Film Club

Each week, we send one of our members to see a fantastic new movie at Cineworld.

You will get two free* tickets to the film, and give us your review and rating on the film, which features in The Enquirer, on our Film Club page and Facebook page. Enter your details below for more information and to sign up!
#FestivalFilmClub.


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The Zookeeper's Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife

Release Date: 21st April 2017

The Zookeeper’s Wife is an incredible real life story that reminds us what makes us human - our ability to hope and rise beyond the darkness and hatred. The film tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.

The lead woman in this film (Jessica Chastain) puts herself and her children at such a great risk to help other people live, with all the actors doing a fantastic job for us to see how it was during the war.

The invasion itself makes for the film’s most startling and memorable sequence by far, as the animals, freed from their enclosures by the preliminary bombing, scatter through the city’s smouldering streets.

A heart-wrenching true story which is portrayed fantastically through The Zookeeper’s Wife. 

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★★

By Amy


Fast & Furious 8

Fast & Furious 8

Release Date: 12th April 2017

Fast and Furious is a thrilling but sometimes bumpy ride. Muscles, fast cars, adrenaline and scary mega stunts all come back into play but on another crazy level.  

Fast and Furious 8 is not as deliriously over-the-top as 5, it isn’t as emotional as 7, and it isn’t as all around amazing as Tokyo Drift. But none of this matters. It is, however, the strangest, darkest, and the most deviant film in the series. Fast and Furious 8 sure does follow the rulebook of ‘go big or go home’ but where family is concerned it’s a whole different story.  

All round the film is absurd, but director F Gary Gray and his cameramen handle the whole thing well. With stunning shots of Havana, Atlanta and more this film puts the pedal to the metal when it comes to special effects.  

So fasten your seat belts and get ready for the 8th adrenaline fuelled F&F ride!

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Emma


The Boss Baby

The Boss Baby

Release Date: 7th April 2017

 7 year olds Tim Templeton's "perfect" world is turned upside down with the arrival of a new addition to the family, a little baby brother. However this baby is no ordinary baby. This is a suit wearing, briefcase holding "talking" baby brother (voiced by Alec Baldwin). This baby is on a mission by order of Babycorp to help prevent the launch of a new puppy.

Puppies are now overtaking all the affections from new parents, replacing the need for babies.

You are drawn into the story by Tim's extremely overactive imagination with his little mini adventures.

Although I did notice the children in the audience losing concentration at times during the film, as the storyline might be a little bit confusing for younger children. However this was a funny, enjoyable film.

By no means to the standard of DreamWorks Shrek films with the little sly chunks of adult humour chucked in but still enjoyable.

Phoenix, age 6 said the film was "very funny and he enjoyed it". A nice treat for the kids to enjoy this Easter Holidays.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Tracy and Phoenix


Smurfs:The Lost Village

Smurfs:The Lost Village

Release Date: 31st March 2017

This fully animated film with its all-new take on the Smurfs, is a all round great film for the family.  

We meet our favourite Smurfs once again, as a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures, to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does.  

The journey the Smurfs go on is full of action and danger, on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history! The plot is simple and it feels like you’re watching an extra long cartoon, animated with lots of colour and fun in mind for the kids.  

There were also plenty of laughs from classic Smurf villain Gargamel, making it an all round fantastic film to see this Easter for every Smurfs fan!

 

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Tina


Power Rangers

Having grown up in the 90s I remember watching The Power Rangers as a child and was interested just how much this film would reflect my memories. The film portrays the story of five teenagers, who come together and find special glowing stones that give them superhero like powers.

The start of the film is slow and not particularly well explained in areas. From introducing the characters and their histories, to explaining how they get together is all a bit muddled and lacks depth. They struggle to connect in the film, which delays their ability to “morph” and combat Rita the villain who wants to get her hands on a Zeo Crystal - it destroys earth apparently although it’s not explained why or how.

 As slow as the film took to get going, it then felt it was over. Finally, in the last half an hour were the moments of nostalgia that I anticipated would have happened earlier on.

The film doesn’t feel it takes itself too seriously, and there are funny element with the characters that did give the odd chuckle here and there.

I would suggest it’s more suited for the younger generation, but if you remember the Power Ranger back in the day you’ll probably be disappointed. 

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Maxine


Beauty and the Beast

 Beauty and the Beast

Release Date: 17th March 2017

Beauty and the Beast is a fantastic re-make of the Disney classic. The brilliant cast and animation has brought the film to life creating moment of joy, sadness and magic. Sticking closely to the original film and including all of the timeless original songs really does justice to the original. Emma Watson plays a beautiful and believable Belle alongside Dan Stevens who portrays the Beast perfectly.

The singing from Emma Watson and Emma Thompson in particular were brilliantly enchanting but all of the songs were done justice. The duo of Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen playing Cogsworth and Lumiere were hilarious and created some very funny moments, especially when accompanied by the wardrobe, feather duster, piano and Chip. Belles father Maurice (Kevin Kline) was good as well as Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad), in particular during their version of the song Gaston in the pub.

The stand out best scenes were the elaborate animations for Be Our Guest which created all of the wonder and magic from the original. And also the Beauty and the Beast scene which was identical to the original but still managed to give you goosebumps with the song, dancing then ending with the magic mirror and Belle leaving on horseback to save her father.

All in all a beautifully magical remake of the Disney classic.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★★

By Emma


Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island

Release Date: 10th March 2017

A bunch of scientists accompanied by a tracker (Tom Hiddleston), photo-journalist (Brie Larson) and army soldiers, infiltrate the mysterious and uncharted territory of Skull Island to examine it, without realising they have entered the land of King Kong and the islands less than friendly beasts. While a few seek revenge from the mighty ape for killing their compatriots, they soon discover he is not the enemy.

You know exactly what to expect from this film before walking in and doesn't disappoint. Given the genre, it’s no surprise that this monster movie is immensely bold in its approach, it doesn’t have one dull moment. This reboot of the franchise is packed with beautiful cinematography and eye popping colour pallets that portray the islands deadly beauty perfectly. The movies biggest strength is its relentless action scenes, they stand high above of others with unique camera angles, immensely satisfying slow-mo and consistent CGI throughout.

All this coupled with Samuel Jackson's strong screen presence and John C. Reilly's comedy gold, Kong: Skull Island is a wild ride and insanely good fun.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Dave


Logan

Logan

Release Date: 3rd March 2017

Logan you could say is a standalone movie within the ten x men movies and also the third and final chapter in the Wolverine series.  

