Now showing at Chapter Market Road,Canton,Cardiff,South Glamorgan CF5 1QE firstname.lastname@example.org 029 2030 4400
- Earth To Echo
- I Am Divine
- Jersey Boys
- NT Live Encore Screening: Skylight
- The Congress
Earth To Echo 3 stars
Best friends Alex, Munch and Tuck are devastated when a highway construction project tears apart their community of Clark County, Nevada, forcing the lads and their families to relocate to different parts of the country. On their last day together, they follow strange signals on their mobile phones into the desert and uncover a friendly alien robot, who has become stranded on Earth. The boys nickname the robot Echo and pledge to help their otherworldly friend return home.
- GenreAction, Adventure, Drama, Family, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
- CastReese Hartwig, Astro, Teo Halm, Ella Wahlestedt.
- DirectorDave Green.
- WriterHenry Gayden.
- Duration91 mins
- Official sitewww.callhimecho.com
In 1982, ET phoned home and now another stranded extra-terrestrial requires assistance from pint-sized heroes to safely return to the stars in Dave Green's fantastical family-oriented adventure. Earth To Echo begs obvious similarities to Steven Spielberg's classic coming-of-age story and the 1987 fantasy *Batteries Not Included.
Green's special effects-laden picture lacks the emotional wallop of the former and the unabashed charm of the latter, but does tread a familiar path through fresh eyes by employing the found footage format a la Paranormal Activity.
Characters address an omnipresent video camera, verbalising their excitement and fear as a night-time bicycle ride into the desert becomes a rescue mission of galactic proportions. "I'm Reginald. I'm a bit of an acquired taste... that's what my mom says," confesses one of the boys in his endearingly nervous introduction.
Like all examples of the genre, the lens invariably points in the right direction, regardless of realism, to capture important conversations and push forward the storyline.
"What you're about to see is what happened to me and my friends one year ago," explains Tuck (Brian "Astro" Bradley). In fragmented footage, we meet Tuck's best friends Alex (Teo Halm) and Reginald aka Munch (Reese Hartwig) after they learn that a highway construction project is going to tear apart their community of Clark County, Nevada.
The lads will have to relocate to different parts of the country, signalling the end of their balmy childhood. On their last night together, the boys follow strange signals on their mobile phones into the desert. "I never understood why people like the outdoors," wheezes Munch.
They uncover a friendly robot, who has become stranded on Earth, and the boys pledge to help their otherworldly friend locate the missing parts of his spaceship so he can return home.
Plucky classmate Emma (Ella Wahlestedt) joins the trio as they evade shady government officials led by Dr Lawrence Masden (Jason Gray-Stanford), who are also hunting Echo. "He just wants to go home!" pleads one of the children. "That will not happen," sneers Masden, "that thing is far too valuable."
Earth To Echo is a state-of-the-art ode to ET and its imitators that ups the technical ante for a generation that prefers to swipe at tablets and smart phones rather than go outside and play. Green employs special effects at key junctures, but, for the most part, he's reliant on the young cast to carry his film.
Halm, Bradley and Hartwig are appealing without being too winsomely cute, and there are some genuinely touching scenes of the boys choking back emotion as the enormity of the situation, and the risks, become clear.
The titular robot's personality is encapsulated in a few beeps and trills that should, if nothing else, remind audiences to keep their mobile devices switched off for the duration.
I Am Divine 3 stars
Documentary about director John Waters' iconic muse traces the formative years of misfit Harris Glenn Milstead in Baltimore to his metamorphosis into outrageous alter-ego Divine. The film includes rare home movies and photos plus television appearances and film performances along with new interviews with friends and family including Waters, Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, Tab Hunter, Holly Woodlawn, Michael Musto, Bruce Vilanch and his mother Frances Milstead.
- GenreDocumentary, Indie
- DirectorJeffrey Schwarz.
- WriterJeffrey Schwarz.
- Duration90 mins
- Official sitewww.divinemovie.com
- Release18/07/2014 (selected cinemas)
Jeffrey Schwarz's documentary about director John Waters' iconic muse traces the formative years of misfit Harris Glenn Milstead in Baltimore to his metamorphosis into outrageous alter-ego Divine. The film includes rare home movies and photos plus television appearances and film performances along with new interviews with friends and family including Waters, Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, Tab Hunter, Holly Woodlawn, Michael Musto, Bruce Vilanch and his mother Frances Milstead.
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.
