Now showing at Everyman Winchester Southgate Street,Winchester,Hampshire SO23 9EG 0871 906 9060
- Independence Day: Resurgence
- Me Before You
- The Nice Guys
- The Secret Life Of Pets
Independence Day: Resurgence 2 stars
It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore issued his rallying cry to repel alien invaders. Following the devastating showdown, the United Nations establishes a new early warning program named Earth Space Defense (ESD), which should alert us to future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. We are painfully unaware that the aliens from the initial attack sent a distress signal to the rest of their battalion before their defeat and more powerful aliens are poised to storm the planet.
- GenreAction, Science Fiction, Thriller
- CastBill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Maika Monroe, James Vanderbilt, Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner, Travis Tope.
- DirectorRoland Emmerich.
- WriterNicolas Wright, James A Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich.
- Duration120 mins
- Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/independence-day-resurgence
During the calm before the digital effects storm in Independence Day: Resurgence, Jeff Goldblum's quixotic scientist stares slack-jawed at an approaching alien mothership and gasps, "That's definitely bigger than the last one". Those words encapsulate the bombastic sequel to Roland Emmerich's 1996 sci-fi blockbuster, which famously blew up The White House as a symbol of extra-terrestrial hostility. Second time around, the German director isn't content with razing iconic buildings in Washington D.C. He deposits the whole of Dubai including the spearlike Burj Khalifa skyscraper on top of London, flattening landmarks with whooping abandon, then proceeds to pulverise America's eastern coast. Restraint isn't in the film's limited vocabulary and repeatedly, Emmerich and his army of special effects wizards conjure wanton destruction on a grand scale. With the benefit of this state-of-the-art trickery, eye-popping 3D and immersive sound, Independence Day: Resurgence should be a pulse-quickening thrill ride. So it comes as a crushing disappointment that the second film lacks the roughly hewn excitement and charm of its predecessor. Critically, the five scriptwriters have neglected to provide us with characters to care about before they unleash otherworldly hell upon the third rock from the sun. It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore (Bill Pullman) issued his rallying cry to the entrenched human race. In the aftermath, survivors salvaged the remains of fallen alien technology to create hybrid weapons systems. We also initiated the Earth Space Defense (ESD) under the direction of David Levinson (Goldblum) as an early warning system against future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. On the eve of the July 4 celebrations, a hulking otherworldly destroyer enters our atmosphere in response to a distress call from the fallen fleet. Current US President Elizabeth Lanford (Sela Ward) commands elite pilots to take to the skies, including Dylan Hiller (Jessie Usher), orphaned pals Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and Charlie Miller (Travis Tope), whose parents perished during the failed first invasion and Chinese golden girl Rain (Angelababy). "It's the fourth of July," bellows Dylan as he spearheads the rebellion, "so show 'em some fireworks!" On the ground, Levinson searches for a scientific miracle aided by Whitmore's plucky daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe), French psychiatrist Dr Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg), African warlord Dikembe Umbutu (Deobia Oparei) and Area 51 boffin Dr Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner), who suffers from the human-alien residual psychic condition. Independence Day: Resurgence lazily embraces disaster movie cliches including one mawkish subplot involving Levinson's father (Judd Hirsch), a school bus of stricken children and a dog. Performances struggle to make an impact above the din of pyrotechnics and a rumbustious orchestral score. Pivotal characters, who are clearly marked for death, serve their perfunctory purpose, blatantly teeing up a third instalment that will hopefully take another 20 years before it sees the flickering light of a cinema screen.
Me Before You 3 stars
William Traynor is a London playboy who harks from privileged stock. Fate deals him a cruel blow and William is left paralysed. He returns to his ancestral home and relinquishes his lust for life. In order to raise his spirits, Will's parents advertise for a carer and companion for their son and former tea shop waitress Louisa Clark answers the call. She buoys Will's spirits with a series of excursions. Friendship between the pair threatens to blossom into romance but Louisa already has a boyfriend.
- GenreAdaptation, Drama, Romance
- CastEmilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Charles Dance, Vanessa Kirby.
- DirectorThea Sharrock.
- WriterJojo Moyes.