Set in near future, 2029, it's opening scenes starts with Logan ( Hugh Jackman ) showing a degree of compassion and reluctance in his approach to a gang  who are stripping his car while he is sleeping in the back. The exploding violence in true Wolverine style that follows sets the film alight and has all Wolverine fans waiting for more.  

That being said, the fight scenes are well choreographed throughout and feel real and flow from one scene to the next without the presence of CGI overpowering the down to earth feel to the film.  

Logan, who is one of the last mutants becomes the guardian and protector of Laura. She is an eleven year old mutant with similar characteristics to Logan whose aim is to find sanctuary in a place called Eden with other mutant children.   

Jackman, has been playing the part of Wolverine for 18 years and Dafne Keen on her movie debut create different moods throughout this film and I am amazed at the way they come together so naturally.  

Logan has characters you can identify with and shows us many sides to Wolverine not seen before which we can relate to.   It's a little like marmite, you will either love it or hate it. It's groundbreaking because it doesn't feel like any previous x men movie or modern day superhero and in the end of 'Logan' you feel Hugh Jackman's Wolverine has searched his soul, found meaning and eventually his release.  

I started by saying it could be a standalone movie within the x men series but would suggest watching the Wolverine series first to put you in the mood. I love everything X men'

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Jonathon


Patriots Day

Patriots Day

Release Date: 24th February 2017

Reliving the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon terrorist attacks, Patriot’s Day follows the story of Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders and his comrades as they attempt to get to the bottom of the bombing.  

With a cast including Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman and directed by Peter Berg, the film takes you on a tense and emotional rollercoaster, following the accounts before and immediately after the events, which will keep you gripped to your seat throughout.  

Not only is the film one of the most realistic I’ve seen, but made in a thoughtful and respectful way to those whose lives were impacted on that day.  

Patriot’s Day is powerful and emotional story true story and tribute, showing the impact of such a tragedy within the community and wider world.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Sarah


Fences

Fences

Release Date: 17th February 2017

Denzel Washington both directs and stars in this gripping drama about a black family in 1950s Pittsburgh.  

Adapted from the acclaimed August Wilson play, the film follows working-class father Troy Maxson, played by Washington, who once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player.  

But his life hasn’t worked out the way he planned. Now a sanitation worker with a wife and teenage son, who dreams of playing football, Troy is bitter about lost opportunities in his own life.  

Although performances by Washington and Viola Davis, who plays Troy’s wife, are outstanding, I found the adaptation from stage to screen very flat even if the Fence was quite literal rather than just a metaphor in the play.  

I’m not surprised that the movie was tipped for Oscar greatness, thanks to the performances on screen, but I was left wanting more.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Ruby


The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie

Release Date: 10th February 2017

Bruce Wayne / Batman (voice of Will Arnett) must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also take responsibility for raising a boy he adopted. With the addition of a new Police Commissioner in town who wants things done a bit differently the story unfolds.  

The opening sequence has you gripped and laughing out loud as Joker (Zach Galifinakis) gets a group of Batman's past enemies together to blow up Gotham City. Joker then appears to turn over a new leaf which neither Batman nor the commissioner accept, however whilst the commissioner wants to wait it out, Batman decides to take action and send The Joker to The Phantom Zone. In order to send him to The Phantom Zone he needs to steal The Phantom Zone weapon from Superman which he does with the aid of Robin (his newly adopted son).  

Once the Joker is in The Phantom Zone he teams up with other supper baddies; King Kong, Voldermort, The Gremlins and The Daleks to destroy Gotham City.  

This film is very entertaining with funny in jokes yet works without the knowledge of the past baddies too. It is very tongue in cheek, silly and over the top which shows The Caped Crusader as a loner who works on his own to keep Gotham safe who then learns to care about other people and work as a team. A great half term movie for the kids.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★½

By Nikki, Mia and Joe


Rings

Rings

Release Date: 3rd February 2017

Seven Days! Who knew two words would strike such terror in our hearts many years ago. I am talking of course about The Ringu (1998) or The Ring (US remake 2002) a film about a death delivering video that once watched unleashes a curse and kills you in 7 days.  

Flash forward nearly 20 years later from the original film, we join Julia and Holt (Matilda Lutz and Alex Roe) a young couple in love on their journey to find out more about the curse of Samara. Holt, whilst at college watches the video and goes into hiding to protect his girlfriend Julia. Not to be the damsel in distress she embarks on rescuing Holt and watches the video so the curse goes to her and not him.

However, it soon becomes clear that the video has a different message for Julia and it is only her that can stop this curse.  Julia and Holt are embroiled in this trouble from the start because of Holt’s Biology Professor Gabriel (Johnny Galecki) who stumbles upon the VHS in a flea market and starts to investigate the power of the video and whether it links our souls in the after-life.  

Rings (2017) has been updated for a new generation, so rather than VHS tapes, the deadly images are being shared and stored as MP4s. The origins of the story remain the same, a murdered girl reaching out for vengeance from beyond the grave; the video’s curse carried forward unless he or she copies the video and dupes another person into watching, and the dreaded mystery voiced call after watching.  

The director, Javier Gutieerez definitely has an understanding of the horror genre, as the cinematography is filled with dark, long corridors, flickering lights and moody atmospheric weather, which all try, but fail, to create suspense and unease for the audience. Other than the odd jump from sudden loud noises, it did not reach the heights of the great Japanese original and other Asian horror films, all rooted in Japanese folklore and ghost stories that make them far creepier than anything Hollywood can produce.  

The script’s lack of exposition makes the film hard to follow, and I often felt like I was watching a different film to that of the ‘Ring’ story. A film which may disappoint horror lovers.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Jennifer


Sing

Sing

Release Date: 27th January 2017

 As far as animation films go, I'm usually always a fan. I feel like I get to re-live my childhood every time I watch them, but the older I get the more I notice that they are usually jam packed with adult humour that children won't notice.

This film was no exception based around a failing movie theatre owner, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) his story line along with those of the other main characters showed the ever growing love to keep the parents as interested as the children. From failing at work, being a stay at home mum with an under appreciative husband, to being shy or feeling bullied, everyone would sit there feeling like they could relate to an element of the film.  

The story line is relatively simple and easy to follow for all ages, sing in the show and save the failing theatre. Naturally there are some bumps along the way, with some laugh out loud moments that are hard to miss. However I feel that there wasn't quite enough to keep people from looking at what the people in the aisle in front are up to.   

