Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
Only two new releases during this period. There is science fiction adventure with Jurassic World (12A) and a welcome return to horror with Insidious Chapter 3 (15).
However the Dukes is showing a number of movies that were released
earlier in the year but have not yet been shown in our region. These
are the drama Girlfriend (15); a period drama Phoenix (12A); mystery with The Falling (15) and the real life drama Woman in Gold (12A).
We see the reappearance of Spy that was shown just briefly in Lancaster. Also there is the return of The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water and a last chance to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Movies that have vanished from the screens include Cinderella; Return to Sender and Unfriended.
This period sees the return of high culture with The Royal Opera House: La Boheme which is being screened for one night only.
There is currently something of a lull in movies for smaller
children though we have the return of Spongebob along with the continued
screening of Two by Two and Moonins on the Riviera. However Tomorrowland: A World Beyond can be enjoyed by all the family.
Along with the newly released dramas, the gripping San Andreas remains as excellent viewing as does Spooks: The Greater Good, though the latter will soon be nearing the end of its season.
For comedy Spy is an excellent choice of film, whereas more musical oriented comedy is available with Pitch Perfect 2.
Movies due for release later this month include Take That Live in mid June, and Minions due for release at the end of the month.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Director: Joss Whedon
Cast Includes: Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner,
Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, James Spader, Paul
This is the eleventh film in the franchise and the movie starts
where 'The Avengers' finished. Following a raid on a Hydra outpost,
Stark (Downey) and Banner (Ruffalo) complete Stark's defense program to
protect the earth using an artificial intelligence. However the latter,
Ultron (Spader) strives for human destruction. Ultron attacks the
avengers and develops a plan to end humanity. Following the battle the
avengers start to fight among themselves. However Stark creates a new
being, Vision (Bettany) who aids the avengers in their final
confrontation with Ultron. This is a very fast acting movie, louder and
bigger than its predecessors with complicated plot and titanic special
effects. The movie has received good reviews and will delight anyone
who enjoyed previous Avenger movies.
Far From the Madding Crowd
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Cast Includes: Juno Temple, Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen
The latest film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel of
the same name. Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan) is a willful young woman
who has come into property by inheritance. Her looks and manner result
in three potential suitors looking to marry her, a sheep farmer Gabriel
Oaks (Schoenaerts), a middle aged neighbour William Boldwood (Sheen) and
a handsome Sargent Frank Troy (Sturridge). However Bathsheba comes to
regret her choice of husband. This is a fine adaption of what is a
difficult novel to bring to the screen. The scenery is glorious and
acting excellent. A solid period drama romance.
Pitch Perfect 2
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Cast includes: Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Brittany Snow
A sequel to the the 2012 movie 'Pitch Perfect' with many of the
cast from the previous movie continuing with their roles. The Bellas
are an a cappella singing group at Barden University who have previously
won a national competition. A hilarious 'wardrobe malfunction' during a
performance means the group will be disbanded unless they can redeem
themselves by winning the world a cappella tournament in Holland. This
requires beating their rivals, a techo group called Das Sound Machine.
This is one of the better teen movies and is the highest grossing
musical comedy. A worthy successor to the original film.
Director: Gil Kenan
Cast includes: Rosemarie DeWitt, Sam Rockwell, Kennedi Clements, Jane Adams, Jared Harris
This is a remake of the classic Spielberg and Hooper
'Poltergeist' released in 1982. Eric (Rockwell) has lost his job
whereas his wife Amy (DeWitt) is an unsuccessful writer. Hence they
downsize, taking their three children to live in a rather dilapidated
house in the suburbs. Here the children suffer from psychic attacks and
their younger child Madison (Clement) becomes infatuated with a TV set.
Madison is captured by a malevolent spirit and the TV provides the
only means of communication between herself and her family. Her parents
seek help, initially from a parapsychologist Dr Claire Powell (Adams)
and thence from a psychic Carrigan Burke (Harris) in order to save their
daughter. This is an action packed film, with solid acting, though the
film offers little time for the characters to be developed. The movie
follows closely the 1982 original and provides a worthwhile remake.
