Out now, playing in front of 'Big Hero 6'!
A heart warming tale about a dog’s life, told through food. This short animation will make you smile, laugh and tug at the heartstrings; and all in a matter of minutes! Although the storyline is simple and borderline cliché, what makes it stand out and cast these descriptions aside is the way that it is implemented. Beautifully animated and very well done, it is easy to see why this little masterpiece is up for an Oscar.
Review by Lydia Kay
In cinemas now!
It's 1963, and we find an academically brilliant, but socially awkward Stephen Hawking studying at Cambridge University. Whilst astonishing his peers with his insight and intellect, he encounters Jane Wilde, a languages undergrad, and his earnest but somewhat clumsy attempt at courtship begins.
A kiss at the May Ball seals her affections, and just as it seems a happy future awaits, Hawking is hospitalised, and dealt an earth shattering diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease, along with a 2 year life expectancy.
Despite his best efforts to push Jane away, she displays the strength needed for both of them, and undaunted by an uncertain future, they marry. But Hawking too, buoyed by Jane's unstinting optimism, finds the courage to fight his condition head on, and while his body gradually succumbs to ravages of his illness, his mind soars. Against the odds, they start a family and Hawking astounds the scientific world with his theory of the universe creation, culminating in a 10 million worldwide selling book, A Brief History of Time. With a script based on Jane Hawking's own memoirs, 'The Theory of Everything' is less a science lesson, and very much more an uplifting story of the powerful love between two people as they overcome enormous obstacles placed in their path.
Much has been written about Eddie Redmayne's performance, but to watch him inhabit Stephen Hawking both physically and mentally is astounding, and surely a career defining moment.
Praise too for Felicity Jones as Jane, who grows in strength and stature as the story progresses, never accepting defeat as an option, even when it seems others have.
In more than one category, an Oscar contender for sure.
Review by Peter Maurice Kill.
Please also take a look at our interview with Felicity Jones and Lisa Bruce at the UK premiere.
In cinemas November 7th in the USA and January 30th in the UK!
From Walt Disney Animation studios comes ‘Big Hero 6’ and it is clear to see why this marvellous film has been nominated for an Oscar. Up for best animated feature film, Big Hero 6 is set in a futuristic city called San Fransokyo. We follow whizz-kid Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) who, when we first meet him, is wasting his gift on underground miniature robot fights. Convinced by his older brother Tedashi (Daniel Henny) to apply to his “nerd school” of robotics, Hiro invents telepathically controlled micro-bots with almost limitless potential to score himself a place.
However after a terrible life changing accident leaves him grieving, he unintentionally activates and befriends the inflatable healthcare robot Baymax (Scott Adsit) created by Tedashi. Baymax takes it upon himself to fulfil what he was programmed to do and heal Hiro’s pain. So together with the uniquely bizarre and huggable robot, Hiro and his friends team up to discover what really happened and save the city from an evil supervillain who has stolen Hiro’s invention!
A visually stunning film that expertly and seamlessly combines American Disney style animation with that of anime and Japanese culture, directors Don Hall and Chris Williams have created a masterpiece of visual effects and character/production design. It is a heart warming and emotional film that will not only make you weep but cry with laughter as well, because it is hilarious. Baymax is the ultimate source of comedy, he is adorable and completely oblivious to what is going on around him most of the time, which often leads to side splitting behaviour (especially when his batteries start to run low).
However his care for Hiro and his need to fulfil his healthcare purpose create a huge attachment to Baymax. Even the data chip that is programmed with his personality is contained in a drive on the left side of his chest, so that you literally have to open his heart to change him. While the base morals and storyline of the film are nothing new, the way in which they are implemented and surrounded by such imaginative and fun characters makes up for it to the point where you’d barely notice.
This animated mix of Disney and Marvel creates a force to be reckoned with and Baymax is certainly here to stay. A true family film that will appeal to pretty much everyone, of all ages, it is fun and packed full of action and adventure. A hero movie with a soft side, and one of the best animated films to come out in recent years!
In cinemas January 23rd!
In this film we see Johnny Depp as the charismatic, and part-time shady art dealer, aristocrat Charlie Mortdecai. Mortdecai, suffering from financial difficulties, embarks on a mission to find a stolen Goya painting that is rumored to have the code to a bank account filled with Nazi gold inscribed on the back. The following search feels a bit like a game of cat and mouse, punctuated by endless moustache jokes, except the cat doesn’t have any claws and exhaustingly needs rescuing almost constantly.
While the characterisation from Johnny Depp as Mortdecai was fantastic, the character himself wasn't funny enough to make you invest in him as he is a bit unlikable. If it weren’t for the characters that oppose him being even more unlikable then you honestly wouldn’t care at all. Never the less the story is easy to follow and does offer entertainment, albeit slightly childish and obvious. Ewan McGregor was good as always as the smarmy and love smitten MI5 officer Alistair Maitland, but it's not his best role. We don’t see anything new from Gwyneth Paltrow, but she is perfectly cast as Lady Mortdecai who seems to be the only person of any intelligence in the film, which makes you wonder why she remains with the likes of Charlie...
Paul Bettany as Jock the thuggish manservant was the stand out performance, not to mention the source of pretty much all of the comedy! He delivers the role with strength and great comic timing. He is genuinely the best element of the film. All of the characters other than these few, although well played, were either very one dimensional or felt as though they merely existed as a device to move the plot forward. Costuming and locations were very impressive as they really immersed you in the atmosphere of the film and the storyline, but overall I think it just missed the bar it was shooting for. A good film, but not great.
In cinemas December 25th in the US and January 23rd in the UK!
A nice surprise? Or an overly wordy gamble on a remake that missed the boat? Well that all depends on what you’re expecting because this film is not what you think it would be. While the feel of the story is far from the original and with much less action, it is a very smart and philosophical film that doesn’t over glamorise the gambling world or the allure that it has. Mark Whalberg stars as son of a wealthy family Jim Bennett, a highly intelligent literary professor and high-stakes gambler who epitomises self loathing. During the film Bennett sinks into debt with gangsters and loan sharks as he gambles everything away on his path to self-destruction.
It is his own knowledge and understanding of his situation that makes it gripping to watch, only when his actions start to threaten the lives of those around him do we see that he actually has cares and begins to take some responsibility. However by this point he’s in so deep that getting out might cost him everything, “The only way out is all in” so to speak. The stakes are high and the use of violence in the film is cleverly placed so to keep the focus off of the action and instead make the audience focus more on what drives this man to be the way that he is, on the fact that he just can’t help himself and so has almost resigned himself to the inevitable.
It is the subtleties that hold the key to the success or failure of this film, and whether or not each viewer will enjoy it. A great piece of cinema but once that most likely not everyone will enjoy. It might just be the most subtle thriller out there; it is not about the rush of addiction but instead about the consequences and the loss that it creates. Mark Whalberg may not be perfectly cast in this role but he delivers an absolutely stunning and believable performance. Jessica Lange as his mother delivers an equally incredible performance in a way that is almost heartbreaking, while John Goodman and Michael Kenneth Williams stand out in their gangster roles, bringing the darker consequences of Bennett’s actions into sharp focus.
There is something almost poetic as the film counts it’s timeline down to finally reach the deciding roll of the dice, and it is the philosophical dialogue and Whalberg’s exceptional characterisation that keeps you invested in the outcome.
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