Full of hit song covers and a star-studded cast voicing cute talking animals, this film easily shows off everyones love of talent-shows. Unfortunately despite being an easy watch its just not that memorable and way less exciting than it could have been.   

A film for Sunday afternoons whilst you're cooking the dinner and the kids want some background noise. 

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Morgan


xXx3: Return of Xander Cage

xXx3:Return of Xander Cage

Release Date: 20th January 2017

I was anticipating this movie as I had been a fan of the 2002 original and was always convinced that that hadn't killed the main character off!    

So we return to the franchise 15 years later, from being left for dead after a tough assignment Xander 'XXX' Cage (Vin Diesel), the reluctant spy and extreme sports and stunts enthusiast, explodes back onto the screen for a new revenge mission.  

Cage has been living in exile ever since he was blackmailed into taking on an anti-terrorism role for the NSA. But now, due to circumstances, he has a new handler (Toni Collette) who has forced him into helping counter a new threat to global security. A deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his henchmen have seized a device that controls every military satellite in the world. Cage agrees to take them on - but only if he can recruit his own crew which includes Ruby Rose of 'Orange is the New Black' fame- an expert with a gun, a refreshing female IT tech and other muscle assist while 'IP Man' star and highly skilled martial artist Donnie Yen makes a truly formidable foe.  

The movie helped answer questions from where the first XXX movie left off. Yes there were stunt scenes, some I wasn't so sure Vin Diesel could any longer pull off... Yes there was humour and tongue in cheek one liners- as much as you could expect from a knock off Bond film genre. Entertaining enough and just about worth watching.  

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Charlene


La La Land

La La Land

Release Date: 12th January 2017

As a lover of musicals, and big show productions, I was very excited to be going to see this film.   

The storyline was a pretty basic love story, the lead actors believable. It's was very colourful, the jazz amazing and the dancing enjoyable.   

However, I felt it lacked something, I can't quite put my finger on. It certainly did not live up to the hype placed on it by the advertising and the famous reviewers who have been raving about this film.   

It was more suited to watching on a rainy Sunday afternoon at home, where I fear I may have ended up asleep on the sofa.   

I would rate it an overall 3 out of 5  

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Emma


A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

Release Date: 6th January 2017

 A Monster calls tells the story of Connor (Lewis MacDougall) a bullied, angry 12 year old loner, coming to terms with his terminally ill mother and his unsympathetic grandma (Sigourney Weaver).

His unlikely friendship in a monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) who visits one night at his bedroom window. The monster tells him meaningful, thought provoking stories over a number of nights in the promise that Connor will reveal his reoccurring nightmare.

You would be wrong in thinking this is a child's film. I took my 6 year old nephew who was lost with it all. I would say this film is aimed at an older child/adult audience. My sister and myself found ourselves drawn into the world of  Connor, his life struggles dealing with grief, anger, families, illness and pain through the eyes of a child.

A beautifully written movie by Patrick Ness from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd and Directed by J.A. Bayona.

Do not forget to bring your tissues.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Tracy and Leeanne


Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty

Release Date: 30th December 2016

Sitting down to watch Collateral Beauty as my first film of 2017, I wasn’t entirely sure as to what to expect. I’d heard mixed reviews, but a film with such a star-studded cast? I wasn’t sure it could disappoint.

Depicted as a Will Smith film, the other big names far stood-out for their character portrayals. Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael Peña all enticed and kept me interested in the plot line, far more than Will Smith’s character Howard did.

A plot consumed with sadness surrounding the death of Howard’s daughter, and the unimaginable pain of life thereafter, Howard is refusing to work, which is proving detrimental to the successful ad agency he has built with best friend Whit (Norton). With a major contract likely to be lost, Whit, Claire (Winslet) and Simon (Peña) take matters into their own hands. Enlisting the help of three budding actors to help Howard open-up and begin to discuss three abstract concepts they hear he’s been writing to; Love, Time and Death.

What follows is a touching, smart and heartwarming story about not only Howard, but also all of the main protagonists, reclaiming, growing and moving-forward in their lives.

For me, it definitely didn’t disappoint, with a strong, positive message to begin the New Year.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Kerry


Passengers

Passengers

Release Date: 22nd December 2016

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt team up as Aurora Lane and Jim Preston in their fight for survival, stranded desperately onboard a super-technological passenger ship which is enroute to new colonial planet Homestead II… with an ETA of just over NINETY years! Awakened from their sleep before their other 5000 fellow passengers, they must identify why and how to get back into hibernation, or else they risk dying of old age, alone, within the confines of sterile autonomous monotony.  

Passengers, I would say, is an Adventure Survival story with sci-fi and inevitabbly romantic themes to boot. A sure crowd pleaser, not hung up on either particular one.  

On-screen chemistry between the leading duo is clear to see and entertaining to watch unfold, and Michael Sheen brings a cool performance as Arthur, the ship Avalon’s android Barman whose pleasant but frank tones echo Lloyd from The Shinning.  

Visually, the film greatly hits home the sense of isolation with rolling shots of the desolate and clinical futuristic accomodation, the special effects demonstrate, in one certain scene, a partiular danger of zero gravity you wouldn’t otherwise realise. The juxtaposed beauty and cruel unforgivingness of commercial deep space is also prevailant.  

I’ll detract one star for the rather sudden ending, feels like there was originally another conclusion. Check it out while it’s on the big screen and see if you agree. 

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Jamie


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Release Date: 15th December 2016

Last year, the Force Awakened with the long awaited seventh episode in the Star Wars saga. 

But this Christmas takes us back to a long time ago – right before the start of Episode IV with the first Star Wars standalone film.

Starring Felicity Jones as our female lead Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as the handsome rebel Cassian Andor, the film reveals how the Rebels attained the plans to the Empire’s Death Star, the ultimate weapon of destruction. 

Although there is some comic relief from new droid K-2SO and some other quirky characters, this is by far the darkest of the Star Wars films.

For anyone not familiar with the Star Wars saga, you may find yourself a little lost, but for fans, this is a powerful and poignant story with the return of some familiar faces but perhaps not in the way you’d imagine.

Don’t expect the epic opening you’re used to in a Star Wars film but get ready for a Force fuelled finale.


Office Christmas Party

Office Christmas Party

Release Date: 9th December 2016

 The plot for this movie is fairly simple, Clay Vanstone (T.J Miller) and Josh Parker (Jason Bateman) are in charge of a failing office branch.  Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Anniston) give them an ultimatum, win a large contract within 2 days and the branch stays open; they then throw a mad party in order to win over the rep for the company.

