Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
There are five new releases in local cinemas during this period. There is family entertainment with the animated comedy The Lego Batman Movie (U) and science fiction adventure in The Space Between Us (PG). We have action and adventure with the 'hitman' John Wick: Chapter Two (15); a legal drama in Denial (12A) and erotic romance with Fifty Shades Darker (18).
Films that have vanished from the screens include A Monster Calls; Arrival; Collateral Beauty and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In addition the movies Ballerina and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. are approaching the end of their screening. We do however see the return of Doctor Strange; I, Daniel Blake and Moana.
Drama on offer at the moment comprises wartime exploits in Hacksaw Ridge, psychological tension in Denial & Split and reunions in Lion & T2 Trainspotting.
For action and adventure there is John Wick: Chapter Two and xXx: Return of Xander Cage.
Fantasy on offer includes superhero adventure in Doctor Strange; horror in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter & Rings and a boy born on mars in The Space Between Us.
Romance with a twist comes with the excellent musical La La land and the erotic Fifty Shades Darker.
Family entertainment is provided by Ballerina; Moana; Sing; The Lego Batman Movie and Trolls.
High culture this period comes with The National Theatre Live: St Joan and The Royal Ballet: Woolf Works.
Finally the Dukes are presenting another Film Quiz on 13th February.
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.
Fifty Shades Darker
Director: James Foley
Cast includes: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan
A sequel to the 2015 film 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Anastasia (Johnson)
had broken off her relationship with Christian Grey (Dornan) intending
to pursue a career in a Seattle publishing house. However Christian
entices her back albeit on her terms of a 'vanilla' relationship.
However his desire for ownership rather than a relationship and rather
shady figures from his past threaten to destroy their future. A sex and
kink movie that rather lacks the novelty value of the original. Mildly
La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast Includes: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling
Mia (Stone) works as a barista during the day but aspires to be an
actress. She is involved in a road rage incident with Sebastian
(Gosling) a jazz pianist. The two subsequently meet again and start to
fall for each other as they try to satisfy their ambitions, she
attending auditions and he playing in dingy bars as he plans to open his
own jazz club. However the daily drudge of trying to live their dreams
starts to take its toll. This movie, set in modern day Los Angeles, is
brilliantly written and very well acted. Excellent musical
Director: Ron Clements and John Musker
Cast includes: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson
A Walt Disney animated fantasy adventure. Moana (Cravalho) is
the teenage daughter of the chief of a Polynesian island. However the
fish and island produce become less abundant and hence Moana undertakes a
nautical quest to find the magical amulet Te Fiti's heart and the
demigod Maui (Johnson). The quest involves monsters and battles This
is a magical film, with music, comedy and a good dose of adventure. It
is extremely well produced and has received excellent reviews from both
critics and audience. A must see movie for all ages.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Director: Paul W S Anderson
Cast Includes: Milla Jovovich
The movie is a sequel to the 2012 Resident Evil: Retribution and forms
the sixth and final film in the series. Alice (Jovovich) has lost her
psychic powers and now is assisted by the Red Queen who has switched
sides. She returns to the demolished Raccoon City where, with a band of
survivors, she has one last battle with the Umbrella Corporation and
myriads of mutants and zombies. This reviewer has greatly enjoyed the
Resident Evil Movie series and can recommend the Final Chapter as
offering more of the same special effects and fight sequences. However
the film is not the best of the bunch and the franchise is now starting
to feel a little tired. See it if you are a Resident Evil fan.
Director: F Javier Gutierrez
Cast includes: Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe Johnny Galecki, Vincent D'Onofrio
Julia (Lutz) becomes worried when her boyfriend Holt (Roe) starts to
explore the sub-cuture around a videotape which causes the death of
anyone who watches it. She watches it herself and discovers that her
version of the tape has additional footage which hints at the fate of
the antagonist Sadako Yamamura. Julie and Holt undertake a quest to
find Sadako's remains in the hope of lifting the curse. This is the
latest chapter in the Ring franchise and is a sequel to 'The Ring'
(2002) and 'The Ring Two' (2005). The movie tries to move the franchise
onto new ground but it has received poor reviews. It is of interest to
ardent Ring fans only.
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast includes: Ewen McGreger, Ewen Bremner, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Anjela Nedyalkova
Mark Renton (McGregor) returns to Edinburgh after twenty years in
Amsterdam and finds his old associates are still much as he left them
only older. Spud Murphy (Bremner) continues to struggle with heroin
addiction. Simon 'Sick Boy' (Lee Miller) nurses old grievances and has
swapped a heroin addiction for cocaine. He plans to turn a run down pub
onto a bordello. Francis Begbie (Carlyle) is serving a prison
sentence, but he escapes. He still harbours a grievance against Renton.
The movie is part black comedy, part thriller and total melancholic
drama that draws on Welsh's 1993 novel and the 2002 sequel Porno. This
is an inventive and vibrant film that captures the spirit of the
original. Excellent viewing.