Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
Five new films make it to the local cinemas this week. The first of these, Get Hard (15) is an adult comedy. The remaining four are dramas. Still Alice (12A) follows a woman as she descends into dementia. Suspense on the Yorkshire moors comes with Catch Me Daddy (15). A Disney remake of Cinderella (U) supplies romance whereas fantasy drama is represented by the film Seventh Son (12A).
Films that have returned to our screens after an absence are Annie; Gone Girl; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and the docu-drama Selma.
The movie Unfinished Business has now vanished from our screens. In addition it is looking like the following are approaching the end of their screening:Fifty Shades of Grey; Kingsman:The Secret Service; Run all Night and Suite Francaise.
There is a good selection of high drama this week. Opera comes with Rise & Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Theatre is well represented with Behind the Beautiful Forevers; A View from the Bridge; Maxine Peake as Hamlet and a return of Treasure Island.
There are two items of news this period. The first is an absence of
further films scheduled for screening by the Campus in the City. This
venue will be missed by lovers of foreign films. Secondly, to make the
most of the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7 which is released next week, the Vue is showing a double bill of Fast and Furious 6 & 7 on the 2nd April.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast includes: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgard, Richard Madden
Disney's re-telling of the story of Cinderella. Cinderella
(James) finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother Lady Tremaine
(Blanchett) following the death of her father. The film sticks very
close to Disney's 1950 animated musical. Cinderella is rather 'sickly
sweet' but this is offset by the malevolence of the character of Lady
Tremaine. The movie has some comedy action and a good selection of
special effects. There is nothing in here to offend and the movie will
be loved by all.
Fifty Shades of Grey
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Cast includes: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson
This is a much hyped film with a record for ticket pre-sales.
It is based on the best selling 2011 novel by E. L. James. Anastasia
Steel (Johnson) is a student who interviews the publicity shy
billionaire Christian Grey (Dornan) as a college assignment. There is
an immediate sexual chemistry between the two and they embark on an
affair. However Grey has a desire to control everything in his life and
his relationships have a strong sado-masochistic element. Hence he
requires Anastasia to sign a contract if she wants the relationship to
continue that will allow Grey to subjugate her. The film is an accurate
portrayal of the book, though it omits the more sordid sex scenes.
Essentially the film is soft porn for a female audience.
Director: John Requa, Glenn Ficarra
Cast includes: Will Smith, Gerald McRaney, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Robert Taylor
Nicky Spurgeon (Smith) is a career con artist who, early in
the film, takes on an inexperienced Jess Barrett (Robbie) as an
apprentice. There is a sexual chemistry between the two, but Nicky and
Jess part. Years later Nicky is running a con for the billionaire
motorsport owner Rafael Garriga (Santoro), but finds that Jess is now
Santoro's girlfriend. The chemistry again starts between Jess and Nicky
and we find they are both trying to con Garriga. However the latter
seeks revenge. The movie is something of a dark romance with some
violence and a good amount of comedy. It is well acted in exciting
locations and is sure to entertain.
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.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast Includes: Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth, Sophie Cookson, Taron Egerton.
A spoof spy adventure based on the comic book series by Dave
Gibbons and Mark Miller. Kingsman is an international covert spying
agency and they recruit members from street wise misfits. A chavvy gang
member Egysy (Egerton) is recruited by the ultra suave agent Harry Hart
(Firth). To be accepted Egysy must become both refined and also pass a
grueling 'boot camp' where he will learn how to be an agent. In the
meantime the eccentric billionaire Valentine (Jackson) is planning to
distribution free SIM cards, an act that will trigger the eradication of
most of mankind. This is a very 'tongue in cheek' movie, in equal
measures a violent action adventure and a comedy. There are outrageous
gadgets and wonderful set pieces, with the movie being part James Bond
and part every other spy movie you have ever seen. Irreverent and
Director: Ava DuVernay
Cast Includes: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson
A slice of American History. The film follows Martin Luthor
King (Oyelowo) and the events that led up to the 1965 civil rights march
from Selma to Montgomery which preceded President Johnson's (Wilkinson)
signing the voting Act of 1965 giving equal voting rights to
Afro-American citizens. Not only does this film show the build up to
the march, it also portrays something of the humour and character of
Martin Luthor King and the strain that his work imposed on his marriage
to Coretta (Ejogo) and on his friends. It covers much of the political
backdrop to the civil rights movement and contains images of violence
and racial slurs that were endured by the marchers in their quest for
equal voting rights.
Director: Sergei Bodrov
Cast Includes: Jeff Bridges, Olivia Williams, Julianne Moore, Ben Barnes
A fantasy movie set in the far past and based on the young
adult fiction 'The Spook's Apprentice' by Joseph Delaney. Master
Gregory (Bridges) is the last of the Falcon Knights and in the past he
imprisoned an evil witch, Mother Malkin (Moore). She is now free and
seeking to wreck an awful revenge on the earth. Gregory must train an
apprentice Tom Ward (Barnes) who is the seventh son of a seventh son, in
order that they can fight the dark magic. The movie has an A list cast
with an impressive selection of fiends, monsters and epic battles. An
extremely enjoyable caper marked with fine acting, but ultimately a
rather forgettable movie.
Director: Saul Dibb
Cast includes: Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts
Set in 1940 occupied France, this is a love story based on the
unfinished 2004 novel by Irene Nemirovsky. French woman Lucille
Angellier (Williams) waits for news of her husband who is a prisoner of
war. A regiment of German soldiers arrive at their town and the
soldiers are billeted in the French homes. In this way Lt. Bruno von
Falk moves in with Lucille and over time the two fall in love. However
the war ensures the course of the romance will not be smooth. This is a
very competent production with excellent acting. It does not break any
new ground and a more adventurous film may have made more of the
material in Nemirovsky's novel. However as a sentimental romance the
film works and is worth a trip to the cinema.
The Duke of Burgundy
Director: Peter Strickland
Cast Includes: Sidse Babett-Knudsen, Chiara D'Anna
Cynthia (Babett-Knudsen) is an expert in the field of
butterflies (The Duke of Burgundy is the name of a butterfly) and she
employs Evelyn (D'Anna) as her housekeeper. They live in a grand old
house located in a forest and the film explores the relationship of the
two women. Cynthia is a stern employer with something of a
sadomasochistic streak. Evelyn seems at first to be submissive, but she
also holds power in the relationship and increasing has an obsession
with erotica. The movie is a little out of the ordinary. Erotica but
with some depth.