Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 19th to 27th August 2015

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 week there are seven new film on show. There is adult comedy with The Bad Education Movie (15)The Legend of Barney Thompson and Vacation. There is drama and adventure with 13 Minutes (15) & Hitman: Agent 47 (15) and horror with Sinister 2 (15). Finally on a lighter note there is family animation with Strange Magic (U). In addition to the above, the region sees the return of Two By Two and, for one night only, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

We have lost the films Doctor Proctor's Fart PowderJurassic World and The Gift. Also it is looking like Thomas & Friends: Sordor's Legend of the Lost Treasure will soon be at the end of its screening.

This week has a good mix of movies on offer. There is Science Fiction aplenty with Ant-ManFantastic FourPixels and the sci-fi comedy Absolutely Anything. Also we have action and adventure with Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Drama is represented by underdog makes good movie Southpaw. Coming of age romance comes with Paper Towns, whereas a more light hearted look at romance is on offer with Trainwreck.

There are three horror movies on offer this week. On alternate nights at Williamson Park there is It Follows and thence the classic Nosferatu. Then, in a more conventional venue, the horror sequel Sinister 2 is being screened at the Vue.

Finally we have culture, for one night only, with the Royal Shakespeare Society's Othello.


Director: Peyton Reed
Certificate: 12A
Cast Includes: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Hayley Atwell, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll
Ant-Man is the latest super-hero in the Marvel pantheon to make it to the screen. Scott Lang (Rudd) used be a systems engineer but is now a petty criminal, trying to go straight. He acquires a suit developed by Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) and Dr Pym becomes something of his mentor. The suit allows Lang to become ant man as he shrink in size, increase his strength and has the power of communicating with insects. Together Pym and ant-man must overcome the ambitions of Darren Cross (Stoll) who has a militarised version of the suit. Ant man was only a minor Marvel super-hero but nonetheless this is an entertaining movie. The characters are given chance to develop and the film provides both wit and plenty of gags. An entertaining movie.

Fantastic Four
Director: Josh Trank
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell
This is 20th Century Fox's second attempt at the Fantastic Four movie, a superhero film based on characters from Marvel comics. A sequel is scheduled for 2017. The film follows the lives of five people as they meet and become part of an experiment to teleport to an alternative dimension. However here they get exposed to a mysterious phenomenon that alters them bestowing strange powers. Four of them form a team, the Fantastic Four. The other member of the group, Victor Von Doom (Kebbell) becomes a super villain that the Fantastic Four must overcome. The movie rather takes its time to get to the action. Also it takes itself very seriously so there is little humour and dialogue can be rather stilted. Yet with excellent special effects this is a competent super hero film, though not destined to be a classic. 

Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders.
The film is both a spin off and a prequel to the Despicable Me franchise. The Minions have always existed on earth and the movie begins by tracing their evolution. They have the purpose of serving the most despicable of masters though not very successfully. The race finally retired to the Antarctic where they fare badly. Hence Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide to seek a new master for their race to work for. In a villain convention in Orlando they decide to serve the supervillain Scarlet Overkill (Bullock) who is planning to overthrow the Queen of England. The film, using skits and Musical numbers expands on this plot. The Minions were the best part of the Despicable Me franchise and so it is fitting that they have their own film. The movie is very entertaining, inoffensive and funny and will delight all ages. However this reviewer would have liked more minions and fewer supervillains.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson
This is the fifth in the Mission Impossible series. The Impossible Mission Force (IMF) has been disbanded. Ethan Hunt (Cruse) must assemble a team and join forces with an ex British agent Iisa Faust (Ferguson) in order to fight 'The Syndicate', a group who are mounting terrorist attacks in order to bring about a new world order. This is arguably the best action film of the year with plenty of excitement, special effects and some violence. However the whole has a light hearted tone and contains a good deal of humour. A witty and very entertaining movie.

Director: Chris Columbus
Certificate: 12A
Cast Includes: Adam Sandler, Kevin james, josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan
As children Sam Brenner (Sandler), Will Cooper (James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Gad) and Eddie Plant (Dinklage) were expert video game players and they competed in tournaments. They grew and thought they had put their past behind them. However aliens have discovered classic archive video games and interpret these as a declaration of war. They invade earth using strategy and characters derived from the games. Will Cooper is now president and he gathers together his old pals to combat the aliens who will claim the earth if they are not defeated. The movie is a science fiction comedy that will appeal to anyone who enjoyed playing classic video archive games. However it has so far attracted indifferent reviews and looks to be a rather forgettable film.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Certificate: 15
Cast Includes: Jake Gyllenhaal, 50 Cents, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams
Billy "The Great" Hope (Gyllenhaal) was the reigning middle weight champion but a tragic incident causes his life to fall apart. He loses his family, title, house and manager. In addition, his daughter is taken into care. To rebuild his life he restarts fighting, with Tick Willis (Whitaker) a retired fighter at a run down gym, acting as his coach. The movie is thus a classic underdog story. However strong acting (particularly Gyllenhaal) and convincing sets make for a gripping movie.

Director: Judd Apatow
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Colin Quinn
Amy (Schumer) is a writer for the mens magazine S'nuff. She leads a hedonistic lifestyle, comprising one night stands, partying and a lack of romantic commitment. She has to interview a successful sports doctor Aaron Conners (Hader) for the magazine and in the process they start to fall in love with each other, causing Amy to question the direction of her life. The movie is an energetic comedy that gives Schumer plenty of opportunity to showcase her talents. A rather irreverent though successful and entertaining romance movie.