Now showing at Chapter Market Road,Canton,Cardiff,South Glamorgan CF5 1QE firstname.lastname@example.org 029 2030 4400
- A Syrian Love Story
- Breathless (A Bout De Souffle)
- Gwaed ar y Ser
- Harold And Maude
- Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie
- Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
A Syrian Love Story 3 stars
Fifteen years ago, Amer and Raghda were placed in neighbouring prison cells and they secretly made a tiny hole in the wall to communicate with each other. During the months of captivity, the strangers fell deeply in love and when they were released, Amer and Raghda got married and started a family together. This documentary tracks the family as Amer and Raghda make the difficult decision to leave Syria and seek political asylum in the sleepy French town of Albi.
- GenreDocumentary, Drama
- DirectorSean McAllister.
- WriterSean McAllister.
- Duration76 mins
- Official site
- Release18/09/2015 (selected cinemas)
Sean McAllister's award-winning and timely documentary witnesses an incredible love story that blossomed during the Assad regime in a time of bitter conflict and bloodshed. Fifteen years ago, Amer and Raghda were placed in neighbouring prison cells and they secretly made a tiny hole in the wall to communicate with each other. During the months of captivity, the strangers fell deeply in love and when they were released, Amer and Raghda got married and started a family together. They raised two sons, Bob and Kaka, who spent their entire lives with either their mother or father in prison. McAllister's film tracks the family as Amer and Raghda make the difficult decision to leave Syria and seek political asylum in the sleepy French town of Albi, where they watch the conflict from afar and their relationship begins to fall apart.
Breathless (A Bout De Souffle) 4 stars
Re-issue of Jean-Luc Godard's seminal 1960 thriller, remade some years later as the misfiring Richard Gere film, Breathless. Michel is a young man, prone to random acts of violence, who shoots a cop and takes refuge with his American student girlfriend Patricia. Hoping to escape to Italy, the lovers steal cars to raise money for their fare, but the authorities are hot on the trail.
- GenreClassic, Drama
- CastDaniel Boulanger, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Jean-Pierre Melville, Henri-Jacques Huet.
- DirectorJean Luc-Godard.
- WriterJean-Luc Godard.
- Duration90 mins
- Official site
- Release07/07/2000 (selected cinemas); 25/06/2010 (selected cinemas)
Re-issue of Jean-Luc Godard's seminal 1960 thriller, one of the first examples of nouvelle vague cinema, remade some years later as the misfiring Richard Gere vehicle Breathless. Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a young hoodlum prone to random acts of violence who loves American culture and styles himself on screen icon Humphrey Bogart, even down to his dapper dress sense. He steals a car to travel to Paris, but a gendarme on a motorcycle gives chase, and in desperation Michel shoots the officer dead with a gun he discovers in the stolen car's glove compartment. In the French capital, he meets up with his American student girlfriend Patricia (Jean Seberg) and the two make plans to escape to Italy. However, the authorities are hot on their trail and intend to apprehend Michel, hopefully with young Patricia's help. Shot on hand-held cameras to give the film an edginess and naturalness which reflects the lifestyles of its two protagonists, Breathless is the road movie which brought Belmondo to the attention of global cinema audiences and established Godard's reputation as an innovator and risk-taker. Visually stunning and briskly edited, the picture features wonderful performances from the two leads: Belmondo the ideal embodiment of youthful rebellion and Seberg haunting beautiful as the innocent caught in the wake of her lover's self-destructive behaviour.
Gwaed ar y Ser 3 stars
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Sunday 14th February 2016
Harold And Maude 4 stars
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Monday 15th February 2016
Rams 3 stars
Hard-drinking Icelandic sheep farmer Kiddi and his estranged younger brother Gummi live on neighbouring farms, but have not spoken for four decades. Veterinary authorities complete routine checks of the flocks and discover BSE in Kiddi's animals. The virus can be transmitted to humans by eating contaminated meat, so all farms in the valley must destroy their precious livestock. Kiddi and Gummi refuse to abide by the rules and the siblings plot a daring alternative course of action.
- GenreDrama, World
- CastCharlotte Boving, Sigurdur Sigurjonsson, Theodor Juliusson.
- DirectorGrimur Hakonarson.
- WriterGrimur Hakonarson.
- Duration91 mins
- Official sitewww.facebook.com/ramsfilm
- Release05/02/2016 (selected cinemas)
Hard-drinking Icelandic sheep farmer Kiddi (Theodor Juliusson) and his estranged younger brother Gummi (Sigurdur Sigurjonsson) live on neighbouring farms, but have not spoken for four decades. They raise the same ancient breed and every year, Kiddi and Gummi silently compete against each other in a competition involving all farmers in the valley to showcase their best ram. Veterinary authorities complete routine checks of the flocks and discover BSE in Kiddi's animals. The virus can be transmitted to humans by eating contaminated meat, so all of the farmers in the valley are told they must destroy their precious livestock. The men and women of the local community are devastated - the sheep are their livelihood - and the farmers fear the BSE will be their downfall. However, Kiddi and Gummi refuse to abide by the rules laid down by the veterinary authorities and the siblings plot a daring alternative course of action.
Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie 3 stars
Charlie Brown develops a crush on a Little Red Haired Girl, who moves in across the street. Unable to talk to her, even with the encouragement of Snoopy, Charlie resolves to catch the girl's eye by winning his school's talent competition. His plan goes horribly awry and he becomes the laughing stock of his school. Meanwhile, Snoopy daydreams about becoming a First World War fighter plane pilot and protecting his pooch sweetheart Fifi from the notorious Red Baron.
- GenreAdaptation, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
- CastNoah Schnapp, Madisyn Shipman, Francesca Capaldi, Hadley Belle Miller.
- DirectorSteve Martino.
- WriterBryan Schulz, Craig Schulz, Cornelius Uliano.
- Duration93 mins
- Official sitewww.peanutsmovie.com
If unabashed sweetness is your weakness then you will be completely helpless in the company of Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie. Written by Craig and Bryan Schulz, the son and grandson of Charles M Schulz, Steve Martino's film marries the old-fashioned, wholesome sensibilities of the syndicated comic strips with state-of-the-art computer animation.
The episodic nature of the script suggests that several bite-size adventures for the titular pooch and his self-doubting master have been sandwiched together and passed off as a fluid narrative. It's candy floss filmmaking: colourful, sugary and easily digested, expertly spun out of hot air by a vast team of talented animators, who have managed to replicate familiar character designs in shiny 3D.
The Peanuts Movie is a big, heady whiff of nostalgia. It's hard to resist the innate charm and vulnerability of Charlie as he laments his inability to talk to the new girl at school ("I just came down with a serious case of inadequacy!") and searches for inspiration in a self-help book entitled 10 Ways To Be A Winner. Everyone loves a trier.
Charlie Brown (voiced by Noah Schnapp) faces his nemesis - the Kite-Eating Tree - and once again comes off second best to Mother Nature. "You'll never get that to fly. Why? Because you're Charlie Brown!" snorts Lucy (Hadley Belle Miller). The luckless lad refuses to be downhearted. "Charlie Brown is not a quitter," he tells himself.
Soon after, a Little Red Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi) moves in across the street with her family and Charlie develops the most terrible crush. "She's not that pretty," grumbles Lucy dismissively. Unable to talk to his new neighbour, even with the encouragement of Snoopy (Bill Melendez) or his chums Peppermint Patty (Venus Schultheis), Linus (Alexander Garfin) and Pig-Pen (AJ Tecce), Charlie resolves to catch the girl's eye by winning his school's talent competition.
His plan goes awry and he becomes the laughing stock of the school. Subsequent attempts to win the affection of the Little Red Haired Girl by learning to dance, and writing a school report on "Leo's Toy Story by Warren Peace" also end in humiliation.
Meanwhile, Snoopy daydreams about becoming a First World War fighter plane pilot and protecting his pooch sweetheart Fifi (Kristin Chenoweth) from the notorious Red Baron. As dogs of war go, he's irrepressibly cute.
Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie is a delightful, gossamer thin diversion. In an age of increasingly sophisticated, multi-faceted animations, Steve Martino's film harks back to simpler and unabashedly sentimental times of linear storytelling and wholesome messaging.
Laidback vocal performances include archive recordings of Melendez as Snoopy and Woodstock. The main feature screens with an animated short, Cosmic Scrat-astrophe, which follows the acorn-fixated sabretoothed squirrel from the Ice Age series into outer space.
Spotlight 4 stars
Deputy Managing Editor Ben Bradlee Jr presides over the Boston Globe newsroom and has direct responsibility for the Spotlight team led by Walter "Robby" Robinson. Down in the basement, Robby and his colleagues Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer and Matt Carroll are hard at work on a potentially explosive story. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian claims to have documents which prove Cardinal Bernard Law knew about sexual abuse within the diocese and did nothing.
- GenreBiography, Drama, Historical/Period, Thriller
- CastRachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci.
- DirectorTom McCarthy.
- WriterTom McCarthy, Josh Singer.
- Duration129 mins
- Official sitewww.spotlightthefilm.com
At its best, investigative journalism is a scalpel that slices through fatty rhetoric and cuts readers to the bones of institutions that should be defending our interests. In early 2002, the Spotlight Investigations team of the Boston Globe ran a series of meticulously researched articles, exposing the sexual abuse of minors in the Boston archdiocese.
Coverage of the scandal rippled far beyond the city boundaries and compelled other victims to come forward and share their horrific testimonies, which sent shockwaves through the Roman Catholic Church.
The newspaper was subsequently awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in Journalism for its courageous and comprehensive coverage, which lifted a heavy veil of secrecy stretching back several decades.