- Duration110 mins
- Official sitewww.mebeforeyoumovie.com
Adapted from the bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You is a tear-stained romance about two lost souls, who find each other when they least expect it. The trajectory of this improbable love affair will be achingly familiar to anyone who has sobbed through The Fault In Our Eyes, Paper Towns and The Choice, and director Thea Sharrock clearly telegraphs each shameless tug of the heartstring. Moyes' screenplay adaptation omits some of the meatier content from her novel, like the heart-breaking reason her heroine is reluctant to leave home and explore the world. However, the crass depiction of class, which initially divides the characters, is still intact. Thus, the rich are carefree, fabulously attired and enjoy classical music and opera, while the working class are happily enslaved to denim and wouldn't know Brahms from Bartok. William Traynor (Sam Claflin) is a handsome high-flyer in London, who harks from privileged stock. His parents, Steven (Charles Dance) and Camilla (Janet McTeer), own a country pile including a crumbling castle and he jets off on expensive extreme sports holidays with his pretty girlfriend, Alicia (Vanessa Kirby). Fate deals William a cruel blow and he is left paralysed. He returns to his ancestral home and relinquishes his lust for life. In order to raise his spirits, the Traynors advertise for a companion for their son and misfit Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke), who has just lost her job as a waitress at The Buttered Bun Cafe, answers the call. She lives in the nearby village with her unemployed father Bernard (Brendan Coyle), mother Josie (Samantha Spiro), sister Katrina (Jenna Coleman) and the rest of her extended family While hunky male nurse Nathan (Stephen Peacocke) tends to Will's physical needs, Louisa attempts to buoy his spirits with a series of excursions to the races and a classical music concert. An unlikely friendship threatens to blossom into romance, but Louisa already has a fitness-obsessed boyfriend, Patrick (Matthew Lewis). "You only get one life, Clark, and it's your responsibility to live it to the fullest," Will counsels Louisa, encouraging her to expand her horizons beyond the village and, indeed, Patrick. Me Before You glides serenely along its linear narrative. Fans of the book should snuffle through a couple of tissues as relationships unravel and good-looking cast members cry perfect tears in close-up. The morally complex issue of assisted suicide is broached in the most inoffensive and simplistic terms, offering one brief voice of dissent - "It's no better than murder!" - who is noticeably absent for the rest of the film. Despite the manifold failings of the script, luminous lead actors Clarke and Claflin kindle palpable sparks of on-screen chemistry that compel us to root for them, even when common sense tells us the relationship is destined to end in heartbreak.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Thursday 30th June 2016
The Nice Guys 4 stars
Jackson Healy is a hired heavy in 1977 Los Angeles, who beats up perverts and stalkers with his knuckleduster. A young woman called Amelia Kuttner pays him to scare off low-rent private detective Holland March, who has been asking for her around town. The first meeting of these two men ends in bloodshed and broken bones, but Jackson and Holland reluctantly agree to work together when Amelia subsequently vanishes without trace.
- GenreAction, Comedy, Thriller
- CastRussell Crowe, Angourie Rice, Ryan Gosling, Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger.
- DirectorShane Black.
- WriterShane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi.
- Duration116 mins
- Official sitewww.facebook.com/NiceGuysMovieUK/?brand_redir=1668045260089410
Good things come to those who wait. Every decade, filmmaker Shane Black unspools a deliciously off-kilter buddy action comedy that plays fast and loose with the conventions of the genre. In 1996, he penned The Long Kiss Goodnight starring Geena Davis and Samuel L Jackson, which metamorphosed a picture-perfect suburban mom into a finely honed killing machine. In 2005, he repeated the feat and also sat in the director's chair for the potty-mouthed murder mystery Kiss Kiss Bang Bang headlining Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer. Now, Black strikes it lucky for a third time with the unlikely comic pairing of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys, a hare-brained missing person's caper set in sexually liberated 1977 Los Angeles. The script delivers big, throaty laughs from the cynical opening - "Marriage is buying a house with someone you hate!" - and adroitly juggles physical and verbal humour, inflicting injuries and indignities on his leading men for our sport and entertainment. It's a groovy kind of bromantic love and Crowe and Gosling relish the to and fro of the snappy dialogue as they gleefully contend with the fashions of the era. Jackson Healy (Crowe) is a hired heavy, who beats up perverts and stalkers with his knuckleduster. A young woman called Amelia Kuttner (Margaret Qualley) pays him to scare off low-rent private detective Holland March (Gosling), who has been asking for her around town. The first meeting of these two men ends in bloodshed and broken bones, but Jackson and Holland reluctantly agree to work together when Amelia subsequently vanishes without trace. "Why don't you invite him in?" asks Holland's precocious daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) when Jackson turns up at their door. "No animals in the house, sweetheart," retorts the investigator, bearing the physical scars of their previous encounter. The breadcrumb trail of evidence leads to Amelia's fearsome mother, Judith Kuttner (Kim Basinger), who works for the United States Department of Justice and pleads with Jackson and Holland to locate and protect her child. Unfortunately, a hitman called John Boy (Matt Bomer) is also on the trail of Amelia, and Holland also needs to solve the perplexing mystery of porn actress Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio), who was apparently seen alive two days after she died in a car accident. The Nice Guys doesn't quite soar to the dizzy heights of Black's previous escapades, but he comes close, retaining an enviable ability to conjure jaw-dropping one-liners out of nowhere. Like when the central duo is detained by a police officer who is simply following the rulebook. "You know who else was just following orders? Hitler!" counters Jackson. The central plot is a morass of crosses, double crosses, bluffs and coincidences that intrigues and bamboozles, untangling itself in the closing frames with aplomb.
