Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
This period sees a couple of new releases: animation with a retelling of the story of Tarzan (PG) and action-adventure with Pompeii (12A).
This period could easily be the last chance for a while to catch Astronaut, Rio 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Quiet Ones. However there is a welcome return of 12 Years a Slave, which is showing for one night only at the Vue.
For an alternative program, we recommend Vikings Live from The British Museum; Royal Opera House Live: A Winters Tale and RSC Encore: Richard II all three showing for one night only. Also of interest is Kiss the Water a portrait of the world famous creator of flies for salmon fishing showing at the Dukes.
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 slavemaster 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 Nothup trying to maintain dignity
amidst the violence of the movie. Very well shot and splendidly acted,
this is the must see film for 2014.
Director: Neil Burger
Cast includes: Kate Winslet, Theo James, Shailene Woodley
The movie is based on Veronica Roth's popular trilogy. Tris
(Woodley) is a 16 year old girl living in Chicago after a war which
wiped out most of civilisation. Society has been divided into different
factions and as teens come of age they undergo tests to decide which
faction will contain them. Yet Tris proves to be divergent, not fitting
into any of the factions and divergent people are considered a threat
to the status quo. She must work with the mysterious Four (James) to
determine why being divergent is considered to be so dangerous. The
movie is rather a slow starter. However the cast is full of talent,
there is some nice dialogue and the film finishes with a tense climax. A
must see movie if you have read and enjoyed Roth's books.
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' 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.
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.
Muppets Most Wanted
Director: James Bobin
Cast includes: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Eric Jacobson, Steve Whitmire
A long awaited sequel to 'The Muppets' in which the entire Muppet
cast undertake a sell out world tour. However Constantine (a Kermit
lookalike and major criminal) and his right hand man Dominic (Gervais)
involve the Muppets in an international crime heist. The film is an
upbeat Disney musical comedy that will appeal to all ages and generates
plenty of laughs. An excellent film.
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast includes: Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins
A movie based on the biblical story of Noah and the flood, but it
takes quite a bit of artistic license. Crowe and Watson as Noah and Ila
respectively give excellent performances and this is epic movie which
very much goes its own way. With stunning effects and some surreal
sequences this is a very entertaining film.
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast includes: Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, Emily Browning
The year is 79AD and the backdrop of the movie is the epic eruption
of Mount Vesuvius. Mile (Harington), a gladiator strives to save the
love of his life Cassia (Browning) who is betrothed to Corvus
(Sutherland) a corrupt Roman Senator. This is a film that is hard not
to like as it 'ticks all the boxes' portraying poor boy/rich girl
romance with action combat set in a disaster movie incorporating
spectacular special effects.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast includes: Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Tony Revolori
An idiosyncratic movie telling the adventures of Gustav (Fiennes) the
concierge at the Budapest hotel and his friend Zero Moustafa
(Revolori). The film is full of madcap characters and is filmed in the
classic Anderson style. Set in Europe between the wars, the film tells
the story of the theft of a Renaissance painting and disputes over
fortunes. The movie has a star-studded cast and much of the plot of
interlocking stories is told in flashbacks. A fine comedy making this a
must see movie.
The Love Punch
Director: Joel Hopkins
Cast includes: Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson, Tuppence Middleton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie
Richard and Kate (Brosnan and Thompson) are a divorced couple who hit
financial hard times as Richard is facing bankruptcy as a result of a
corporation wiping out his company's pension fund. Vincent, the
villainous boss of the corporation, has used these proceeds to buy a
diamond necklace for his own bride. Richard and Kate, along with
friends Jerry and Penelope (Spall and Imrie) decide to get revenge by
stealing the necklace and using this to replenish the retirement fund.
This is a comedy with big name stars set in an exotic location. The
humour seems a little contrived at times but in all it works well to
make a genuinely funny and entertaining movie.
The Quiet Ones
Director: John Pogue
Cast includes: Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Jared Harris, Olivia Cooke
A Hammer Horror film set in 1974. Professor Coupland (Harris),
helped by a group of university students, relocates to a country estate
in order to try an unorthodox cure for a mentally unstable woman Jane
Harper (Cooke) with malignant alter ego Evey. The experiment is
recorded by cameraman Brian McNeil (Claflin). This is a stylish movie
with impressive visual effects. However the performances of the
students are a little wooden and the film does not break any new ground.
However in all a competent and gripping horror film.
Director: Wally Pfister
Cast includes: Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Paul Bettany
Dr Will Caster (Depp), a brilliant scientist in the field of
researching artificial intelligence, is creating a sentient computer
called PINN. However anti-technology extremists embark on a series of
of attacks against the artificial intelligence community and Dr Caster
is one of the casualties. In order to survive he digitises and loads
his consciousness into the computer. Here he starts a quest for
knowledge and for power that seems unstoppable. The film is well
produced and visually appealing. However the characters come across as
rather wooden and the topics examined in this film have already been
explored in earlier science fiction movies.