and carefully selected mates. Button Factory 11pm 10 before midnight/12 01-6709202

Strictly Handbag Now in its 16th year, the veteran night out has relocated to Harcourt Street with its usual bag of ’80s electropop, kitsch and music with words. The Odeon 10pm Adm free before 11pm/10 01-4782088

GALWAY

Gigantic Olive, Tom and Mac get ’em moving with indie, house, electro and classic newbies and faves. Kelly’s 11pm 10 091-563804

Sunday 3

CORK

Footsteps Party like it’s 1979 at Stevie G’s end-of-the-weekend helping of primetime old-school disco The Pavilion 11pm Adm free 021-4276230

DUBLIN

12Sundays Contemplate the weekend (or week) that was with Conor Dunne and John Mahon supplying the soundtrack. Bernard Shaw 4pm Adm free

Smooth Sailing Yacht rock anthems ahoy with Larry David and his buds. Pygmalion 6pm Adm free 01-6334479

Songs of Praise The rock’n’roll karaoke night providing songs of faith and devotion for those who can’t really sing, but who think they’re actually a rock god or godess after they’ve had a few pints. The Village 10pm Adm free 01-4758555

Sunday Service Disco and funk tunes from the old and new schools, with Martin McCann. Odessa Club 9pm Adm free 01-6703080

Wednesday 6

BELFAST

Hang Jazzer David Lyttle spins alt.hip-hop, jazz-not-jazz and blue sounds. Black Box Café 8pm £2 048-90244400

CORK

Freakscene Long running midweek indie disco with Alan Fadd and Jade spinning alt hits and classics in the big room, while Jenny Glitt gets the soul, funk and disco out in the bar. Gorby’s/G2, Oliver Plunkett St 11pm 6/5/4/3 021-4270074

DUBLIN

Galatic Beat Club Disco, boogie, house, funk and Balaeric to warm the cockles of your heart. Turk’s Head 11pm Adm free 01-6792606

Antics The midweek pitshop for indie, alt and electro-indie freaks in the Big Smoke. Crawdaddy 11pm 3 before midnight/5 01-6624305

Thursday 7

BELFAST

Sketchy Across the Line’s Rigsy and Paul McClean are the likely lads with indie, electro and tech-boogie sounds. Stiff Kitten 9pm £3 before 11pm/£4 048-90238700

DUBLIN

Soundchick Featuring such female rock writers and talkers around town as Jenny Huston (2fm), Edel Coffey (Indo/2XM), Sweet Oblivion (2XM), Aoife Mac (2XM), Bernie Divilly (PIAS, Glider) and Sinead Gleeson (this here parish). Spy 7pm Adm free 01-6770014

The !K Club New night out from the !Kaboogie label and club runners, with Enno providing tonight’s heavyweight bass- mash. Thomas House 8.30pm Adm free

Soul@Solas Resident spinner Mr Razor digs out the soul. Solas 9pm Adm free 01-4780583

GALWAY

Strange Brew Indie beats, alt.rock, new faves and old good vibrations with Gugai at the controls. Róisín Dubh 11pm Adm free 091-586540

Substance Indie and alt.sounds with style and substance from Disconnect Keith and i102-104’s Josh Clarke. Kelly’s, Bridge St 10pm Adm free before midnight/5

091-563804

TradiTional

Traditional listings:

Siobhán Long

slong@irishtimes.com

Thursday 31

CAVAN

Martin Donohoe and family

Featuring Kavan, Savannah, Zoran, Keenan and Mickey McDonnell. Riverfront Hotel, Virginia 10pm 25 086-2342270

KERRY

Sharon Shannon New Year’s Eve bash with special guests Mundy, Shane MacGowan and Imelda May. INEC, Killarney 8pm 44.20 064-6671555

Saturday 2

DUBLIN

Andy Irvine Pioneering icon of traditional and folk music, Irvine is a spellbinding performer. Cherry Tree, Walkinstown 9pm 20/18 01-4503983

Sunday 3

CORK

Sinéad Caher Belfast singer, resident in Cork whose sole record, Flower of Magherally, is a collector’s item. Cork Singers’ Club, An Spailpín Fánach 9.30pm Adm free 021-4277949

