Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Director: Marcus H Rosenmuller
Starring David Kross . John Henshaw , Freya Mavor
The bio-pic of ‘Bert’ Trautmann (David Kross), goalkeeper for Manchester City (1949 to 1964) meanders through his life and loves played out in the midst of post war anger and intolerance in the North of England. A serving German Luftwaffe paratrooper, captured near the end the war and imprisoned in a Lancashire PoW camp, shows his skills as a goalkeeper. Local grocer and black marketeer Jack Friar (John Henshaw) spots the player’s talent and wants to put ‘Bert’ into his local football team, St Helens. Friar bribes the camp's sergeant and Bert starts playing. Despite initial resentment from players and supporters soon he establishes himself as a game winning asset. The grocer's daughter, Margaret, (Freya Mavor) is less impressed but gradually begins to see Bert in a different light as their relationship develops. On the eve of being returned to Germany, Bert is picked up by a talent scout for Manchester City. He signs for the club and soon faces a barrage of bigotry including strong disapproval from the club's many Jewish fans. The athlete excels and goes on to play over 500 matches for his club but is privately haunted by ghosts from his past. After breaking his neck during a cup final in 1956, then having to face a family tragedy Bert finally embraces his future assisted from an unlikely source. This is a watchable film with some good football action shots but rather over long at 120 minutes.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran, Kate McKinnon
What do you get when you mix science fiction with the Beatles, answer is a fab wee feel film and for fans of both genres not to be missed at a cinema near you As if from the Twilight Zone, a struggling luckless singer songwriter, Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) finds himself waking up after being knocked unconscious in a road accident and the only person in the world who has heard of the Beatles. At the exact moment Jack was hit by a bus, the world inexplicably had a power outage for 12 seconds. Driven by a desire to perform he takes the Fab Four’s compositions as his own and becomes a worldwide success thanks in no short measure through the help of Ed Sheeran (a really good cameo). Under the control of Svengali-like manager Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon) Jack is lured him into the wealth and riches of LA stardom. The unfulfilled love affair with his childhood sweetheart Ellie (Lily James) underpins the narrative as Jack’s conscience pricks and faces an ever-increasing potential to be exposed as a fraud. A feel-good movie with a super soundtrack and some surprisingly funny moments. Not to be missed.
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Director: Tom Harper
Starring: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo, Bob Harris (cameo)
Set in Glasgow, Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley) has a dream to become a Country singer and appear in Nashville but the single parent from Priesthill, Glasgow has not much other than her voice going for her. Recently released from prison and reunited with her two young children, Rose tries with the help of her despairing mother Marion (Julie Walters), to juggle motherhood and a lust to perform. She does not cope well despite the help of her employer, Susannah (Sophie Okonedo). Constantly pulled toward performing she neglects the children until her conscience finally gets the better of her. Almost when there appears to be no way for the self-destructive, Rose- Lynn to reach her twin goals, fate takes a hand. Accents aside, this is a good wee movie with some excellent singing from Ms Buckley. The soundtrack which includes songs co-written by Jessie Buckley is fantastic. In the finale, Rose sings ‘Glasgow (No Place Like Home) with the unforgettable chorus line, ‘Ain't no yellow brick road running through Glasgow, But I found one that's stronger than stone. ’ This will stay with me forever.
Sunday, June 2, 2019
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Starring: Taron Egerton, Matthew Illesley, Kit Connor, Steven Mackintosh, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Stephen Graham
Another rock biopic, this time the story of Sir Eton Hercules John Esq., (Taron Egerton). Not something I was particularly looking forward to, especially after Bohemian Rhapsody, but I was pleasantly and, if I am honest, mercifully surprised. Not just a hommage to the giant personality of Reginald Dwight Superstar but a real story which is magically transformed onto the silver screen in a highly entertaining musical. Elton is in rehab reflecting on his unhappy childhood, meteoric rise to stardom, sexuality and addictions along the way. Plenty opportunity to match Benny Taupin’s (Jamie Bell) lyrics to film’s soundtrack and sung by Taron Egerton. Superb cast in full support with Bryce Dallas Howard, as Elton’s wretched mother, my particular favourite, but there are plenty other villains, including John Reid (Richard Madden), the Svengali music manager (with a genuine Scottish accent). It is a little overlong in the telling (121 minutes), but all the more enjoyable because of the soundtrack and George Richmond’s cinematography. Well worth seeing.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Director Zara Hayes
Starring: Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Rhea Perlman, Pam Grier, Phyllis Somerville, Celia Weston, Bill McGill
A feel-good movie about Martha (Diane Keaton) in late stage cancer, who sells up in New York and moves to a retirement community in Georgia. There with her new friend Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), they start a cheerleading club and against the disapproval and interference of stuffy Vicki (Celia Weston), the social director of the Sun Springs retirement community, the elderly delinquents join with a handful of fellow retirees, including Alice (Rhea Perlman) and Olive (Pam Grier) and put on a show. The main cast makes the best the script in conveying both a sense of sisterhood, and the exquisite poignancy of the friendships that bloom as the end of life approaches. This is not a fabulous movie but it is enjoyable one, none the less. If you liked Cocoon and The Full Monty, then go see Poms.