Now showing at Croydon Fairfield Halls Park Lane,Croydon,Surrey CR9 1DG email@example.com 02086 889291
- Big Hero 6
- Fifty Shades Of Grey
- Globe On Screen: Titus Andronicus
- Maxine Peake As Hamlet
- Muppets Most Wanted
- Royal Opera Live: Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny
- The LEGO Movie
Big Hero 6 4 stars
Fourteen-year-old Hiro Hamada idolises his older brother Tadashi, who is one of the star pupils of Professor Robert Callaghan, head of the robotics program at San Fransokyo University. A fire at the university ends in tragedy and poor Hiro is consumed with grief until his brother's greatest creation, a self-inflating personal healthcare robot called Baymax, helps the teenager to come to terms with his loss.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Science Fiction
- CastRyan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, TJ Miller, Daniel Henney, James Cromwell, Genesis Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr.
- DirectorDon Hall, Chris Williams.
- WriterRobert L Baird, Daniel Gerson, Jordan Roberts.
- Duration114 mins
- Official sitemovies.disney.com/big-hero-6/
Never underestimate the soothing power of a hug. With one simple squish, you can provide comfort, encouragement or a simple how-do-you-do that transcends a thousand well-chosen words. Big Hero 6 is the cinematic equivalent of a warm hug, embracing the old-fashioned family values of the Walt Disney brand alongside cutting-edge computer technology that audiences now expect to dazzle their senses.
Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams marry dizzying action sequences that look even more spectacular in 3D to an emotionally rich story of a lonely boy's unshakable bond with his self-inflating robot protector, recalling the magical 1999 animated feature The Iron Giant.
The inquisitive automaton Baymax is the stuff that sweet celluloid dreams are made of: tender, loving and unwittingly hilarious. Every child will want their own marshmallow man to snuggle at night and keep them safe from the harsh realities of modern life that weigh heavily on the film's grief-stricken adolescent hero.
"I see no evidence of physical injury," informs the robot as he scans the boy's body.
"It's a different kind of hurt," laments the teenager.
Fourteen-year-old Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) idolises his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), who is a star pupil of Professor Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell), head of the robotics program at San Fransokyo University.
A fire on campus culminates in tragedy and shell-shocked Hiro is inconsolable until his brother's greatest creation, a personal healthcare robot called Baymax (Scott Adsit), helps the teenager to confront his loss. As the boy discovers Baymax's functionality, he also stumbles upon a secret: the fire might not have been an accident.
Indeed, a greedy entrepreneur called Alistair Krei (Alan Tudyk) might have started the blaze. Aided by Tadashi's loyal friends GoGo (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (TJ Miller) plus an upgraded Baymax, Hiro resolves to discover the truth about the deadly inferno.
Based on an obscure title from the Marvel Comics universe, Big Hero 6 is a rip-roaring opening salvo in a potential new franchise. Directors Hall and Williams orchestrate the requisite thrilling set pieces with brio, including an unconventional dash through the undulating streets of San Fransokyo that knowingly flouts traffic laws.
"There are no red lights in a car chase!" squeals GoGo. The animators and script never lose sight of the central relationship of Hiro and Baymax, sketching that bond in exquisitely deft strokes. Grown men will be choking back tears.
Big Hero 6 is preceded by Patrick Osborne's Oscar nominated short Feast, which charts the relationship between a Boston terrier and his master from puppyhood to middle age in a series of vignettes. It's a pick of the animated litter that leaves an indelible mark on the heart, just like Hall's and Williams' turbo-charged main feature.
Fifty Shades Of Grey 3 stars
As a favour to her roommate Kate, literature student Anastasia Steele interviews handsome and charming multimillionaire businessman Christian Grey. Anastasia is bewitched by Christian and makes clear her desire for him. In order to get closer to the object of her amorous affections, the student submits to Christian and he introduces her to an erotically charged world of submission, domination, lust and temptation.
