Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 20th to 28th July 2016

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day  listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.

There are eight new releases making to the local screens this period. There is animation with Batman: The Killing Joke (15); drama with Embrace the Serpent (12A) and Remainder (15); plus action/adventure in Jason Bourne (12A). In addition we have the moving documentary Notes on Blindness (U); science fiction action with Star Trek Beyond (12A); family fantasy in The BFG and comedy in Elvis and Nixon (15).

Films that have been dropped include Bad Neighbours 2; Independence Day: Resurgence and Zootropolis. In addition the comedy Central Intelligence and the family adventure The Jungle Book are approaching the end of their screening. However we do see the return of the drama Money Monster and the animation The Angry Birds Movie.

Films coming soon include Finding Dory, to be screened at the end of the month, whereas Suicide Squad and David Brent: Life on the Road are due to be released in August.

The big draw this period is going to be Star Trek Beyond. However other dramas include the conjuring adventure Now You See me 2; jungle action with The Legend of Tarzan and horror with The Conjuring 2.

Family entertainment is well represented with the animations Angry Birds: The Movie; Ice Age: Collision Course and The Secret life of Pets. In addition we have The BFG and The Jungle Book.

For adult comedy, there is Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie; Central Intelligence; Elvis and Nixon and GhostBusters.

High culture this period is provided with Andre Rieu's 2016 Maastricht Concert and Almeida Live: Richard III. In addition there is a chance to see the Gene Kelly classic Singin' in the Rain

Finally, to prepare for the new Star Wars, the Vue are offering a Star Trek Triple Bill of Star Trek (2009); Star Trek Into Darkness and an early screening of Star Trek Beyond on 21st July.

Reviews

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Jennifer Saunders Joanna Lumley, Julis Sawalha, June Whitfield, Jane Horrocks
It was 1992 when Absolutely Fabulous first appeared on the TV and twenty four years later Patsie and Eddy finally make it to the big screen. The couple are blamed for a major incident involving Kate Moss at a fashionable launch party. To escape the paparazzi and poor publicity, they flee, penniless, to the French Riviera, where they concoct a plan to regain their fortune. The film retains the cast of the TV series and a number of major celebrities also make cameo appearances. This is a hilarious film, that maintains the character of the original TV series. Excellent entertainment.

Central Intelligence
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Dwayne Johnson, Kelvin Hart
Robbie Wierdicht (Johnson) was bullied at high school. On leaving, he changed his name to Bob Stone, developed an impressive physique and became a CIA operative. Calvin Joyner (Hart) was his friend at high school and had a career in accounting. At the time of their high school reunion, Bob starts to work with Calvin to stop the illegal sale of satellite codes by a mystery agent Black Badger. Calvin however is approached by the CIA and told that Bob is actually delusional. Yet Calvin continues to help his friend and the two of them face fights, gun battles and car crashes to track Black Badger. The movie is a fast paced buddy action comedy. Johnson and Hart work well together and the fast talking dialogue from Hart goes a long way to carrying the film. Expect some slapstick and a great deal of humour.

Ghostbusters
Director: Paul Feig
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey
It has been thirty-five years since the original Ghostbusters movie. Now, finally there is a remake where women take the leading parts. Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Yates (McCarthy) are co-authors of a book which postulated that ghosts are real. When supernatural forces invade Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates team up with a nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon) and subway worker Patty Tolan (Jones) to combat the malicious demon Rowan (Casey) and a legion of ghouls. The movie pretty much follows the plot of the original, but the actors provide great and extremely funny performances. A terrific movie full of good hearted fun.

Ice Age: Collision Course
Director: Mike Thurmeier and Galen T Chu
Cast includes: Simon Pegg, Roy Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Hohn Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Chris Wedge
A computer animation family adventure film. This is the fifth instalment in the Ice Age series and the sequel to Continental Drift. Scratt (Wedge), the sabre toothed squirrel, activates an alien UFO in his continued pursuit of the acorn. The craft propels Scratt into outer space and thence causes a planetary collision resulting in the creation of meteors that threaten to engulf the earth. Manny (Romero) the Wooly Mammoth, Sid (Leguizamo) the sloth and Diego (Leary) the sabre toothed tiger hatch a plan with the weasel Buck (Pegg) to save the earth. The plot is quite unbelievable, but the resulting mayhem is as entertaining as ever. New characters are introduced as the movie unfolds and the film a worthy addition to the franchise. Whats not to like?