The film is very funny from start to finish, some of the mad stunts that are pulled are excellent and TJ Miller steals the show. 

One funny moment had me cringing as well as laughing at the same time, this is definitely a great funny Christmas movie!. I especially like the fight scene with Jennifer Anniston , yes I am serious !

All in all I would say that this movie is 4 out of 5, as there are a couple of cheesy moments in there as they try and throw in a love story .

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Lee


Sully

Sully

Release Date: 2nd December 2016

 Once again, when it comes to convincing, emotional acting, Tom Hanks does not let us down.

This film is fantastic. It grips you from the opening scene. It tells the true story of Chelsey Sullenberger, known as Sully. The captain of flight 1549, which he incredibly landed on the Hudson River; saving the lives of all 155 passengers.

The film is well written and tense, when Sullys nightmare visions of the crash, play on his mind. There were some exceptional moments where you deeply felt the emotion of Sully, the crew and the passengers. A few pulls on the heart strings. There were also some great one liners which made me laugh, plus some great quotes to remember. 

The crash scenes are done spectacularly and had me on the edge of my seat, with my heart beating out of my chest! Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart - who plays the Co pilot, Jeff Skiles, make a great pair. The friendship and loyalty between them is believable and their acting is very heartfelt. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film accurately portrays this extraordinary event; with depth, meaning and belief. Tom Hanks portrays the struggles Sully faced, with true conviction.

Definitely worth a trip to Imax to see this superb film. 

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★★

By Sarah


Bad Santa 2

Bad Santa 2

Release Date: 25th November 2016

After a 13 year wait we have the sequel to the original anti Christmas classic...

Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) is back again, drunker and hornier than ever before, teamed up with his angry sidekick, Marcus and the film wouldn’t have been the same without Thurman.

Merman (Brett Kelly) is now 21 and still following Willie around, making an appearance, the insults exchanged between the characters are the main focus of the movie (some funnier than others!) With the arrival of some new characters mainly Willlie’s Mum, Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates), the standard Mommy issues that you already knew Willie had come along.

The storyline wasn’t the most original - but they are Robbers after all and that’s what they do best!

The plot is a scheme to rob a Chicago Charity on Christmas Eve, whilst fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred.  “Bad Santa 2” offers nothing different from the original, but it’s still an easy watching comedy this festive season.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Tina


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Release Date: 18th November 2016

With the flick of the wand, we have been transported back into the Wizarding world, and boy how I've missed it.

Set in the roaring 20's, in a time long before a kid called Harry was born - we meet Newt Scamander, played magnificently by Eddie Redmayne. A wizard on a quest to discover magical, fantastical beasts - with his suitcase which is bigger on the inside (much like Doctor Who).

He becomes entangled in a mystery, where dark forces are threatening to destroy New York City and expose the magical world to the muggles, I mean 'nomaj's'. It's a brilliant adventure, Eddie shines as Newt.

Every character is appreciated and not overshadowed by one an other. The visual effects though are eye popping, with incredible graphics you think that the creatures are actually there with them.

With some surprisingly scary moments, it's a film that does have everything for everyone. You will want to try the Gigglewater, and you most certainly will fall in love with the Niffler.

A fantastic beast of an adventure which looks set to last for a long time yet. 

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★★

By Megan


The Accountant

The Accountant

Release Date: 4th November

This is a movie you'll be happy to watch twice. Ben Affleck stars as a socially challenged individual who has some extra-ordinary skills. As you’d expect the main character is good with numbers, but he’s also good with a gun.

The story follows his adventures as a private hire forensic accountant, which often take a surprising turn, including pitting himself against his own brother. The movie itself is well paced with some nice action scenes which don’t take too much away from the strong character scenes where you can’t help but fall for the awkward, yet strong and compassionate loner. Affleck does well to make this hero likeable, yet balanced.

The pace of the movie is consistent, some may find it slow if you’re after an all out Jackie Chan experience. The script is well written with some beautiful lines presented, the setting is realistic given the story line and the finish is slick yet accessible for easy and relaxed  viewing.

A movie for late nights or lazy afternoon enjoyment alike. 

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Hannah


Doctor Strange

 Doctor Strange

Release Date: 28th October 2016

Doctor Strange is just that…a very strange film. But it’s also pretty spectacular.  

With special effects to rival that of Inception and The Matrix, it is a CGI masterpiece that needs to be seen on the big screen.  

A Marvel movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the leading role, the film follows world-famous neurosurgeon Dr Stephen Strange, whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident leaves him with severe nerve damage to his hands, leaving him unable to continue his work.  

When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look elsewhere for healing and hope – a mysterious reserve known as Kamar-Taj. But he soon learns that this is not a place for meditation and healing but the front line of a battle against dark forces.  

Acquired with new magical powers that can transport a person from one side of the world to the other and create weapons out of thin air, Strange is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and fame or leave it all behind to defend the world.  

It’s a witty watch with some comical moments between Strange and his former partner Christine Palmer (played by Rachel McAdams) as well as the villain Kaecilius. But the film also comes with a meaningful message, which I won’t spoil for you.

Like all Marvel films, make sure you wait until the end of the credits for a double teaser that you won’t want to miss!​

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Michelle


Trolls

Trolls

 Release Date : 21st October 

Super cute, overly bright, always happy and bursting into song and dance at any given moment - what's not to love about the brand new animation TROLLS.

The story is pretty standard, the happy trolls are being hunted by the permanently depressed Bergens (Ogres to you and I!) and one day the Trolls sing & party so hard that the Bergens discover their whereabouts and kidnap a whole bunch of them to eat in a bid to try and make them happy.

The pink powerhouse 'Princess Poppy' seeks help from the grumpy grey hug hating 'Branch' and together they embark on a journey through talking clouds and singing flowers in a bid to rescue their friends. We won't spoil the ending but it's very sweet and you can't help but leave the cinema with a warm fuzzy colourful glow inside!

The film has a fabulous soundtrack full of songs you can't help but sing along to, an easy to follow storyline and is sure to be loved by young and old alike, especially those who remember the Trolls the first time round!

Perfect family film for half term

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★½

By Mel, Oliver and Ella


Inferno

Inferno

 Release date: 14th October 2016

Tom Hanks reprises his role as Robert Langdon, a world renowned professor of symbology, in the third instalment from Dan Brown's novel adaptation but unfortunately the format whereby clues are solved in popular tourist destinations, this time Venice and Florence, then they move onto the next tourist hotspot to solve the next clue seems tired and clichéd to say the least.  

