Now showing at Everyman Winchester Southgate Street,Winchester,Hampshire SO23 9EG 0871 906 9060
- 45 Years
- Inside Out
- Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
- Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
- Mistress America
- Paper Towns
- The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
- The Wolfpack
45 Years 4 stars
Retired headmistress Kate Mercer and her husband Geoff live in a close-knit village in East Anglia, where some of the residents are her former pupils. The Mercers do not have any children, just an Alsatian called Max, which Kate walks around the rural idyll. The tempo of day-to-day life increases as Kate and Geoff prepare to celebrate their 45th anniversary by hosting a dinner for family and friends, which will echo the music and menu of their wedding day.
- GenreDrama, Indie, Romance
- CastTom Courtenay, Geraldine James, Charlotte Rampling.
- DirectorAndrew Haigh.
- WriterAndrew Haigh.
- Duration95 mins
- Official sitewww.45yearsfilm.com
- Release28/08/2015 (selected cinemas)
Writer-director Andrew Haigh (Weekend) draws inspiration from David Constantine's short story In Another Country for this beguiling portrait of a long-standing romance in crisis. Retired headmistress Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling) and her husband Geoff (Tom Courtenay) live in a close-knit village in East Anglia, where some of the residents are her former pupils. The Mercers do not have any children, just an Alsatian called Max, which Kate walks around the rural idyll. The tempo of day-to-day life increases as Kate and Geoff prepare to celebrate their 45th anniversary by hosting a dinner for family and friends, which will echo the music and menu of their wedding day. In the run-up to this momentous occasion, Geoff receives a letter from an old flame called Katya, whom he romanced in the early 1960s before he met Kate. The unexpected correspondence sends Geoff into a tailspin of conflicting feelings, opening old wounds and highlighting the fractures in his marriage.
Amy 3 stars
Asif Kapadia's controversial documentary about the life and times of singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse featuring contributions from her friends and family. The film details Winehouse's battle with drug and alcohol addiction as well as mental health issues, and charts events leading up to her death from alcohol poisoning at the age of just 27.
- GenreBiography, Documentary, Musical
- CastAmy Winehouse.
- DirectorAsif Kapadia.
- WriterAsif Kapadia.
- Duration127 mins
- Official site
With her distinctive beehive hairdo, thick eyeliner and deep, soulful vocal delivery, Amy Winehouse became a defiantly outspoken icon for a generation. Born and raised in Southgate, north London, she drew inspiration from the music of Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett, and exorcised personal demons through her songwriting, encapsulating experiences of heartache, abandonment and despair in her emotionally raw lyrics.
"My destructive side has grown a mile wide/And I question myself again," she laments prophetically in the song What Is It About Men on her debut album, Frank. Scarred by the separation of her parents, Winehouse concealed an eating disorder from those closest to her and repeatedly sought personal oblivion in a heady cocktail of alcohol and drugs.
Her death in July 2011, at the same age as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, sparked a period of national soul-searching. Asif Kapadia's deeply moving documentary charts the turbulent life of the songbird, including contributions from many of her friends and family, and some of the people who worked with her and were touched by her fragility and candour.
Unfolding largely in chronological order, Amy begins with home video footage of a good friend's 14th birthday and meticulously charts her rise to celebrity, incorporating performances, interviews, rare photographs and reminiscences of the people who knew her well.
"If I really thought I was famous, I'd top myself," Winehouse tells one journalist early in the film, her words casting a shadow over subsequent scenes of triumph as Frank leaves critics reaching for superlatives and she storms America with the follow-up Back To Black, earning five Grammy awards including Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year.
The film doesn't pull punches with its depiction of her battles with drug and alcohol addiction, posing difficult questions about the culpability of the media and some of her inner circle in her tragic downfall.
Through Kapadia's lens, her father Mitchell shoulders some of that blame, firstly by advising Winehouse not to go into rehab - "I felt that's Amy's responsibility to get herself well," he offers by way of an explanation - and then by gatecrashing her recuperation on St Lucia with a reality TV crew in tow to bolster his media profile.
