Now showing at Everyman Winchester Southgate Street,Winchester,Hampshire SO23 9EG 0871 906 9060
- Dad's Army
- The Big Short
- The Revenant
Amelie 5 stars
Traumatised by a most unorthodox childhood, Amelie retreats into her own private dreamworld in which the sun always shines on Paris, and clouds resemble cute and cuddly animals. Caught up in her own selfless schemes, Amelie fails to notice the romantic overtures of fairground worker Nino. Thankfully, her friends are on hand to orchestrate romantic trysts of their own.
- GenreAction, Comedy, Drama, Romance
- CastAudrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Jamel Debbouze, Dominique Pinon.
- DirectorJean-Pierre Jeunet.
- WriterGuillaume Laurant, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
- Duration122 mins
- Official site
- Release05/10/2001; 14/10/2011 (selected cinemas)
Amelie is a brilliant ray of sunshine to melt the heart and stir the soul. Jean-Pierre Jeunet's romantic fable is so dreamy, so effortlessly charming, that you'll find yourself hankering for a long weekend in belle Paris, in the hope of meeting Amelie yourself. If only such things were possible. Traumatised by a most unorthodox childhood, Amelie (Audrey Tautou) retreats into her own private dream world in which the sun always shines on the French capital, and clouds resemble cute and cuddly animals. She works in a cosmopolitan cafe in the Montmartre district, and lives alone in a hotel run by Madeleine (Yolande Moreau), who still pines for her first love who abandoned her suddenly many years ago. Amelie wishes that everybody could be as happy as her, so she schemes to solve her friends' woes and bring her lovelorn friends together. She initiates a tender romance between hypochondriac tobacconist Georgette (Isabelle Nanty) and cafe customer Joseph (Dominique Pinon), who is obsessed with bubble-wrap. The other staff are dismissive of Amelie's matchmaking, but the relationship flourishes. Next she tries to reconnect her neighbour Raymond (Serge Merlin) with the outside world. Known enigmatically to the other residents as 'The man of glass', because of his congenital brittle bone illness, Raymond spends his entire days shut away from the outside world, painting countless reproductions of Renoir. Amelie shows him that there is so much beauty in the world outside of his artist's canvas. Amelie also dishes out some long overdue justice to despotic grocer Collignon (Urbain Cancellier) who treats his poor assistant Lucien (Jamel Debbouze) with nothing but disdain. Caught up in her own selfless schemes, Amelie fails to notice the romantic overtures of fairground worker Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), who has a fascination with discarded passport photographs. Thankfully, her friends - new and old - are on hand to orchestrate romantic trysts of their own. Jeunet and long-time collaborator Marc Caro have been responsible for some of French cinema's most devilishly original films, including Delicatessen and The City Of Lost Children. Working on his own, Jeunet creates the ultimate feelgood experience, every frame crammed with dazzling colour and laughter. There are still flashes of moribund humour, most notably in the bravura opening sequence detailing Amelie's childhood, during which her mother Amandine (Lorella Cravotta) is flattened by a suicidal tourist leaping from the spire of Notre-Dame, and her authoritarian father Raphael (Rufus) misdiagnoses a heart condition. Tautou is mesmerising as the eponymous heroine, who sacrifices her own happiness for the sake of her friends and neighbours. She wanders through the boulevards with a childlike wonder on her face, those large saucer-shaped eyes radiating unconditional love and sweetness. If ever there was a cinematic heroine worth rooting for, it's Amelie, and when she gets her happy ever after, and her man, you almost feel like leaping to your feet and applauding. Just to remind yourself, that occasionally, good things happen to good people. The supporting cast is equally impressive, bringing to life a menagerie of eccentrics, loners and heartbroken lovers desperate for affection. Kassovitz is a wonderful romantic lead, but Nanty and Pinon are the stand-outs, playing their seemingly mismatched, dysfunctional lovers to the comic hilt. Jokes come thick and fast, particularly in those breakneck opening 20 minutes, when you'll find yourself laughing until it hurts. In this time of uncertainty and fear, Amelie is just the tonic to lift the nation's spirits. Cheers!
