Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 11th to 19th November 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.

This period sees quite a churn, with six films lost and eight new releases making it to the local cinemas.

Christmas comes early with A Christmas Star (U). There is some excellent drama with Brooklyn (12A); Steve Jobs (15) and The Lady in the Van (12A). There is canine adventure in Max (12A), kitchen comedy with Burnt (15) and horror documentary with The Nightmare (15). Finally, the much anticipated science fantasy The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 (12A) arrives next week.

Films that have vanished from our screens include family entertainment with Animal Kingdom: Lets Go Ape & Paper Planes. The horror films Crimson Peak & The Vatican Tapes have gone, along with the fantasy Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials & The Last Witch Finder. As compensation the strong crime drama Sicario has made a return.

This period sees the start of two weeks of novelty as the Dukes host a variety of films in a mobile cinema located in the scenic Williamson Park. The movies on offer include the comedy romance Amelie the classic Casablanca, drama with 45 Years and documentary with Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. This is in addition to a full showing of films at the Dukes cinema.

An item of note is a double feature of the The Hunger Games: MockingJay with parts one and two shown 'back to back' at the Vue on the 18th November.

Reviews

Brooklyn
Director: John Crowley
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Saoirse Ronan, Fiona Glascott, Emory Cohen.
The movie is a period drama, based on the novel by Colm Toibin. Eilis Lacey (Ronan) grew up in Ireland, but her sister (Glascott) arranged for her to move to Brooklyn for a chance to find a better future. Initially homesick, Eilis finds lodgings, a job and subsequently romance in the form of Tony (Cohen) who she meets at a dance. However back home her sister Rose dies and her mother gets her to return to Ireland. Here Eilis must decide whether to continue with her life at home or to return to New York. The film has been well received and is marked by very strong acting. An excellent movie that will tug at the heartstrings.

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.

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.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Director: Gregory Plotkin
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Chris Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George, Dan Gill
This is the sixth instalment in the Paranormal Activity series and it opens with a scene from Paranormal Activity 3. Ryan Fleege (Murray) moves into a new home in California along with his wife Emily (Shaw), daughter Leila (George) and his brother Mike (Gill). The two brothers discover a box of old VHS tapes filmed by a previous inhabitant of the property, starring two girls Katie and Kristi. These girls start to communicate with the current family by means of the TV set and various supernatural phenomena manifest within the house. Ryan brings in a priest to perform an exorcism, but things don't go to plan, leading to an unsettling conclusion.

Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
Director: Christopher Landon
Certificate: 15
Cast Includes: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont.
Ben (Sheridan), Carter (Miller) and Augie (Morgan) are three scouts on a camping trip. They plan to attend a party, but things go awry when zombies commence an attack on their local town. They team up with a cocktail waitress from a strip club and must use their scouting prowess to defeat the zombie hordes. This is a teen comedy horror, a raunchy movie with breasts and dubious jokes. There are some memorable scenes and snippets of real humour amid the gore and bad taste.

Spectre
Director: Sam Mendes
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Christopher Waltz, Andrew Scott
The latest James Bond Movie. M engages in a political battle to keep the secret service, in the light of a plan by Max Denbigh (Scott) to replace the 00 program with computer surveillance. Bond meanwhile is trying to locate Franz Oberhauser (Waltz), the suspected head of the evil organisation 'Spectre'. The movie starts in Mexico during the Day of the dead celebrations and thence the action continues in London, Rome and Morocco. There are numerous over the top action sequences, car chases, a good assortment of scary villains and exotic love interest. However amid this harshness, the movie contains a good level of humour. Tension builds from the very start, though some of this starts to dissipate as the film progresses. This is James Bond from the classic mould and Daniel Craig delivers a great performance.

The Lady in the Van
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings
A true story, adopted from 1999 West End Play of the same name and filmed on location in North London. In 1974, Miss Shephard (Smith) is a woman looking for somewhere to park after being moved on the council. Playwright Alan Bennett agrees to her parking her van (which is also her accommodation) in his drive for a couple of days. However Miss Shephard then lived in the drive for the next fifteen years and the film shows the relationship between Bennett and his nuisance neighbour. This is a warm, charming and thoroughly fun 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.

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