Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, official film links and reviews.
A varied selection of new releases this period. War action with Lone Survivor (15), comedy/romance with That Awkward Moment (15) and animation with Mr Peabody & Sherman (U).
We have lost The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but movies making a re-appearance include Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and Moshi Monsters: The Movie.
There is still horror with I, Frankenstein & Devil's Due and thrillers with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street and The Railway Man.
For a more classical experience, both the Vue and the Dukes are showing Bolshoi Ballet: Lost Illusions.
12 Years a Slave
Director: Steve McQueen
Cast Includes: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Sarah Paulson, Michael Fassbender
Set in the 1800s, New York black man Solomon Northup (Chiwetel
Ejiofor) is drugged, kidnapped and sold as a slave to a New Orleans
Plantation. Here he works for slave-master Epps (Michael Fassbender)
who is a sadist, dishing out sexual abuse. The film is based on an 1853
memoir by Solomon Northup, the script being co-written by Steve McQueen
and John Ridley. This is one of the finest films about American
Slavery. It is very visceral, with Northup trying to maintain dignity
amidst the atmosphere of violence of the movie. Very well shot and
splendidly acted, this is the must see film for 2014.
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin , Tyler Gillett
Cast includes: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford
Allison Miller and Zach Gilford return from their honeymoon having
conceived a baby rather earlier than they had planned. The husband
decides to record the pregnancy for posterity, but finds his wife
showing rather odd behaviour. With time her behaviour becomes more
extreme and there are suggestions that their baby has a sinister origin
as a mysterious cult takes an interest in its welfare. This is a horror
film in the tradition of Rosemary's Baby and whilst it does not break
new ground with regards to plot, it merits a trip to the cinema.
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Cast includes: Owen Wilson, Keith David, Colm Meaney, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, Dan Fogler
Two turkeys, Reggie and Jake, use a time machine to attend
the first Thanksgiving meal in an attempt to get turkey removed from
subsequent thanks-giving diners. Reggie is from a free-range turkey farm
and he realises the reason why turkeys are being fattened. It is Jake
who has the vision of commandeering the time machine in an attempt to
change history. The film has some romantic interest with Reggie falling
for Jenny, a turkey he meets during the adventure. In all the plot of
this animation seems a little over complicated and the film contains
some rude humour that may not be appropriate for the very young. In all
an entertaining movie but one that is not destined to become a classic.
Director: Chris Buck
Cast Includes Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad,Alan Tudyk, Jonathan Groff
This Disney musical animation is loosely based on the fairy
tale 'The Snow Queen' for it is she who has condemned a kingdom to
eternal winter. It is up to Anna (sister to the snow queen) and a loner
Kristoff to undertake an epic journey to find the Snow Queen and
convince her to lift the icy spell. This is a magical movie destined to
become a classic. It will appeal to families and children of all ages
and makes an movie for Christmas.
Director: Stuart Beattie
Cast Includes: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto
The Frankenstein monster (Aaron Eckhart) has survived to the
present day where he find himself the hero as he battles against
daemons and gargoyles who quest after the secret of immortality. A
rather lightweight movie owing little to Mary Shelly. However if you
want to see lots of computer generated monsters battling each other in a
quest to defeat humanity, this is the movie for you.
Director: Peter Berg
Cast Includes: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana
This film is based on the real life 'Operation Red Wing'
undertaken in Afghanistan in 2005. Four navy SEALs are sent into combat
and here they are ambushed. The film title gives away the fact that
only one of the four men, Marcus Luttrell (Wahlberg), survives the
event. As a film this is a gritty action movie with a prolonged battle
action, told from an American point of view. The characters of the
soldiers are well developed, and they show great courage under fire
during very harrowing war scenes. However this is not simply American
propaganda. The film explores the cheapness of life in combat and 'tips
its hat' to those Afghans who resisted the Taliban.
Mr Peabody & Sherman
Director: Rob Minkoff
Cast Includes: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter
A DreamWorks comedy animation. Mr Peabody is a dog, but
this does not stop him being an inventor, scientist, sportsman and
general genius. Accompanied by his boy Sherman, the duo use their WABAC
time machine in order to impress Sherman's friend Penny. However
during their adventures meeting famous characters of history,they
accidentally rip a hole in the Universe. As a result they must repair
history in order to save the future. A great yarn and appealing family
movie. There is little here to offend the youngest of children, and
some of the jokes will entertain an older audience.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast includes: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage
In this second installment of the Hobbit. We find Bilbo
Baggins and his group of comrades continuing in their journey to the
Lonely Mountain in order to extract gold from the dragon Smaug whist
being pursued by an army of Orcs. This film is a splendid action
adventure, more so than the first of the trilogy. It is imaginative,
with plenty of special effects and a block buster feel about it.
However it again puts action above developing the characters of the
protagonists. A great Christmas movie that will leave you anticipating
the concluding film in the trilogy.
The Railway Man
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth
The story of Army Officer Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), this
film is based on Lomax's memoir. Lomax was a POW during world war II,
tortured and brutalized whilst was forced to work on the Burma Railway.
The film, set in 1980, tells of his meeting, courtship and subsequent
marriage to Patti (Nicole Kidman). The background of Lomax is shown in
flashbacks as Patti herself learns of his history from one of her
husbands fellow POWs. Patti encourages Lomax to face his demons and
return to the place of torture. Here he discovers an old Takashi
Negase, who was one of his torturers. The acting of Kidman and Firth is
excellent and the flashbacks of Lomax's experience as a POW are strong
and harrowing. However the end of the film does not quite live up to
the tension built up during the movie.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Director: Ben Stiller
Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine
A re-telling of James Thurber's 1939 story. Walter Mitty (Ben
Stiller) survives his humdrum existence in a boring office job by
escaping into a fantasy world of action and adventure. However when his
job becomes threatened he is forced to take action in the real world,
undertaking an adventurous journey that rivals those of his daydreams.
This film has some entertaining moment but one the whole proved to be a
rather lightweight comedy.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast includes: Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler
The story of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Di Caprio)
who rose from penny stocks to a life of affluence and corruption as he
founded the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont. His life of drugs, sex and
ruthless achievement led to his title of Wolf of Wall Street. Scorsese
had produced a hard hitting and fast moving film and Di Caprio's acting
rises to the challenge of portraying Belfort. However after building
up Belfort as a monster the film seems to say little about about the
morality of this sort of life and thus ultimately does not come to any
satisfactory resolution. Hence the movie seemed to lacked any real
Director: David Soren
Cast Includes: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Peña
A DreamWorks animation in which Turbo is a snail obsessed with
racing cars who dreams of competing in the Indianapolis 500 race. His
hopes start to look more realistic when an accident with a car engine
provides him with a magical turn of speed. The animation is expertly
done. The snails have cute believable personalities and the whole has a
real 'feelgood' factor of an underdog following his dreams. The film
follows the DreamWorks hit animation 'The Croods' and whilst it is
extremely enjoyable, it lacks twists and subplots that make for a really