Thomas McCarthy's impeccably crafted drama pays tribute to the close-knit team of tenacious editors and reporters, who tirelessly pursued the truth and wrung their blood, sweat and tears into the exposes.
Deputy Managing Editor Ben Bradlee Jr (John Slattery) presides over the Boston Globe newsroom and has direct responsibility for the Spotlight team led by Walter "Robby" Robinson (Michael Keaton).
Down in the basement, Robby and his colleagues Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy) invest thousands of hours following leads and gathering evidence. Their work is valuable but costly and incoming Boston Globe editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) makes clear he is willing to make difficult cuts.
"I'm focused on finding a way to make this paper essential to its readers," he tells Robby. The team is hard at work on a potentially explosive story. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) claims to have documents which prove Cardinal Bernard Law (Len Cariou) knew about sexual abuse within the diocese and did nothing.
Marty authorises Robby to quietly pursue the story before he is personally summoned to a meeting with the Cardinal.
"I find that this city flourishes when its great institutions work together," purrs the holy man.
"I'm of the opinion that for the paper to best perform its function, it needs to stand alone," boldly retorts Marty.
Battle lines are drawn and Robby pleads with his writers so keep their emotions in check as they are confronted with horrific stories of shattered innocence. "I don't want the Chancery getting wind of this before we know what we have," he implores.
Spotlight is a clinical, precise and riveting dramatisation of a protracted search for the ugly truth in a city in the thrall of the church. The ensemble cast are exemplary with Ruffalo gifted the film's stand-out scene of unfettered indignation that undoubtedly secured him his Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
Some of the characters don't feel fully formed, sacrificed perhaps in favour of a forensic pursuit of the facts. Josh Singer and director McCarthy's script crackles with tension and as the printing presses of the Globe begin to roll, we finally relax.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens 4 stars
Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia bear the deep emotional scars of their encounters with the Dark Side of the Force, led by Supreme Leader Snoke and his protege Kylo Ren. A valiant scavenger called Rey, First Order stormtrooper Finn and Resistance X-wing pilot Poe Dameron become embroiled in the battle between good and evil.
- GenreAction, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
- CastCarrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, Max von Sydow, Oscar Isaac, Peter Mayhew, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Daisy Ridley.
- DirectorJJ Abrams.
- WriterJJ Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt.
- Duration135 mins
- Official sitewww.starwars.com/films/star-wars-episode-vii-the-force-awakens
Give the people what they want, but little else. Director JJ Abrams, who defied the Do Not Resuscitate order on Star Trek and reanimated that wheezing intergalactic saga, atones for George Lucas' cardinal sin of Episode I: The Phantom Menace with a rollicking and unabashedly old-fashioned battle beyond the stars that should shatter box office records rather than fans' sky high dreams.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the sincerest form of flattery of Lucas and his galaxy far, far away that has inspired religious fervour since the heady summer of 1977. Episode VII busily reconstitutes elements from the original trilogy as a giddy 135-minute showdown between the light and dark sides of the Force approximately 30 years after tumultuous events of Return Of The Jedi.
Verbal references and visual nods to earlier chapters abound: the thrum of duelling lightsabres, the beeps of deadpanning droids, the slow and steady countdown to interplanetary doom by hulking superweapon. It's the greatest hits of Star Wars, lovingly and slickly repackaged with an impressive cast of fresh-faced newcomers and wizened old hands, swish digital effects and John Williams' grandiose orchestral score.
The gossamer thin storyline is hand-me-down and some of the plot holes large enough for a four-legged AT-AT combat walker but rejoice, padawan hopefuls, rejoice: the Force is palpable in Episode VII and can only get stronger in subsequent films.
The Rebel Alliance's hard fought victory at the Battle of Endor is a fading memory. The First Order has risen from the ashes of the Galactic Empire, under the yoke of snarling Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and his unpredictable protege, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) spearheads the rebellion, which includes fearless X-wing starfighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Outrageous misfortune brings together self-doubting heroes and villains including self-sufficient scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) from the desert planet Jakku, First Order stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and a cute rolling BB-8 droid hardwired with killer comic timing.
Their fates conveniently entwine with wisecracking smuggler and scoundrel Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Wookiee sidekick Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), prophetic canteen owner Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o), ruthless First Order base leader General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and the mechanised Morecambe and Wiser: C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker). "The galaxy is counting on us," growls Han.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens panders shamelessly to the intergalactic faithful, striking a delightfully pleasing balance between adrenaline-pumping thrills, laconic humour and soap opera histrionics. Ridley and Boyega make a sizable impact amidst the cacophonous sound and merchandising fury, capturing the vulnerability and anguish of conflicted characters haunted by murky pasts.
Ford has lost none of his bounder's roughly hewn, twinkly eyed charm, delivering droll one-liners with consummate ease. Director Abrams shepherds his handsomely crafted behemoth through every comfortingly predictable turn with aplomb. "Chewie... we're home," grins Han as he is reunited with the ramshackle Millennium Falcon early in the film. And so are we.
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.