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Sunday 14th February 2016
Dad's Army 2 stars
England, 1944. The Second World War is on a knife edge and in the cosy community of Walmington-on-Sea, blustering bank manager George Mainwaring proudly leads the local Home Guard. Colonel Theakes reveals that he intends to sort the military wheat from the chaff and "Walmington feels chaffy." Soon after, Mainwaring learns that a German spy has infiltrated the town and is transmitting secrets back to Berlin.
- GenreComedy, Historical/Period, War
- CastCatherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Gambon, Bill Nighy, Daniel Mays, Bill Paterson, Toby Jones, Tom Courtenay, Blake Harrison.
- DirectorOliver Parker.
- WriterHamish McColl.
- Duration100 mins
- Official site
How do you improve on the perfection of Jimmy Perry and David Croft's sitcom Dad's Army, which began active service in 1968 and remains a jewel in the crown of the BBC comedy archives? You don't.
If you're director Oliver Parker and screenwriter Hamish McColl, you pepper a flimsy plot that would barely stretch to one TV episode let alone 100 minutes with the show's catchphrases and pray our abiding affection for the characters will compensate for long passages without a discernible punchline.
Original cast members Ian Lavender and Frank Williams are conscripted to cameo roles to heighten the whiff of nostalgia. Limp innuendo-laden banter about sausages barely merits a smirk, pratfalls are predictable and a terrific ensemble cast of gifted comic actors go on patrol without an arsenal of decent one-liners.
From uninspired beginning to muddled end, it's a cultural smash'n'grab that goes through the motions and will ultimately be remembered as a badly missed opportunity.
England, 1944. The Second World War is on a knife edge and in the cosy community of Walmington-on-Sea, blustering bank manager George Mainwaring (Toby Jones) proudly leads the local Home Guard. His hapless rank and file includes Sergeant Wilson (Bill Nighy), Lance Corporal Jones (Tom Courtenay) and Privates Frazer (Bill Paterson), Pike (Blake Harrison), Walker (Daniel Mays) and Godfrey (Michael Gambon), a mild-mannered soul who frequently drifts off into his own world.
The fate of the Home Guard hangs in the balance when Colonel Theakes (Mark Gatiss) reveals that he intends to sort the military wheat from the chaff and "Walmington feels chaffy." Soon after, Mainwaring learns that a German spy has infiltrated the town and is transmitting secrets back to Berlin.
This search for a traitor coincides with the arrival of glamorous magazine writer Rose Winters (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who intends to pen a flattering article about the heroics of the Home Guard. George is smitten and finds Rose most charming and agreeable.
"They said that about the Ripper," coldly retorts Mrs Mainwaring (Felicity Montagu), hard-nosed leader of Walmington-on-Sea's women's auxiliary army, which includes Pike's mother (Sarah Lancashire) and Walker's sweetheart Daphne (Emily Atack).
Dad's Army opens with a limp set piece involving a stand-off between the Home Guard and runaway livestock. "We're supposed to be locking horns with the Hun not Bertie the bull!" despairs one of the men, echoing our mounting frustration.
Jones lightens the darkening mood with a few moments of physical humour, including choking on a slice of cake, while Nighy relies on his usual snorts and tics for merriment. Montagu, Lancashire and co bring a diluted degree of girl power to proceedings that might be dismissed as tokenism without their characters' pivotal involvement in the hare-brained and lacklustre denouement.
Deadpool 4 stars
Former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson discovers he has cancer. He is offered a second chance by The Recruiter, who works for an experimental program known as Weapon X, which promises to induce a regenerative mutation to the cancerous cells. Wade undergoes treatment and is transformed into a mentally unstable hero called Deadpool, who is blessed and cursed with accelerated healing powers, disfigured skin and a politically incorrect sense of humour.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction
- CastMorena Baccarin, Gina Carano, Ryan Reynolds, TJ Miller, Ed Skrein.
