In Cinemas 5 Nov 2015

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Nov 042015
 

freeheld

In cinemas this week – Freeheld, Man Up, No Escape (a Lake Bell double feature, if you’re interested) and Now Add Honey. A quiet one to lead into the release of Bond.

Freeheld – The true love story of Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree and their fight for justice. A decorated New Jersey police detective, Laurel (Julianne Moore) is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her hard earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie (Ellen Page). However the county officials, Freeholders, conspire to prevent Laurel from doing this. Hard-nosed detective Dane Wells, and activist Steven Goldstein, unite in Laurel and Stacie’s defence, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality. 

Man Up – Nancy (Lake Bell), is done with dating. 10 times bitten, 100 times shy, she’s exhausted by the circus. So when Jack (Simon Pegg) blindly mistakes her for his date, no one is more surprised than her when she does the unthinkable and just — goes with it. It’s going to take a night of pretending to be someone else for Nancy to finally man up and be her painfully honest, awesomely unconventional self… but will Jack also man up, and be able to get over her duplicity? Best just to let the evening unfold, roll with the consequences, and see if one crazy, unpredictable, complicated night can bring these two messy souls together.

An intense international thriller, No Escape centres on an American businessman (Own Wilson) as he and his family settle into their new home in Southeast Asia. Suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a violent political uprising, they must frantically look for a safe escape as rebels mercilessly attack the city. Directed by John Erick Dowdle and written together with his brother Drew, it also stars Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell.

Weekly Recommendation – Freeheld possesses a terrific cast, and very good intentions, but reviews have matched our initial instincts – an earnest hallmark drama with a dedication to its message, but fails to ignite the emotion it so desperately targets. Man Up looks rather fun, but we’re content to wait for Bond next week…or go watch The Martian again. 

In Cinemas 23 July 2015

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Jul 222015
 

Mr-Holmes2

In cinemas this week – Self/Less, The Gallows, Mr Holmes, 13 Minutes and Man Up. 

Self/Less – In this provocative psychological science fiction thriller, an extremely wealthy man (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the secret organization that will kill to protect its cause. The latest film from Tarsem Singh (The Fall, Immortals) boasts a talented cast, but seems to settle for lacklustre action and squander the potential of its premise.

The Gallows – Twenty years after a deadly freak accident at a high school play, a misguided attempt to re-stage the play and honour the student proves that some things are better left in the past. Reviews for this found-footage horror have been terrible and it does look like bottom of the barrel stuff.

Mr Holmes is a new twist on the world’s most famous detective. 1947, an ageing Sherlock Holmes (a captivating Ian McKellen) returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love – before it’s too late. I enjoyed this a great deal. It is elegantly layered, richly plotted and leaves a lot to contemplate on. In addition to the great work from McKellen, it features an impressive performance from youngster Milo Parker, and a lovely score from Carter Burwell.

13 Minutes – The breath-taking story of a man who nearly would have changed the world. 1939, when Hitler tricked millions of people at the height of his power, one said a radical No: Georg Elser, disparaged as an assassin, is one of the greatest resistance fighters. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall), so this has the potential to be really good. However, I expect it is only mildly engaging.

Man Up – Nancy, is done with dating. 10 times bitten, 100 times shy, she’s exhausted by the circus. So when Jack blindly mistakes her for his date, no one is more surprised than her when she does the unthinkable and just — goes with it. It’s going to take a night of pretending to be someone else for Nancy to finally man up and be her painfully honest, awesomely unconventional self… but will Jack also man up, and be able to get over her duplicity? Best just to let the evening unfold, roll with the consequences, and see if one crazy, unpredictable, complicated night can bring these two messy souls together. Lake Bell and Simon Pegg lead the cast. This might be one worthy of a wait for DVD, but looks charming nonetheless. 

Weekly Recommendation: Mr Holmes.