Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Local Cinema Round-up for the 21st to 29th October 2015

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day  listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.

Another excellent week for new films, with nine additional movies being screened at the local cinemas. There is family animation with Animal Kingdom: Let's Go Ape (PG); Maya the Bee Movie (U) & My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Friendship Games (U). Family drama comes with Paper Planes (U) and a we have the documentary on sheep farming with Addicted to Sheep (PG). For adult movies there is drama with Life (15); action with Spectre (PG-13) & The Last Witch Hunter and horror with Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (15).

Films that have vanished from the screens include the crime drama Legend and the comedy The Bad Education Movie. Also it seems that the films The Intern and The Walk are coming to the end of their screening. As compensation, this week sees the return of Inside Out and the excellent Southpaw.

Movies soon to be released include Max in mid November and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 at the end of November. In addition, ready to take top spot for Christmas is the much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens due to be released in the middle of December.

This is a good period for Horror with two excellent movies on show with Crimson Peak and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.

The must see film of the week is the return of James Bond in Spectre with Daniel Craig taking the lead role. By way of complete contrast the movie Jodorowsky's Dune is also recommended. The latter is screening for one day only and it tells the story of the abortive attempt to film the science fiction classic Dune.

High culture is represented by Hamlet; Henry V and Macbeth. Finally on Sunday 25th October, the Dukes are hosting another Film Quiz.

Reviews

Crimson Peak
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska
The film opens in the 1900s with Edith Cushing (Wasikowska), an aspiring novelist from a wealthy family, living in New York. She is wooed by an English aristocrat Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) and Edith subsequently marries him. Thomas takes her to his home Allerdale Hall, a gothic mansion set on Crimson Peak, a mound of red clay. Here Edith must live with her new husband and his sister Lucille (Chastain). However Edith starts to uncover secrets within the house. This is a glorious, stylistic, sumptuous, costume drama sort of of a horror movie, though the film provides suspense rather than horror. A well made and very watchable film.

Everest
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Robin Wright, Nasko Mori
A docudrama set in May 1996 when two expeditions tried to make it to the peak of Mount Everest. However a blizzard resulted in the death of eight climbers. The main emphasis is on the five climbers who perished on the South face. This is a dramatic and moving film, best appreciated in 3D to get the most of the scenery and the dizzying drops. The mountain itself is the primary focus, with character development taking second place, though there is much made of the trials of the climbers and of the emotional distress of loved ones left behind. An unsentimental movie which makes the viewer feel that he is part of the expedition.

Minions
Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders.
The film is both a spin off and a prequel to the Despicable Me franchise. The Minions have always existed on earth and the movie begins by tracing their evolution. They have the purpose of serving the most despicable of masters though not very successfully. The race finally retired to the Antarctic where they fare badly. Hence Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide to seek a new master for their race to work for. In a villain convention in Orlando they decide to serve the supervillain Scarlet Overkill (Bullock) who is planning to overthrow the Queen of England and the film, using skits and Musical numbers, follows this plot. The Minions were the best part of the Despicable Me franchise and so it is fitting that they have their own film. The movie is very entertaining, inoffensive and funny and will delight all ages. However this reviewer would have liked more minions and fewer supervillains.

Pan
Director: Joe Wright
Certificate: PG
Cast Includes: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Amanda Seyfried, Kathy Burke, Garrett Hedlund
A prequel to the story of Peter Pan. Peter (Miller) is abandoned by his mother and brought up in an orphanage run by Mother Barnabus (Burke). He is captured by pirates and taken to the magical world of Neverland where he is forced into slave labour by Bluebeard (Jackman). Peter and his friend James Hook (Hedlund) manage to escape to the forest where Peter befriends the fairy Tinker Bell. The fairies fight and defeat the pirates and Hook becomes captain of the Jolly Roger ship. A rather bland and somewhat contrived movie.

Southpaw
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Certificate: 15
Cast Includes: Jake Gyllenhaal, 50 Cents, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams
Billy The Great Hope (Gyllenhaal) was the reigning middle weight boxingchampion, but a tragic incident causes his life to fall apart. He loses his family, title, house and manager. In addition, his daughter is taken into care. To rebuild his life he restarts fighting with Tick Willis (Whitaker) a retired fighter at a run down gym, acting as his coach. The movie is thus a classic underdog story. However strong acting (particularly Gyllenhaal) and convincing sets make for a gripping movie.

The Martian
Director: Ridley Scott
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
A manned mission to the planet mars is aborted when the crew face a huge sandstorm. However astronaut and botanist Mark Watney (Damon) is left behind, presumed dead. Yet he lives and must now find a way to survive and contact Earth in the hope that a rescue mission can be mounted. The movie is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Andy Weir. This is a homage to the ingenuity of man in desperate circumstances. The movie is visually effective, scientifically accurate and is well seasoned with humour. An excellent film that has received glowing reviews.

The Walk
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Certificate: PC
Cast Includes: Joseph Gordon-Leveiit, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Kingsley.
This is the tale of Philippe Petits audacious crossing between the world trade centres on a high-wire. Petit (Gordon-Levitt) developed the idea for the artistic coup whilst in Paris. Along the way he adopts a band of misfit co-conspirators which include 'Papa' Rudy Omankowsky (Kingsley) who teaches the skill of walking a high wire. The attempt, which was strictly illegal, took place on 7th August 1974 and no safety harness was used. This is an excellent movie, a great story, great acting and superb camera work which will have you clinging onto the cinema seat.

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