Cinema Review – Maggie’s Plan

Maggie (Greta Gerwig) is determined to become a mother; she feels she is at the right time in her life, even though she has yet to have a meaningful relationship that lasts more than a few months. Maggie plans to inseminate herself with sperm from an acquaintance, but as the date draws near, she becomes friends with fellow teacher and aspiring novelist John (Ethan Hawke), a friendship that turns to something more, destroying John’s marriage to the passionate but self-involved Gerogette (Julianne Moore). Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Ice Age: Collision Course

When Scrat discovers a spaceship that flies him away from Earth, his relentless pursuit of his precious acorn sets off a chain of events that sends a meteor on a collision course with his home planet. On Earth, Manny (Ray Romano), his family and friends lead a race for survival that relies more than a little on impossible feats. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Now You See Me 2

Eighteen months after the events of Now You See Me, The Horsemen are disbanded and in hiding, and Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is still sending the FBI on a wild goose chase looking for the illusionist thieves. Announcing their comeback with an act of corporate sabotage, The Horsemen – with new member Lula (Lizzy Caplan) – find themselves kidnapped and taken to Macau, where they are forced to steal for reclusive tech prodigy Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe). Of course, The Horsemen are not going to take this lying down, and soon come up with a plan of their own. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Absolutely: Fabulous: The Movie

When Eddy (Jennifer Saunders) has her book deal revoked, and her ex-husband stops paying for her lavish home, she and her lifelong friend/drinking buddy Patsy (Joanna Lumley) decide that representing Kate Moss is the way forward for both of them. Unfortunately, in her haste to talk to Moss, Eddy knocks her into the Thames and, with the world media believing Eddy killed Moss, the two friends escape to the south of France to hide out and continue to live fabulously, dahling.

It may seem as though it has been a long time since Saunders and Lumley recreated their most famous roles, but it has actually not been that long since Eddy and Pasty have graced our screens; it’s just that the comedy in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie feels dated and as though it was written back in the hey day of Ab Fab, before these familiar jokes became old.

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley recreate their roles as the hell raising, rather clueless PR execs, and they do well with the characters. Saunders leads the charge as the rather disenfranchised Eddy, who seems locked in a past she has almost forgotten, and trying to come to terms with a world in which she is almost irrelevant. Joanna Lumley, however, is the real star here, as her work on reactions and in the background of scenes is hilarious, over the top and pretty darn special. The rest of the cast reunites Julia Sawalha and Jane Horrocks with their roles from the TV show, features Chris Colfer as a stylist and liberally sprinkles in celebrity cameos including Kate Moss, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney, Lulu, Emma Bunton and La Roux.

Jennifer Saunders’ screenplay for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie really feels as aged and flabby as Eddy continually bemoans herself to be throughout the film. We have heard these jokes before, we have seen this kind of best friend caper before and while this may have worked in the 90s when Ab Fab began, there is an almost wilful desire to keep the feel of the film as rooted in the past as the characters are. As well as this, the characters often feel as though they make choices because the script told them to, leaving the whole thing feeling rather like a sketch show instead of a 90 minute, coherent story.

Director Mandie Fletcher tries her best to keep the film moving through the thin story, but struggles to make the film coherent. As well as this, many of the jokes do not land and scenes feel as though they are unfinished. Lumley’s performance is strong; Saunders’ less so and the cameos vary from actor to actor. There is a feel of familiarity and awkwardness about the entire film, which is hard to shake.

In all, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is as hit and miss as the TV show was, once upon a time. Lumley shines, Saunders tries hard, but the thin story is against them from the start, as well as the feeling that we have seen all of this before.

Rating: 2/5

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Cinema Review – Central Intelligence

Twenty years after high school Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) has not lived up to his potential of being “most likely to succeed”. When he declines the Facebook invite to his high school reunion, an former schoolmate gets in touch; Bob Stone (Dwayne Johnson). A far cry from the overweight, self-conscious kid he was in school, Bob is now in the CIA and chasing down a threat to national security, a threat that he needs Calvin’s help in stopping. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – The Meddler

Marnie (Susan Sarandon) has just moved to LA to be closer to her daughter Lori (Rose Byrne). Although Marnie insists all the time that “basically I feel great!”, it soon becomes clear, from her constant voicemails to her daughter and the fact that she crashes parties and spends her money on anyone but herself, that the recent death of her husband has left her at a loss. When her daughter goes to New York for work, Marnie finds herself alone in LA for the first time, and struggling to make real connections. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Independence Day: Resurgence

Twenty years after a gang of plucky humans, led by President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), saved the world from invading aliens, earthly technology has been advanced by studying the remains of the alien ships, landmarks have been rebuilt and humans have set up a first defence base on the moon. The trouble is that while earth has had time to build defences against another attack, the aliens have also spent their time regrouping and, in the words of former President Whitmore; “They’re coming back, and this time we won’t be able to stop them”. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – The Secret Life of Pets

A terrier named Max (Louis C.K.) lives in a Manhattan apartment building with his owner and best friend Katie (Ellie Kemper), and spends his days hanging out with the other neighbourhood pets, cat Chloe (Lake Bell), and other dogs Mel (Bobby Moynihan), Buddy (Hannibal Buress) and Gidget (Jenny Slate). When Katie comes home with a new dog Duke (Eric Stonestreet), Max hatches a plan to get rid of the interloper, a plan that puts them both in danger. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Elvis and Nixon

On December 21st, 1970, Elvis Presley (Michael Shannon) arrived at the White House, asking for a meeting with then President, Richard Nixon (Kevin Spacey). Elvis had a plan to become an undercover agent for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, but getting a meeting with the leader of the free world is not easy… Even for The King. Continue reading

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