The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O' Connor, Madison Wolfe
A sequel to the 2013 film 'The Conjuring'. Lorraine (Farmiga) and Ed (Wilson) Warren are psychic investigators. The hear of a haunting and travel to the UK to help Peggy Hodgson (O'Connor), a single mother of four, who is plagued by poltergeist activity in her London council house. However things get worse when Peggy's youngest daughter Janet (Wolfe) shows signs of daemon possession. The psychic investigators come to find themselves in peril. A superior horror movie which provides plenty of frights and has been well received.

The Jungle Book
Director: Jon Favreau
Certificate: PG Cast includes: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba
Based on Rudyard Kipling's works, this is a reworking of a the well known classic using live action and CGI. Mowgli (Sethi) is an orphaned boy raised by a wolf and thence by Bagheera (Kingsley) a black panther. Mowgli alienates the Bengal tiger Shere Khan (Elba) and so must make his way to humankind for safety, meeting the well known characters Baloo and Kaa on the way. Subsequently he returns to the jungle to face Shere Khan. The movie is a good example a remake that improves on the original. An excellent movie that will entertain all ages.

The Legend of Tarzan
Director: David Yates
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, Samuel L. Jackson
The film is set about a decade after Tarzan left the jungle and became John Clayton III or Lord Greystoke to live in the UK with his wife Jane (Robbie). Meanwhile the African Congo has been divided between Belgium and the UK, and the Belgian government has sent an emissary Captain Leon Rom (Waltz) to develop the mineral wealth of the land. Rom makes a pact with Mbonga (Hounsou) a chief and Tarzan's old enemy to give him Tarzan in exchange for diamonds. Rom captures Jane and uses her to lure Tarzan to him During the film we have flashbacks of Tarzan's origins to help set the plot and the film benefits from splendid scenery, lavish special effects and grand fight sequences. However, despite solid performances from the actors, the movie has not managed to inspire the critics. An enjoyable, but ultimately average adventure film.

The Secret Life of Pets
Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
A family animation film that follows the lives of pets living in a Manhattan apartment building during the time their owners leave them alone. Max (Louis) is a rather spoilt terrier who starts to find himself neglected when his owner Katie (Kemper) brings home Duke (Stonestreet), a mongrel, from a dog pound. However the two dogs must put their rivalry behind them when they are captured by Snowball (Hart) a rabbit and an army of abandoned pets who are trying to get back at all happily owned pets and their owners. This is a delightful and energetic animation movie that is inoffensive and fun for all, young and old.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 13th to 21st July 2016

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day  listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.

This is a fairly quiet period for the cinema. The films Ghostbusters (12A) and Ice Age: Collision Course (U) are formally released thought they were previewed last week. Hence the only new release is the Italian documentary (with English subtitles) Fire at Sea (12A).

No films have been dropped during this period. However Independence Day: Resurgence will soon be coming to the end of its screening. We do however see the return of Captain America: Civil War; High Rise and Mother's Day.

Movies due to be released later this month include The BFG; Batman: The Killing Joke; Jason Bourne; Finding Dory and Star Trek Beyond. To prepare for the release of the latter, the Vue are offering a Star Trek Triple Bill of Star Trek (2009); Star Trek Into Darkness and an early screening of Star Trek Beyond on 21st July.

Drama this period comes with Adult Life Skills; Me Before You; Mother's Day; Now You See Me 2; The Legend of Tarzan and The Nice Guys. In addition there is horror with The Conjuring 2 and science fiction in Captain America: Civil War and Independence Day: Resurgence

For comedy this period, there is Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie; Bad Neighbours 2; Central Intelligence; and the female version of Ghostbusters.

Family entertainment is well represented with Ice Age: Collision Course; The Jungle Book; The Secret Life of Pets; When Marnie Was There and Zootropolis.

Two films of note are the documentary on David Bowie in David Bowie Is … and a chance to view the 'visual poem' Koyaanisqatsi.

High culture this period comes with Almeida Theatre Live: Richard III and Globe: Measure for Measure.

Reviews

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Jennifer Saunders Joanna Lumley, Julis Sawalha, June Whitfield, Jane Horrocks
It was 1992 when Absolutely Fabulous first appeared on the TV and twenty four years later Patsie and Eddy finally make it to the big screen. The couple are blamed for a major incident involving Kate Moss at a fashionable launch party. To escape the paparazzi and poor publicity, they flee, penniless, to the French Riviera, where they concoct a plan to regain their fortune. The film retains the cast of the TV series and a number of major celebrities also make cameo appearances. This is a hilarious film, that maintains the character of the original TV series. Excellent entertainment.

