Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 8th to 16th June 2016

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 seven new releases making it to the local screens. We have comedy in The Boss (15); comedy drama with Mother's Day (12A) and a comedy documentary Where to Invade Next (15). In addition there is drama with Criminal (15); police action in The Nice Guys (15) and surreal fantasy with Evolution (15). Finally a welcome return to horror comes with The Conjuring 2 (15).

The movies A Hologram for the King; The Trust and Top Cat Begins are no longer being screened. Also The Angry Birds Movie and The Jungle Book seem likely to be dropped soon. However we have the return of Bad Neighbours 2; Captain America: Civil War; Florence Foster Jenkins; How to be Single and Ratchet and Clank.

Films making it to this region in the near future include Independence Day: Resurgence and The BFG, both scheduled for later this month. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and Ghost Busters, are both due for release in July.

One source of confusion is that from Friday, the Reel and Vue are showing different films having the same title. The Reel is screening the 2011 horror film Mother's Day (18), whereas the Vue is screening the 2016 comedy drama Mother's Day (12A). The latter is reviewed below.

With the return of Captain America: Civil War the superhero theme continues, as we also have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and X-Men Apocalypse. Alternative fantasy is provided with Alice through the Looking Glass; Evolution; The Jungle Book and Warcraft: The Beginning. There is also horror on offer with The Conjuring 2.

Comedy is well represented with the films Bad Neighbours 2; How to be Single and The Boss. By way of contrast, romance comes with Me Before You and Love and Friendship.

For more highbrow entertainment, there is RSC: Hamlet and NT Encore: The Audience.

The Dukes are making the news this week. They are holding another of their film quiz events on Monday 13th June, and in addition hosting the Lancaster University Film Production showcase and awards ceremony on the 15th June.

Reviews

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Director: James Bobin
Certificate: PG
Cast includes: Johnny Depp, Alice Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska
Alice (Wasikowska) has spent three years travelling and has now returned to London to contemplate her future. She uses a mirror to return to Wonderland but find things are not well, and the Hatter is more mad than ever. To aid him she must go back in time and face the Jabberwocky. This is Disney's sequel to the 2010 production of 'Alice in Wonderland' and all the major characters from the original movie make an appearance. The film is a visual feast, a lavish performance with a star studded cast. However for this reviewer the whole seemed more gloss than substance. It does not quite live up to the magic of the original.

Bad Neighbours 2
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Certificate: 15
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.

Florence Foster Jenkins
Director: Stephen Frears
Certificate: PG
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.

Mother's Day
Director: Garry Marshall
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Jennifer Aniston, Shay Mitchell, Kate Hudson, Britt Robertson, Julia Roberts
Set in Atlanta, the film follows the lives of a number of middle class mothers as mother's day approaches. These include Sandy (Aniston) a mother of two boys who is now divorced but finds her ex is about to marry a younger woman Tina (Mitchell). There is a writer Miranda (Roberts) who gave her only baby Kristen (Robertson) up for adoption. However, when grown her daughter decides to try to find her birth mother. Yet more people give rise to a bewildering set of sub-plots that play out leading to a climax on Mother's Day. Despite a star studded cast, and some gags that work, this comedy drama never really takes off and the movie has received poor critical review.

The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O' Connor, Madison Wolfe
A sequel to the 2013 film 'The Conjuring'. Lorraine (Farmiga) and Ed (Wilson) Warren are psychic investigators. The hear of a haunting and travel to the UK to help Peggy Hodgson (O'Connor), a single mother of four, who is plagued by poltergeist activity in her London council house. However things get worse when Peggy's youngest daughter Janet (Wolfe) shows signs of daemon possession. The psychic investigators come to find themselves in peril. A superior horror movie which provides plenty of frights and has been well received.

The Jungle Book
Director: Jon Favreau
Certificate: PG 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.

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