Her husband Blake Fielder-Civil is depicted as a similarly destructive influence, including footage of them together in the flat when she first tries crack cocaine. "I tried to sabotage myself and she tried to sabotage herself. Maybe that was our natures," he confesses.
Relationships with Alex Clare and Reg Traviss, which book-ended her roller coaster marriage, warrant only brief mentions but Kapadia would need considerably longer than 127 minutes to delve into every personal tie.
As it is, his elegantly composed memento mori leaves us with a deep sense of sadness and anger as we watch the singer totter towards oblivion, seemingly with no one to shepherd her away from the edge.
Inside Out 5 stars
From the moment baby Riley opens her eyes, her mood is shaped by five coloured emotions - Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust - which bicker behind a large control desk laden with buttons and levers. Joy is the dominant emotion in Headquarters and she safeguards Riley's memories, which are stored as glowing orbs. When Riley turns 11, her parents relocate from Minnesota to San Francisco. Traumatic events such as a first day at a new school nudge Sadness to the fore.
- GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
- CastDiane Lane, Amy Poehler, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling.
- DirectorPete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen.
- WriterPete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley.
- Duration102 mins
- Official sitewww.movies.disney.com/inside-out
Despite gargantuan advances in medical science, we still don't fully understand the complexities of the human brain: its ability to process vast quantities of information, solve problems and store memories at speeds that put supercomputers to shame.
Pixar Animation Studios, the wizards who conjured the Toy Story trilogy, contemplate the vagaries of neuropsychology with this visually stunning and emotionally rich comedy, which unfolds predominantly inside the head of a little girl.
This high-brow concept doesn't seem like the most accessible subject matter for a family-oriented computer animation. But directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen elegantly tilt their film at the windmills of the mind and deliver a hilarious, heartfelt and ultimately life-affirming adventure that celebrates childhood innocence, family unity and the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity.
Laughter and tears abound, as well as cute visual gags, ensuring parents will be repeatedly dabbing their eyes while children whoop and gurgle with glee at the slapstick and rollicking action sequences.
A mother (voiced by Diane Lane) and father (Kyle MacLachlan) welcome a baby girl called Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) into the world. From the moment she opens her eyes, Riley's mood is shaped by five coloured emotions - golden Joy (Amy Poehler), blue Sadness (Phyllis Smith), purple Fear (Bill Hader), red Anger (Lewis Black) and green Disgust (Mindy Kaling) - which bicker behind a large control desk laden with buttons and levers.
Joy is the dominant emotion in Headquarters and she safeguards Riley's memories, which are stored as glowing orbs, tinged with the colour of the emotion that prevailed at the time. When Riley turns 11, her parents relocate from Minnesota to San Francisco.
Traumatic events such as a first day at a new school nudge Sadness to the fore. Following an altercation, sworn rivals Joy and Sadness are expelled from Headquarters and find themselves stranded in the labyrinth of Riley's long-term memories.
Aided by Riley's imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Joy and Sadness blaze a haphazard trail on the chugging train of thought back to Fear, Anger and Disgust, who have been left in charge of Headquarters, with disastrous consequences.
Inside Out is Pixar's best film since the holy animated trilogy of WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3. Docter's script, co-written by Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley, glisters with imagination, wit and invention, delivering guffaws with detours into the heads of Riley's parents as they attempt to deal with her pre-teenage rebellion.
Vocal performances are note perfect, led by Poehler's exuberant portrayal of Joy and Smith's sincere embodiment of Sadness, who tugs heartstrings as the film reaches its exquisite conclusion.
The film is preceded by a short: a musical love story entitled Lava between two volcanoes called Uku and Lele, directed by James Ford Murphy. Joy and Sadness shared blissful control of my mind throughout.
Legend 3 stars
Reggie Kray and his identical twin Ronnie own a lucrative club in London, where the rich and famous get a thrill from rubbing shoulders with bad boys and criminals. With guidance from business manager Leslie Payne, the club goes from strength to strength. Reggie struggles to contain his brother's sadistic impulses and when he serves time, an emotionally unstable Ronnie seizes control of the business empire and bullies anyone who openly questions his authority.
