Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 24th August to 1st September 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.

Just four new releases make it to the local screens during this period. There is a biopic about the jazz legend Chet Barker in Born to be Blue (15) and violent action with The Purge: Election Year (15). In addition we have comedy animation with Sausage Party (15) and the comedy drama War Dogs (15).

We have lost the films Ghostbusters; Kung Fu Panda 3 and The Secret Life of Pets. However the movies Alice Through the Looking Glass; Ice Age: Collision Course and The Jungle Book have made a return.

Family entertainment is well represented this period with Asterix: the Mansion of the Gods; Finding Dory; Get Squirrely ; Ice Age: Collision Course; Nine Lives; Pete's Dragon; Swallows and Amazons; The Angry Birds Movie and The BFG. In addition the Dukes is offering an animation workshop on Tuesday 30th August in Stop Motions.

For adult comedy there is Bad Moms; David Brent: Life on the Road; Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates; Sausage Party and War Dogs.

Adult drama comes with Jason Bourne; Nerve; Now You See Me 2; The Purge: Election Year and the docudrama Sid and Nancy. In addition there is science fiction action on offer with Star Trek Beyond and Suicide Squad whereas horror comes with Lights Out.

High culture unfortunately does not feature during this weeks cinema.


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.

Finding Dory
Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Certificate: U
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.

Ice Age: Collision Course
Director: Mike Thurmeier and Galen T Chu
Cast includes: Simon Pegg, Roy Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Hohn Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Chris Wedge
A computer animation family adventure film. This is the fifth instalment in the Ice Age series and the sequel to Continental Drift. Scratt (Wedge), the sabre toothed squirrel, activates an alien UFO in his continued pursuit of the acorn. The craft propels Scratt into outer space and thence causes a planetary collision resulting in the creation of meteors that threaten to engulf the earth. Manny (Romero) the Wooly Mammoth, Sid (Leguizamo) the sloth and Diego (Leary) the sabre toothed tiger hatch a plan with the weasel Buck (Pegg) to save the earth. The plot is quite unbelievable, but the resulting mayhem is as entertaining as ever. New characters are introduced as the movie unfolds and the film a worthy addition to the franchise. Whats not to like?

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Director: Jake Szyanski
Cast includes: Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Sugar Lyn Beard
Party loving brothers Mike (Devine) and Dave (Efron) are to attend the wedding of their sister. However their parents insist on their bringing respectable dates to the event who will keep them under control. The brothers advertise on Craigslist and select waitresses Tatiana (Plaza) and Alice (Kendrick) to accompany them, not realising the women are wilder than themselves. There is just sufficient plot in this movie to hold the whole thing together and we are entertained with nudity, sex, drugs and outrageous behaviour. An equal opportunity comedy with occasional hilarity.

Director: Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco
A science fiction crime thriller based on the 2012 novel of the same name. High school senior Venus (Vee) Delmonico (Roberts) is coaxed into being a player in the online reality game of Nerve. Participants can be watchers who pay to watch and suggest dares, or players who accept the dares and receive money if they succeed. Vee is paired with another player Ian (Franco) and they are given challenges that become increasingly dangerous. However it is not easy to leave the game once you have started and the climax leads to a shootout. This is an entertaining movie that gives insight into some the potential dangers to which the internet could be used. An energetic thriller that will appeal to teens.

Star Trek Beyond
Director: Justin Lin
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella
This is the thirteenth Star Trek movie and the third in the reboot series. Kirk (Pine) takes the Enterprise on a rescue mission to the planet Altamid. However the ship gets ambushed by a force working for the power mad Krall (Elba). The Enterprise is destroyed and much of the crew captured. It is up to Kirk, Scotty (Pegg), Spock (Quinto), Chekov (Yelchin), McCoy (Urban) and a native fighter Jaylah (Boutella) to save the day. They repair an early generation starfleet vessel that had crashed on the planet and are able to pursue Krull. This is an action packed film with impressive special effects and a good number of impressive battles. The movie harks back to the early days of Star Trek, retracing old ground. A must see film.

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.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Talkzone offers advice for Lancashire's young people after exam results - and more

Lancashire students who have either received their A-level results or are waiting for their GCSE results are reminded that help, support and guidance is available from 'Talkzone', Lancashire County Council's advice service.

Young people between the ages of 12 and 19 can access this support by telephone, text, webtalk, email and Facebook. It is also available for any young person up to the age of 25 with a disability.

The Talkzone service, formerly known as The Line, is available from 2.00 to 10.00pm each day including weekends and bank holidays.

Matthew Tomlinson, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: "I appreciate that this can be a very worrying time for young people. I can still remember vividly how anxious I felt going into school to get my O and A-level results.

"I wish that Talkzone had been available then as I'm sure I would have used it.

"Through Talkzone, young people can speak with trained advisors in confidence and chat through anything that is worrying them, as well as their exam results. Staff are able to talk about a wide range of issues which young people tell us they really appreciate, including feeling low, relationships, leaving home or contraceptive advice.

"Since it was set up 23 years ago, Talkzone advisors have responded to thousands of enquiries from young people on a huge range of issues."

Tracy Scotland, Talkzone manager, added: "Although the majority of the calls we take in August are about worries over A-levels and GCSEs, we're available 365 days a year to talk to any young person about any concern they have.

"Staff are fully trained and are able to identify options for young people who may not have a place sorted out, or for those whose results have been better or worse than expected.

"Whether the issue is large or small, Talkzone is available to help, so don't be afraid to call, text or contact us online."

• Young people can call Talkzone on 0800 511 111, text on 07786 511 111, email, access webtalk services at or