- GenreAdaptation, Romance, Thriller
- CastDakota Johnson, Jennifer Ehle, Jamie Dornan, Rita Ora, Marcia Gay Harden.
- DirectorSam Taylor-Johnson.
- WriterKelly Marcel.
- Duration125 mins
- Official sitewww.fiftyshadesmovie.com
With its simplistic storyline about a naive heroine drawn to a dark, brooding hunk, who conceals monstrous desires, Fifty Shades Of Grey is Twilight with riding crops and plush furnishings. Sam Taylor-Johnson's flaccid film version of the EL James literary sensation preaches to the perverted in soft-core whimpers and sighs. Editor Lisa Gunning gently caresses each glossy sequence of writhing appendages to the strains of Danny Elfman's score or a soaring ballad from Annie Lennox and Sia. "Got me looking so crazy in love," purrs Beyonce beneath the picture's first impeccably lit montage of gym-toned flesh on flesh. Sadly the carnal abandon in her lyrics fails to translate as lustful hanky-spanky on the big screen. The plot is handcuffed tightly to the book. As a favour to her flu-riddled roommate Kate (Eloise Mumford), English Literature student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) interviews handsome billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for an article in the university newspaper. Anastasia is intoxicated but Christian initially pushes her away. "I'm not the man for you. You have to steer clear of me," he whispers. Irresistibly drawn to the businessman, Anastasia agrees to a date and Christian spirits her away to his red room festooned with S&M toys via a flight on his private helicopter. As she takes her first ride on his chopper to the throb of Ellie Goulding's chart-topping hit Love Me Like You Do, Taylor-Johnson's film reduces to an orgy of product placements and glossy fantasies that wouldn't look too shabby as TV commercials for luxury cars, designer fragrances or crumbly, flaky confectionery. Only in Taylor-Johnson's film, the beautiful heroine, who bites her lower lip as lazy shorthand for anticipatory sexual pleasure, wants to unwrap Dornan's sculpted torso rather than a glistening slab of milk chocolate. "I'm incapable of letting you go," confides Christian as he introduces wide-eyed Anastasia to his secret world of domination and submission, which didn't get UK censors hot under the collar, passing the film uncut. Nor me. I was more aroused by the immaculate shine on Christian's piano than anything in his boudoir of bondage: a set designer must have spent hours buffing those ivories. When Dornan and Johnson are fully clothed and enjoying comical scenes of flirtation, they kindle smouldering screen chemistry. As soon as one of them disrobes, those embers are extinguished. Kelly Marcel's script fails to flesh out the protagonists: Christian remains an enigma and Dornan gamely keeps a straight face as he barks lines like, "If you were mine, you wouldn't be able to sit down for a week." The usual sexual inequality about on-screen nudity applies. While Johnson is depicted full frontal, Dornan's johnson remains artfully hidden by his co-star's creamy thighs or high thread-count bed sheets. In an early scene, Ana's roommate excitedly demands the lowdown on Christian and the heroine coolly responds that he was nice, courteous and clean. That's a fair summation of the film: two hours of polite, functional, beautifully shot foreplay that fails to locate the G-spot.
Globe On Screen: Titus Andronicus 3 stars
Shakespeare's Roman tragedy.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Thursday 2nd April 2015
Maxine Peake As Hamlet 3 stars
Recorded live at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in autumn 2014, Sarah Frankcom's stripped down, modern dress staging of Shakespeare's blood-smeared tale of loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness stars the formidable Maxine Peake as the young Prince of Denmark who exacts a terrifying revenge for the death of his father. His murderous uncle Claudius and mother Gertrude feel the full force of Hamlet's wrath.
- GenreDrama, Special
- CastJohn Shrapnel, Barbara Marten, Maxine Peake, Katie West.
- DirectorSarah Frankcom.
- WriterWilliam Shakespeare.