 Directed by Ron Howard, the film drops us into the middle of Langdon's hallucinations as he tries to piece together half memories and visions aided by Sienna Brooks , played by Felicity Jones, in order to solve the clues to foil a plot in which a billionaire is going to release a bio-hazard plague to wipe out huge swathes of the human race in order to combat over-population, a scheme worthy of Pierce Brosnan-era Bond film.  

Guessing who's the good guy/bad guy keeps you on your toes as the story progresses, but does little to keep you engaged and there are some minor moments of levity to break up the running around in museums, but nothing to keep you glued to the screen.  

Despite feeling like a thinking man's National Treasure 2 its is nowhere near as much fun, delightfully silly or easy to follow. It is not a patch on The Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons, so I'm afraid this is one Tom Hanks film to miss or at best wait for it to be shown on TV one Sunday afternoon.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★

By Keeley


The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

Release Date: 7th October 2016

From the train she takes every day, a lonely woman named Rachel, brilliantly portrayed by Emily Blunt,  sits staring out the window as she passes the neighbourhood she use to live in and the house her now ex-husband shares with his new wife and baby. 

Rachel, now a serious alcoholic, is mourning the end of her marriage and for her journey on the train back and forth into Manhattan gives her a twice daily reminder of what life for her could have been. Her life is a mess, even worse than taking the 7:21 journey everyday into Fenchurch St. She gets to watch her ex-husband and his new wife play with the baby she always wanted in the house that she had made. 

She also spies on  the lives of a beautiful couple, their erotic life together, seen only by her,  is a love story that Rachel dreams could be hers. But all is not as it seems, and the beautiful, suburban couple she sees from the train are not as loved up as they first appear. Something darker and sadder than her own life hides in plain sight.

As with Gone Girl, another taut thriller with a great twist in its tail, Hollywood has glammed up the book's more modest London setting for a glossier, New York suburban chic.

Emily Blunt is excellent as Rachel, she is ably supported by a strong cast in this Hitchcockian whodunnits that lends itself well to an entertaining couple of hours in the cinema as we explore the tangled themes of revenge and betrayal through the eyes of Rachel and the two women she sees from the train who are unwittingly trapped in a claustrophobic cycle of abuse.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Ian


Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children 

Release Date: 29th September 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children has to be the best film we’ve seen this year!  

The unusual and surprising plot keeps you gripped throughout, with beautiful scenes and amusing characters. In typical Tim Burton style there were some very dark characters which were played by well loved actors. There were plenty of twists and turns, with some moments a little scary for younger children.  

My 13 year old daughter proclaimed it was the “best thing she had ever seen”, and all in all it’s a brilliant film for families with older children, with a moral of team work and bravery running throughout.   I would highly recommend you to watch this film, especially as Halloween is fast approaching!  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Emma 


The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven

Release Date: 23rd September 2016 

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name, which was a remake of an old Japanese film called Seven Samurai. I haven’t seen any of the originals but apparently they are classics, which means the 2016 version has a lot to live up to.

The film tells the story of an old Western town that is overrun by Borgue, an evil mining mogul who wants to take the land and have his men kill anyone who gets in his way. He needs to be stopped so the residents put all of their money together to hire the best bounty hunter around, a master gunmen called Sam Chrisholm (played brilliantly by Denzel Washington). Sam goes off to round up another 6 men, who all have different skills and personalities, and heads back to the town to prepare for the inevitable battle.

The film boasts an impressive cast who all play their parts well. The directing, soundtrack and camera shots are very good, they put a modern twist on the classic old western style. There are some tense shoot out scenes in between some big explosive gun fights.

Unfortunately the film is let down by a lack of character development, there are no back stories or side plots so you don’t feel like you know anything about the characters. This makes it hard to care what happens to them in the end or understand why they are in their situations. Although it was entertaining, the story was very predictable and it could have been cut 30 minutes shorter. Despite this, it is still a good and fun film that is worth seeing.. It’s just not as magnificent as it could have been.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Sarah


Bridget Jones's Baby

Bridget Jones’ Baby

Release Date: 16th September 2016

She’s the single lady who found love and became an inspiration to women around the globe. Ten years on and Bridget Jones is back on the big screen – and this time she’s got a baby on the way!  

Based on Helen Fielding’s heroine, this is a feel good film that will make you laugh and fall in love with Miss Jones all over again.  

Ten years on from when where we left Bridget in her happily ever after, things haven’t turned out quite as she planned. She’s now in her 40s and single again – but she does have a top job as a News Producer and some new 30 something friends (as well as the older, swearing trio from the original).  

But as Bridget takes a tumble in the mud at a music festival, her love life takes a turn and she finds herself falling into bed with a handsome American named Jack as well as her ex Mark Darcy. Not only that, she then realises she’s pregnant – but who’s the father?  

Complete with all of the ingredients for a good Bridget film – there’s the speech that goes wrong, the awkward love triangle and some hilarious cameos from Emma Thompson and Ed Sheeran, this is a feel good watch, made even the more nostalgic with the use of flashbacks.   

Yes, the actors are a little older and the story is a little familiar but it is a film that does what it says on the baby bump. It’s fun, it’s loveable and it’s feisty – just like our Bridget!    

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Michelle


Captain Fantastic

Captain Fantastic 

Release Date: 9th September 2016 

I’d heard great reviews about Captain Fantastic but didn’t really know what to expect – was it a comedy? A drama? I’m still not quite sure. But one thing is certain, it is a touching film.

Written and directed by Matt Ross, the film stars Viggo Mortensen as Ben, a devoted father who has raised a family of six off the grid in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. His wife has been hospitalised with bipolar disorder but Ben soon receives devastating news that she has killed herself.  

Ben makes the decision to take his children on a road trip to New Mexico to attend their mother’s funeral, despite warnings that his father-in-law will have him arrested if he interrupts the ceremony.  

But although Ben has taught his children survival skills, he soon realises he’s left them unprepared for the outside world, with some humorous and shocking results! He soon realises that he needs to revaluate his children’s upbringing and education.  

I left the cinema not knowing whether I should be laughing or crying – one thing’s for sure, it was an emotional rollercoaster that really makes you think.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Rebecca


Sausage Party

Sausage Party 

Release Date: 2nd September 

The premise of adult animation and inanimate objects firing jokes and profanity seemed like nothing new after the likes of The Simpsons, Family guy and Ted gracing the small and big screen over the years so I had thought I was prepared for a silly cartoon and the events that may unfold but no, Sausage Party is in a league of its own!  

