Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
We have four new releases featured in local cinemas during this period. There is romantic drama based on real life events in A United Kingdom (12A) and wartime romance in Allied (15). In addition there are the tribulations of divorce in the French film After Love (12A) and finally a suspense mystery in Nocturnal Animals (15).
Movies that have vanished from our screens include I, Daniel Blake; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Pete's Dragon and The Accountant. In addition the family movie Storks and the love story The Light Between Oceans are coming to an end of their screening.
Movies that have returned to the region include the family favourite Finding Dory and the musical documentary Nick Cave: One More Time with Feeling.
Drama is represented this period with the fact based Deepwater Horizon; the science fiction Arrival and the two mysteries Nocturnal Animals and The Girl on the Train. Romance comes with A United Kingdon; Allies and The Light Between Oceans.
There are two Fantasy films on offer; superhero action in Doctor Strange and the Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
For comedy there is feel good action in A Street Cat Named Bob and the adult themed Bad Santa 2.
Finally family films on offer over this period include Finding Dory; Storks; The BFG; Trolls and Your Name. Also there is the musical extravaganza Andre Rieu: Christmas with Andre.
There is no film in the category of high culture, but we do have the Louis Theroux documentary My Scientology Movie.
A Street Cat Named Bob
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Cast includes: Luke Treadaway, Joanne Froggatt
Based on the best selling book of the same name, the movie tells the
story of James Bowen (Treadaway) who is homeless and a recovering drug
addict. He is relocated to a bedsit in North London and given a final
chance to tun his life around by his support worker Val (Froggatt).
Bowen struggles to live by busking in Covent Garden. One day a ginger
cat finds him. The cat has an infected paw and James takes it for
treatment. From then on the pair are inseparable. The movie is
streetwise and serious but also manages to be humorous and silly.
Treadaway gives a good performance, but the cat steals the show. An
enjoyable if slightly soppy family feel-good film.
A United Kingdom
Director: Amma Asante
Cast includes: David Oyelowo Rosamund Pike
Based on the book 'Colour Bar' by Susan Williams, the film is a
romantic drama based on the real life romance between Sir Seretse Khama,
king of Botswana and Ruth Williams. Seretse and Ruth met in London, in
the 1940's, fell in love and subsequently married. However the marriage
was opposed by their families, the couple becoming ostracised by their
friends. Governments were also involved as South Africa had recently
introduced their system of apartheid and they pressured the British
government with threats of economic sanctions if the marriage was
allowed to go ahead. This is a fine period romance with excellent
costumes, impressive cinematography and exotic backdrops. The film
concentrates on the human drama faced by the couple and rather glosses
over the political complexities, but it is not the worse for that. The
movie has received good reviews.
Bad Santa 2
Director: Mark Waters
Cast Includes: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Kathy Bates, Brett Kelly
A sequel to the 2003 movie 'Bad Santa', starring many of the original
cast. Wilie Soke (Thornton) again plays the role of drunk, lecherous and
greedy anit-hero. He teams up with his helper Marcus (Cox) to attempt
to rob a Chicago charity of $2 million on Christmas eve. Also involved
in the scheme is Soke's foul mouthed mother Sunny (Bates) and 'the kid'
from the first movie Thurmon Merman (Brett Kelly) now fully grown but
no less innocent. The movie contains much bad language and sex scenes
as it tries to recapture the magic of the original. However there are
fewer 'laugh out loud' moments amongst the rather muddled plot. An
average movie which received mixed reviews.
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.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Director: David Yates
Cast includes: Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Morton, Ezra Miller, Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell
This is a Harry Potter prequel, inspired by J K Rowling's book of the
same name. The movie is set in the 1920's, where Newt Scamander is a
magizoologist, collecting and studying magical creatures. He visits New
Your City where several of these creatures escape from his suitcase.
He collects about him a group of allies to try to recapture the beasts.
However New York at this time has been under a reign of terror from the
dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) and in the era of suspicion the
creatures are believed to be responsible for an attack. Hence Percival
Graves (Farrell), a director of magical secrets, declares war on
Scamander and his helpers. This is a wonderful film and a fine tribute
to the creativity of Rawlings. There are lots of plots, strange people
and weird and wonderful beasts. The movie has received favourable
reviews, but is perhaps a little darker than the Harry Potter series.
Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Cast Includes: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Hayden Rolence
Pixar's sequel to the 2003 movie 'Finding Nemo'. Dory
(DeGeneres), who helped reunite Nemo (Rolence) with his father Marlin
(Brooks) in the first movie, has a flashback in which she remembers her
own family. She decides to look for them despite her problems with a
faulty memory. Marlin and Nemo agree to help and the three swim to
California to start the search. Dory is caught and held in a marine
life institute aquarium for shipping to Cleveland. However with the
help of Hank (O'Neill), the octopus she escapes back to the ocean and
finds her parents Charlie and Jenny. Now she has to come to the aid of
Marlin and Nemo who are also imprisoned in the institute aquarium. The
movie is essentially the same plot as the original, but provides
impressive animation and contains some emotional scenes. However this
is ultimately a fun 'happy ever after' sort of film that will delight
people of all ages.
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.