Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
There are two new releases during this period, the thriller Nightcrawler (15) and the horror film Ouija (15). In addition we have the return of animation with the The Nut Job and the excellent feel good movie Pride.
We see the loss of films The Boxtrolls and What we did in our Holidays. Also it looks like the movies Dolphin Tale 2 and This is where I leave you may soon be coming to the end of their season.
With Halloween almost upon us it is good to find supernatural thrillers are well represented with Ouija, Horns, the extended cut of The Shining and Frankenstein. However a younger audience will find Disney is also well represented this period with Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins and Frozen Sing-A-Long.
Finally this week also offers some high culture with A Streetcar Named Desire and the opera I Due Foscari.
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
Director: Dan Gilroy
Cast includes: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ann Cusak, Rene Russo
Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is a petty thief with no family and few
morals. One night he comes across film crew, filming an accident. He
realizes there is money to be made in free-lance journalism, filming
victims of accidents and crime and then selling the footage to news
stations for broadcast. Lou gets a camcorder, a radio to listen to
police broadcasts, and throws himself with enthusiasm into making this
his career. His first scoop is bought by journalist Nina (Russo) and so
a partnership forms. Lou never has qualms about his new profession and
as the film develops he increasingly adopts an attitude of anything is
permissible for the best footage. The film is set in contemporary LA
and most of the action takes place at night. This is a riveting,
disturbing and very original movie, providing a satire on modern
Director: Stiles White
Cast includes: Olivia Cooke, Douglas Smith, Daren Kagasoff, Shelly Hennig
Debbie (Hennig) confesses to playing with an Ouija board but
she is murdered. Her friend Laine (Cooke) decides to investigate her
death by using the Ouija board to contact Debbie's spirit and to this
end she enlists the help of a group of friends. They hold a seance in
Debbie's house. However, they inadvertently connect with a murderous
spirit which starts to attack them. The whole is a competent horror
film complete with ghosts, unexpected noises and frights for the viewer.
Given the film was released just before Halloween, it merits a visit
to the cinema.
Director: Matthew Warchus
Cast Includes: Bill Nighty, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton Joe Gilgun, Ben Schnetzer
The film is based on a true story and is set in the summer of
1984 during the miners strike. Mark Ashton, a member of a London based
gay and lesbian group organises a collection for the miners. However
when the group came to offer the donation, they were rebuffed due to
prejudice (the AIDs epidemic is one of the backdrops to the film). The
group therefore decide to bus to a mining village in the Welsh Dulais
Valley to make the donation personally. This movie is played for
laughs. It is an excellent comedy supported by an excellent cast and it
explores the clash of two very different cultures.
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.
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.
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.