- DirectorTim Miller.
- WriterRhett Reese, Paul Wernick.
- Duration108 mins
- Official sitewww.fox.co.uk/deadpool
Just when it seemed that the Marvel Comics takeover of multiplexes was becoming a homogenous exercise in rapacious cross-branding, along comes Deadpool to deliver a swift kick to the franchise's dangling nether regions. Tim Miller's hyperkinetic origin story is like a newborn puppy that has yet to be house-trained: boundlessly energetic, blissfully oblivious to the rules, and prone to leave a steaming hot mess in a favourite pair of slippers when your guard is down.
"I may be super, but I'm no hero," grins Ryan Reynolds' titular man in figure-hugging red spandex, breaking down the fourth wall to address us directly. He's not joking, for once. In an opening salvo of high-speed automotive carnage that combines gratuitous dismemberment with gleeful irreverence, his masked avenger ricochets bullets through the heads of bad guys and pushes a car cigarette lighter into the mouth of one unfortunate henchman. "Don't swallow," he quips.
The relentless barrage of pop culture references and post-modern in-jokes hinges on Reynolds' ability to charm us and he barrels through every frame with a cocksure swagger that is impossible to resist.
Former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson (Reynolds) is a low-rent assassin for hire, who works out of a bar called Sister Margaret's Home For Wayward Girls run by his wise-cracking buddy Weasel (TJ Miller).
A loner by heart, Wade falls in love with sassy sex club worker Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), who shares his passion for creative love-making. "Happy International Women's Day," she purrs, giving him one eye-watering new experience. The furious bed-hopping ends when Wade discovers he has inoperable cancer.
A recruiter (Jed Rees) from an experimental program known as WeaponX invites Wade to undergo a radical procedure, which aggressively attacks the cancerous cells. Sadistic program director Ajax (Ed Skrein) and henchwoman Angel Dust (Gina Carano) torture and abuse Wade, transforming him into a hideously deformed mutant with the power of self-healing.
Reborn as Deadpool, Wade moves in with a no-nonsense landlady named Al (Leslie Uggams). "She's the Robin to my Batman... except she's old, black and blind," he quips. Aided by two bona fide X-Men - Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) - Wade vows revenge on Ajax and his underlings.
Relentlessly lurid and unapologetically foul-mouthed, Deadpool is a sinful treat. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick's script is crammed to bursting with zinging one-liners and a miasma of filth and toilet humour. Some gags narrowly miss their target, but the duds are invariably followed up in quick succession by sly digs at comic book conventions or self-referential barbs at the expense of Reynolds' good looks.
Director Miller relies too heavily on slow-motion in his action sequences, but when it comes to the machine-gun dialogue, his film doesn't pause for breath.
Goosebumps 4 stars
Gale Cooper moves from New York to Delaware with her teenage son Zach. Their new next door neighbour is the mysterious Mr Shivers, whose daughter Hannah is also an enigma. Zach and his new friend, socially awkward student Champ, break into Mr Shivers' home and discover he is actually renowned author RL Stine. In the process of uncovering the truth, Zach accidentally unleashes Slappy from Night Of The Living Dummy. The demented mannequin releases monsters from the rest of Stine's books.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Family
- CastDylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Jack Black, Ryan Lee.
- DirectorRob Letterman.
- WriterDarren Lemke.
- Duration103 mins
- Official sitewww.facebook.com/GoosebumpsUK
Comic whirlwind Jack Black ramps up his manic energy to gale force 10 in this fast-paced fantasy adventure based on the series of children's books by RL Stine. Directed with brio by Rob Letterman, Goosebumps is a wicked delight, packed full of spooks and scares that should have adults jumping out of their seats almost as often as little ones.