Northwest 3 stars
Eighteen-year-old burglar Caspar provides for his younger brother, little sister and mother by pilfering small-value items and selling them through the immigrant traders, who control his rundown estate. He catches the eye of gangster Bjorn, who hires Caspar to steal a list of selected items. This one job gains Caspar admission to Bjorn's inner circle and the teenager agrees to become a driver for the gangster, ferrying prostitutes to various meets as well as dealing drugs.
- GenreAction, Drama, Thriller, World
- CastGustav Dyekaer Giese, Oscar Dyekaer Giese, Lene Maria Christensen.
- DirectorMichael Noer.
- WriterMichael Noer, Rasmus Heisterberg.
- Duration89 mins
- Official site
- Release25/07/2014 (selected cinemas)
Violence begets misery in Michael Noer's gritty thriller set in an impoverished suburb of Copenhagen. Eighteen-year-old burglar Caspar (Gustav Dyekjaer Giese) provides for his younger brother, little sister and mother by pilfering small-value items and selling them through the immigrant traders, who control his rundown estate. He catches the eye of gangster Bjorn (Roland Moller), who hires Caspar to steal a list of selected items. This one job gains Caspar admission to Bjorn's inner circle and the teenager agrees to become a driver for the gangster, ferrying prostitutes to various meets as well as dealing drugs. Bjorn becomes a surrogate father to Caspar and his brother, providing them with a strong male influence. Flushed with cash, Caspar lavishes presents on his family but this infuriates the immigrant traders. Soon after, Bjorn is the victim of a brutal attack and he gives Caspar a gun to exact revenge, making it painfully clear that the punishment for failure will be felt by the whole of Caspar's family.
NT Live Encore Screening: Skylight 3 stars
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Monday 25th August 2014
Pulp 3 stars
Documentary following Jarvis Cocker and his chart-topping band as they prepare to mark 25 years together with a concert in their hometown of Sheffield. Footage from the concert is interspersed with interviews with local people and fans, who have been inspired by the group, as well as revealing conversations with band members and Cocker's mother.
- GenreDocumentary, Musical
- CastNick Banks, Jarvis Cocker, Candida Doyle.
- DirectorFlorian Habicht.
- WriterFlorian Habicht, Jarvis Cocker.
- Duration90 mins
- Official sitewww.pulpthefilm.com
- Release06/06/2014 (selected cinemas)
Subtitled A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets, Florian Habicht's documentary follows Jarvis Cocker and his chart-topping band as they prepare to mark 25 years together with a concert in their hometown of Sheffield. Footage from the concert is interspersed with interviews with local people and fans, who have been inspired by the group, as well as revealing conversations with band members and Cocker's mother. Through this patchwork of talking heads and rousing performances, the film explores the rise of a group that attempted to keep it real in a cut-throat industry, which measures success by the sales of your last single and album.
The Congress 3 stars
Pioneering film studio Miramount offers actress Robin Wright a tantalising deal: they will scan her to create a digital doppelganger and she will never have to act again. Moreover, this other self, will remain ever youthful and can perform in physically demanding blockbusters that the real Robin would turn down as a matter of course. In exchange for relinquishing her image, Miramount will pay Robin handsomely so she can spend more time with her sickly son Aaron.
- GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Drama, Science Fiction
- CastRobin Wright, Jon Hamm, Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti, Danny Huston, Kodi Smit-McPhee.
- DirectorAri Folman.
- WriterAri Folman.
- Duration123 mins
- Official sitewww.thecongress-movie.com
- Release15/08/2014 (selected cinemas)
Blending animation and live-action, Ari Folman's sci-fi drama features a central performance from Robin Wright as a fictionalised version of herself. Now that she is over 40, a perilous age for a film actress, Robin is finding it more difficult to get work and she looks back affectionately at past successes. Pioneering film studio Miramount offers her a tantalising deal: they will scan her to create a digital doppelganger and she will never have to act again. Moreover, this other self, will remain ever youthful and can perform in physically demanding blockbusters that the real Robin would turn down as a matter of course. In exchange for relinquishing her image, Miramount will pay Robin handsomely so she can spend more time with her sickly son Aaron (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is being cared for by Dr Barker (Paul Giamatti). After consultation with her agent Al (Harvey Keitel), Robin signs a 20-year contract with studio executive Jeff (Danny Huston). Years pass and the digital Robin becomes the most famous and popular actress in the world. When the time comes to renew the contract, the real Robin faces a thorny moral dilemma.