Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, official film links and reviews.
New releases during this period include a remake of the classic science fiction movie RoboCop (12A); the fact based drama Dallas Buyers Club (15); animation with The LEGO Movie (U) and a new production of Don Giovanni by The Royal Opera House.
We have lost Devil's Due and The Hobbit. However there is a chance to see a an audience participation version of Frozen with Frozen Sing-a-long, featuring on screen lyrics and a bouncing snowdrop.
The Dukes are continuing their excellent Gothic season with the must see classic Night of the Hunter. Also by way of variety they are hosting a lecture by Dr Sarah Post, exploring the role of the child in Gothic cinema.
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.
Dallas Buyers Club
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Cast includes: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Griffin Dunne, Jared Leto
The movie is set in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Texan
electrician and part-time cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is diagnosed
as HIV positive and given 30 days to live. Ron finds there is no
approved treatment for his condition and such is the hysteria over this
disease he is ostracized by many in his circle of friends. He joins
forces with a number of outcasts for form a buyers club in 1985 and
undertakes a world wide search of unorthodox treatments for this
condition. Potentially this could have been a depressing movie, but
superb acting by McConaughey makes this an excellent film looking at the
bigotry of this period. A strong film that must be seen.
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 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