- GenreAdaptation, Biography, Drama, Historical/Period, Romance, Thriller
- CastChristopher Eccleston, Tara Fitzgerald, Paul Bettany, Emily Browning, Aneurin Barnard, Tom Hardy.
- DirectorBrian Helgeland.
- WriterBrian Helgeland.
- Duration131 mins
- Official site
Tom Hardy plays the Kray twins in this brutal and blackly humorous portrait of the notorious siblings, who terrorised 1950s and 1960s London, based on the book The Profession Of Violence by John Pearson. Reggie and his identical twin Ronnie own a lucrative club in London, where the rich and famous get a thrill from rubbing shoulders with bad boys and criminals. With guidance from business manager Leslie Payne (David Thewlis), the club goes from strength to strength. On the mean streets of the capital, the Krays continue their brutal war with turf rival Charlie Richardson (Paul Bettany), always remaining one step ahead of Detective Superintendent Leonard Read (Christopher Eccleston), who yearns to put them behind bars. Reggie embarks on a giddy romance with 16-year-old Frances Shea (Emily Browning), sister of his driver Frankie (Colin Morgan), despite vociferous protests from her mother (Tara Fitzgerald). The relationship coincides with Ronnie's turbulent affair with Edward Smith (Taron Egerton). Reggie struggles to contain his brother's sadistic impulses and keep Frances on an even emotional keel. When Reggie serves time, an emotionally unstable Ronnie seizes control of the business empire and bullies anyone who openly questions his authority.
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl 4 stars
At the behest of his parents, high school student Greg Gaines visits estranged childhood friend Rachel Kushner, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia. "I don't need your stupid pity so please go," she tells him coldly, but Greg persists to placate his meddlesome folks. A faltering friendship takes root, to the delight of Rachel's boozy mother, and Greg agrees to make a film for Rachel with his partner in creative crime, Earl.
- GenreAdaptation, Comedy, Drama, Romance
- CastRJ Cyler, Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton.
- DirectorAlfonso Gomez-Rejon.
- WriterJesse Andrews.
- Duration105 mins
- Official sitewww.meandearl.co.uk
The good die young and that seems to be the inevitable outcome of Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's beguiling and intensely moving screen adaptation of Jesse Andrews' debut novel. A teenage girl is diagnosed with cancer, classmates offer their heartfelt sympathy and one childhood friend sacrifices his studies to support her through chemotherapy.
There are obvious similarities to The Fault In Our Stars, but while that film had audiences sniffling from the opening frame, Me And Earl And The Dying Girl mines a rich vein of offbeat humour to stem the deluge of salty tears.
"This isn't a touching romantic story," confides Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), the socially awkward high school student and narrator of Gomez-Rejon's remarkable film. To some extent he's right: there's no boy meets girl cuteness here, no stolen kisses or wish fulfilment about the healing power of nascent love.
But his story is deeply affecting, recounted as a scrapbook of bittersweet vignettes and stop-motion animation, accompanied with self-explanatory onscreen captions like "Day 1 Of Doomed Friendship".
At the behest of his parents (Connie Britton, Nick Offerman), Greg visits estranged childhood friend Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke), who has been diagnosed with leukaemia. "I don't need your stupid pity so please go," she tells him coldly, but Greg persists to placate his meddlesome folks.
A faltering friendship takes root, to the delight of Rachel's boozy mother (Molly Shannon). In order to impress his high school crush, Madison (Katherine C Hughes), Greg agrees to make a film for Rachel with his partner in creative crime, Earl (RJ Cyler).
They have been producing charming homages for years including A Sockwork Orange, Senior Citizen Kane and Anatomy Of A Burger. The pressure to deliver a masterpiece weighs heavily on Greg, creating friction with Rachel, who doesn't want to be surrounded by negativity. "You can go back to your life of being invisible, detached and self-hating," she sobs.