It is definitely offensive, but surprisingly backs up its enthusiastic profanity (brace yourself for a lot of swearing!) with an impressively high laugh-to-joke/innuendo ratio -- and an engaging thought-provoking storyline.  

The brain child of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg you can expect some high laughs and existential trippiness. The stories main character is a sausage, who desperately wants to live out an ambition of leaving the supermarket and fulfilling his dream of going home with a human God and being worshipped not eaten. The misplaced sausage and his savoury friends embark on an adventure through the aisles and unfold a raunchy animated comedy that may look cute but is definitely not for children!  

As ridiculous as the film sounds it was also clever and very funny so I would rate it 4 out of 5.   

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★

By Charlene​


Bad Moms

Bad Moms  

Release Date: 26th August 2016 

Hilarious right from the outset. Lots of relatable scenes that any busy mum would laugh out loud to. The movie depicts how any modern day mothers life is in this day and age.   

Trying to ensure their kids have the best of everything and working really hard, running ragged trying to hold it all together, in order to achieve the unrealistic goal of being the perfect parent.   

A must see, you'll really enjoy it, and realise we are all as bad as each other!!! We're all good moms with a side helping of bad mom!! 

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Rebecca 


David Brent: Life On The Road

David Brent: Life On The Road

Release Date: 19th August 2016

Ricky Gervais's Life on the Road has everything we've come to expect from classic Brent. Years after the overwhelming success of The Office, what could have easily been the 'difficult second album' is in fact laugh out loud funny and heartachingly poignant in equal measure.  

David Brent is now a disenchanted sales rep for a hygiene company, desperately trying to find a way to pursue his dream of being a rock star. The film is punctuated with original songs, the lyrics of which are as genius as Brent's perfectly timed glances to camera.  As we're introduced to his life on the road in a silver saloon - the title song features such classic lines as - "Off to Gloucester, I grab a Costa.....just a pitch and then I'm up to Ipswich". As I write, the soundtrack sits proudly at number 4 in the iTunes chart - the words will make you cringe but you'll soon be signing along.  

The film highlights the best and worst of humanity as David is ostracised for following his dream and for being himself - but as true fans know, he doesn't know any other way to be. I watched much of the film through my fingers as Brent stumbled his way through  pseudo-racist, ill-informed conversations but my long-held affection for the buffoon never waned. All he truly seeks is acceptance and validation. In the end, he finds that - not on the stage but in real life. And I couldn't be happier for him. In the words of the great philosopher Brent - "Life is a struggle, but full of beautiful surprises along the way". Fact.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Karen


The Shallows

The Shallows 

Release Date: 12th August 2016 

Set on a secluded beach in Mexico, medical student & keen surfer Nancy (Blake Lively) takes to the waves to enjoy what she thinks will be a memorable surf in a place that’s close to her heart. What she doesn’t know is that there’s a shark looming in the water, and he’s out to get her.

After being bitten badly by the shark Nancy manages to find safety on a rock, and using her medical skills, treat her wound as best possible (not for the squeamish!). But stranded 200 yards from the shore and no way to attract help, Nancy has to find other ways to fight for her survival.

Thriller movies are never my top choice, but it was Blake Lively that drew me to the movie, and she didn’t disappoint. I found myself engrossed to her character, fighting for her survival as much as she was in the physically challenging role. Letting the film down is some of the CGI, in particular one surfing scene where you can quite obviously see how badly Lively’s face has been put onto a stunt double.

If you’re looking for a film that will keep you gripped to your seat from start to finish, and leave you wondering if and how you could fight for survival, then The Shallows is the film you need to see.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Jessica 


Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

Release Date: 5th August 2016

I went to see the movie with an open mind, the reviews were not that good but the hype said otherwise.  The story is about a gang of low life thieves, assassins, mad evil types and people with powers being forced to work as a rescue team. There are numerous stars in this but the ones that stand out are Will Smith (Deadshot) and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), they steal the show with their acting skills.

The movie itself starts off slow, the main baddie in the movie is a super bad witch (played by Cara Delevingne) who used to be on the squad and went rogue and wants to take over the world.  The plot is thin and overall if it wasn’t for the jokes, the action and the way the cast got on with each other it would have been a disaster.

I would recommend the movie for all comic book fans as it links in nicely with the Justice League, plus the main CIA lady is totally ‘gangster’ to quote Deashot.  My wife and I totally loved the movie and if it wasn’t for the weak story we would have given it 4 out of 5!

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Lee


Jason Bourne

 Jason Bourne

 Release Date: 29th July 2016

For any Jason Bourne fan, it was safe to say that Bourne Legacy did not fill the empty void following Matt Damon’s departure in the excellent final film the Bourne Ultimatum. However, upon the news of the infamous Jason Bourne's return out of hiding in the shadows I was a little sceptical as to why he would. But, I was wrong as the origins of Jason's past come to light along with many other secrets his fellow agents recover. As we know this sets off a nonstop highly explosive action packed and cunning game of cat and mouse between Bourne and his former corrupt bosses in the CIA, accompanied by "the asset" a cold a ruthless nemesis with a personal vendetta and an integral link to Jason Bourne's beginning of his troubled past.

Matt Damon did not have too much to say but his body language and facial expressions were all that was needed between breaks of ferocious fighting combos and devastating car chases - I have never seen one SWAT van do so much damage before. I highly recommend this film to anybody who has seen the Bourne films before or who loves a fast paced action, if you have not seen the originals then you would miss out a lot on how's and whys within the back plots but it has not been made too much like a sequel so the main story can be followed. Either way, it was great to see Jason Bourne back putting in a strong claim of being one the greatest and most feared agents in movie history.  

 Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By James Baxandall


The BFG

The BFG

Release Date: 22nd July 2016

A BIG film which left me a tiny bit disappointed!

Having enjoyed this book as a child and more recently read it to my children, our family was all really looking forward to seeing this film. Whilst Spielberg doesn't disappoint and delivers a gloriumptious visual spectacular, the story is quite dark and slow and takes a while to get going. 

The story follows the loveable Big Friendly Giant, played wonderfully by Mark Rylance, as he befriends young orphan Sophie and takes her with him back to giant country. Here we discover why he is different from the others and watch as he is constantly being bullied by even bigger and nastier Giants, who like to feast on human beans like Sophie. Very slowly! we watch a beautiful friendship between the unlikely pair unfold as Sophie plans to save the BFG from these horrid beasts. 