Bad Neighbours 2
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Chloe Grace Moretz, Zac Efron
A sequel to the 2014 Bad Neighbours. Mac Radner (Rogen) and his wife Kelly (Byrne) are expecting their second child. They are in the process of selling their old house when a newly established female sorority, Kappa Kappa Nu led by Shelby (Moretz), moves into the house nextdoor. Excessive partying on the part of the sorority makes life a nightmare for the Radner's and will jeopardise the sale of their house. Their requests for the girls to keep the partying quiet lead to an all out war. Teddy (Efron) from the previous film has not done well outside of college and he is enlisted by the Radner's to be their ally in the battle with the sorority. This movie is little more than a re-run of the first Bad Neighbours, but the film still has more than its share of very funny moments. Good entertainment.

Central Intelligence
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Dwayne Johnson, Kelvin Hart
Robbie Wierdicht (Johnson) was bullied at high school. On leaving, he changed his name to Bob Stone, developed an impressive physique and became a CIA operative. Calvin Joyner (Hart) was his friend at high school and had a career in accounting. At the time of their high school reunion, Bob starts to work with Calvin to stop the illegal sale of satellite codes by a mystery agent Black Badger. Calvin however is approached by the CIA and told that Bob is actually delusional. Yet Calvin continues to help his friend and the two of them face fights, gun battles and car crashes to track Black Badger. The movie is a fast paced buddy action comedy. Johnson and Hart work well together and the fast talking dialogue from Hart goes a long way to carrying the film. Expect some slapstick and a great deal of humour.

Ghostbusters
Director: Paul Feig
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey
It has been thirty-five years since the original Ghostbusters movie. Now, finally there is a remake where women take the leading parts. Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Yates (McCarthy) are co-authors of a book which postulated that ghosts are real. When supernatural forces invade Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates team up with a nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon) and subway worker Patty Tolan (Jones) to combat the malicious demon Rowan (Casey) and a legion of ghouls. The movie pretty much follows the plot of the original, but the actors provide great and extremely funny performances. A terrific movie full of good hearted fun.

Ice Age: Collision Course
Director: Mike Thurmeier and Galen T Chu
Cast includes: Simon Pegg, Roy Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Hohn Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Chris Wedge
A computer animation family adventure film. This is the fifth instalment in the Ice Age series and the sequel to Continental Drift. Scratt (Wedge), the sabre toothed squirrel, activates an alien UFO in his continued pursuit of the acorn. The craft propels Scratt into outer space and thence causes a planetary collision resulting in the creation of meteors that threaten to engulf the earth. Manny (Romero) the Wooly Mammoth, Sid (Leguizamo) the sloth and Diego (Leary) the sabre toothed tiger hatch a plan with the weasel Buck (Pegg) to save the earth. The plot is quite unbelievable, but the resulting mayhem is as entertaining as ever. New characters are introduced as the movie unfolds and the film a worthy addition to the franchise. Whats not to like?

Independence Day: Resurgence
Director: Roland Emmerich
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Golgblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Judd Hirsch
In the 1996 film 'Independence Day' the earth underwent alien invasion but this was finally repulsed and the attackers were defeated. In the aftermath, earth spent time understanding the alien technology and developing a global defence program with military based on the Moon, Mars and a moon of Saturn. Now twenty years later, the aliens return, with a larger and much more powerful battle fleet. Again earth must fight for its independence. This is a fast moving film with everything bigger and better than the original, thought the plot is a little lighter. Some of the old characters return to provide continuity though Will Smith is absent. A fun, action packed, visually impressive and entertaining movie.

Mother's Day
Director: Garry Marshall
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Jennifer Aniston, Shay Mitchell, Kate Hudson, Britt Robertson, Julia Roberts
Set in Atlanta, the film follows the lives of a number of middle class mothers as mother's day approaches. These include Sandy (Aniston) a mother of two boys who is now divorced but finds her ex is about to marry a younger woman Tina (Mitchell). There is a writer Miranda (Roberts) who gave her only baby Kristen (Robertson) up for adoption. However, when grown her daughter decides to try to find her birth mother. Yet more people give rise to a bewildering set of sub-plots that play out leading to a climax on Mother's Day. Despite a star studded cast, and some gags that work, this comedy drama never really takes off and the movie has received poor critical review.