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl is a beautifully judged rites of passage drama, that eschews mawkishness and emotional manipulation in favour of a richly detailed portrait of adolescent dreams in crisis. Gomez-Rejon's whimsical visual flourishes are a constant delight, perfectly reflecting Greg's love of classic cinema and his penchant for homemade props.
The film is punctuated by numerous moments of unexpected humour, like when Greg says something thoughtless and insensitive to Rachel, and stares at a poster on her wall of a Hollywood hunk dressed as an iconic comic book superhero. "I'm damned if I'm letting a punk like you waltz in here and stupid the place up," growls the character disapprovingly.
Mann doesn't strike a false note in the tricky lead role, gelling naturally with Cyler and Cooke. "This isn't a sappy love story," Greg emphasises, in case we had forgotten. No it's something far more precious, fragile, haunting and life-affirming than that.
Minions 3 stars
Since the dawn of time, the Minions have gravitated towards the most despicable master they can find. One Minion named Kevin embarks on an epic quest to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. Flanked by teenage rebel Stuart and diminutive scaredy-cat Bob, Kevin leaves the Minions' current home in Antarctica bound for 1968 New York City, where he stumbles upon the world's first female super-villain: Scarlet Overkill.
- GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
- CastChris Renaud, Sandra Bullock, Pierre Coffin, Steve Coogan, Allison Janney, Michael Keaton, Katy Mixon, Jon Hamm.
- DirectorPierre Coffin, Kyle Balda.
- WriterBrian Lynch.
- Duration91 mins
- Official sitewww.minionnation.co.uk
You can have too much of a good thing. In small doses, Despicable Me's goggle-eyed hench-creatures are a deranged delight. As unwittingly heroes of their own big screen adventure, these pint-sized "knights in shining denim" lose some of their loopy lustre, hindered by Brian Lynch's flimsy script, which is disappointingly light on storyline and belly laughs.
A dazzling vocal cast of gifted comic actors is repeatedly short-changed. Very young children, who gurgle with glee at the Minions' bonkers vernacular combining Esperanto and gobbledygook, will adore the slapstick, pratfalls and the tiniest member of the Minions clan, Bob, who clutches a well-loved teddy bear called Tim.
Adults will be considerably harder to win over. The lack of a coherent storyline grates as much as the lazy cultural stereotyping of the British as tea-sipping, corgi-riding folk, who frequent pubs called The Pig's Spleen.
Since the dawn of time, Minions have gravitated towards despicable masters including Tyrannosaurus Rex, Count Dracula and Napoleon. Unfortunately, these masters die prematurely - at the hands of the clumsy, yellow hench-creatures - leaving the Minions in a state of deep depression.
One brave soul named Kevin steps forth to find an evil boss for his bald, jaundiced brethren. Flanked by Stuart and scaredy-cat Bob, Kevin leaves the Minions' ice cave retreat bound for 1968 New York City. Cue a President Richard Nixon billboard proclaiming "Finally: a name you can trust". Could the Minions have stumbled upon their arch-villain?
No. The plucky trio learns about a gathering of criminals in Orlando and hitches a ride to the convention with a bank-robbing family led by Walter Nelson (voiced by Michael Keaton) and wife Madge (Allison Janney).
Their daughter Tina (Katy Mixon) points the Minions in the direction of bouffant super-villain Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). "If I was a minion, that's who I'd want to work for," she swoons. Thus the trio pledges allegiance to Scarlet and her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm), who are plotting to steal the Crown Jewels from Queen Elizabeth II (Jennifer Saunders).
While the soundtrack swings its flares to The Kinks and The Who, Kevin, Stuart and Bob careen around London armed with Herb's nifty gadgets: a robo-suit, lava lamp gun and hypno-hat.
Minions has a sprinkling of giggles and doesn't outstay its welcome but there's an unshakable feeling that Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda's film falls short. The groovy time period should be a velvet goldmine of visual gags but the best the film can muster is a nod to The Beatles and a faked moon landing.