Explosions of comic book violence, including a slip-sliding tussle between the Abominable Snowman and high school students on an ice rink, are orchestrated with black humour and vim. Darren Lemke's lean script barely pauses for breath between the eye-popping set pieces, but still finds time to flesh out a compelling teenage love story that remains the right side of sickly sweet.
Digital effects are impressive, seamlessly integrated with live action to conjure scenes of large-scale destruction including a runaway ferris wheel and a town under attack from a giant praying mantis.
It's huge fun, especially in 3D when some of the ghoulish things that go bump in the night appear to leap out of the screen. Letterman opens with the calm before the computer-generated storm as Gale Cooper (Amy Ryan) arrives in Delaware with her teenage son Zach (Dylan Minnette) to take up the position of vice-principal at Madison High School.
Their new next-door neighbour is the mysterious Mr Shivers (Black), whose daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush) is also an enigma. Zach and his socially awkward student Champ (Ryan Lee) break into Mr Shivers' home and discover that the truculent father is actually renowned author RL Stine.
In the process of uncovering this startling truth, Zach unlocks one of Stine's books and accidentally unleashes Slappy (voiced by Black) from Night Of The Living Dummy. The demented mannequin subsequently releases monsters from the rest of Stine's back catalogue and the grotesque creations run amok in Madison.
"Why couldn't you have written about unicorns and rainbows?" shrieks Champ.
"Because that doesn't sell 400 million copies," snaps Stine, who realises the only way to defeat Slappy is to pen another bestseller on his typewriter.
Meanwhile, Champ's high school crush Taylor (Halston Sage) and Gale's sister Lorraine (Gillian Bell) are caught up in the mayhem as zombies, a werewolf and assorted monstrosities besiege the high school.
Goosebumps careens wildly between action, comedy and touching drama, with a generous smattering of pithy verbal gags that will go above the heads of children and strike a bullseye with parents. Black leads from the front, plying the wide-eyed lunacy that has served him well, with Minnette as his straight man and foil, whose prime concern is rescuing the people he loves.
Slappy's army of grotesque henchcreatures won't induce nightmares, but might just send a pleasing shiver down young spines. A tricksy treat.
Spotlight 4 stars
Deputy Managing Editor Ben Bradlee Jr presides over the Boston Globe newsroom and has direct responsibility for the Spotlight team led by Walter "Robby" Robinson. Down in the basement, Robby and his colleagues Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer and Matt Carroll are hard at work on a potentially explosive story. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian claims to have documents which prove Cardinal Bernard Law knew about sexual abuse within the diocese and did nothing.
- GenreBiography, Drama, Historical/Period, Thriller
- CastRachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci.
- DirectorTom McCarthy.
- WriterTom McCarthy, Josh Singer.
- Duration129 mins
- Official sitewww.spotlightthefilm.com
At its best, investigative journalism is a scalpel that slices through fatty rhetoric and cuts readers to the bones of institutions that should be defending our interests. In early 2002, the Spotlight Investigations team of the Boston Globe ran a series of meticulously researched articles, exposing the sexual abuse of minors in the Boston archdiocese.
Coverage of the scandal rippled far beyond the city boundaries and compelled other victims to come forward and share their horrific testimonies, which sent shockwaves through the Roman Catholic Church.
The newspaper was subsequently awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in Journalism for its courageous and comprehensive coverage, which lifted a heavy veil of secrecy stretching back several decades.
Thomas McCarthy's impeccably crafted drama pays tribute to the close-knit team of tenacious editors and reporters, who tirelessly pursued the truth and wrung their blood, sweat and tears into the exposes.
Deputy Managing Editor Ben Bradlee Jr (John Slattery) presides over the Boston Globe newsroom and has direct responsibility for the Spotlight team led by Walter "Robby" Robinson (Michael Keaton).