The film comes into its own in the last part with lots of heartwarming and laugh out loud moments for all and whilst it may not be my all time favourite film, it is definitely worth taking the family to see as there is something for all. I took my two children aged 10 & 11 who absolutely loved it and were truly mesmerised by the magic of it all.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Mel, Oliver and Ella


Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

Release Date: 15th July 2016

I went in to the new Ghostbusters movie with an open mind, I am old enough to remember seeing the first one when it came out.  The opening scene is really good and reminded me of the original movie, Kristen Wiig plays the brainy genius who left Melissa McCarthy to stop researching ghosts and become respected, they get together when they go to a haunted mansion to investigate.

The plot for the new movie is that a man who is supposed to be an underappreciated genius is sick of being picked on so he plans on releasing a supernatural apocalypse. 

The story is lacking as there isn’t much of  a story plus the lady’s are not believable as scientists due to not one of them mentioning anything scientific as to why it’s happening.  There are plenty of laughs coming from the mad scientist character played by Kate McKinnon and another lady called Leslie Jones who plays a train attendant who witnesses a ghost and then joins the team. 

The movie is enjoyable on its own, there are a few laughs, a few scares and good moments.  The best bits are the cameos from the original cast as well as a few good nods to the original movie. 

Overall I would say go see it with an open mind.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Lee

 


Now You See Me 2

Now You See Me 2

Release Date: 8th July 2016

As a huge lover of the first film, I was so excited to watch this film. I had held off reading the reviews, but broke before I watched it. All I can say is don’t listen to them!  

It is action packed, witty, clever, full of interesting twists and more. The characters blend well together. The absence of Isla Fisher made me a bit hostile, but Lizzy Caplan’s goofy and loveable character fills the gap well.  

The locations were also great, with the grand finale taking place in our very own London which is always a plus.  

It’s a good way to look into the grand structure of the whole organisation of the Eye, as well as peeking into some of the character’s pasts.  

A lot of sequels do not live up to their original, but this definitely does! Highly recommend.    

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★½

By Meghan 


Absolutely Fabulous

Absolutely Fabulous 

Release Date: 1st July 2016  

This one is‎ exactly what you'd expect. It's Ab Fab!  

If you remember the 1990's series then this pays perfect tribute, and if you don't it's just a lot of fun. The costume department do themselves proud too. Without doubt Joanna Lumley pulls off the best Patsy there ever was. There are a million and one celeb cameo's and it can get a bit distracting trying to guess who everyone is and see how many can get in shot at one time but it's supposed to be fun.  

The plot is as ridiculous as the costumes and the laughs are played and obvious, but that doesn't matter - you end up wanting more just the same. There is one heartfelt emotional outpour near the end but you may not notice from laughing so hard at the car chase scenes. Robert Webb is brilliant as Nick, the link character between the police who are hunting Eddie after she is suspected of drowning Kate Moss by accident, and the daughter Saffie who hasn't changed one ounce!  

Coming out at the end of the film I realised that 20 plus years on - life is still as surreal and fun as it ever was. Totally recommend anyone to have a night out, let go, laugh and laugh until you cry. Brilliant. Simply 'Ab Fab'!!   

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Hannah


Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence 

Release Date:  24th June 2016 

This was a great movie, but I don't think any better than the original. It has some great special effects and although it takes a while to get going, once it does it never lets go. It has all the big moments you've come to expect from this franchise, and Jeff Goldblum nails it as usual. 

Liam Hemsworth is a macho and sexy addition to the crew. He and Goldblum are the 2 most entertaining characters. 

The movie is just as cheesy as the original but it was very entertaining. Admittedly the acting is not the best nor the story, but it had more than enough action and entertainment to hold my attention and it was fun and exciting.​

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Kat 

 


The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2

Release Date: 17th June 2016

The Conjuring 2 is a remarkable model of heated tension and patience testing; although it entails some of the more cliché horror scenes it certainly doesn’t show it as every scene is as riveting as the next, enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.  

Based on the real lives of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who have investigated countless paranormal cases in America since the 1970s including the famous Amityville Horror and the Bathsheba Witch, this terrifying sequel brings the couple slightly closer to home as they travel to North London to explore the Enfield Hauntings.  

Splitting the film between the Warren’s home in America and a young family in England, we soon learn that they’re both being haunted by a dark presence that won’t leave them alone – and Director James Wan knows exactly how to sustain the impeccable tension through fear.  

From classic scares with the television changing channels by itself and the children’s toys having a mind of their own to some more elaborate CGI enthused creations and a demonic nun that’s already rumoured to have its own spin off film, the audience were screaming from start to finish.  

But as terrifying as it is, it still manages to have a heart with some touching moments between the Warrens and the Hodgson family.  

There are a couple of plot holes that are difficult to ignore and some scenes that could have been edited down to cut the 134minute run time, but with a pleasing set of dark humour that pines for laughs, The Conjuring 2 is as adored as the first time around.   

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Claudia


The Boss

The Boss

Release Date: 10th June 2016 

What is usually the recipe for cinema gold, a few too many added turtlenecks and poor writing choices thrown into the Melissa McCarthy mix, unfortunately, made cinema coal this time. The set up for our film The Boss is curious enough, She’s our main character, Michelle Darnell, an extravagant and decadent CEO of a company who is bombastic and outrageous until she has a falling from grace spending a short stint in jail and losing her property.

For this Comedy, I personally felt like here was going to be where the funny was going to be; eccentric ex-millionaire coming back to the real world and struggling with everyday things with comic consequences. Instead, the whole thing seems to go completely random in plot direction, joke writing, character development, and general morality. Don’t expect anything significant in any of these fields, it doesn't really happen. Darnell is just a horrible character, there is no epiphany, or character development, or lessons learned. She makes a new company, involves a young, single parent ex-employee’s small family, then another rival company tries to buy this company.

Directed by Melissa McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone, and Produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (Anchorman), it almost feels like some of it was made up as they went along, and perhaps that’s how these comedies are made now.

Poor supporting actress Kristen Bell looked about as lost as I felt watching her. Peter Dinklage is in here, too, he plays CEO of the rival company whose romantic history with Darnell brings them to blows. His line deliveries are the best thing about this movie. And those bloopers!

Although it wasn’t my cup of tea, there was plenty of laughter from other filmgoers in the cinema, and sure it will be popular amongst Melissa McCarthy fans. 

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★

By Jamie


Warcraft: The Beginning

I have to admit I was going in with quite low expectations of Blizzards first game to film adaptation based off of their award winning online game World of Warcraft.

It is a visually stunning film, from the snowy mountain ranges of Ironforge to the beautiful Elwynn Forest then viewing the landscape from the back of a Griffon it’s breathtaking.