The 3D version doesn't exploit the eye-popping format so parents with tykes in tow should save their money for the inevitable raid on the concessions stand. Animation is colourful and pristine, opting for shiny surfaces and sharp angles that reduce the need for meticulous detail and realism. Despicable? Meh.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation 4 stars
The Impossible Missions Force (IMF) led by agent Ethan Hunt has taken down some of the most deadly criminal networks in the world using guile and state-of-the-art technology. Now the hunters become the hunted. A shadowy band of assassins known as the Syndicate targets IMF for extinction. Hunt reunites with colleagues William Brandt, Benji Dunn and computer hacker Luther Stickell to expose the Syndicate and bring down the organisation using every weapon and turbo-charged vehicle at their disposal.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Thriller
- CastJeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson.
- DirectorChristopher McQuarrie.
- WriterChristopher McQuarrie.
- Duration131 mins
- Official sitewww.missionimpossible.com
Call it testosterone-fuelled recklessness, hubris or feeling the need... the need for speed, Tom Cruise certainly puts on a show in the fifth instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise. He clings to the side of an airplane as it takes flight, slaloms at dizzying speed on a motorcycle and performs death-defying leaps as secret agent Ethan Hunt.
The 53-year-old star performs most of these hair-raising stunts himself, allowing writer-director Christopher McQuarrie to capture every pulse-quickening second in thrilling close-up with minimum digital trickery.
Cruise's commitment to his role puts fellow action stars to shame - unlike the films of Stallone and Schwarzenegger, the script is devoid of wry one-liners to poke fun at his advancing years.
McQuarrie, Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Usual Suspects, bookmarks slam-bang action sequences with intentionally ambiguous exchanges between rival operatives, who acknowledge the futility of their efforts as pawns in the spy game.
Their inevitable deaths will go unnoticed and fresh-faced young agents will step forward, continuing the brutal tug-of-war between political idealism and global terrorism. The film opens with the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) hijacking a shipment of nerve gas from Chechen separatists.
Soon after, CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) succeeds in shutting down IMF for a total disregard for protocol, which led to the destruction of the Kremlin in the previous film. The hunters become the hunted when a shadowy organisation known as the Syndicate, fronted by Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), targets IMF for extinction.
Hunt covertly reunites with colleagues William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and computer hacker Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) to bring down The Syndicate using every gadget, disguise and turbo-charged vehicle at their disposal.
The operation brings Hunt into close contact with undercover MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and her slippery handler (Simon McBurney), a sadistic henchman known as the Bone Doctor (Jens Hulten) and the unsuspecting British Prime Minister (Tom Hollander). "This may very well be our last mission," Brandt tells Hunt. "Make it count."
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is slickly bolted together by McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton (Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service). Turbo-charged scenes of carnage are punctuated by IMF's existential crisis in a world that regards their methods as "outdated".
Cruise somersaults, punches and tumbles through every frame without breaking sweat, while Pegg, who was pigeon-holed as comic relief in the previous instalment, steps up in a pivotal supporting role.
Ferguson's ice maiden doesn't thaw sufficiently under Cruise's smouldering gaze to kindle on-screen chemistry but her femme fatale snaps several limbs and necks in impressive hand-to-hand combat sequences.
Humour is used sparingly to diffuse tension, leaving us hungry for another explosion of IMF antics to the pulsating rhythm of Lalo Schifrin's iconic theme. On this evidence, Mission: Impossible and its gung-ho leading man won't be self-destructing any time soon.
Mistress America 3 stars
Eighteen-year-old Tracy arranges a meeting with her future stepsister Brooke, whose father is poised to marry Tracy's mother. Unlike Tracy, who is reserved and socially inept, Brooke is an expletive-spewing, overly confident force of nature, who seems to know everyone important in Manhattan. Brooke introduces wide-eyed Tracy to some of the city's best hotspots and the teenager becomes intoxicated by the energy and verve of her 20-something mentor.
- GenreComedy, Drama
- CastMichael Chernus, Seth Barrish, Juliet Brett, Lola Kirke, Greta Gerwig.
- DirectorNoah Baumbach.
- WriterNoah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig.
