THE Christmas line-up is brilliant this year, there are so many good films and some really great films as well.

Over the Christmas period we will have The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Get Santa, Paddington, Penguins of Madagascar, Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey. Unbroken plays from the 26th of December – well it would but the only three days we close in a year are Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

So, Unbroken will play from Saturday the 27th of December. We also close early on the two Eves – Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. We aim for the last shows to be finished by about six o’clock. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb starts on Saturday the 27th of December as well – this is Robin Williams’ last film and he died in the middle so it will be interesting to see how they manage to cover up his untimely death.

The previous two Night at the Museum films have been extremely popular and really good into the bargain! Into The Woods comes out on the 9th of January and there is a family connection with some of the costumes on screen.

Milton Rooms – I was out again on Sunday doing the sound for the ‘Now That’s What I Call a Christmas Show’ organised by Rob Davies of Ryedale Special Families. I have to say it was a fab show! The line up included (sorry if you were there but maybe this will be a little reminiscence) Prima Vocal Ensemble, a seventy strong choir from York, David Swann was his inimitable self singing his Christmas song which included a lot of other familiar Christmas tunes, Josh Benson did some Tommy Cooper style magic and later a comedy routine with his dad.

The brilliant Kirkham Henry featured strongly including a section dancing to Sarah Dean’s harp playing and singing. The whole show was compared by Wayne Biggin, from Sheffield, who I discovered we had a mutual acquaintance in the late Tony Capstick. Watch out for it next year, if it happens.

With the work at the Milton Rooms and other commitments we have only made time to see two films this week. We watched My Old Lady and Penguins of Madagascar. My Old Lady is a really different story – it starts out where the French practice of buying a property and paying rent to the previous owner until their death – this was called something like Vie Arge (I have no idea how it is spelt despite Internet searching or whether it is a real practise) is described.

Needless to say the story of the characters becomes complicated and the relationships between them develop. All performances from Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith were outstanding as you would expect. I am not sure how much I like them but find myself still thinking about them and their story.

Penguins of Madagascar is full of the usual mayhem and takes up the story back when the Penguins were young and “rejected Nature” – whilst a camera crew film them telling their own interpretation of the story. Very clever as you would expect from the voices of Tom McGrath as Skipper, Chris Miller as Kowalski, Christopher Knights was Private, Conrad Vernon was Rico. John Malkovich brilliantly played the baddy - Dave. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Classified. A good light hearted jaunt of mayhem and fun.

Films This Week:

From Friday the 19th of December we have the following:

Penguins of Madagascar (U and Number 4 in the Top Ten) continues for another week.

Paddington (PG and Number 2 in the Top Ten)

The Imitation Game (12A) (and number 5 in the Top 10) – still drawing the audiences in and well worth seeing if you haven’t – I am hoping to make time to see it again as it is quite outstanding.

Get Santa (U and Number 6 in the Top Ten) looks great from the short snippets I have seen and the reaction has been good from those leaving too.

Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey (U and Number 8 in the Top Ten) – not the most challenging of films ever made but a happy romp and they end up in America again!

My Old Lady (12A) had a rest last week and is back from Friday for grownups, who would like something less Christmassy, to see this film.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (12A and a huge Number 1 in the Top Ten) – we haven’t seen this film yet but the reaction from those who have has been excellent.

Live Stage Productions:

The third of the recently added productions from NT Live: Man and Superman (12A). Jack Tanner, is a celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor. Jack seems an unlikely choice as guardian to the alluring heiress called Ann. Ann takes it in her assured stride and, despite the love of a poet, decides to marry and tame this revolutionary man. Jack, who is appalled by domesticity, is tipped off by his chauffeur and flees to Spain, where he is captured by bandits and meets The Devil. An extraordinary dream-debate, heaven versus hell, ensues. Following in hot pursuit, Ann is there when Tanner awakes, each as fierce in their certainty as the other is in theirs. Ralph Fiennes takes the role of Tanner in this reinvention of George Bernard Shaw's provocative classic.

NT Live: Treasure Island (12A) shows on Thursday, 22 January. This is Robert Louis Stevenson's story of murder, money and mutiny and is brought to life in a thrilling new stage adaptation by Bryony Lavery, to be broadcast live from the National Theatre. It's a dark, stormy night. The stars are out. Jim, the inn-keeper's granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At the old sailor's feet is a huge sea-chest, full of secrets. Jim invites him in and her dangerous voyage begins. The start time is 6:45 and there are good seats still available.