Director: Brad Payton
Cast Includes: Dwane Johnson, Carla Guging, Ioan Gruffudd, Alexandra Daddario, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson
A magnitude nine earthquake hits California, demolishing Los
Angeles and San Francisco. Chief Ray Gaines (Johnson), a pilot working
for the LA Fire Department, rescues his estranged wife Emma (Gugino)
from a crumbling building. The the two of them fly to San Francisco to
save their daughter Blake (Daddario). Blake meanwhile been rescued by
an engineer Ben (Johnstone-Burt) and his brother Ollie (Art Parkinson).
This is a feel good disaster movie, following the lives of a half dozen
people against the backdrop of a devastating series of earthquakes.
There is impressive CGI footage of leveled cities and widespread
destruction. Also we have fine acting from Daddario and Johnson, the
latter playing his archetypal action character with a soupcon of humour.
A proficient and watchable film.
Spooks: The Greater Good
Director: Bharat Nalluri
Cast Includes: Jennifer Ehle, Laura Pulver, Kit Harington, Tuppence Middleton, Peter Firth, Elyes Gabel
A terrorist, Adam Qasim (Gabel), escapes from MI5 custody.
Harry Pearce (Firth), head of counter terrorism, is blamed and Harry
subsequently vanishes. Agent Will Halloway (Harington) is brought back
into MI5 to investigate. He succeeds in finding Harry and the two of
them work to uncover a traitor who deliberately freed the terrorist and
who is plotting to destroy MI5. The film is set in London and marks the
cinema debut of the TV series that was first broadcast in 2002. The
movie captures the spirit of the series and references events in the
final episode. The plot is unpredictable with plenty of twists and
turns and the film has its fair share of action. This is a tense, fast
paced offering that will delight anyone who enjoyed the TV show.
However it may not quite have enough presence to win over an
Director: Paul Feig
Cast includes: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Rose Byrne
Susan Cooper (McCarthy) is a CIA agent who works at a desk.
However her partner Bradley Fine (Law) is assassinated in the field
whilst another agent Richard Ford (Statham) is compromised. Despite
lack of practical experience, Cooper volunteers to go underground and
infiltrate the network of the arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Byrne) in order
to avenge Fine's death. In truth the plot does not really matter in
this film, simply enjoy it as a tremendous send up of spy movies.
McCarthy brings all her comedic talents to bear in this spoof and
Statham also sends up his usual macho roles. Great performances, great
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
Director: Brad Bird
Cast Includes: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Hugh Laurie
A Walt Disney film which attempts something a little different.
Casey (Robertson) is a young woman, by nature an optimist with great
enthusiasm for science. She gets into some minor trouble which leads
her to finding a badge with the magical property of transferring her to
Tomorrowland, a place outside the usual dimensions of the earth. Helped
by a mysterious woman Athena (Cassidy) she finds Frank (Clooney), an
inventor. Together they travel to Tomorrowland where their aim is to
inspire hope amongst the people of earth. It is admirable that Disney
is rather 'breaking the mold' with this film and it is likely that the
target audience comprises young adults who are still enthused by
science. However adults are likely to find the movie unduly complex and
perhaps a little boring.
Director: Jean-Marc Vallee
Cast includes: Reese Witherspoon, Thomas Sadoski
A biographical drama based on Cheryl Strayed's memoirs of her
trek across America. Cheryl (Witherspoon) is a woman with an
unfortunate past. Her mother died of cancer. Her marriage failed and
she fell into reckless and self destructive behaviour. In an attempt to
make sense of her life, Strayed decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail
on her own. The trail is in excess of 1000 miles, extending from
Mexico, through California to the Canadian border. The film follows
Strayed's journey, with frequent flashbacks to fill in the details of
her earlier life. This is a fine drama supported by the music and
poetry that kept her going. It is difficult not to feel that you are
accompanying her on the way.