Tuesday 5

DUBLIN

Donnchadh Gough, Ciarán Ó Gealbháin, Donal Clancy and Fionn Mac Giolla Chuda

Interesting line-up of pipes, traditional song and fiddle, courtesy of Na Píobairí Uilleann’s monthly Session with the Pipers. The Cobblestone 9pm 12/8 01-8730093

rooTs

Roots listings:

Tony Clayton-Lea

tclaytonlea@irishtimes.com

Tuesday 5

DUBLIN

Christy Moore Declan Sinnott New Year folk treats from acclaimed singer- songwriter and his regular accomplice. Vicar St 7.30pm 49.50/45/39.50 0818-719390 Also Wed, Dublin

Black Cat Bone Open jam session from experienced bunch of blues merchants. JJ Smyths 9pm 8 01-4752565

Wednesday 6

DUBLIN

Christy Moore Declan Sinnott See Tuesday, Dublin. Vicar St 7.30pm 49.50/45/ 39.50 0818-719390

NEW YEAR’S EVE GIGS

It’s all over bar the shouting, the carousing and the loving, and still there are premium gigs by Irish acts across the country.

Dublin, inevitably, has the most activity, seeing the likes of Jerry Fish the Mudbug Club (Vicar St), Redneck Manifesto (Whelan’s), Delorentos (Academy), and The Amazing Few (Village) making it with the swizzle sticks, paper umbrellas and New Year resolutions.

In Cork (Opera House), Mick Flannery does his accomplished singer- songwriter thing, while in Galway (Róisín Dubh) Fight Like Apes, Messiah J the Expert, Disconnect 4, Le Galaxie and Feed the Bears pave the way for a sore head on New Year’s Day.

In Mayo (Theatre Royal, Castlebar), The Saw Doctors whip up a right old hooley with their mix of rousing roots and rock. Post-New Year gigs, meanwhile, include The Coronas (Donegal, January 2), Sister Sledge (Dublin, January 2), Juliet Turner (Dublin January 2) and the 24th Vibe for Philo (Dublin, January 4).

Over in the Roots department, you have the redoubtable Christy Moore once again playing Dublin (January 5/6).

COMISKEY
Jazz listings: Ray Comiskey

rcomiskey@irishtimes.com

Thursday 31

DUBLIN

Isotope Mainstream jazz with Hugh Buckley (guitar), Richie Buckley (tenor), Myles Drennan (piano), Damian Evans (bass) and Shane O’Donovan (drums). JJ Smyth’s 9pm 10 01-4752565 Also Thurs

Saturday 2

DUBLIN

Velvet Lounge Band Quintet. Mint Bar, Westin Hotel 10.30pm Adm free

Sunday 3

DUBLIN

The Merrion Gates Dixieland jazz. Fitzpatrick Castle, Killiney 12.30pm Adm free 01-2840700

The Jazz Masters Hugh Buckley (guitar), Cian Boylan (piano), Damian Evans (bass). Pierhouse Pub, Howth 4.30- 6.30pm Adm free 01-8324510/ 8396344

Jazz Globetrotters Bill Blackmore (trumpet), Fintan Jones (sax), Tom Harte

(guitar), Padraig MacConaloig (bass) and Tommy Dunne (drums). Purty Kitchen, East Essex St, Temple Bar 5.30-8pm Adm free

SLIGO

The Jazz Ladds Traditional jazz. Harp Tavern, Sligo 1pm Adm free

The Soupcat Bluff Band/

Mood Indigo/Bughouse Band Alternating bands. Fiddlers Creek, Sligo 7.30pm Adm free

The Odd Couple Jazz trio Tobergal Lane Café, Sligo 2pm Adm free

Monday 4

GALWAY

Black Magic Big Band 17-piece swing band and the music of Ellington, Cole Porter, Sinatra and others. Bar903, Eyre Sq 9pm 7 091-5659991

Tuesday 5

DUBLIN

Aoife Doyle Trio Aoife Doyle (vocals), Johnny Taylor (piano) and Dave Redmond (bass), VAT House Bar, Blooms Hotel, Temple Bar 9.30pm Adm free 01-6715622

