Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
There are two new films released during this period, both in the
category of action and adventure. There are military capers with The Expendables 3 (12A) and family animation with Planes: Fire and Rescue (U). In addition, for one day only, Godzilla returns.
Films that we have lost include Maleficent, Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie, Pudsey the Dog: The Movie, Rio 2 and Transformers: Age of Extinction. It is also looking likely that the following films are coming to the end of being screened Meet the Firm: Revenge in Rio and The House of Magic.
Unlike last week, we see the return of high culture with Glyndebourne: La Traviata and NT Encore: Skylight. In addition the Dukes are showing the classic Casablanca for one night only.
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.
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.
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 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 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.