The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O' Connor, Madison Wolfe
A sequel to the 2013 film 'The Conjuring'. Lorraine (Farmiga) and Ed (Wilson) Warren are psychic investigators. The hear of a haunting and travel to the UK to help Peggy Hodgson (O'Connor), a single mother of four, who is plagued by poltergeist activity in her London council house. However things get worse when Peggy's youngest daughter Janet (Wolfe) shows signs of daemon possession. The psychic investigators come to find themselves in peril. A superior horror movie which provides plenty of frights and has been well received.

The Jungle Book
Director: Jon Favreau
Certificate: PG Cast includes: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba
Based on Rudyard Kipling's works, this is a reworking of a the well known classic using live action and CGI. Mowgli (Sethi) is an orphaned boy raised by a wolf and thence by Bagheera (Kingsley) a black panther. Mowgli alienates the Bengal tiger Shere Khan (Elba) and so must make his way to humankind for safety, meeting the well known characters Baloo and Kaa on the way. Subsequently he returns to the jungle to face Shere Khan. The movie is a good example a remake that improves on the original. An excellent movie that will entertain all ages.

The Legend of Tarzan
Director: David Yates
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, Samuel L. Jackson
The film is set about a decade after Tarzan left the jungle and became John Clayton III or Lord Greystoke to live in the UK with his wife Jane (Robbie). Meanwhile the African Congo has been divided between Belgium and the UK, and the Belgian government has sent an emissary Captain Leon Rom (Waltz) to develop the mineral wealth of the land. Rom makes a pact with Mbonga (Hounsou) a chief and Tarzan's old enemy to give him Tarzan in exchange for diamonds. Rom captures Jane and uses her to lure Tarzan to him During the film we have flashbacks of Tarzan's origins to help set the plot and the film benefits from splendid scenery, lavish special effects and grand fight sequences. However, despite solid performances from the actors, the movie has not managed to inspire the critics. An enjoyable, but ultimately average adventure film.

The Secret Life of Pets
Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
A family animation film that follows the lives of pets living in a Manhattan apartment building during the time their owners leave them alone. Max (Louis) is a rather spoilt terrier who starts to find himself neglected when his owner Katie (Kemper) brings home Duke (Stonestreet), a mongrel, from a dog pound. However the two dogs must put their rivalry behind them when they are captured by Snowball (Hart) a rabbit and an army of abandoned pets who are trying to get back at all happily owned pets and their owners. This is a delightful and energetic animation movie that is inoffensive and fun for all, young and old.

Zootropolis (Zootopia)
Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
Certificate: PG
Cast includes: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman
This is a comedy animation set in the city of Zootropolis which is populated by animals. Judy Hopps (Goodwin) is a rabbit rookie police officer. She parters with a con-artist fox Nick Wilde (Bateman) to solve the mystery of a missing husband. An excellently made fun movie that will appeal to a wide range of ages.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Police Appeal for witnesses after M6 collision


Police are appealing for witnesses after a car overturned on the M6 near Carnforth.

At around 1.15pm on Sunday 10th July a Peugeot 207 was travelling in the third lane of the northbound carriageway between Junction 35 and Burton in Kendal Services when it touched the central reservation before it collided with the nearside barrier and overturned.

The front seat passenger, a 76-year-old woman, sustained serious injuries and was taken to Royal Preston Hospital. Her condition is described as stable.

The driver, a 49-year-old man, suffered abdominal injuries and was also taken to Royal Preston Hospital for treatment while the back seat passenger, a 75-year-old man, sustained minor injuries in the collision.

The northbound carriageway was closed for four hours for a collision investigation and the southbound carriageway was closed for one hour while two air ambulances attended the scene.

PS Adam Dawson of the Road Policing Unit: “This collision has left one woman in a serious condition and an investigation is underway to establish exactly how it came to occur. I would urge anyone who was on the motorway at the time and witnessed what happened to contact us.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 770 of 10th July.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 6th to 14th July 2016

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day  listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.

There are four new films making their debut during this period. We have comedy with Life Skills (15) and with a revised Ghostbusters (12A). There is conjuring mischief with Now You See Me 2 (12A) and finally action/adventure in The Legend of Tarzan (12A).

Movies due to appear later this month include Batman: The Killing Joke; Jason Bourne; Star Trek: Beyond and The BFG.

Films that have been withdrawn this period include Gods of Egypt and The Angry Birds Movie. However, we see the return of the drama A Hologram for the King, the comedy Bad Neighbours 2 and the family adventure The Jungle Book.

This is an excellent period for comedies with Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie; Adult Life Skills; Bad Neighbours 2; Central Intelligence; Florence Foster Jenkins; Ghostbusters; Ice Age: Collision Course and The Secret Life of Pets all on offer.