Thursday 7

DUBLIN

Isotope See Thursday, Dublin. JJ Smyth’s 9pm 10 01-4752565

classical

Classical listings:

Michael Dervan

mdervan@irishtimes.com

Friday 1

DUBLIN

NCH Helen Kearns (soprano), Mary Kennedy (presenter), RTÉ NSO/Christopher Warren- Green. Tales from Old Vienna. See panel. 2.30pm, 6.30pm 12-38 01-4170000

Wednesday 6

DERRY

Millennium Forum, Derry Celine Byrne (soprano), UO/ Christopher Bell. New Year Viennese Concert. See panel. 8pm £9.50-£16.50 048-71264455

DUBLIN

NCH Richard Suart (patterman), Sylvia O’Brien (soprano), Jill Pert (mezzo soprano), Stephen Brown (tenor), Simon Morgan (baritone), RTÉCO/Timothy Henty. Gilbert Sullivan Gala. 8pm 12-38 01-4170000

Thursday 7

TYRONE

Strule Arts Centre, Omagh Celine Byrne (soprano), UO/ Christopher Bell. New Year Viennese Concert. 8pm £20 048-82247831

children

Children’s listings:

Sylvia Thompson

sthompson@irishtimes.com

BELFAST

Cinderella Starring popular panto dame Dan Gordon. Waterfront Hall Until Jan 19 £16/£12 048-90334455 www.waterfront.co.uk

Aladdin Northern Ireland’s grand dame of pantomime, May McFettridge, stars as Widow Twankey in this traditional panto. Grand Opera House, Great Victoria St Until Jan 16 £6.50-£23.50 048-90241919 www.goh.co.uk

CORK

Jack The Beanstalk Traditional panto starring Ben Morris as Jack and Frank Mackey as his mother, Molly Coddly. Opera House, Emmet Place Until Jan 17 26-31 021-4270022

CORK

Aladdin A modern take on

this classic children’s fable. Everyman Palace Theatre, Cork Until Jan 10 20/25 021-4501673

CLARE

Sleeping Beauty Pantaloons present this traditional panto. Glór Irish Music Centre, Thurs- Sun 2.30pm 15 065-6843103

DUBLIN

Robin Hood Children’s TV host, Kathryn McKiernan joins Linda Martin and comedian, Noel V Ginnity in this traditional pant with a cast of 100 children Olympia, Dame St Ends Jan 4 From 20 0818719330

Jack and the Beanstalk Longest running panto in town starring Gary Mountaine, Richie Hayes, Michael Grennell, Leanne Moore and George McMahon as Jack. Gaiety Until Jan 31 27.50-35 01-6771717 www.gaietytheatre.ie

Cinderella Theatreworx Productions present this panto with Carol Anne Ryan as Cinderella, Eoin Cannon as Prince Charming and comic duo Paul Purcell and Aidan Mannion at the ugly sisters. The Helix, DCU, Glasnevin Until Jan 15 18.50-24 01-7007000

Cinderella The not-so-trad panto starring Alan Hughes as Sammy Sausages and introducing John Lovett as Buffy. Also starring Sinead Mulvey, Pippa O’Connor and Brian Dowling. Tivoli Theatre, Francis St Until Jan 17 20-29.50 01-4544472

Cinderella The Lambert Puppet Theatre put their puppets in panto gear for this festive show. Lambert Puppet Theatre, Clifton Lane, Monkstown Ends Jan 5 (except Jan 1) 13/11 01-2800974

Scrooge’s Christmas Ulster Theatre Co present this panto based on the Dickens novel. Carol Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire Until Jan 17 20/14 01-2312929

Mother Goose Holding Court Theatre Co presents this family panto. Axis Arts Centre, Ballymun Jan 7-24 12/8 01-8832100

Fluffy’s Xmas Factor Veteran panto star Joe Conlon stars in this seasonal comic version of The X Factor. The Mill, Dundrum Until Jan 10 From 18 01-2969340

The Snow Queen An Grianán Productions team up with aerial dance specialists Fidget Feet in this retelling of the fairytale. Civic Theatre, Tallaght Until Jan 8 15/10 01-4627477

