Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
We find four films on release this period. There is a period drama with Belle (12A); Comedy/Drama with The Fault in our Stars (12A); animation with How to Train your Dragon 2 (PG) and horror with Oculus (15).
It seems likely that his period will be the last chance to catch either A Million Ways to Die in the West or Bad Neighbours. However we do find the return of the excellent Muppets Most Wanted.
If you are looking for culture there is Opera with Benvenuto Cellini and theatre with Driving Miss Daisy; A Small Family Business and Henry IV part II.
For something a little out of the ordinary the Dukes are screening the documentary Symphony of the Soil, a look at soil and its relationship to life on earth.
22 Jump Street
Director: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Cast Includes: Jonah Hill, Peter Stormare, Channing Tatum, Amber Stevens, Ice Cube
The movie finds Police officers Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum)
working undercover at a local college to investigate supply of an
illegal drug. Actually the movie is a deliberate re-hash of the earlier
'21 Jump Street', but this still makes it a zany comedy with humour
ranging from slapstick thought parody to the surreal. Well rated and
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast Includes: Seth Rogen, Jake Johnson, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne
Released as 'Neighbors' outside the UK, this is a comedy about Mac
Radner (Rogen), his wife Kelly (Byrne) and young baby and the disruption
they face when a college fraternity led by Teddy (Efron) moves in next
door. Initially relations between the neighbours are not too bad but
increasingly the frat boys work to ruin their family life and the
Radner's give as good as they get. The film is a bawdy comedy as the
tit-for-tat acts of sabotage escalate to hilarious (and possibly
offensive) effect. One of the better Frat house comedies.
Director: Amma Asante
Cast includes: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Emily Watson. Sarah Gadon, Matthew Goode, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Reid
Inspired by a painting and set in England in the eighteenth century,
Belle tells the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Mbatha-Raw), an
illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral John Lindsay (Goode), She
and her cousin are raised by Lord Mansfield (Wilkinson) and his wife
(Watson) where both girls are groomed for marriage. Lord Mansfield
comes to finds himself presiding over a slavery case whereas Belle
becomes attracted to the aspiring lawyer John Davinier (Reid) who
awakens her social conscience. The movie benefits from a very strong
performance from Mbatha-Raw and it addresses issues of slavery and
social inequality via the medium of a period romance. A fine, enjoyable
and serious film.
Edge of Tomorrow
Director: Doug Liman
Cast Includes: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Jonas Armstrong, Bill Paxton
In the near future aliens attack the earth and Major Cage (Cruise) is
killed in battle. However he becomes enveloped in a time loop in which
he repeatedly re-lives the combat and his death. However he learns
more with each incarnation and increasingly becomes a more formidable
solider. The film is based on the novel 'All you Need is Kill' by
Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and it is difficult to write a review that does not
refer to 'Groundhog Day'. However the movie in not without moments of
dark comedy that adds to the entertainment.
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast Includes: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche
Godzilla rises again with an excellent cast and plenty of special
effects as cities are destroyed. Joe Brody (Cranston) is a physicist
who investigates the events at a Japanese nuclear facility where
Godzilla is accidentally released. It is his soldier son Ford
(Taylor-johnson) who battles the beast as it stalks San Francisco.
There is some excellent performances, especially from Cranston and the
director tells the story from a human viewpoint. Indeed we don't get a
good glimpse of the monster till the latter half of the film. A
spectacular disaster movie and one of the best re-telling of the story
Director: Robert Stromberg
Cast Includes: Angelina Jolie, Miranda Richardson, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley
In part a re-telling of the tale of sleeping beauty but from the
point of view of the villain of the story, Maleficent (Jolie).
Maleficent was driven to evil following an act of betrayal which cost
her the ability to fly. She battles to save her shadowy forest kingdom
and plots revenge by placing a curse on the infant Aurora (Fanning),
daughter to the king. Aurora herself becomes caught in the conflict
between forest and human kingdoms. This is a rather dark fantasy for a
Disney film, but a great tale with powerful characters and impressive
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: Mike Flanagan
Cast includes Karen Gillan, Rory Cochrane, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff
A son (Thwaites) murders his parents and spends ten years in custody.
On his release, he wants to put the past behind. However his sister
Kaylie (Gillan) is convinced the key to their parents death lies in a
malevolent antique mirror which used to hang in their parents home. She
discovers the mirror has a sinister history and tracks it down with a
view to studying it. However the mirror starts to work its evil again.
The story of the family history with the mirror is told in flashbacks
with action alternating between past and present. In this way the
suspense builds well as the ghostly visions start to predominate giving
an atmospheric horror movie.
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 it 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
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Director: Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn
Cast Includes: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart,
Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage
The film starts in the year 2023 where a war has resulted in the near
destruction of all mutants. Trask (Dinklage), leader of Trask
Industries, had developed robot soldiers that can destroy mutants under
the Sentinel Program. The mutants send Wolverine (Jackman) back to the
year 1973 in order to stop Mystique (Lawrence) from killing Trask as it
was this death that resulted in the creation of the Sentinel Program.
This is a fine movie worthy of the X-Men franchise that will not