- Duration84 mins
- Official site
- Release14/08/2015 (selected cinemas)
Eighteen-year-old Tracy (Lola Kirke) begins her first year at college in New York, but her dreams of literary celebrity are immediately crushed when she fails to gain admission to the school's legendary Mobius Society. To distract her from this rejection, Tracy arranges a meeting with her future stepsister Brooke (Greta Gerwig), whose father is poised to marry Tracy's mother. Unlike Tracy, who is reserved and socially inept, Brooke is an expletive-spewing, overly confident force of nature, who seems to know everyone important in Manhattan. Brooke introduces wide-eyed Tracy to some of the city's best hotspots and the teenager becomes intoxicated by the energy and verve of her 20-something mentor. When Brooke's plans to open a restaurant hit a snag, Tracy joins her future stepsister on a weekend road trip to visit an old acquaintance called Dylan (Michael Chernus), who could finance the venture and stump up the 75,000 US dollars Brooke needs by Monday.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Thursday 10th September 2015
Paper Towns 3 stars
Florida high school student Quentin Jacobsen has been madly in love with his neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman since she moved into the house across the street. He has never mustered the courage to declare his true feelings, to the chagrin of Quentin's best friends Ben and Radar. Out of the blue, Margo vanishes without trace. Quentin knows that Margo likes to leave secret markers when she goes walkabout, so he follows a treasure hunt of cryptic clues to track her down.
- GenreAdaptation, Drama, Film, Romance, Teenage
- CastNat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith.
- DirectorJake Schreier.
- WriterScott Neustadter, Michael H Weber.
- Duration116 mins
- Official sitewww.papertownsmovie.com
Buoyed by the success of superior teen weepie The Fault In Our Stars, based on the book by John Green, scriptwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber attempt to recreate the magic with this faithful adaptation of Green's bittersweet third novel.
Paper Towns deals with similar themes of alienation and sexual awakening from the perspective of peer pressured teenagers, whose existence hinges on finding a date for the end of year prom.
Director Jake Schreier sensitively and earnestly navigates these turbulent waters, eliciting solid performances from a young cast including leading man Nat Wolff, who played blind best friend Isaac in The Fault In Our Stars.
In the absence of a dramatic hook like terminal illness, Schreier's film sometimes lacks momentum and is missing a big emotional crescendo. However, there's a refreshing refusal to succumb to sentimentality when the going gets tough and the script doesn't polish the characters' rough edges in order to tie up loose plot strands in a neat bow.
Every childhood is tainted with confusion and disappointment, and this coming-of-age saga is no different. The film's unassuming hero is Florida high school student Quentin Jacobsen (Wolff), who has been madly in love with neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne) since she moved into the house across the street.
He has never mustered the courage to declare his true feelings, to the chagrin of best friends Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith), who are also poorly equipped to communicate effectively with the opposite sex.
Ben is a hormone-addled mess around blonde classmate Lacey (Halston Sage), while Radar has a girlfriend called Angela (Jaz Sinclair), who he fears will dump him for someone better. Out of the blue, Margo knocks on Quentin's bedroom window and asks him to help her wreak revenge on her cheating jock boyfriend (Griffin Freeman).
The covert night-time mission is a success but the next morning, Margo does not turn up for class. She vanishes without trace and her parents assume she has run away again. Quentin knows that Margo leaves secret markers when she goes walkabout, so he follows a treasure hunt of cryptic clues to track her down.
Paper Towns refers to fictional locations, which cartographers intentionally add to maps to prevent their hard work being plagiarised. Many of the underlying themes of Schreier's film feel second-hand - paper angst if you will - but the script treats characters and their predicaments with cool, genuine affection.
Delevingne is a puckish, cynical foil to Wolff's naivete, and Abrams and Smith banter effectively as the comic relief. Young hearts run free throughout to a soundtrack of indie pop and rock including Vampire Weekend and Twin Shadow. On this count, these teenagers are too hip to be square.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 2 stars
Victoria Vinciguerra is the beautiful mastermind of a criminal organisation, which hopes to destabilise the fragile global peace. American agent Napoleon Solo reluctantly works alongside Ukrainian rival Illya Kuryakin to thwart Victoria's nefarious plan. The two men join forces with Gaby Teller, whose father is a German scientist with the key to infiltrating the criminal network. With the clock ticking down to worldwide catastrophe, tensions between Solo and Kuryakin undermine the mission.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Romance
- CastHenry Cavill, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Armie Hammer.
