Now showing at Ryedale Palace Chancery Lane,Malton,North Yorkshire YO17 7HW 01653 698899
- Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip
- Dad's Army
Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip 3 stars
Dave has been dating Samantha for several months. Alvin, Simon and Theodore would be delighted except Samantha's teenage son Miles bullies them mercilessly. The chipmunks discover an engagement ring in Dave's bag and realise that their pal is poised to go down on bended knee. This would be a disaster because the trio would have to suffer Miles for the rest of their lives, so they hatch a cunning plan to sabotage the relationship before Dave can produce the ring.
- GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
- CastJosh Green, Jason Lee, Matthew Gray Gubler, Justin Long, Jesse McCartney, Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
- DirectorWalt Becker.
- WriterAdam Sztykiel, Randi Mayem Singer.
- Duration92 mins
- Official site
Love is in the air in the fourth instalment of the Alvin And The Chipmunks series... but not for long if the helium-voiced furballs get their way. Walt Becker's ramshackle road movie contrives a flimsy excuse for singing rodents Alvin, Simon and Theodore to want to sabotage the flourishing romance of their surrogate father.
Of course, the mischievous trio learn the error of their ways en route to a sentimental reconciliation that emphasises the importance of family over fame with all the subtlety of a swift kick to the sternum. Randi Mayem Singer and Adam Sztykiel's script trades in recycled humour and repeatedly makes pointless narrative detours to allow Alvin, Simon and Theodore to perform their high energy cover versions.
Thus the chipmunks swing their hips to Gloria Estefan's Conga at the mere mention of Miami and a detour to New Orleans provides the perfect excuse for a toe-tapping rendition of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' disco-flavoured floor filler Uptown 'Munk during Mardi Gras.
Dave (Jason Lee) has been dating Samantha (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) for several months and decides to introduce his sweetheart to his surrogate children. Alvin (voiced by Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) should be delighted, except Samantha's teenage son Miles (Josh Green) bullies them mercilessly when the parents' backs are turned.
The chipmunks discover an engagement ring and realise that Dave is poised to go down on bended knee to Samantha during a business trip to Miami to promote the album of superstar Ashley Grey (Bella Thorne).
Wedding bells toll disaster - the trio will be stuck with Miles - so the chipmunks hatch a cunning plan to sabotage the proposal. "People look out for themselves. It's what animals do," snarls Miles, who was abandoned at an early age by his no-good father.
He pledges support to Alvin, Simon and Theodore to prevent another man from hurting his mother. The quartet embarks on disaster-prone misadventures from Los Angeles to Miami including a tangle with a tenacious air marshal (Tony Hale).
Meanwhile, the feisty Chipettes - Brittany (Christina Applegate), Eleanor (Kaley Cuoco) and Jeanette (Anna Faris) - begin their stint as judges on TV talent show American Idol.
Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip is cast in the mould of previous films, replete with bouts of chipmunk flatulence and slapstick humour. Hale's relentless air marshal is the butt of most of the jokes, including a face plant into a road sign during one madcap chase.
Lee is reduced to looking exasperated or proud as required. Polished digital effects seamlessly blend the rapping rodents with exaggerated real life, including one scene at a courthouse that comes surprisingly close to genuine heart-tugging emotion.
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.
Youth 4 stars
Retired composer Fred Ballinger and film director Mick Boyle have been good friends for more than 60 years and they enjoy a sun-kissed retreat at a hotel in the Alps. Out of the blue, Fred receives a visit from Her Majesty, The Queen's emissary, who asks the conductor to perform his most famous work at a concert in honour of the monarch. Fred steadfastly refuses and returns to his relaxation, with occasional visits from his emotionally brittle daughter Lena.
- CastRachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Sir Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel.
- DirectorPaolo Sorrentino.
- WriterPaolo Sorrentino.
- Duration124 mins
- Official site
- Release29/01/2016 (selected cinemas)
Italian writer-director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, This Must Be The Place) elicits a towering performance from Michael Caine, which deserved Oscar consideration, in this beguiling portrait of old age and fading memories. Retired composer Fred Ballinger (Caine) and film director Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) have been good friends for more than 60 years and they enjoy a sun-kissed retreat at a hotel in the Alps. Film star Jimmy Tree (Paul Dano) and the reigning Miss Universe (Madalina Ghenea), who insists on bathing in the nude, are among the establishment's other venerated guests. Out of the blue, Fred receives a visit from Her Majesty, The Queen's emissary (Alex Macqueen), who asks the conductor to perform his most famous work at a concert in honour of the monarch. Fred steadfastly refuses and returns to his relaxation, with occasional visits from his emotionally brittle daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz), who is in the midst of a painful separation.