Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
We see few changes in our cinemas during this period as there are just three new releases. There is drama with A Hologram for the King (12A) and family animation with Thomas & Friends: The Great Race (U). Also new to the region, though released some time ago, is the very well received comedy The Brand New Testament (15).
The horror movie Friend Request has vanished from the cinema whilst the family movies Norm of the North and Robinson Crusoe seem to be nearing the end of their screening. We do however see the return of the UK number one film The Revenant for one day only.
Forthcoming attractions later this month include Alice through the Looking Glass and Warcraft: The Beginning whereas Independence Day: Resurgence is due to be screened in June.
Again this is a good time for caped crusader action with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Captain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse all being shown. In addition there is science fiction drama in High Rise.
More down to earth drama is available in A Hologram for the King; Eddie the Eagle; Eye in the Sky; Son of Saul and The Colours Red. Alternatively there is comedy with Bad Neighbours 2, Florence Foster Jenkins and The Brand New Testament.
Family entertainment comes with Norm of the North; The Angry Birds Movie; The Jungle Book and Thomas & Friends: The Great Race.
There is just one entry for high culture this period with ROH Live: Frankenstein.
A Hologram for the King
Director: Tom Tykwer
Cast includes: Tom Hanks, Alexander Black, Sanita Choudhury
Based on the best selling 2012 novel by Dave Egger, Alan Clay (Hanks)
is an American Businessman whose life is falling apart following the
recession. He is trying to make a comeback, leading a team to sell a
new holographic telepresence system to the King of Saudi Arabia.
However he is out of his depth with no knowledge of the local customs
and facing a bureaucracy worthy of Kafka. Attempts to see the king
repeatedly fail and he and his team just wait in a venue with failed
communications and air conditioning. The only hope seems to be his taxi
driver Yousef (Black). This is something of a convoluted story which
is both funny and terribly sad. However Hanks gives a great performance
and the whole provides a very entertaining movie.
Bad Neighbours 2
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast includes: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Chloe Grace Moretz, Zac Efron
A sequel to the 2014 Bad Neighbours. Mac Radner (Rogen) and his wife
Kelly (Byrne) are expecting their second child. They are in the process
of selling their old house when a newly established female sorority,
Kappa Kappa Nu led by Shelby (Moretz), moves into the house nextdoor.
Excessive partying on the part of the sorority makes life a nightmare
for the Radner's and will jeopardise the sale of their house. Their
requests for the girls to keep the partying quiet lead to an all out
war. Teddy (Efron) from the previous film has not coped well outside of
college and he is enlisted by the Radner's to be their ally in the
battle with the sorority. This movie is little more than a re-run of
the first Bad Neighbours, but the film still has more than its share of
very funny moments. Good entertainment.
Eye in the Sky
Director: Gavin Hood
Cast includes: Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman
Colonel Katherine Powell (Mirren) is tasked with capturing a terrorist
who is attending a meeting in Kenya. The meeting room is bugged and a
drone used to provide surveillance. Powell discovers the terrorists are
actually planning suicide bombing attacks and so she seeks authority to
call in a missile attack on the building. However there is a chance
any attack will result in civilian casualties. The movie is a gripping
and well received drama that explores some of the moral issues of drone
Florence Foster Jenkins
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast includes: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant
A period drama based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins
(Streep). Jenkins is a rich heiress with ambitions to be a singer
despite a terrible singing voice. Her husband St Clair Bayfield
(Grant), despite being something of a cad, arranges for her to sing in a
concert, having carefully selected the audience to ensure her efforts
will be well received. This is the second recent movie based on the
life of Jenkins and it provides a more light hearted approach to the
2015 film Marguerite. The movie is has been well received and provides
a good share of laughs, though, for this reviewer, it was something of a
one joke film.
The Jungle Book
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast includes: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba
Based on Rudyard Kipling's works, this is a reworking of a the well
known classic using live action and CGI. Mowgli (Sethi) is an orphaned
boy raised by a wolf and thence by Bagheera (Kingsley) a black panther.
Mowgli alienates the Bengal tiger Shere Khan (Elba) and so must make
his way to humankind for safety, meeting the well known characters Baloo
and Kaa on the way. Subsequently he returns to the jungle to face
Shere Khan. The movie is a good example a remake that improves on the
original. An excellent movie that will entertain all ages.
Director: Alejandro G Inarritu
Cast includes: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy
Set in Montana and South Dakota in the year 1823 and based on the book
by Michael Punke, this is a tale of revenge. A party trapping for pelts
in the American wilderness come under attack by native Americans of the
Arikara nation. With most of the hunting party slain, the remainder
escape. However one of their number, Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) is attacked
and nearly killed by a bear. The remainder of the hunters split up.
The larger group go back to their barracks whereas a couple of men
including John Fitzgerald (Hardy) stay to look after Glass. However
Fitzgerald tries to kill Glass and then abandons him to the wilderness.
Against the odds Glass survives and is intent on revenge. The scenery
in the movie is breathtaking and the action shots are stunning. The
bulk of the film shows the tribulations of Glass as, wounded, he tries
to return to safety after his abandonment. An emotional, well acted and
very convincing movie.