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What's On

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Now showing at Electric Picture House Market Street,Wotton-under-Edge,Gloucestershire GL12 7AE 01453 844601

  • Minions
  • The Choir

Minions 3 stars

movie title

Since the dawn of time, the Minions have gravitated towards the most despicable master they can find. One Minion named Kevin embarks on an epic quest to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. Flanked by teenage rebel Stuart and diminutive scaredy-cat Bob, Kevin leaves the Minions' current home in Antarctica bound for 1968 New York City, where he stumbles upon the world's first female super-villain: Scarlet Overkill.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastChris Renaud, Sandra Bullock, Pierre Coffin, Steve Coogan, Allison Janney, Michael Keaton, Katy Mixon, Jon Hamm.
  • DirectorPierre Coffin, Kyle Balda.
  • WriterBrian Lynch.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration91 mins
  • Official sitewww.minionnation.co.uk
  • Release26/06/2015

You can have too much of a good thing. In small doses, Despicable Me's goggle-eyed hench-creatures are a deranged delight. As unwittingly heroes of their own big screen adventure, these pint-sized "knights in shining denim" lose some of their loopy lustre, hindered by Brian Lynch's flimsy script, which is disappointingly light on storyline and belly laughs.

A dazzling vocal cast of gifted comic actors is repeatedly short-changed. Very young children, who gurgle with glee at the Minions' bonkers vernacular combining Esperanto and gobbledygook, will adore the slapstick, pratfalls and the tiniest member of the Minions clan, Bob, who clutches a well-loved teddy bear called Tim.

Adults will be considerably harder to win over. The lack of a coherent storyline grates as much as the lazy cultural stereotyping of the British as tea-sipping, corgi-riding folk, who frequent pubs called The Pig's Spleen.

Since the dawn of time, Minions have gravitated towards despicable masters including Tyrannosaurus Rex, Count Dracula and Napoleon. Unfortunately, these masters die prematurely - at the hands of the clumsy, yellow hench-creatures - leaving the Minions in a state of deep depression.

One brave soul named Kevin steps forth to find an evil boss for his bald, jaundiced brethren. Flanked by Stuart and scaredy-cat Bob, Kevin leaves the Minions' ice cave retreat bound for 1968 New York City. Cue a President Richard Nixon billboard proclaiming "Finally: a name you can trust". Could the Minions have stumbled upon their arch-villain?

No. The plucky trio learns about a gathering of criminals in Orlando and hitches a ride to the convention with a bank-robbing family led by Walter Nelson (voiced by Michael Keaton) and wife Madge (Allison Janney).

Their daughter Tina (Katy Mixon) points the Minions in the direction of bouffant super-villain Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). "If I was a minion, that's who I'd want to work for," she swoons. Thus the trio pledges allegiance to Scarlet and her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm), who are plotting to steal the Crown Jewels from Queen Elizabeth II (Jennifer Saunders).

While the soundtrack swings its flares to The Kinks and The Who, Kevin, Stuart and Bob careen around London armed with Herb's nifty gadgets: a robo-suit, lava lamp gun and hypno-hat.

Minions has a sprinkling of giggles and doesn't outstay its welcome but there's an unshakable feeling that Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda's film falls short. The groovy time period should be a velvet goldmine of visual gags but the best the film can muster is a nod to The Beatles and a faked moon landing.

The 3D version doesn't exploit the eye-popping format so parents with tykes in tow should save their money for the inevitable raid on the concessions stand. Animation is colourful and pristine, opting for shiny surfaces and sharp angles that reduce the need for meticulous detail and realism. Despicable? Meh.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th July 2015
Thursday 30th July 2015

The Choir 3 stars

movie title

Eleven-year-old Stet is left to fend for himself when his alcoholic mother dies in a car accident. The boy's father has a new family so he packs off Stet to the National Boychoir Academy, where his singing voice can be honed by head conductor Carvelle and his assistants Drake and Wooly. With close guidance and nurturing from Carvelle, Stet embraces his natural gift and realises that he is not alone in the world after all.

  • GenreDrama
  • CastDustin Hoffman, Garrett Wareing, Eddie Izzard, Kevin McHale, Josh Lucas, Kathy Bates.
  • DirectorFrancois Girard.
  • WriterBen Ripley.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration103 mins
  • Official site
  • Release10/07/2015 (selected cinemas)

An inspirational teacher attempts to coax a troubled boy out of his shell in this predictable yet heart-warming human drama directed by Francois Girard. Eleven-year-old Stet (Garrett Wareing) is left to fend for himself when his alcoholic mother dies in a car accident. The boy's father (Josh Lucas) has a new family and would prefer to hide wastrel Stet from the world so he agrees to pack off the youngster to the National Boychoir Academy, where Stet's singing voice can be honed by head conductor Carvelle (Dustin Hoffman) and his assistants Drake (Eddie Izzard) and Wooly (Kevin McHale). Stet struggles to fit into his regimented new surroundings and his flawless voice sparks a rivalry with one of the other boys. However, with close guidance and nurturing from Carvelle, Stet embraces his natural gift and realises that he is not alone in the world after all.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th July 2015
Thursday 30th July 2015