Now showing at Electric Picture House Market Street,Wotton-under-Edge,Gloucestershire GL12 7AE 01453 844601
- Jersey Boys
- Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
- Walking On Sunshine
Frozen 4 stars
As children, Anna and Elsa love to play together, taking full advantage of Elsa's ability to create ice and snow from her fingertips. An accident late one night convinces the King to wipe Anna's memory so she forgets about her sibling's hidden talents. Many years later, Elsa unwittingly reveals her powers to the locals and is branded a witch. She flees to the snowy mountains to a castle forged in ice. Anna gives chase and encounters a hunky ice trader called Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Romance
- CastKristen Bell, Alan Tudyk, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Ciaran Hinds, Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana.
- DirectorJennifer Lee, Chris Buck.
- WriterJennifer Lee.
- Duration108 mins
- Official sitemovies.disney.com/frozen/
Loosely based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Frozen proves that Disney's animated heroines have unquestionably come of age. Long gone are the rose-tinted days when princesses waited patiently for Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet or save them from a grim fate.
Now, the spunky, independent and self-assured young women are just as smart and resourceful as their male counterparts and they don't need the love of a man to affirm their self-worth.
Frozen is a terrific fairy-tale adventure that melds old-fashioned values with state-of-the-art visuals and a rousing musical score with infectious songs by husband-and-wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Every beautifully coloured and crafted frame is crammed with wit and joy, drawing in audiences of all ages to the story of two sisters battling against the elements and their fears to claim their rightful place on the throne.
Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck don't let the pace flag and the 108 minutes pass in a blur of laughter, tears and frost-bitten action sequences that look stunning in 3D with all of the computer-generated snowflakes fluttering before your eyes. You won't need to wrap up warm because the story casts an irresistible warm glow that should thaw even the most cynical and jaded heart.
As children, Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) love to play together, taking full advantage of Elsa's ability to create ice and snow from her fingertips. An accident late one night convinces the King (Maurice LaMarche) to wipe Anna's memory so she forgets about her sibling's hidden talents.
At the same time, Elsa retires from public gaze, fearful that she will hurt someone else with her powers. When the King and Queen are subsequently lost at sea, Elsa reluctantly emerges to claim the throne.
Alas, on her coronation day, Elsa's gloves come off and the locals witness her extraordinary abilities and brand her a witch. She flees to the snowy mountains to a castle forged in ice. Meanwhile, Anna gives chase, leaving the kingdom in the hands of her trusted sweetheart, Prince Hans (Santino Fontana).
En route, Anna meets hunky ice trader Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his loyal reindeer Sven and a blissfully naive talking snowman called Olaf (Josh Gad).
Frozen is one of the best animated features to canter out of the Disney stable in years. Warm-hearted, uplifting and constantly surprising, it's a timeless fable that will appeal to both boys and girls thanks to uproarious comic relief from Olaf, who is too cute for words.
Bell and Menzel add vim to their plucky heroines, the latter singing the film's stand-out song, Let It Go. As an added treat, Frozen is preceded by a black and white Mickey Mouse short, Get A Horse, that seems to hark from a bygone era but has a wicked sting in the tail.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Wednesday 30th July 2014
Jersey Boys 3 stars
Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi garner the attention of music producers and fans in 1962 New Jersey. When they join forces with talented lyricist Bob Crewe, the stairway to stardom beckons. However, tensions between band members, sparked by Tommy's mounting debts, threaten to tear apart The Four Seasons before they can realise their dreams.
- GenreBiography, Drama, Historical/Period, Musical
- CastFreya Tingley, Christopher Walken, Francesca Eastwood, Michael Lomenda, John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen.
- DirectorClint Eastwood.
- WriterMarshall Brickman, Rick Elice.
- Duration134 mins
- Official sitewww.jerseyboysmovie.com
Before Beatlemania reduced grown women to whimpering wrecks, The Four Seasons were the sharp-suited musical heartthrobs of 1960s America. The distinctive falsetto of lead singer Frankie Valli commanded attention on the radio and TV, producing three number one hits - Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry and Walk Like A Man - in the space of five months.
The band's meteoric rise inspired Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice to write the 2005 stage show Jersey Boys, which subsequently won four Tony Awards including Best Musical and continues to play to packed houses in London and New York. Like so many musicals before it, Jersey Boys struts and swaggers from the stage onto the big screen.