National Gallery Family Art Programme Supervised art activities National Gallery, Merrion Sq Fri-Thurs 3-4pm Adm free no booking necessary 01- 6615133

Music from the Movies

The National Youth Orchestra conducted by Gearoid Grant will perform movie music, including Disney’s Fantasia and Pirates of the Caribbean. Mahoney Hall, The Helix, Dublin City University Sun 3pm 15/12 (children under 12 free if they dress as their favourite movie character) 01-7007000 Also Wexford

Fossett’s Christmas Circus Traditional acts take on a

festive mood in this circus arena. Royal Hospital, Kilmainham Fri-Sun Ends Jan 3 18 01-6280347

GALWAY

Mother Goose Renmore Pantomime Society present their annual show, directed by twins Brian and Sean Power and featuring the Renmore Smurfs. Townhall Theatre, Galway Until Jan 17 16/14 091-569777

The Frog Prince Performing Arts School Galway promise lots of laughs at this traditional panto written by Maeve Ingoldsby. Black Box, Townhall Theatre Until Jan 3 16/14 091-569755

KERRY

Beauty and the Beast Traditional panto from Oliver Hurley Productions. Siamsa Tíre National Folk Theatre and Arts Centre, Town Park, Tralee Thurs/Sat/Sun 8pm, also Sun 3pm 16/13 066-7123055

LIMERICK

Cinderella The Limerick Panto Society celebrates its 25th anniversary with this year’s show, starring Dame Tim Cusack as ugly sister Ester Fabric. University Concert

Hall, University of Limerick Ends Jan 3 18.50/16.50 061-331549

Aladdin Centre Stage Productions are back this year with a dazzling show written by Mike Finn and starring Myles Breen. Limerick Institute of Technology, Millennium Theatre, Limerick City Until

Jan 10 18.50/16.50 061-322322

WEXFORD

Music from the Movies See Dublin. Opera House, Wexford Sat 3pm 15/10 (under 12s free if they dressed as their favourite movie character)

053- 9122144

comedy

Comedy listings: Brian Boyd

bboyd@irishtimes.com

DUBLIN

A Savage Night Of Comedy With Dave McSavage. Bankers, Trinity St Sat 9pm 10 01-6763697

Capital Comedy Club Ha’penny Bridge Inn, Temple Bar Sun/ Wed 9pm 7 01-6770616

The Dublin Comedy Improv The International Bar, Wicklow St Mon 9pm 01-6779250

The Battle of the Axe Comedy and music. Ha’penny Bridge Inn, Temple Bar. Tues/Thurs 9pm 7 01-6770616

Andrew Stanley’s Comedy Mish Mash The International Bar, Wicklow St Tues 9pm 5 01-6779250

The Comedy Cellar International Bar, Wicklow St Wed 9pm 8 01-6779250

Laugh Out Loud at Anseo With Aidan Killian and guests. Anseo, Camden St Weds 8.30pm 7

Comedy Improv Ha’penny Bridge Inn, Temple Bar Thur 9pm 7 01-6770616

arT

Art listings: Aidan Dunne

adunne@irishtimes.com

ARMAGH

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Andre Stitt’s painting and text works explore his Craigavon background. Millenium Court Arts Centre, William St, Portadown Until Jan 23 048-38394415

BELFAST

Celebrating One Hundred and Sixty Years Ulster University School of Art retrospective. Ormeau Baths Gallery, 18a Ormeau Ave Until Jan 31 048-90267285

Christmas Exhibition Group show plus a publication, Etching World/Cullen World, by Michael Cullen and Brian McAvera. Tom Caldwell, 429 Lisburn Rd Mon Sat 10am- 5pm, Tues, Wed Fri 10am- 6pm (closed Jan 1) Until Jan 9 048-90661890

Constantinople or the Sensual Concealed: The Imagery of Sean Scully A retrospective of Scully’s work marking the reopening of the revamped Museum galleries. Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens Closed Mondays Until Feb 14