- DirectorGuy Ritchie.
- WriterGuy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram.
- Duration116 mins
- Official sitewww.manfromuncle.com
More than 50 years after the achingly cool TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. exploited Cold War paranoia for rollicking entertainment, director Guy Ritchie continues to explore fractious male dynamics in this globe-trotting spy caper.
The unlikely pairing of suave American agent Napoleon Solo and tightly coiled Ukrainian rival Illya Kuryakin during the Cold War remains unchanged in Ritchie's script, co-written by Lionel Wigram. While the original pairing of Robert Vaughn and David McCallum lent swagger and smouldering sex appeal to the politically divided operatives, Ritchie's good-looking men from U.N.C.L.E. - Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill - radiate impeccably tailored style over substance and sizzle.
James Bond could arch an eyebrow and exude more charisma than either leading man manages here as they attempt to wrench a nuclear warhead from the clutches of a criminal network.
The film is having a laugh to suggest that these strapping and chiselled agents, both over six feet tall, could conduct covert surveillance without drawing attention. Ritchie evidently agrees and stokes homoerotic embers with a thinly veiled declaration of sexual preference that will prick up the ears of gay audiences as the men attempt to simultaneously pick two locks on a door and evade capture.
These throwaway moments, including an appearance by Pussy Galore's helicopter from Goldfinger, are symbolic of a film that has the right ingredients but no clear sense how to blend everything smoothly.
Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki) is the beautiful mastermind of a criminal organisation, which hopes to destabilise global peace using a warhead armed by nuclear scientist Udo Teller (Christian Berkel). CIA handler Sanders (Jared Harris) instructs his debonair agent Napoleon Solo (Cavill) to join forces with KGB counterpart Illya Kuryakin (Hammer) to thwart Victoria's nefarious plan.
The two men bicker and brood, give each other pet names ("Red Peril" and "Cowboy"), and dangle Udo's car mechanic daughter Gaby (Alicia Vikander) as bait to flush the scientist out of hiding. En route, the agents clash with Gaby's sadistic uncle (Sylvester Groth) and forge an alliance with an unflappable British agent, Alexander Waverly (Hugh Grant).
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. lovingly evokes the textures, polish and poise of an era that rebelled against post-war drabness, with fine contributions from production designer Oliver Scholl and costume designer Joanna Johnston.
The soundtrack jives to jazzy beats, matched by Ritchie's measured direction, which thankfully avoids some of his usual showboating. If looks were everything, the film would twist and shout in snazzy kaleidoscopic split screens.
However, characters are poorly developed and on-screen chemistry between the leading men and a shamefully underused Vikander is tepid. "For a special agent, you're not having a very special day," Waverly quips to Kuryakin after one chase sequence. On this handsomely crafted yet bland evidence, nor is Ritchie.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Sunday 6th September 2015
The Wolfpack 4 stars
Oscar Angulo married his wife Susanne and they settled in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Fearful of the outside world, Oscar commanded that his wife should not leave the apartment and she raised and homeschooled six boys and a girl called Visnu. This documentary journeys inside the Angulo family's home and witnesses the bonds and simmering tensions between the cloistered children and their parents.
- GenreBiography, Documentary, Drama
- CastBhagavan Angulo, Jagadisa Angulo, Govinda Angulo.
- DirectorCrystal Moselle.
- WriterCrystal Moselle.
