Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.
Four films, recently released, make it to our region this week. There
is action and suspense with the latest in the fast and furious franchise
with Fast and Furious 7 (12A). We have high school comedy with The Duff (12A) and drama with The Water Diviner (15) and White God (15).
Four films have returned to our screens following an absence. These are Fury; Into the Woods; Testament of Youth and the award winning Theory of Everything.
In order to make room, some films have to go. Specifically we have lost Fifty Shades of Grey; Kingsman: The Secret Service; Run All Night; Suite Francaise and The Duke of Burgundy. In addition the following films will soon be coming to the end of their screening: Annie; Focus; Selma; Still Alice and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Science fiction and fantasy are represented with the films The Divergent Series: Insurgent; Chappie and Seventh Son. There are no horror films being shown at the moment, but the foreign drama White God comes close.
Films of note this week are a prequel to the TV twin peaks series with Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and a documentary on Bob Dylan with Dont Look Back. The latter is followed by a rendition of Dylan classics by the Lancaster Folk Club.
Finally the Vue is showing a double bill of Fast and Furious 6 & 7 on the evening of the 2nd April.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast includes: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgard, Richard Madden
Disney's re-telling of the story of Cinderella. Cinderella
(James) finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother Lady Tremaine
(Blanchett) following the death of her father. The film sticks very
close to Disney's 1950 animated musical. Cinderella is rather 'sickly
sweet' but this is offset by the malevolence of the character of Lady
Tremaine. The movie has some comedy action and a good selection of
special effects. There is nothing in here to offend and the movie will
be loved by all.
Fast & Furious 6
Director: Justin Lin
Cast Includes: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson
Following from the previous film our hero's are trying to
retire with their recent wealth whilst running from the law. Meanwhile
a gang of professional hijackers led by ex-special operations soldier
Owen Shaw comes to the attention of agent Hobbs (the DSS agent who
pursued the cast in the last movie). Hobbs enlists the help of Dom and
the rest and, in return for a full pardon, they must stop the criminal
hijackers. From here the action takes place in London. In Fast &
Furious 6 there is even less regard for the laws of physics which comes a
poor second to the array of madcap mayhem of speeding cars, crashes,
outrageous stunts and unmitigated action. Fast, furious and fun, but
not very believable.
Fast and Furious 7
Director: James Wan
Cast Includes: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham
Dominic Toretto (Diesel), Brian O'Connor (Walker) and the rest
of their associates return to the USA where they hope to find peace.
However Deckard Shaw (Statham) is the latest villain after Don and the
team as he seeks revenge for the death of his brother. The film is thus
a sequel to the 2013 Fast and Furious 6 and it involves even more car
chases and madcap action. The film suffered from the death of the actor
Paul Walker during filming but this does not detract from the frenzied
action. A worthy successor to this popular franchise.
Director: John Requa, Glenn Ficarra
Cast includes: Will Smith, Gerald McRaney, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Robert Taylor
Nicky Spurgeon (Smith) is a career con artist who, early in the
film, takes on an inexperienced Jess Barrett (Robbie) as an apprentice.
There is a sexual chemistry between the two, but Nicky and Jess part.
Years later Nicky is running a con for the billionaire motorsport owner
Rafael Garriga (Santoro), but finds that Jess is now Santoro's
girlfriend. The chemistry again starts between Jess and Nicky and we
find they are both trying to con Garriga. However the latter seeks
revenge. The movie is something of a dark romance with some violence
and a good amount of comedy. It is well acted in exciting locations and
is sure to entertain.
Director: David Ayer
Cast includes: Brad Pitt, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf
The film was written and directed by David Ayer following
extensive research, and much of the filming took place in the UK. Set
towards the end of the second world war, it tells the story of Sargent
Dan 'Wardaddy' Collier (Pitt) and his crew of a Sherman tank as they
undertake a mission behind enemy lines. One of the tank crew was
recently killed in action and they are joined by a new recruit Norman
Ellison (Lerman). The film shows war thought the eyes of Ellison as he
becomes brutalized as a result of his experiences. All the actors give a
stunning performance in this loud and intense portrayal of the violence
and ugliness of war. An authentic and memorable war film.
Into the Woods
Director: Rob Marshall
Cast Includes: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, James Corden, Anna Kendrick
This is a Walt Disney adaptation of Sondheim's 1987 hit musical
of the same name. The film posits that the fairy tales of Little Red
Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel are all
happening simultaneously. Meanwhile a Baker and his wife wish to begin a
family, but they cannot due to a witches curse. To lift the curse they
must collect items from each of the fairy tales. This is a star
studded musical with excellent performances, especially from Meryl
Streep who plays the wicked witch. The original stage musical had a
number of adult themes which are softened for the Disney version, but
the end result is a great and entertaining family movie.
Director: Ava DuVernay
Cast Includes: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson
A slice of American History. The film follows Martin Luthor
King (Oyelowo) and the events that led up to the 1965 civil rights march
from Selma to Montgomery which preceded President Johnson's (Wilkinson)
signing the voting Act of 1965 giving equal voting rights to
Afro-American citizens. Not only does this film show the build up to
the march, it also portrays something of the humour and character of
Martin Luthor King and the strain that his work imposed on his marriage
to Coretta (Ejogo) and on his friends. It covers much of the political
backdrop to the civil rights movement and contains images of violence
and racial slurs that were endured by the marchers in their quest for
equal voting rights.
Director: Sergei Bodrov
Cast Includes: Jeff Bridges, Olivia Williams, Julianne Moore, Ben Barnes
A fantasy movie set in the far past and based on the young
adult fiction 'The Spook's Apprentice' by Joseph Delaney. Master
Gregory (Bridges) is the last of the Falcon Knights and in the past he
imprisoned an evil witch, Mother Malkin (Moore). She is now free and
seeking to wreck an awful revenge on the earth. Gregory must train an
apprentice Tom Ward (Barnes) who is the seventh son of a seventh son, in
order that they can fight the dark magic. The movie has an A list cast
with an impressive selection of fiends, monsters and epic battles. An
extremely enjoyable caper marked with fine acting, but ultimately a
rather forgettable movie.
The Theory of Everything
Director: James Marsh
Cast Includes: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox
A biopic of the early years of the world renown physicist
Stephen Hawkins, based on the memoire 'Traveling to Infinity: My life
with Stephen Hawkins' by Jane Hawkins. At Cambridge, Hawkins was an
active young man who fell in love with literature student Jane Wilde.
However, aged 21, Hawkins had an accidental fall and this led to his
being diagnosed with motor neuron disease and given just two years to
live. The film shows the marriage of Stephen and Jane and how she
supported him and their children during the years of their marriage
(they divorced in 1995). This is a beautiful film likely to leave the
audience in tears. The acting is excellent especially Redmayne's
portrayal of Hawkins and the movie shows the lighter side of Hawkin's
character, his humour and his passion.
The Water Diviner
Director: Russell Crowe
Cast Includes: Russell Crowe, Isabel Lucas
Joshua Connor (Crowe) is an Australian farmer, water diviner
and greiving father. He lost his three sons in the First World War
Battle of Gallipoli and after a four years period he decides to travel
to Turkey to locate their bodies. In doing so he comes to terms with
the Turks as he finds obstacles to be overcome in getting to the
battlefield. This is Crowe's first experience as a director and the
result is a sombre but beautiful film, well acted and with a strong anti