- Duration208 mins
- Official sitewww.royalexchange.co.uk/whats-on-and-tickets/hamlet
- Release23/03/2015 (selected cinemas)
Recorded live at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in autumn 2014, Sarah Frankcom's stripped down, modern dress staging of Shakespeare's blood-smeared tale of loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness stars the formidable Maxine Peake as the young Prince of Denmark who exacts a terrifying revenge for the death of his father. His murderous uncle Claudius (John Shrapnel) and mother Gertrude (Barbara Marten) feel the full force of Hamlet's wrath, while innocent Ophelia (Katie West) is also sucked into the vortex of hatred from which there is no escape.
Muppets Most Wanted 4 stars
The world's most deadly criminal, Constantine, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Kermit except for a facial mole and strong eastern European accent, escapes from a Siberian gulag overseen by Nadya and her men. They give chase and mistakenly apprehend Kermit, believing him to be the devious mastermind. While Kermit languishes behind bars, Constantine poses as The Muppets' leader to orchestrate a series of daring robberies with the help of his second in command, Dominic Badguy.
- GenreAction, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Family, Musical, Romance
- CastSalma Hayek, Tina Fey, Tom Hiddleston, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Dave Goelz, David Rudman, Eric Jacobson, Steve Whitmire, Bill Barretta.
- DirectorJames Bobin.
- WriterNicholas Stoller, James Bobin.
- Duration113 mins
- Official sitemuppets.disney.com/muppets-most-wanted
Created almost 60 years ago by Jim Henson, Kermit The Frog and his hand-operated chums gained a new lease of life in 2011 with the release of the seventh feature film, snappily entitled The Muppets. Combining an irreverent script, tongue-in-cheek cameos and uproarious song and dance numbers, James Bobin's film was a treat for fans of all ages.
Muppets Most Wanted is the inevitable sequel and harnesses some of the same charm and zany energy including original compositions by Bret McKenzie from Flight Of The Conchords, who garnered an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the first film.
The New Zealand-born comedian and musician delights with his pithy worksmithery including a rousing opening number featuring Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga that declares, "We're doing a sequel, the studio wants more/While they wait for Tom Hanks to do Toy Story 4!"
The ramshackle plot bounces along at breakneck speed, providing a hook for hare-brained set pieces replete with Celine Dion as Miss Piggy's Fairy Godmother.
The world's most deadly criminal, Constantine (voiced by Matt Vogel), who bears an uncanny resemblance to Kermit (Steve Whitmire) except for a facial mole and strong eastern European accent, escapes from Gulag 38B in Siberia.
Commander Nadya (Tina Fey) and her men give chase and mistakenly apprehend Kermit, believing him to be the amphibian mastermind. While Kermit languishes behind bars, Constantine poses as The Muppets' leader to orchestrate a series of daring robberies with the help of his second in command, Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais).
French Interpol inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) is hot on their heels and hooves. Miss Piggy (Eric Jacobson), Gonzo (Dave Goelz), Fozzie Bear (Jacobson again) and the gang don't notice that their beloved green ringmaster has been replaced by an impostor.
They embark on a world tour that takes them from Berlin to Madrid, Dublin and London - "home of the Crown Jewels... and good manners". Thankfully, Kermit has a daring plan to escape and expose the diabolical doppelganger.
Muppets Most Wanted doesn't quite scale the dizzy comedic heights of the first film but the sequel is peppered with belly laughs and droll in-jokes. Thus when the newest member of the Muppet fold, Walter (Peter Linz), abandons the world tour, Rowlf is incredulous. "We just spent a whole movie watching him join The Muppets!" he laments.
Bobin doesn't tarry on holes in the narrative or flimsy sub-plots like Miss Piggy's desire to make an honest frog out of Kermit, and hopes we'll do the same with grins on our faces.
