Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
This is an excellent period for movies with seven new releases. Also we
have a particularly full programme showing at the Vue. New releases
bring family animation with The Book of Life (U), My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks and The Snow Queen (U). There is music with McBusted - Tourplay (12A). We have Disney adventure with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (PG) and comedy drama with This is Where I Leave You (15). Finally we have the supernatural thriller Horns (15).
Films making a welcome return to the screen are Frozen Sing-A-Long and Planes 2: Fire & Rescue. However, this period brings the lost of Lucy, The Equalizer and The Hundred-Foot Journey.
High culture is particularly well represented with The Royal Opera House: I due Foscari, Ballet with The Legend of Love and National Theatre Frankenstein and A Streetcar Named Desire. Also of note is the showing of Woody Allen's latest movie Magic in the Moonlight (12A).
Director: John R Leonetti
Cast includes: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard
The film is set in California in the 1960's where a young
couple move into their new home. The wife Mia (Wallis) is pregnant and
has a hobby of collecting dolls. The husband John (Horton) is a medical
student and he gives a creepy pigtailed doll to Mia to add to her
collection. Yet the doll is possessed and with its acquisition comes a
series of disturbances including slamming doors and the malfunctions of
an elevator. Mia gives birth and the newborn is also threatened by
these disturbances. The film is the prequel to 'The Conjuring' but was
shot with limited budget. It borrows heavily from other horror movies
and comes complete with cookie neighbour and helpful priest. However
despite a rather stilted dialogue and lack of originality, it
successfully builds suspense to become quite an effective horror movie.
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.
Director: David Ayer
Cast includes: Brad Pitt, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf
The film was written and directed by David Ayer following
extensive research, and much of the filming took place in the UK. Set
towards the end of the second world war, it tells the story of Sargent
Dan 'Wardaddy' Collier (Pitt) and his crew of a Sherman tank as they
undertake a mission behind enemy lines. One of the tank crew was
recently killed in action and they are joined by a new recruit Norman
Ellison (Lerman). The film shows war thought the eyes of Ellison as he
becomes brutalized as a result of his experiences. All the actors give a
stunning performance in this loud and intense portrayal of the violence
and ugliness of war. An authentic and memorable war film.
Director: David Fincher
Cast Includes: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike
The film is based on, and is pretty much true to, the best
selling book by Gillan Flynn. It is the fifth wedding anniversary of
the Dunne's. Nick Dunne (Affleck) goes for a drive, and returns to find
his wife Amy (Pike) is gone and the house ransacked. He reports her as
missing to the police and initially he is treated with sympathy.
However as time passes he becomes a prime suspect. The film is told in a
broken time-line and we see in flashbacks that the marriage had started
to fail. However is Nick guilty of murdering his wife? The film is a
psychological thriller with the plot taking a sharp turn in the latter
half of the film. This is an excellent, must see, movie.
Director: Alexandre Aja
Cast Includes: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Kelli Garner, James Remar
Ignatius (Ig) Perrish (Radcliffe) is a small town DJ whose
girlfriend and childhood sweetheart Merrin (Temple) is murdered. Ig
finds himself the prime suspect with the town locals turning on him. He
wakes one morning to find horns starting to grow from his temples and
these confer powers. He finds people confess to him their sins and he
can easily persuade others to act on their base impulses. With these
powers Ig is able to seek his sweetheart's murderer and to exact a
revenge. The movie is based on the novel by Joe Hill and it uses
flashbacks to develop the relationship between Ig and Merrin. This is a
film that breaks new ground and is difficult to categorise, being part
murder mystery part religious satire but mainly a dark comedy. It is
not destined to be a classic supernatural film but worth seeing. for its
Director: Christian Ditter
Cast Includes: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin
Rosie (Collins) and Alex (Claflin) have been friends from
early childhood and repeatedly become close to falling in love with each
other. However every-time they start to come together other people and
situations serve to come between them and they drift apart. In time.
Rosie becomes a single mother and Alex in turn gets married. However
there remains a spark between them - but will they ever get together?
The movie is based on the 2004 novel 'Where Rainbows End' by Cecelia
Ahern. The acting is first rate and the whole is a first rate romantic
The Maze Runner
Director: Wes Ball, Douglas Cumming
Cast includes: Kaya Scodelario, Dylan O'Brien
Thomas (O' Brien) awakes with no memory to find himself
trapped with dozens of other boys inside an enclosure with towering
walls. He subsequently discovers this to be a gigantic maze. He
integrates in the society of boys, becoming one of the runners, a sub
group who try to map the maze and find a way out. Attacking the boys
are Grievers which are giant spider like creatures who also inhabit the
maze. Thomas has dreams about an organisation called W.C.K.D. and he
must uncover his purpose and find a way to escape. The movie is a
decent adaption of the best selling novel by James Dashner, the first in
a trilogy. The acting is strong and the depiction of the maze and its
grandeur is very impressive. The movie is aimed at young adults but it
contains some violence and the whole has a rather joyless atmosphere.
The ending was somewhat complicated, designed perhaps to pave the way
for the forthcoming sequel.
This is Where I Leave You
Director: Shawn Levy
Cast Includes: Jane Fonda, Kathryn Hahn, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Abigail Spencer, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver
A comedy drama with big name stars, based on the book of the
same name by author Jonathan Tropper. The film is narrated through the
character of Judd Altman (Bateman) who, on his wife's birthday,
discovers she is having an affair with his boss. Shortly after the
shock of this, his Jewish father dies. The Altman family follow the
Jewish tradition of Shiva, requiring them to coming together for seven
days. Hence their mother Hillary (Fonda) hosts her children Jason,
Wendy (Fey), Paul (Stoll) and Phillip (Driver) for the seven days of
mourning. The family prove to be very dysfunctional, each having issues
to overcome and the interaction leads to effective one liners and real
moments of high comedy. An enjoyable film.
What We Did on Our Holidays
Director: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkins
Cast Includes: Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly
Doug (Tennant) and Abi (Pike) are a married couple on the cusp
of a divorce. Despite this, they decide to take their three children
to Scotland to attend a family gathering to celebrate the 75th birthday
of Gordie (Connolly), Doug's father. In conversation, the children let
slip to the wider family the details of their life in London and the
parents arguments. Hence tension and family feuds ensue. The
characters of the film are based on the TV series 'Outnumbered' and the
film is in part comedy sitcom and in part an emotional 'roller-coaster'.
Despite fine acting (with Connolly in particular fine form) the final
third of the film seemed a little flat.