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Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool [15] Sun. 18th Feb 5:35pm

Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame finds romance and happiness with a younger man, but her life changes forever when she is diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1970s.

It’s a classy weepy with some killer dialogue, but Bening is the big sell here. Given one of the juiciest roles of her career, she makes every moment count. Full review Olly Richards, Empire.
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The Party [15], Sun. 21st Jan, 2018

Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) has just been appointed to a key ministerial position in the shadow cabinet – the crowning achievement of her political career. She and her husband Bill (Timothy Spall) plan to celebrate this with a few close friends. As the guests arrive at their home in London the party takes an unexpected turn when Bill suddenly makes some explosive revelations that take everyone present by surprise. Love, friendships and political convictions are soon called into question in this hilarious comedy of tragic proportions. From acclaimed British filmmaker Sally Potter and featuring a star studded cast that includes Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Timothy Spall, this witty, sharp and very funny new comedy will be a unmissable date for everyone’s diary.

A sharp-edged, claustrophobic parlour piece that puts the boot into middle-class mores.

Phil De Semlyen, Empire

 

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The Other Side of Hope [15], Sun, 17, Dec. 2017

A poke-playing restauranteur and former travelling salesman befriends a group of refugees newly arrived to Finland.  Sunday 17th December, 2017.  Film begins showing at 6.00pm prompt.

Finland’s master of deadpan comedy, Aki Kaurismäki (Lights in the Dusk, Le Havre), returns with The Other Side of Hope, the story of an unlikely friendship between a Syrian asylum seeker and an elderly Finnish restaurant owner. Worthy winner of the 2017 Berlin Silver Bear for Best Director, it’s a beautiful, timely film from one of the world’s leading auteurs. Curzon Artifical Eye

Maverick as ever but fully engaged with the modern world, Kaurismäki dials back his trademark absurdism with a wry allegory of human struggle, empathy and connection. Phil de Semiyen, Empire

Gods Own Country [15]

Spring. Yorkshire. Young farmer johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian worker for lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.  Locations in and round Keighley.  Sunday 19th October 2017, screening begins at 6:00pm prompt.

Francis Lee’s tender, impressive debut. Wendy Ide, The Guardian

The Shack

Sam Worthington plays the father of a missing girl who is suspected to have been murdered. 

He receives a letter which is an invitation from God, to come visit The Shack. 

Written as a contemplation about the writers feelings towards God, the book went on to sell millions. I’ve read it too and it’s a good adaptation. Sure it’s a little sappy but I also think it’s a profoundly thoughtful story. If the story speaks to you at all then I’d recommend it. 

Mindhorn

Julian Barratt plays TV actor Richard Thorncroft, whose popular detective series MINDHORN was a staple of entertainment some years back. The man who had a bionic eye which could see the truth. 

Now there’s a real crime and the suspect will only talk to the fictional detective. So Mindhorn is back! 

The team behind this are known for some great work and I was surprised to hear poor reviews come in ahead of watching this. Since my expectations were lowered I think that may have contributed to my enjoyment. 

I enjoyed it all. Daft, funny and inventive. 

Steve Coogan features along with co writer Simon Farnaby, Russell Tovey and even Kenneth Branagh. 
In the same vein as Alan Partridge.  

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid :The Long Haul

Watching Wimpy Kid movies is probably an opportunity for adults to have a snooze whilst younger kids are watching the films, but I actually enjoyed this enough to pay attention throughout. 

This road trip movie plays like the Lampoons road disasters and it’s the usual Collection of individual scenes which are able to be cobbled together to make a feature length running time. Rodrick the annoying older brother is still one of the most entertainment factors. Alicia Silverstone as the mum who wants to go back to a time before smart phones pulls the family through this trip to grandmas which has many many things go wrong. 

Very basic entertainment but easy to watch.  

Alien Covenant

Alien Covenant is the great grandson of Alien (1977). It looks and sounds like the original and yet it’s stuck with that likeness due to fans yelling for it and also falls flat trying something on a more intellectual level which the director wants to do. I sat with a list being crossed off in my mind. She’s Ripley, he can’t be trusted, he’s a goner, she’s a goner, music from other movie, it’s behind you…and so on. It just seemed to have banter after banter at the start as if this was building towards the climax and yet the climax never really came. Well, it came but it was by the numbers and basically a retread. It all happened in front of my eyes and yet I was unmoved. 

I would recommend just watching the first two again and leaving it at that. 

The acting is all fait enough and it does look like the exact same world as the original, just without anything it care about. 

The alien itself is such a tired image now that even a young audience who hasn’t seen most of them would point and say “that bursts out if chests, that hugs faces and that has a mouth inside its mouth and is a man dressed up”. 

I’d say a 4 out of 10. 

The Belko Experiment 

Written by James Gunn (Guardians Of The Galaxy), this social experiment is just one of a hundred films where society get to hunt each other or cower in fear. Lord Of The Flies up to The Hunger Games uses this excuse to make movies where the audience just want to escape to a fantasy set up and wonder how they’d fair if the had to fight to survive. 

With a cast of “I’ve seen her/him before, but can’t remember where” who get dispatched in an order which you may not guess from their level of fame, this brutal tale of a government office block which gets sealed up and given orders over a tannoy system is just fun. Grisly, blood red fun. 

The voice crackles over the tannoy ‘you have an hour to have 30 of you dead by any means necessary or we will kill 60 of you’. 

Factions are formed and we see who can take the pressure when push comes to shove or meat cleaver comes to face. There are some micro frames of gore which imprint on your eyes and are made all the more effective. 

It’s gruesome but so far fetched that you chuckle along willingly as more orders are given out. 

As unoriginal as it is, I always enjoy these movies and recommend this one in particular.