CARLOW

Visual Centre for Contemporary Art Opening Exhibitions The Weight of Light: Irish abstraction in works by Maud Cotter, Richard Gorman, Cecil King, Eilis O’Connell, Patrick Scott, Sean Scully, Sean Shanahan, Charles Tyrrell and Michael Warren. Stax: an installation by Polly Apfelbaum. Stallion: sculptural installation by Daphne Wright. Accumulator: a cycle of performance exhibitions curated by Amanda Coogan. Josef Albers: a Hayward Touring exhibition of works by the renowned abstractionist. Ciaran Walsh: a sculptural installation. Tadhg McSweeney: a kinetic light installation. Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Old Dublin Road, Carlow Until Jan 16 059-9172400

CLARE

Christmas Exhibition Group show. Ennis Art Gallery, Francis St, Ennis Thurs-Sat noon-5pm Until Jan 21 065-6892760

CORK

Christmas at the Vangard Michael Canning, Michael Cullen, Mary Lohan, Simon English and many more artists. Vangard Gallery, New St, Macroom Until Jan 23

026-41198

I thought I dreamed of you Mixed media installation by Sarah Iremonger. West Cork Arts Centre, North St, Skibbereen Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Until Jan 31 028-22090

Lost Souls, Pioneers and Long-Distance Travellers Mark Carmody’s photographs of the shorebirds of Ireland. Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh Until Jan 24 021-4813790

Terror and the Sublime: Art in an Age of Anxiety Works from the Romantic era to the present reflecting anxiety and the anticipation of disaster. A huge range of artists, including George Barrett, James Barry, Edmund Burke, Francis Danby, Gary Coyle, Aideen Barry, Cecily Brennan, David Godbold, Andreas Gursky and Jim Sanborn. Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place Until Feb 27 021-4805042

DERRY

Surface Noise and Metamorphosis Works by Paul Rowley David Phillips and Clare Langan. Void, Patrick st Tues-Sat 11am-5pm, Wed 11am-9pm (closed until Jan 4) Until Jan 8 048-71308080

DONEGAL

Oatfield - Temperance Abigail O’Brien’s work marks 80 years of the Oatfield sweet factory. Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny Until Jan 16 074-9129186

Unframed at Man-Made Images: double-take Lively show of work by photographers from The Netherlands and Ireland. Man-Made Images Gallery, Mouncharles Until Feb 19 074-9735928

DOWN

Designers Makers 2009

Fine craft and design. FE McWilliam Gallery Studio, 200 Newry Rd, Banbridge Mon- Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm Until Jan 17 048-40623322

DUBLIN

Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty The contents of Bacon’s studio, plus paintings from private and public collections. Until March. Plus: Corban Walker: Mapping Hugh Lane. A site-specific installation as part of The Golden Bough series of projects. Until Jan 16. Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Parnell Sq North Tues-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm 01-2225550

Lynda Benglis Survey of the work of influential, occasionally controversial sculptor. Until Jan 24. Philippe Parreno: November. Overview of the work of the innovative Algerian/French artist. Until Jan 24. Picturing New York: 145 works from the MoMA photographic collection Until Feb 7 /€3), 2010. IMMA, Kilmainham Tues-Sat 10am- 5.30pm (Wed 10.30am-5.30pm), Sun noon- 5.30pm 01-6129900

James Castle Drawings and three-dimensional work. And, in Gallery 2: Mike Nelson, The Paradise (33). Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College Until Jan 20 01-8961116

Chalet Town Narrative paintings by Colin Martin.

See panel. Draíocht, Blanchardstown Centre Mon-Sat 10am-6pm Until Jan 23 01-8852622

Cult of Engagement An atmospheric installation by Clodagh Emoe, overseen by “the spirit of the cross-roads, Papa Legba”. Project Arts Centre, 39 East Essex St Mon- Sat 11am-8pm Mon-Sat 11am- 8pm (closed Dec 31-Jan 1) Until Jan 30 01-8819613

Exhale Photographs by Mandy O’Neill. Alliance Française de Dublin, Kildare St Until Feb 6

A Light in the Darkness Annual showing of the Turner watercolours, plus silhouettes and miniatures from the Mary A McNeill Bequest. See panel. National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Sq West and Clare St Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm, Thurs 9.30am-8.30pm, Sun noon-5.30pm Until Jan 31 01-6615133

Little Christmas ’09 Featuring gallery artists and studio members. Graphic Studio Gallery, through the arch, off Cope St, Temple Bar Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm, Sat 11am-5pm Until Jan 9 01-6798021

The Music of Things Four “film-drawings” by Alice Maher, with soundscape by Trevor Knight, plus other works.

