Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
We have five new releases during this period. There is biographical drama with Mr Turner (15) and an examination of the life of computer genius Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (12A). In addition there is the crime drama The Drop (15), comedy with Nativity 3: Dude where's my Donkey (U) and action fantasy with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (12A).
Unfortunately we have lost the film Love, Rosie. In addition, it looks like the movies Fury, Nightcrawler, Horns, Gone Girl, Dracula Untold and Annabelle will soon come to an end of their screening. However we do see the return of The Boxtrolls and The Hundred Foot Journey.
Special events during this period include the ever popular Film Quiz
at the Dukes on Sunday. Also, to prepare for the latest Hunger Games,
the Vue is screening a hunger games triple bill on the 19th. The Vue is
also continuing with its season of Disney films, showing Frozen sing-a-long and Fantasia. Finally an event of note is Stage and Staged four short films by award winning artists being screened at the Dukes.
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 categorize, 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: Christopher Nolan
Cast Includes: Matthew McConaughey, Casey Affleck, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, Michael Caine.
The earth is facing environmental disaster. Dust storms are
common and crops are failing. Cooper (McConaughey) a farmer, but
formerly a top pilot, is recruited by Professor Brand (Caine), to fly a
final mission taking a team of specialists through a newly discovered
wormhole to find a planet in a far solar system that could be a new home
for humanity. This is a big budget very grandiose film full of action
and spectacular scenery as the crew search to see if there is a future
for mankind. It is however a little low on humour and at times requires
some suspension of disbelief but in all it is a great movie.
Director: Mike Leigh
Cast includes: Timothy Spall, Marion Bailey
A biographical dramatization of the life of English painter J.
M. W Turner. The film starts when Turner is aged 51 and working in his
London studio. It follows Turner through depressions following his
father's death up until the painters own death in 1851 when he was
living in Chelsea with his mistress Sophie Booth (Bailey). Spall gives a
great performance as Turner, bringing out his humanity and
eccentricity. A very enjoyable movie.
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.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Cast Includes: Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, Om Puri, Charlotte Le Bon
A Walt Disney adaptation of the 2010 novel by Richard C
Morais. The Kadam's are an Indian family that were displaced due to
political rioting. They arrive at a quaint but rather conservative
French Village and decide to open an Indian Restaurant, the Maison
Mumbai. However just across the road is a classical, Michelin starred
restaurant Le Saule Pleureur run by Madame Mallory (Mirren). This leads
to fall-outs and ultimately sabotage between the two institutions.
Meanwhile Hassan (Dayal) the master cook of the Indian restaurant begins
a flirtation with Marguerite (Le Bon), the sous chef of Mme Mallory's
restaurant. This is a well acted and endearing movie with plenty of
laughs. Entertaining but lacking suspense.
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.