The Secret Life Of Pets 3 stars
Katie shares her Manhattan apartment with a terrier named Max, who relishes the close relationship with his owner. This special bond is threatened when Katie brings home a mongrel named Duke, who she has saved from a grim fate at the local dog pound. The two pooches are forced to put their rivalry to one side when a gang of abandoned pets led by a white rabbit named Snowball launches an intense campaign of revenge against contended owners and their pets.
- GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
- CastLake Bell, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Tara Strong, Louis CK, Albert Brooks, Kevin Hart.
- DirectorChris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney.
- WriterKen Daurio, Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul.
- Duration91 mins
- Official sitewww.thesecretlifeofpets.co.uk
Creatures great and small wreak havoc on the streets of New York City in Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney's colourful computer-animated romp. Employing a similar framework to Toy Story, The Secret Life Of Pets imagines what our four-legged, feathered and finned friends get up to when our backs are turned, suggesting that the fun begins when we go to work or school. A Jack Russell terrier and an affection starved mongrel replace Woody and Buzz Lightyear as the feuding central characters, whose rivalry mellows into mutual affection when they are separated from their owner. Screenwriters Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul have great fun in early scenes, revealing how a dachshund uses his owner's food mixer as a back massager or one tiny dog performs acrobatic leaps to water a hanging basket with a cock of its leg. The central concept isn't original but there's an infectious charm to every shiny frame of Renaud and Cheney's well-groomed picture, which mercilessly exploits our affection for the critters that share our homes. Katie (voiced by Ellie Kemper) lives in her Manhattan apartment with a mischievous terrier named Max (Louis CK). "Our love is stronger than words or shoes," explains Max, referring to his penchant for chewing his owner's footwear when he was a puppy in training. He is good friends with other domesticated animals and birds including a pampered Eskimo dog named Gidget (Jenny Slate), who is head over fluffy tail in love with Max, and a sardonic house cat named Chloe (Lake Bell), who nurtures a healthy disdain for anything that doesn't enrich her selfish existence. "Dog people do weird, inexplicable things," she purrs, "like they get dogs instead of cats." Max's bond with Katie is threatened when his owner brings home a lolloping mongrel named Duke (Eric Stonestreet), who she has saved from the pound. Intense rivalry spills out onto the city streets where Max and Duke fall foul of a Sphynx cat called Ozone (Steve Coogan) and are mistaken for strays by animal control officers. The snarling enemies are rescued by a maniacal white rabbit named Snowball (Kevin Hart), who pressgangs them into service in his army of unwanted animals, who live in the sewers. The Secret Life Of Pets is the brainchild of the makers of Despicable Me and Minions, and retains a similar visual style and family-friendly sense of humour. Behavioural tics of each breed are mercilessly exploited for slapstick laughs and co-directors Renaud and Cheney maintain a brisk trot to ensure young audiences don't go for walkies in the middle of the film. The main feature is accompanied by a cute animated short entitled Mower Minions in which the gibberish-spouting sidekicks tend the lawn of elderly neighbours. Alas, the diminutive do-gooders are yellow fingers and thumbs, propagating plentiful guffaws and giggles.