Down in the basement, Robby and his colleagues Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy) invest thousands of hours following leads and gathering evidence. Their work is valuable but costly and incoming Boston Globe editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) makes clear he is willing to make difficult cuts.
"I'm focused on finding a way to make this paper essential to its readers," he tells Robby. The team is hard at work on a potentially explosive story. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) claims to have documents which prove Cardinal Bernard Law (Len Cariou) knew about sexual abuse within the diocese and did nothing.
Marty authorises Robby to quietly pursue the story before he is personally summoned to a meeting with the Cardinal.
"I find that this city flourishes when its great institutions work together," purrs the holy man.
"I'm of the opinion that for the paper to best perform its function, it needs to stand alone," boldly retorts Marty.
Battle lines are drawn and Robby pleads with his writers so keep their emotions in check as they are confronted with horrific stories of shattered innocence. "I don't want the Chancery getting wind of this before we know what we have," he implores.
Spotlight is a clinical, precise and riveting dramatisation of a protracted search for the ugly truth in a city in the thrall of the church. The ensemble cast are exemplary with Ruffalo gifted the film's stand-out scene of unfettered indignation that undoubtedly secured him his Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
Some of the characters don't feel fully formed, sacrificed perhaps in favour of a forensic pursuit of the facts. Josh Singer and director McCarthy's script crackles with tension and as the printing presses of the Globe begin to roll, we finally relax.
The Big Short 5 stars
In 2008, quixotic hedge fund manager Michael Burry spots the credit and housing bubble is about to burst and he bets millions against the American economy. Other financial wizards get wind of the deal including deeply cynical hedge fund manager Mark Baum and his team. Inexperienced investors Charlie Geller and Jamie Shipley use personal ties to retired banker Ben Rickert to orchestrate their own high risk bets as financial authorities ignore warning signs and Lehman Brothers prepares to fall.
- GenreAdaptation, Biography, Comedy, Drama, Historical/Period
- CastSteve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt.
- DirectorAdam McKay.
- WriterAdam McKay, Charles Randolph.
- Duration130 mins
- Official sitewww.thebigshortmovie.com
A fool and his hard-earned money are soon parted and in 2008, many of us turned out to be unwitting fools when the mortgage crisis in America catalysed the collapse of financial institutions, resulting in an ice age of global austerity that has yet to thaw. Bankers were demonised, political establishment passed bucks as if they were handling red-hot potatoes and hard-working families paid an eye-watering price.
The Wall Street meltdown don't sound like ripe fruit for a cocktail of potty-mouthed hilarity and heartbreaking drama but Adam McKay, director of the Anchorman films, begs to differ. Stepping away from the dim-witted Will Ferrell comedies that have made his name, McKay draws inspiration from Michael Lewis's non-fiction account of the housing and credit bubble to dramatise the incredible true story of the men, who made a killing by wagering against the US economy.
"While the whole world was having a big ol' party, a few outsiders and weirdos saw what no one else could," explains sharp-suited narrator, Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), a bond salesman at Deutsche Bank with a keen nose for profits.
He is our wise-cracking guide to this high pressure world of bulls, bears and multi-million dollar trades. However, Jared is not the first person to spot impending doom. That honour goes to quixotic hedge fund manager Michael Burry (Christian Bale).
"It's a time bomb... and I want to short it," Burry informs his incredulous boss (Tracy Letts) and bets against the housing market. Jared gets wind of the deal and follows suit, drawing in deeply cynical hedge fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell) and his team: Danny Moses (Rafe Spall), Porter Collins (Hamish Linklater) and Vinnie Daniel (Jeremy Strong).
Inexperienced investors Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) use personal ties to retired banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) to orchestrate their own high risk bets as financial authorities ignore warning signs and Lehman Brothers prepares to fall.
The Big Short is a blisteringly funny and provocative portrait of irresponsibility, fraud and gaudy excess, brought vividly to life by a superb ensemble cast. Carell and Bale shine brightest in the glittering firmament, imbuing their socially awkward oddballs with vulnerability and regret.