Action/drama is represented by Now You See Me 2; The Daughter and The Legend of Tarzan. Also there is the romantic drama Me Before You.

Science fiction action come with Independence Day: Resurgence and in the category of horror there is Green Room and The Conjuring 2.

High culture comes with Glyndebourne: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg and Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company: Romeo & Juliet.

Finally the Dukes are holding another Film Quiz on the 12th July.

Reviews

A Hologram for the King
Director: Tom Tykwer
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Tom Hanks, Alexander Black, Sanita Choudhury
Based on the best selling 2012 novel by Dave Egger, Alan Clay (Hanks) is an American Businessman whose life is falling apart following the recession. He is trying to make a comeback, leading a team to sell a new holographic telepresence system to the King of Saudi Arabia. However he is out of his depth with no knowledge of the local customs and facing a bureaucracy worthy of Kafka. Attempts to see the king repeatedly fail and he and his team just wait in a venue with failed communications and air conditioning. The only hope seems to be his taxi driver Yousef (Black). This is something of a convoluted story which is both funny and terribly sad. However Hanks gives a great performance and the whole provides a very entertaining movie.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Jennifer Saunders Joanna Lumley, Julis Sawalha, June Whitfield, Jane Horrocks
It was 1992 when Absolutely Fabulous first appeared on the TV and twenty four years later Patsie and Eddy finally make it to the big screen. The couple are blamed for a major incident involving Kate Moss at a fashionable launch party. To escape the paparazzi and poor publicity, they flee, penniless, to the French Riviera, where they concoct a plan to regain their fortune. The film retains the cast of the TV series and a number of major celebrities also make cameo appearances. This is a hilarious film, that maintains the character of the original TV series. Excellent entertainment.

Bad Neighbours 2
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Chloe Grace Moretz, Zac Efron
A sequel to the 2014 Bad Neighbours. Mac Radner (Rogen) and his wife Kelly (Byrne) are expecting their second child. They are in the process of selling their old house when a newly established female sorority, Kappa Kappa Nu led by Shelby (Moretz), moves into the house nextdoor. Excessive partying on the part of the sorority makes life a nightmare for the Radner's and will jeopardise the sale of their house. Their requests for the girls to keep the partying quiet lead to an all out war. Teddy (Efron) from the previous film has not done well outside of college and he is enlisted by the Radner's to be their ally in the battle with the sorority. This movie is little more than a re-run of the first Bad Neighbours, but the film still has more than its share of very funny moments. Good entertainment.

Central Intelligence
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Dwayne Johnson, Kelvin Hart
Robbie Wierdicht (Johnson) was bullied at high school. On leaving, he changed his name to Bob Stone, developed an impressive physique and became a CIA operative. Calvin Joyner (Hart) was his friend at high school and had a career in accounting. At the time of their high school reunion, Bob starts to work with Calvin to stop the illegal sale of satellite codes by a mystery agent Black Badger. Calvin however is approached by the CIA and told that Bob is actually delusional. Yet Calvin continues to help his friend and the two of them face fights, gun battles and car crashes to track Black Badger. The movie is a fast paced buddy action comedy. Johnson and Hart work well together and the fast talking dialogue from Hart goes a long way to carrying the film. Expect some slapstick and a great deal of humour.

Florence Foster Jenkins
Director: Stephen Frears
Certificate: PG
Cast includes: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant
A period drama based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins (Streep). Jenkins is a rich heiress with ambitions to be a singer despite a terrible singing voice. Her husband St Clair Bayfield (Grant), despite being something of a cad, arranges for her to sing in a concert, having carefully selected the audience to ensure her efforts will be well received. This is the second recent movie based on the life of Jenkins and it provides a more light hearted approach than the 2015 film Marguerite. The movie is has been well received and provides a good share of laughs, though, for this reviewer, it was something of a one joke film.

Ice Age: Collision Course
Director: Mike Thurmeier and Galen T Chu
Cast includes: Simon Pegg, Roy Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Hohn Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Chris Wedge
A computer animation family adventure film. This is the fifth instalment in the Ice Age series and the sequel to Continental Drift. Scratt (Wedge), the sabre toothed squirrel, activates an alien UFO in his continued pursuit of the acorn. The craft propels Scratt into outer space and thence causes a planetary collision resulting in the creation of meteors that threaten to engulf the earth. Manny (Romero) the Wooly Mammoth, Sid (Leguizamo) the sloth and Diego (Leary) the sabre toothed tiger hatch a plan with the weasel Buck (Pegg) to save the earth. The plot is quite unbelievable, but the resulting mayhem is as entertaining as ever. New characters are introduced as the movie unfolds and the film a worthy addition to the franchise. Whats not to like?