Green on Red Gallery, 26-28 Lombard St East Until Jan 20 01-6713414

Padded Cell and Other Stories Plus other works by Gerard Mannix Flynn. Adifferentkettle offishaltogether, 18 Ormond Quay Upper Daily noon-5pm

Relatively Long Arms, Grasping Hands Kate Betts marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species with prints exploring natural history subjects. Curiosity Cabinet at the Black Church Print Studio, 4 Temple Bar, and Printmakers Gallery, 25 Drury St, Temple Bar Ends Jan 5 01-6773629

Sunday Night Installation works by Aleana Egan. Temple Bar Gallery, 5-9 Temple Bar Until Jan 16 01-6710073

Ten Miles Round Jackie Nickerson’s photographs explore a rural, coastal community. Gallery of Photography, Meeting House Sq Until Jan 24 01-6714654

GALWAY

Breathrhyme and Bathers: 365 New works by Arno Kramer and, in Bathers: 365, Anita Murphy documents year-round swimmers in photographs and other media. Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick St Until Jan 16

Christmas Show 2009 Greenlane Gallery, Holy Ground, Dingle Ends Jan 6 066-9152047

LEITRIM

Sacred Work by Aileen Lambert, Bernadette Kiely, Djeribi, David Michalek and Katherine West. The Dock, St George’s Terrace, Carrick- on-Shannon Fri-Sat 10am- 6pm, Sun 2-6pm Ends Jan 2 071-9650828

LOUTH

Nano Reid and Gerard Dillon The work of two pioneering modernist Irish painters. Highlanes Gallery, Laurence St, Drogheda Mon-Sat 10.30am- 5pm, Sun noon-5pm Until Jan 10 041-9803311

MAYO

Group Exhibition Featuring artists who worked and exhibited the the location in 2009. Custom House Studios, Westport Quay, Westport Unitl Jan 24 098-28735

Keith Wilson Paintings and drawings. Courthouse Gallery, Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Main St, Ballycastle Until Jan 31 096-43184

TIPPERARY

Winter Landscape Group exhibition. South Tipperary Arts Centre, Nelson St, Clonmel 052-6127877

WICKLOW

Artist’s Proof The art of printmaking, in a show jointly organised by the Graphic Studio and the Chester Beatty. Mermaid Arts Centre, Main St, Bray Mon- Sat Until Jan 16 01-2724030

New Year New Works Sculpture by Conleth Gent and paintings by Maeve Stafford. Signal Arts Centre, 1a Albert Ave, Bray Mon-Fri 10am-1pm, 2-5pm, Sat-Sun noon-5pm Jan 5-17 01-2762039

Later in 2010

Our spring movie preview ends at exactly the point Hollywood begins oiling the gears on its cash register. Want more sequels? Well, the latter part of the year will bring a seventh Harry Potter, a third Twilight, a fourth Shrekand a third Narnia.

Want remakes and reboots? Well gird your loins for Tron Legacy, The A Teamand Robert Rodriguez's Predators. And then, of course, there's Ridley Scott's Robin Hood.

Other mainstream behemoths include T he Expendables- an action film featuring a royal flush of bruisers: Stallone, Statham, (Jet) Li, Lundgren, Willis, Schwarzenegger - and agent Angelina Jolie on the run in Phillip Noyce's Salt.

Family audiences can look forward to Disney's Rapunzeland Jack Black in Gulliver's Travels.

But it's not all bangs and giggles. Terence Malick gives us Brad Pitt in the mysterious The Tree of Life.Wong Kar-Wai returns to Hong Kong for T he Grand Master.And Darren Aronofsky follows up The Wrestlerwith a thriller entitled Black Swan. All this and mad Werner Herzog updating madder Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenantas The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.