McKay's film is acutely aware that most of us don't speak the Wall Street lingo so the writer-director cutely interrupts the wheeler dealing with glossy edutainment spots. Wolf On Wall Street star Margot Robbie sexes up subprime mortgages while sipping champagne in a bubble bath, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain explains a collateralized debt obligation (CDO) using leftover seafood, and actress and singer Selena Gomez makes sense of synthetic CDOs over a game of blackjack.
We might not always keep up with McKay's dazzling film and its rapid-fire, whipsmart dialogue but by the end credits, we're not far behind.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Wednesday 17th February 2016
The Revenant 4 stars
Hugh Glass guides a team of 19th-century fur trappers and hunters under the command of Captain Andrew Henry. The men come under attack from Native Americans and Glass is mauled by a grizzly bear, which is protecting its cubs. Captain Henry leaves behind two men, Fitzgerald and Bridger, to tend to Glass and his son, Hawk. Fitzgerald decides to expedite matters by killing Hawk and dragging Glass' near lifeless body into a freshly dug grave. The explorer regains consciousness and vows revenge.
- GenreAction, Adventure, Drama, Romance, Western
- CastLeonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck.
- DirectorAlejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
- WriterAlejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mark L Smith.
- Duration156 mins
- Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/the-revenant
If film awards were bestowed for dogged determination and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, The Revenant would sweep the 2016 Oscars. Mexican auteur Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu chose to shoot his sprawling historical epic in chronological order using natural light.
These bold aesthetic choices limited filming to just a couple of hours each day and when Mother Nature decided to withhold snow from the unforgiving Canadian wilderness, the entire production moved to Argentina at considerable expense.
Actor Tom Hardy was forced to drop out of the comic book adventure Suicide Squad to accommodate the extended filming schedule, the budget ballooned and one crew member famously described the mood on set as "a living hell".
Trials and tribulations behind the scenes haven't tarnished Inarritu's audacious vision because The Revenant is a tour-de-force of technical brio and emotionally cold storytelling. It's not a journey into the heart of darkness for the sentimental or faint of heart. Explosions of violence are graphic and a horrifying bear attack early in the film unfolds in a single, unbroken take that shreds our nerves beyond repair.
Leading man Leonardo DiCaprio puts himself through the wringer for his art. In one stomach-churning scene, the fervent vegetarian eats a wild bison's liver on camera because the role demands it. Such unswerving dedication makes him a deserved frontrunner for the Academy Award.
He plays 19th-century explorer Hugh Glass, who guides a team of fur trappers and hunters under the command of Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). The men come under attack from Native Americans led by tribal chief Elk Dog (Duane Howard), whose daughter Powaqa (Melaw Nakehk'o) has been kidnapped.
The interlopers flee for their lives and Glass is subsequently injured in a mauling from a grizzly bear, which is protecting its cubs. Henry leaves behind two men, Fitzgerald (Hardy) and Bridger (Will Poulter), to tend to Glass and his son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), while the rest of the trappers head for safety.
"Glass is to be cared for... as long as necessary," orders the Captain, "and a proper burial when it's time. He's earned that." Fitzgerald decides to expedite matters by killing Hawk and dragging Glass' near lifeless body into a freshly dug grave.
The explorer regains consciousness some time later and vows to hunt down the men who killed his boy. "I ain't afraid to die," growls Glass. "I done it already."
The Revenant is a gruelling two and a half hours in the company of a filmmaker who refused to compromise. Aided by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Birdman), Inarritu conjures a nightmarish and unflinching vision of a grieving father's revenge mission.
DiCaprio is mesmerising, dragging his wounded body across frozen landscapes before locking horns with Hardy's scowling rival in an adrenaline-pumped climax that leaves us gasping for air.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Tuesday 16th February 2016