Independence Day: Resurgence
Director: Roland Emmerich
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Golgblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Judd Hirsch
In the 1996 film 'Independence Day' the earth underwent alien invasion but this was finally repulsed and the attackers were defeated. In the aftermath, earth spent time understanding the alien technology and developing a global defence program with military based on the Moon, Mars and a moon of Saturn. Now twenty years later, the aliens return, with a larger and much more powerful battle fleet. Again earth must fight for its independence. This is a fast moving film with everything bigger and better than the original, thought the plot is a little lighter. Some of the old characters return to provide continuity though Will Smith is absent. A fun, action packed, visually impressive and entertaining movie.

The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O' Connor, Madison Wolfe
A sequel to the 2013 film 'The Conjuring'. Lorraine (Farmiga) and Ed (Wilson) Warren are psychic investigators. The hear of a haunting and travel to the UK to help Peggy Hodgson (O'Connor), a single mother of four, who is plagued by poltergeist activity in her London council house. However things get worse when Peggy's youngest daughter Janet (Wolfe) shows signs of daemon possession. The psychic investigators come to find themselves in peril. A superior horror movie which provides plenty of frights and has been well received.

The Jungle Book
Director: Jon Favreau
Certificate: PG Cast includes: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba
Based on Rudyard Kipling's works, this is a reworking of a the well known classic using live action and CGI. Mowgli (Sethi) is an orphaned boy raised by a wolf and thence by Bagheera (Kingsley) a black panther. Mowgli alienates the Bengal tiger Shere Khan (Elba) and so must make his way to humankind for safety, meeting the well known characters Baloo and Kaa on the way. Subsequently he returns to the jungle to face Shere Khan. The movie is a good example a remake that improves on the original. An excellent movie that will entertain all ages.

The Secret Life of Pets
Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
A family animation film that follows the lives of pets living in a Manhattan apartment building during the time their owners leave them alone. Max (Louis) is a rather spoilt terrier who starts to find himself neglected when his owner Katie (Kemper) brings home Duke (Stonestreet), a mongrel, from a dog pound. However the two dogs must put their rivalry behind them when they are captured by Snowball (Hart) a rabbit and an army of abandoned pets who are trying to get back at all happily owned pets and their owners. This is a delightful and energetic animation movie that is inoffensive and fun for all, young and old.

Zootropolis (Zootopia)
Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
Certificate: PG
Cast includes: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman
This is a comedy animation set in the city of Zootropolis which is populated by animals. Judy Hopps (Goodwin) is a rabbit rookie police officer. She parters with a con-artist fox Nick Wilde (Bateman) to solve the mystery of a missing husband. An excellently made fun movie that will appeal to a wide range of ages.

The Hobbit, Dukes latest "Play in the Park" opens, tickets selling fast

A goblin makes its appearance in The Dukes 2016 production of The Hobbit

Here's some pictures from The Hobbit, this year's play in the park from The Dukes, which opened last night.

Tickets for the first three Saturdays have already sold out.

A cosy hobbit-hole in Bag End, The Shire, where nothing ever happens. Nothing, that is, until a little Hobbit’s world is turned upside down by 13 dwarves, a wizard and a momentous decision: to reclaim the powerful Arkenstone, jealously guarded by the fearsome dragon Smaug.

Tolkien's fantastical adventure takes Bilbo, the dwarves and Gandalf to the far ends of Middle Earth. Join them on their journey as the woods and pathways of Lancaster’s Williamson Park become enchanted forests and misty mountains, filled with strange and wonderful creatures; wood-elves, magic spiders, goblins and the subterranean Gollum, desperately searching for the lost Ring.

The Hobbit - a loving, faithful adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic for all ages 5+ - promises a charming, epic journey from a little house to a big world full of songs, laughter and magic...

• For more information and to book, visit The Dukes web site


Gareth Cassidy as Bilbo Baggins
Russell Richardson as Gandalf

Gollum (Josie Cerise) and Bilbo (Gareth Cassidy)


Thorin (Natalia Campbell)
William The Troll (Joseph Black) with the Wood Elves
The Hobbit runs in Lancaster's Williamson park until Saturday 13th August 2016. For more information and to book, visit The Dukes web site