Friday, 3 June 2016

Boys come forward after CCTV appeal following “suspicious” fire at Lancaster shopping centre

Detectives investigating a fire at a shopping arcade in Lancaster released a CCTV image of three boys they wanted to speak to, who have quickly come forward and are assisting officers with their enquiries.

The fire - which is being treated as suspicious at this time - started at around 8.40pm on Wednesday 1st June at St. Nicholas Arcades shopping centre on Lancaster Gate. It occurred in the vicinity of the Poundland and Superdrug stores and is thought to have caused around £10,000 to £15,000 worth of damage to the building.

Firefighters from Lancaster, Morecambe, Bolton-le-Sands, and Carnforth were called to action to tackle the blaze, which involved a bitumen flat roof and other plastic materials.

Enquiries are on-going to establish the circumstances surrounding the fire and officers are working closely alongside Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

DC Tris Hardwick of Lancaster CID had asked for the three boys pictured on CCTV to come forward as they may have "some vital information that could assist with our on-going enquiries.

"I would urge anyone who has any information about the fire itself, to come forward and get in touch with us as soon as possible," Tris added.

• Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting crime reference WB1604292. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 1st to 9th June 2016

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 period finds five new releases on our local screens. There is drama with Misconduct; period drama with Love and Friendship (PG) and romantic drama in Me before You (12A). In addition we have the delightful animation Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants (U) and fantasy in Warcraft: The Beginning (12A).

Movies that have vanished from the screens include Bad Neighbours 2; Captain America: Civil War; Eye in the Sky and Florence Foster Jenkins. However we do see the return of Hail Caesar! and Zootropolis.

Films arriving in this region in the near future include The Conjuring 2 on 17th June; Independence day: Resurgence on the 23rd June; Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie on the 1st July and The BFG on the 22nd July.

Despite the loss of Captain America, this is still a period for superheroes with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and X-Men: Apocalypse. Drama is represented with A Hologram for the King; Love and Friendship; Me Before You; Misconduct; Money Monster; Purple Rain and The Trust. Comedy is not quite so well represented with only Hail Caesar! on offer.

For fantasy we have Alice Through the Looking Glass and Warcraft: The Beginning.

Family entertainment is provided by Kung Fu Panda 3; Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants; The Angry Birds Movie; The Jungle Book; Top Cat Begins and Zootropolis.

Finally there are two entries in the category of high culture with NT Encore: The Audience and RSC Live: Hamlet.

At the time of this posting, a complete film listing from the Vue cinema was not available.


A Hologram for the King
Director: Tom Tykwer
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Tom Hanks, Alexander Black, Sanita Choudhury
Based on the best selling 2012 novel by Dave Egger, Alan Clay (Hanks) is an American Businessman whose life is falling apart following the recession. He is trying to make a comeback, leading a team to sell a new holographic telepresence system to the King of Saudi Arabia. However he is out of his depth with no knowledge of the local customs and facing a bureaucracy worthy of Kafka. Attempts to see the king repeatedly fail and he and his team just wait in a venue with failed communications and air conditioning. The only hope seems to be his taxi driver Yousef (Black). This is something of a convoluted story which is both funny and terribly sad. However Hanks gives a great performance and the whole provides a very entertaining movie.

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Director: James Bobin
Certificate: PG
Cast includes: Johnny Depp, Alice Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska
Alice (Wasikowska) has spent three years travelling and has now returned to London to contemplate her future. She uses a mirror to return to Wonderland but find things are not well, and the Hatter is more mad than ever. To aid him she must go back in time and face the Jabberwocky. This is Disney's sequel to the 2010 production of 'Alice in Wonderland' and all the major characters from the original movie make an appearance. The film is a visual feast, a lavish performance with a star studded cast. However for this reviewer the whole seemed more gloss than substance. It does not quite live up to the magic of the original.

The Jungle Book
Director: Jon Favreau
Certificate: PG Cast includes: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba
Based on Rudyard Kipling's works, this is a reworking of a the well known classic using live action and CGI. Mowgli (Sethi) is an orphaned boy raised by a wolf and thence by Bagheera (Kingsley) a black panther. Mowgli alienates the Bengal tiger Shere Khan (Elba) and so must make his way to humankind for safety, meeting the well known characters Baloo and Kaa on the way. Subsequently he returns to the jungle to face Shere Khan. The movie is a good example a remake that improves on the original. An excellent movie that will entertain all ages.

The Trust
Director: Alex and Benjamin Brewar
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Nicholas Cage Elijah Wood
David Waters (Wood) and Jim Stone (Cage) are two bored and corrupt officers working the the Evidence Unit of the Vegas police department. Stone comes to hear of a large amount of money in the possession of a drug dealer and held in a large safe. The two police officers investigate, and decide to steal the money off the crooks and take it for their own. However as the robbery progresses they start to fall out among themselves. This movie is a dark comedy. It very effectively builds up the tension despite something of a thin plot. Both Cage and Wood put in excellent performances with the former providing very memorable one liners. However the film does not have the feel of greatness about it.