Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
There is quite a churn of movies this week with five new releases being screened. There is romance with Arthur and Mike and family animation with Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave. We have action/adventure with Lucy, comedy action with Lets be Cops and the dark drama Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For.
We have lost five movies which are no longer being screened. These are Step Up: All In, Earth to Echo, Postman Pat: the Movie, Hercules and The Purge: Anarchy. It is also likely that this period will be the last chance to Mr Peabody & Sherman and Legends of Oz: Dorothy's return. However we see the return of Maleficent and The Fault in our Stars.
All three local cinemas will be showing episode one of the new Dr Who series with Peter Capaldi making his debut as Doctor Who: Deep Breath, whereas another vein of high culture is represented by Globe Macbeth showing for one night only.
Arthur & Mike
Director: Dante Ariola
Cast includes: Colin Firth, Emily Blunt
A romantic road movie originally released in Toronto in 2012 with the
title 'Arthur Newman' where it received rather mixed reviews. The film
tells the story of Arthur Avery (Firth) who has an un-fulfilling job
and a history of failed relationships. He fakes his own death and takes
to the road adopting the identity of Arthur Newman. He meets and falls
in love with Michaela (known an Mike in the film) who is a kleptomaniac
woman also on the run. They start to break into other peoples homes to
assume their identity. Ultimately however their past catches up with
them. This is a rather low-key movie expousing the message that you
cannot run away from yourself.
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.
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.
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
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.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Director: Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez
Cast includes: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Mickey Rourke, Eva
Green, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Powers Boothe, Clive Owen
It has been nine years since the initial Sin City was released, based
on the graphic novels of Frank Miller. This film has the same spark
(and some of the same characters) as the original and again is shot in
black and white (relieved with effective splashes of colour). It is
shot in a style half way between live action and animation. The film
comprises a couple of interlocking narratives. There is the return of
Senator Roark (Boothe) which gives some of the characters motive for
revenge. Also there is the relationship between Dwight McCarthy (Owen)
and his ex Ava (Green) who gets him to commit murder. The film has an
impressive cast, nudity and stylized violence as it explores power and
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 Fault in our Stars
Director: Josh Boone
Cast Includes: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Nat Wolff, Mike Birbiglia, Willem Dafoe
A romance between Hazel (Woodley)and Gus (Elgort), teenagers who have
just months to live when they meet at a cancer support group. The
movie is based on the best selling novel by John Green and it is
predominantly aimed at a young adult audience. With an excellent
dialogue the film is a very moving love story that could easily leave
you in tears.
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.
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.