- Duration90 mins
- Official sitewww.thewolfpackfilm.com
- Release21/08/2015 (selected cinemas)
Oscar Angulo married his wife Susanne and they settled in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Fearful of the outside world, Oscar commanded that his wife should not leave the apartment and she raised and homeschooled six boys - Bhagavan, Govinda, Jagadesh, Krisna, Mukunda and Narayana - and a girl called Visnu. Since Oscar had the only key to the family home, the children were also consigned to the apartment and they learnt about the outside world by watching films. The youngsters recited these films word by word and re-enacted their favourites including Pulp Fiction, The Dark Knight and Reservoir Dogs using handmade props. Out of the blue, 15-year-old Mukunda defies his father and escapes from the apartment, wearing a mask to conceal his identity. This flight to freedom provides the spark for Crystal Moselle's fascinating documentary, which journeys inside the Angulo family's home and witnesses the bonds and simmering tensions between the cloistered children and their parents.
Trainwreck 4 stars
At nine-years-old, Amy Townsend was told by her father that, "Monogamy isn't realistic." She has taken those words to her booze-soaked heart, enjoying numerous anonymous sexual encounters. When Amy isn't picking up men in bars, she works at lifestyle magazine S'Nuff and is assigned to pen a profile on sports doctor Aaron Conners. Unexpectedly, Amy kindles romance with the kind-hearted medic.
- GenreComedy, Drama, Film, Romance
- CastAmy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, John Cena, Tilda Swinton.
- DirectorJudd Apatow.
- WriterAmy Schumer.
- Duration125 mins
- Official sitewww.trainwreckmovie.co.uk
Award-winning actress and writer Amy Schumer raises her skirt to political correctness and gleefully flashes sexual inequality with this potty-mouthed comedy that is far from the debacle promised by the title. Directed at a lick by Judd Apatow, who temporarily lost his mojo after Knocked Up in 2007, Trainwreck is a hilarious and heart-warming portrait of modern womanhood.
Throughout the uproarious two hours, Schumer is the butt of her own expertly targeted jokes, and she generously shares sparkling one-liners around the excellent ensemble cast. In particular, she creates a hysterical supporting role for Oscar-winning British actress Tilda Swinton, as a monstrous magazine editor, who demands gung-ho headline-grabbing titillation, not gently worded, sentimental froth.
There's a thin glaze of sweetness to pivotal moments between female characters in Schumer's script and an emotionally raw scene at a funeral deftly tugs the heartstrings. Yet, for its adherence to rom-com tropes, Trainwreck is laced with sufficient biting wit and self-effacement to drink The Hangover and its crude imitators under the table, and seal victory with a rousing belch.
At nine-years-old, Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) learns a most valuable lesson about human relationships from her embittered father (Colin Quinn). "Monogamy isn't realistic," he tells Amy and her little sister Kim, encouraging the girls to chant this as a mantra.
Twenty-three years later, Amy has taken those words to her booze-soaked heart, enjoying numerous anonymous sexual encounters, while dating a musclebound hunk called Steven (John Cena), whose prowess leaves a lot to be desired.
In stark contrast, sister Kim (Brie Larson) has settled down with her knitwear-clad husband Tom (Mike Birbiglia). "You dress him like that just so no one else wants to have sex with him?" quips Amy, mocking her sibling's domestic bliss.
When Amy isn't picking up men in bars, she works at lifestyle magazine S'Nuff with kooky best friend Nikki (Vanessa Bayer). Out of the blue, editor Dianna (Tilda Swinton) assigns Amy to pen a profile on sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), who is good friends with basketball player LeBron James (playing himself).
Amy knows almost nothing about sport but she obliges and sparks an unlikely romance with the kind-hearted medic that threatens to unravel the tattered fabric of her bed-hopping existence.
Trainwreck is a wicked delight that asserts independent, single women have the same right as men to enjoy carefree sexual escapades without being labelled a hussy. Schumer instantly endears us to her self-destructive 30-something, who has to hit rock bottom before she can begin the slow, painful ascent back to healthy self-respect.
Hader is an adorable comic foil and sparring partner, and on-screen chemistry between the two leads simmers beautifully. Supporting performances are equally memorable, including amusing cameos from Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei. Jump on board Schumer's runaway, filthy-minded train of thought and hold on tight.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Sunday 6th September 2015