Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
With halloween soon upon us, there is a excellent selection of horror movies being screened. Modern horror comes with Blair Witch (15); Don't Breathe (15); Ouija: Origin of Evil (15) and the Iranian thriller Under the Shadow. Classical examples of the genre come with the spectacular Pan's Labyrinth and the scary The Shining; Finally the Dukes is offering a more vintage double bill with Dracula and The Mummy.
Fantasy this period comes with the family movies Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (12A) and The Witches. Also Marvel comics heroes continue to make it to the screen with Doctor Strange (12A).
Drama as always is well represented with The Accountant; The Girl on the Train (15) and Tomboy. Also there is the docudrama Deepwater Horizon and comedy drama with Swiss Army Man and The Greasy Strangler. Also on offer are the action and adventure movies Inferno (12A) and jack Reacher: Never Go Back (12A).
Romance comes with The Light between Oceans and comedy romance in Bridget Jones's Baby.
Family films and animation this period are Ice Age: Collision Course (U); Storks (U); Trolls (U); The BFG (PG) and The Secret Life of Pets (U).
Finally high culture comes with Anastasia - Royal Opera; Branagh Theatre Live: The Entertainer and York Theatre Royal: The Railway Children.
Director: Adam Wingard
Cast includes: James Alen McCure, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott
This is a sequel to the 1999 'Blair Witch' movie. James Donahue
(McCure) thinks his sister Heather, who disappeared twenty years ago,
may still be alive in the Black Hills Forest of Maryland. He, along
with a group of friends and a couple of guides, enter the forest to
explore the facts surrounding the Blair Witch and Heather's
disappearance. As the night comes, all hell starts to breaks loose.
The movie is in the 'found footage' genre and it comes with plenty of
frights and some original twists, despite remaining faithful to the
original film. A very competent horror movie though it doesn't quite
capture the novelty of the original.
Bridget Jones's Baby
Director: Sharon Maguire
Cast Includes: Renee Zellweger, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey
After a break of twelve years, this is the third instalment of the
romantic comedy franchise and author Helen Fielding co-wrote the script.
Bridge Jones is now aged forty-three and still single, having broken up
with Mark Darcy (Firth). She decided to concentrate on her career as a
news producer. However she meets a handsome American Jack (Dempsey)
and has consecutive one night stands with both Jack and Mark. She finds
herself pregnant, but does not know which one is the father. This
movie captures the spirit of the original and is an improvement on the
previous 'Edge of Reason'. It is set in London with Jones in her old
flat and the movie features strong acting both from Zellweger and from
Thompson. There are some very funny moments and excellent one liners.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast includes: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Kikkelsen
Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) was a surgeon whose career was ruined by a
car accident which crushed his hands. He learned of an Ancient One
(Swinton) with healing powers and so travels to Nepal to seek out the
mystic. Here Strange learns of the different dimensions, magic and
becomes a warrior on the astral plane. Meanwhile a former disciple of
the Ancient One Kaecilius (Mikkelsen) has turned to the dark side and is
intent on invoking the malevolent Dormammu from his alien abode.
Strange much choose between a life of fortune or to defend the earth
from magical attack. Doctor Strange has made a very successful
transition from comic to the screen and the movie provides a good plot
with excellent acting and dialogue. Special effects are very convincing
and the film is one of the better Marvel super-hero movies.
Ice Age: Collision Course
Director: Mike Thurmeier and Galen T Chu
Cast includes: Simon Pegg, Roy Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Hohn Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Chris Wedge
A computer animation family adventure film. This is the fifth
instalment in the Ice Age series and the sequel to Continental Drift.
Scratt (Wedge), the sabre toothed squirrel, activates an alien UFO in
his continued pursuit of the acorn. The craft propels Scratt into outer
space and thence causes a planetary collision resulting in the creation
of meteors that threaten to engulf the earth. Manny (Romero) the Wooly
Mammoth, Sid (Leguizamo) the sloth and Diego (Leary) the sabre toothed
tiger hatch a plan with the weasel Buck (Pegg) to save the earth. The
plot is quite unbelievable, but the resulting mayhem is as entertaining
as ever. New characters are introduced as the movie unfolds and the
film a worthy addition to the franchise. Whats not to like?
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Director: Tim Burton
Cast includes: Samuel L Jackson, Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Judi Dench
A rather dark fantasy drama based on the 2011 best selling novel by
Ransom Riggs. Jake (Butterfield), following the death of his
grandfather, finds Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. This is a
refuge for people with extraordinary gifts and it is fixed in one day
in 1940, which they continually re-live. The inhabitants of the home
can access different time zones. However they have powerful enemies,
led by Mr Barron (Jackson), who also has peculiar powers. Jake finds
himself being called upon to help his new friends. This is a very busy
film with plenty of characters, lots of action and CGI special effects.
However, in this variety, there seems limited time for the characters to
fully develop. The movie has received mixed reviews but this reviewer
found it great fun.
Director: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Cast Includes: Kelsey Grammer, Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Anton Starkman
Conerstone used to be in the business of delivering babies and most of
its employees are stalks. However CEO stalk Hunter (Grammer)
discontinued the service for the more lucrative business of delivering
parcels. The business receives a letter from Nate (Starkman) a
neglected boy who wants a baby brother and Tulip (Crown), a woman
working for Cornerstone, causes the baby machine to create a girl in
response to the letter. Now Tulip and her stork friend Junior (Samberg)
must deliver the baby before Hunter finds out. This involves their
facing a pack of wolves, militant penguins and an avalanche. This is a
bizarre, non stop and fun packed movie that will appeal to all ages. It
has been well received by the critics and is sure to please.
The Girl on the Train
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast includes Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Luke Evans, Justin Theroux
A movie based on Paula Hawkins best selling 2015 novel of the same
name. Rachel (Blunt) is an alcoholic who recently divorced her husband
Tom (Theroux). She commutes every day by train and on her journey she
fantasises about the seemingly perfect couple Scott (Evans) and Megan
(Bennett) Hipwell who live in a house that she passes. Rachel witnesses
something shocking on her journey and then hears Megan Hipwell is
missing. She tells the police and starts her own investigation. Yet she
cannot remember where where she was on the night of Megan's
disappearance, and Megan and Scott are neighbours of her ex husband.
Hence Rachel find the police start to suspect she is involved in the
mystery. This is a well acted first rate mystery with a plot that
provides a good number of unexpected turns. A must-see movie.
The Secret Life of Pets
Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Cast Includes: Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
A family animation film that follows the lives of pets living in
a Manhattan apartment building during the time their owners leave them
alone. Max (Louis) is a rather spoilt terrier who starts to find himself
neglected when his owner Katie (Kemper) brings home Duke (Stonestreet),
a mongrel, from a dog pound. However the two dogs must put their
rivalry behind them when they are captured by Snowball (Hart) a rabbit
and an army of abandoned pets who are trying to get back at all happily
owned pets and their owners. This is a delightful and energetic
animation movie that is inoffensive and fun for all, young and old.