Pitched halfway between a traditional musical and a gritty portrait of the bonds of brotherhood in New York City of the era, Clint Eastwood's impeccably crafted period piece entertains but never truly delights. Like the stage show, the film is festooned with the group's toe-tapping hits including Beggin', Bye Bye Baby and Oh What A Night.
However, these languidly shot renditions lack the electrical charge of live performance and it's only in the film's closing act, and during the end credits, that there is any danger of audiences leaping out of their seats and shimmying down aisles.
Sixteen-year-old Frankie Castelluccio (John Lloyd Young) lives with his parents (Kathrine Narducci, Lou Volpe), who urge him to stay out of trouble. Best friend Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) leads him astray and Frankie almost ends up in prison but escapes incarceration by virtue of his age.
With encouragement from local mob boss Gyp DeCarlo (Christopher Walken), who becomes Frankie's fairy godfather (with the emphasis on godfather), the teenager pursues his musical ambitions by changing his surname to Valli and joining Tommy's band.
They recruit singer-songwriter Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) alongside bassist Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) and The Four Seasons are born. Talented lyricist Bob Crewe (Mike Doyle) ushers the boys onto the stairway to stardom but Tommy's mounting debts create friction and threaten to tear the band apart.
Jersey Boys employs a similar narrative device to the stage production, allowing different members of the band to address the camera as their rags to riches story unfolds. Vocal performances are note perfect and there are some delightful comical interludes involving Doyle and Walken, the latter easing into his gangster groove with a twinkle in the eye.
The running time may be virtually the same as its theatrical counterpart but Eastwood's film feels pedestrian and emotional subplots, including Frankie's fractious relationship with his wife Mary (Renee Marino) and daughter Francine feel undernourished.
The period is beautifully evoked though by costumes and faultless art direction. Just as Frankie and the boys predict, we can't take our eye off of the screen.
Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie 2 stars
Agnes Brown proudly runs a fruit and vegetable stall in Moore Street Market, continuing a tradition that has been passed down in her family for generations. She hopes to pass the stall to daughter Cathy but a dastardly developer intervenes with plans to bulldoze the market. Aided by Cathy as well as next-door neighbour Winnie and her family, Agnes resolves to take on the Irish establishment and give it a good spanking.
- GenreComedy, Drama
- CastRobert Bathurst, Brendan O'Carroll, Nick Nevern, Jennifer Gibney, Eilish O'Carroll, Sorcha Cusack.
- DirectorBen Kellett.
- WriterBrendan O'Carroll.
- Duration94 mins
- Official sitewww.facebook.com/MBBDMovie
First conceived for Irish radio and then as a series of books, the misadventures of feisty Dublin matriarch Agnes Brown transitioned seamlessly from stage to small screen in 2011 with the birth of the BBC sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys. Creator Brendan O'Carroll cast relatives and friends in supporting roles, ensuring the programme was a true family affair.
Critics may have been unkind but the series gained an ardent following. The 2013 festive special topped ratings on Christmas Day, trumping Doctor Who. Now, Agnes and her dysfunctional kin stampede the big screen under the direction of Ben Kellett. Lord help anyone who gets in her way!
Agnes proudly runs a fruit and vegetable stall in Moore Street Market, which has been passed down through the family for generations. The foul-mouthed harridan hopes her daughter Cathy (Jennifer Gibney) will take up the mantle but a dastardly developer, PR Irwin (Dermot Crowley), intervenes with plans to bulldoze the site.
"They won't take me without a fight, whoever they are," Agnes tells Fat Annie (June Rodgers). Unfortunately, Agnes has a 3.8 million Euro tax bill to settle stretching back to her grandmother's time. Aided by Cathy, her sons Mark (Pat Shields), Rory (Rory Cowan) and Dermot (Paddy Houlihan), and next-door neighbour Winnie (Eilish O'Carroll), Agnes resolves to take on the Irish establishment and give it a good spanking.
Dermot's best friend Buster Brady (Danny O'Carroll), bumbling lawyer Tom Crews (Simon Delaney) and a well-to-do barrister called Maydo Archer (Robert Bathurst), who is prone to stress-related Tourette syndrome, pledge their support to Agnes's seemingly hopeless cause.
Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie opens with a fire safety announcement from the eponymous matriarch "in case we have to ejaculate de building". This sets the crude tone for the next 94 minutes. Punchlines are depressingly predictable and the absence of a laughter track from a live studio audience exposes the script's dearth of gags and imagination.
O'Carroll evidently subscribes to the mantra: if it isn't funny on the page, add some profanities. While Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino would probably doff their baseball caps to this slurry of gratuitous expletives, repeated uses of cuss words for desperate laughs becomes wearying.
Aside from the large-scale musical numbers that bookmark the haphazard narrative and a pointlessly protracted chase sequence, the film has no obvious cinematic ambitions.
A hare-brained subplot involving Mr Wang (Brendan O'Carroll again), Chinese owner of a school devoted to training blind ninjas, embraces hideous stereotypes that the malformed character might himself describe as "a rittle bit lacist".
Like its small screen counterpart, Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie doesn't edit out gaffes and revels in moments when the cast corpse one another. If only we were so easily amused.
Walking On Sunshine 3 stars
Maddie enjoys a whirlwind romance with a handsome beau called Raphael they decide to tie the knot. She invites her sister Taylor to Italy to break the news about the impending nuptials. That's not the only shock for Taylor - Raf just happens to be the holiday romance she has always loved and now he's destined to walk down the aisle with her sibling. While Taylor wrestles with her emotions, Maddie's old flame Doug attempts to scupper the wedding.
- GenreComedy, Indie, Musical, Romance
- CastLeona Lewis, Greg Wise, Adrian Palmer, Katy Brand, Giulio Berruti, Annabel Scholey, Hannah Arterton.
- DirectorMax Giwa, Dania Pasquini.
- WriterJoshua St Johnston.
- Duration97 mins
- Official sitewww.walkingonsunshinethemovie.co.uk
- Release27/06/2014 (selected cinemas)
Dancing queens should take a chance on Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini's super-trouping 1980s jukebox musical. Walking On Sunshine sincerely flatters the creative team behind Mamma Mia! by reusing their template for a soapy summertime wedding on sun-drenched Mediterranean shores.
The toe-tapping ABBA songbook has been supplanted by hits including Don't You Want Me by The Human League, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper, Venus by Bananarama and Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham!. In all other respects, Max and Dania's frothy romp nods affectionately, some might say shamelessly, to the UK's most successful film musical of all time, contriving sinewy subplots around the song lyrics.
Consequently, the heroine's lusty sister debates fondling a beau's pecs to a primal growl of, "Well I guess it would be nice, if I could touch your body..." from George Michael's Faith.
Three years after an intense holiday fling, good girl Taylor (Hannah Arterton) flies back to southern Italy for a well deserved break after her university finals. She arrives at the airport and skips merrily through a full-scale flash mob to strains of Holiday by Madonna.
Taylor's impulsive sister Maddie (Annabel Scholey), who recently broke up with her long-term boyfriend Doug (Greg Wise), has been staying in the coastal town to "man-tox". Shockingly, Maddie has fallen head over heels for one of the locals and intends to get married in two days.
It transpires that the groom-to-be is Raphael (Giulio Berruti), the same strapping hunk who swept Taylor off her feet and still makes her thrum with delight. Taylor and Raphael agree to conceal their shared history from the blushing bride and they compel good friends Elena (Leona Lewis), Enrico (Giulio Corso), Lil (Katy Brand) and Mikey (Danny Kirrane) to perpetrate the lie.
While Taylor wrestles with her emotions, warbling Eternal Flame by The Bangles on the beach as the sun sets, Doug arrives in Puglia, intent on wooing back Maddie.
Walking On Sunshine is as predictable as an early World Cup exit for the England football squad but Max and Dania's lightweight ode to summertime romance is a guilty pleasure. Musical numbers are slickly choreographed but emotion tends to lurk in the shadow of the gym-toned flesh glistening in sun cream.
Arterton has an appealing innocence while Berruti is impossibly good-looking, dutifully removing his shirt at regular intervals to induce a heat wave in the target female audience. X Factor winner Lewis looks comfortable dancing and lip-synching in her big screen acting debut.
Sexual innuendo abounds in Joshua St Johnson's characterisation-light script that bounces with energy and knows its limitations. Subtlety isn't a strong point and the colour palette is equally lurid: the intense orange of tans sears the retinas as much as the brightly hued swimwear. Pack sunglasses as a precaution.