The sequel is preceded by a delightful computer-animated short, Party Central, which revisits Monsters University favourites Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) and the misfits from Oozma Kappa fraternity as they attempt to outwit the bully boys from Roar Omega Roar once more.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Thursday 2nd April 2015
Royal Opera Live: Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny 3 stars
Broadcast live from the Royal Opera House in London, Mark Wrigglesworth wields the conductor's baton for this performance of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's furiously impassioned operatic satire on consumerism. John Fulljames directs Christine Rice as prostitute Jenny and Kurt Streit as lumberjack Jim, who come undone in a city of gold awash with greed and debauchery.
- GenreMusical, Special
- CastAnne Sofie von Otter, Peter Hoare, Sir Willard White.
- DirectorJohn Fulljames.
- WriterKurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht.
- Official sitewww.roh.org.uk/cinemas
- Release24/03/2015 (selected cinemas)
The LEGO Movie 4 stars
Emmet is an ordinary LEGO mini-figure, who is mistaken for a mythical figure known as Master Builder by an ancient wizard Vitruvius. Before he can clear up this unfortunate misunderstanding, Emmet is press-ganged into leading the quest to defeat a nefarious LEGO tyrant aided by a rogue's gallery of historical and fictional mini-figures including Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Abraham Lincoln.
- GenreAction, Animation/Cartoon, Children's, Comedy, Family, Family
- CastLiam Neeson, Channing Tatum, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Will Ferrell, Cobie Smulders, Chris Pratt.
- DirectorChristopher Miller, Phil Lord.
- WriterPhil Lord, Christopher Miller.
- Duration100 mins
- Official sitewww.thelegomovie.com
It was Christmas 1984. I remember excitedly tearing snowman-festooned wrapping paper off a large box and staring wide-eyed at the LEGO construction set that had been the subject of countless unsubtle hints to my parents. Those tiny coloured construction bricks became a building site for my imagination, and even now, I get fuzzy pangs when I see film-themed kits cluttering up the shelves of toy shops.
That same warm glow permeates Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's rollicking adventure, which cleverly employs the latest technical wizardry to mimic the crude, imperfect movements of stop-motion animation.
The LEGO Movie is a hoot, celebrating the enduring power and popularity of a toy invented in the late 1940s. Directors Lord and Miller, who donned hard hats at the helm of the first Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs film, strike a delicious tone of irreverence throughout to ensure parents enjoy the ride just as much as younger audiences.
The unlikely hero is a socially awkward LEGO mini-figure called Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), who works on a building site in his hometown of Bricksburg. Desperate to fit in, Emmet follows the dictates laid down by President Business (Will Ferrell), who is actually - shock, gasp! - arch-villain Lord Business in disguise.
This nefarious tyrant plans to destroy Bricksburg and the neighbouring districts of Cloud Cuckoo Land and Middle Zealand using an artefact known as The Kragle.
Ancient wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and his sassy henchwoman Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) mistake Emmet for a mythical figure known as Master Builder, who possesses the power to create anything out of LEGO bricks with his mind.
According to prophecy, Master Builder will locate the Piece Of Resistance and destroy The Kragle. "A Special One? What a load of hippy, dippy baloney!" cackles Lord Business.
Emmet is press-ganged into leading the perilous quest to defeat the despot aided by a rogue's gallery of mini-figures including Wyldstyle's boyfriend Batman (Will Arnett), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill), Wonder Woman (Cobie Smulders), Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte) and a classic 1980s-era blue spaceman named Benny (Charlie Day).
The heroes are pursued by schizophrenic law-maker and -breaker Bad Cop (Liam Neeson). "Rest in pieces!" he guffaws as LEGO cannons destroy their home world.
Fast-paced and crammed with primary colours, The LEGO Movie pulls out all the stops to dazzle and delight. The script is peppered with wry one-liners, cinematic homages and an infectious theme song - Everything Is Awesome - that burrows into the brain and refuses to leave quietly.
Pratt, Ferrell and co deliver ebullient vocal performances, which are complemented by frenetic action sequences by LEGO land, sea and air. The final 10 minutes provide an unexpected, heart-warming surprise, guaranteed to have kids big and small grinning with glee.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Wednesday 1st April 2015