Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
There are four new releases being screened during this period. We have family animation with The Unbeatables (U); a disaster movie with Into the Storm (12A); comedy/romance with What If (15) and finally the welcome return of a horror movie with Deliver Us from Evil (15).
We have lost the films Meet the Firm, Revenge in Rio and The House of Magic. Also it seems likely that the following movies will soon cease to be screened Step Up: All In, Earth to Echo, Postman Pat: the Movie, Hercules and The Purge: Anarchy. However to make up we see the return of Mr Peabody and Sherman, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return and X-Men Days of Future Past.
For high culture we have the following two films NT Encore: Skylight and Globe: The Tempest. Also of note is the coming of age movie God Help the Girl showing at the Dukes as this will be followed by a live set (via satellite) from the indie pop band Belle & Sebastian.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast includes: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell
This movie is already proving a success at the US box office and has
the makings of a summer blockbuster. The film is set a decade after
'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'. Much of humanity has been wiped out
following an outbreak of an artificial virus which killed humans yet
increased the intelligence of apes. Human and ape live in a state of
fragile peace and the film explores the conflict that arises when the
humans try to start a hydroelectric dam that is located in the apes
territory. The first part of the movie builds the characters of both
humans and apes and later there are very impressive special effects as
hostilities commence between the two sides. Both apes and humans have
understandable motives and thus the film is much more than a simple war
between right and wrong. An excellent movie.
Deliver us from Evil
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast Includes: Eric Bana, Olivia Munn, Sean Harris, Edgar Ramirez, Joel McHale
Like so many horror films this claims to be based on genuine
experiences. New York Police officer Ralph Sarchie (Bana) and partner
Butler (McHale) investigate a series of domestic abuse crimes often
involving children. They find a hard drinking priest Father Mendoza
(Ramirez) is also investigating these incidents and Sarchie and the
priest start to work together. In time Sarchie comes to accept there is
a demonic element to the crimes and the film builds towards an
attempted resolution by exorcism. The movie provides its share of
frights but despite, some original ideas, it is a 'by the numbers'
exorcism film with perhaps more drama than demonism.
Earth to Echo
Director: Dave Green
Cast includes: Teo Halm, Ella Linnea Wahlestedt, Reese C. Hartwig, Jason Gray-Stanford
A construction project is destroying a neighbourhood when a group of
friends start to receive strange signals on their phones. They search
for the origin of the signals and discover an alien who has become
trapped on earth. The film tells the story of the youngsters as they
battle the government and help the alien return to his home. It is hard
not to compare this film with 'E.T.' However the movie is really about
the youthful friendships rather than an extra-terrestrial. A
entertaining if rather average family film.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Cast Includes: Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Michael Rooker, Lee Pace
An action packed space adventure from Marvel. Adventurer Peter Quill
(Pratt) steals a mysterious artifact which is wanted by the villain
Ronan (Pace) who wishes to use it to destroy the planet of Xandar. This
forces Quill into a truce with a group of misfits (including Rocket a
talking raccoon and groot a walking tree) who find they must make a
stand to determine the fate of the galaxy. This is a very 'busy' film
with lots of spectacular action, plenty of great characters, great one
liners and lots of jokes. The plot seemed a little convoluted, but just
go with it and enjoy the action. The movie does not take itself very
seriously and will be loved by teenagers and adults alike.
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 Expendables 3
Director: Patrick Hughes
Cast Includes: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger
An attempt by the Expendables military team to apprehend an arms
dealer goes wrong. The dealer proves to be Stonebanks (Gibson) who was a
founder member of the Expendables who subsequently went rogue. In the
light of this Barney Ross (Stallone) decided to recruit new members to
his team to make it a match for the task of dealing with Stonebanks.
This is the third installment in the Expendables franchise and it
follows the established formula of a well known cast, wisecracks and
violent set pieces. However this film does not break any new ground and
in all felt a little tired.
The Nut Job
Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Cast Includes: Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl
Set in the 1950s, this animation follows the adventures of Surly the
squirrel who, with his friend Buddy the rat, plan to steal from Maury's
Nut shop. However the shop proves to be a front for gangsters who are
planning to rob the nearby bank. This combination leads to action, car
chases jokes and general mayhem. This is an inoffensive film that will
amuse children but leave parents a little bored. An enjoyable romp, but
not destined to be a cartoon classic.
The Purge: Anarchy
Director: James DeMonaco
Cast Includes: Kiele Sanchez, Frank Grillo, Zach Gilford, Michael K. Williams
A sequel to the 2013 hit movie. Every year a cathartic purge is
sanctioned which is an orgy of crime and violence. The film follows the
fortunes of five strangers who find themselves on the streets during
the purge as they try to make their way to a place of safety. This film
is more ambitious than the original (which was effectively just a home
invasion) and moves at a faster pace. It contains sufficient violent
set pieces to justify its film certificate and there is some attempt to
develop the characters of our five potential victims. Despite being
rather weak on narrative the movie is an effective and gripping drama.
Director: Michael Dowse
Cast Includes: Megan Park, Adam Driver, Zoe Kazan, Daniel Radcliffe, Rafe Spall
Toronto medical school dropout Wallace (Radcliffe) strikes up a
friendship with Chantry (Kazan), a woman he meets at a party. He has
given up on love following failed relationships whereas she has a long
term boyfriend (Spall) who for much of the film is away on a business
trip. This leads to Wallace and Chantry spending increasing amounts of
time together. Will they take the plunge and let their friendship
mature into a relationship? This romantic comedy is reasonably
entertaining with good dialogue and some slapstick humour.
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