The main story is based on a horde of Orcs who's homeland has been destroyed and their only hope is to follow the orders of their leader Gul'dan who is obsessed with dark magic called The Fel, to invade the realm of Azeroth. It’s up to King Llane and his military commander Anduin Lothar, a mage Khadgar and the protector Medivh to face the Orcs head on to send them back to their world, with the help of an army of course! With time of the essence they have to act quickly and uncover some dark secrets in the process.

What lets the film down is unless you have previous knowledge of the game franchise the characters are flat with no back story explained so they assume you already know the characters pasts. Leaving the ending open let’s hope if any sequel is made it’s explained better. 

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Ellie

 


Alice Through the Looking Glass

 Alice Through the Looking Glass

Release Date: 27th May 2016 

Despite having mixed reviews, I was looking forward to seeing the new Alice in Wonderland film. I was a big fan of Johnny Depp’s first outing as the Mad Hatter in the 2010 adaptation and wanted to see just how much madder he could get. 

Unfortunately, the boundaries are pushed a little too far here, from madness to utter ridiculous. 

The film takes us back to Underland after Alice slips through a mirror where she’s reunited with the White Queen, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. 

But it’s the Mad Hatter that needs her help. Depressed over the death of his family, he’s lost his ‘muchness’. 

In an attempt to save him, Alice must confront a new being to help the Hatter – Time itself; a peculiar creature that is part human and part clock, played by Sacha Baron Cohen. Travelling back in time, she encounters the younger Hatter and the evil Red Queen. 

Although the plot is a little all over the place and the acting is questionable at times – Anne Hathaway as the White Queen really was a pointless expressionless return – the special effects are really impressive and transport you back to the magical world of Underland, which is a lot of fun. 

The second outing with Alice isn’t as good as the first but it’s still worth a watch on the big screen, especially if you have the chance to see it in 3D. 

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Sarah

 


X-Men Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse

Release Date: 20th May 2016 

After the disappointment of Days of Future Past, the previous X-Men offering, and the irritating 'It was all a dream and never happened, everyone's alive and well!' terrible ending, I was concerned that the latest instalment to the franchise would just be something of nothing or filler lining up the next more dramatic solo characters (Wolverine) plot.  

Starting off with a back story set in Egypt, very reminiscent of 'The Mummy' from 1999, it builds up the idea that Apocalypse - a God like bad guy - is the first ever mutant and he needs to destroy the world in order to rebuild in his own image where only the strongest will survive, follow him and be rewarded by evolving to have even greater powers.  

Fast forward to the 1980's, 10 years after the events in Days of Future Past, the main characters have carried on without being hardly noticed in society, Professor Xavier has set up his school for the gifted and has many students attending. Magneto has a new life and family while Raven/Mystique has been keeping a low non- blue profile but not for much longer...

New, all be it familiar and younger versions of themselves, have been recruited and we get to see the origins of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightwing and Storm plus a very cool revisit to Quicksilver’s slowed down, music filled sequences. Together they set out to fight and defeat their new nemesis in a destructive and violent fashion - whilst sporting great costumes!

So with a 150 minutes long running time it gets close to evoking the bright-coloured, far fetched nature that comic book lovers have delved into previously, a nice nod to the cartoons as well and footage from X-Men First Class brings it full circle. A solid plot, a story that makes sense and concludes nicely.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Charlene


The Angry Birds Movie

The Angry Birds Movie

Release Date: 13th May 2016 

Can you take a popular game played on mobile phones and turn it into a full length feature film? Well, that question has been answered with the release of The Angry Birds Movie.

The story follows Red, a small bird with a big anger management problem. After an incident at a child's birthday party, Red is forced to attend classes to deal with his emotions. At the same time some pigs visit the birds' island. Red is the only one who distrusts the new visitors and wants them to leave. Will he be able to convince the others that the pigs are not all that they seem?

Having never played the game much myself, I wasn't sure what to expect but I have to say that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the film. My ten year old daughter, who had been wanting to see this movie for months, was grinning from ear to ear all the way through.

Including the voice talents of Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses), Josh Gad (Frozen) and Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage, this is an impressive movie which will keep all ages entertained. Younger audiences will love the silliness, while there are several references that are there just for the older viewers.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Kerry


Bad Neighbours 2

Bad Neighbours 2 

Release Date: 6th May 2016

RETURNING stars Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne are getting ready for another war next door in this hilarious sequel to the 2014 hit.

This time it’s a sorority led by determined Shelby played by the wonderful Chloë Grace Moretz and her thinly-sketched pals.

The stakes are higher this time, with Mac and Kelly Radner selling their house and the prospective buyers liable to pull the plug at any time as the party loving students next door make their lives hell.

I absolutely loved Zac Efron’s return in the neighbour vs neighbour plot, who wouldn’t? It’s great to watch the two different generations fight for what they want!

Whether you’re late teenage, early twenties or thirty something you will laugh, cringe and be astonished at Zac Efron’s shirtlessness throughout the film.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Matt 

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War

Release Date: 29th April 2016

Firstly, I'll lay it down; Civil/War is a Captain America film by name, but without a doubt an Avengers film at heart.

Pressure from the government sees to divide and force accountability towards our heroes the Avengers. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free without government control, whilst Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) disagrees and favours the decision.

With this disagreement comes every fans dream of seeing these big boys go head to head in an all out war. Introducing some new surprises and familiar faces Civil War delivers the set pieces and explosive scale we come to expect, some hand to hang fight scenes so well choreographed you'd mistake for an 80's kung fu movie.

The plot is solid and remains consistent throughout, however the feeling there was too much story to cram into 2hrs 27mins is occasionally apparent by how many times we change location throughout the movie.

This is by far the best Marvel movie to date, it’s finally hitting on some meaty plot points and eagerly awaited character reveals. Civil War is Marvel getting it right.

* Note* Yes, there are credit sequences at both the beginning and very end of the credits.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Dave


Bastille Day

Bastille Day  

Release Date: 22nd April 2016

With all the hype I’d seen this had high expectations to live up to. And it was good. You’ll need to concentrate. This is two hours of your life you’ll need to sit up for; there are subtitles to read (unless your French is excellent) and the main characters seem to fight for one side, then the other and then change their minds all over again. Keeping track requires time and attention!

There are some great familiar faces in the cast and some fantastic shots across the skyline in Paris. The explosions seem very real, the fight scenes are fast and the plot is quite believe-able with a wonderful observation of civil unrest in its prime development phase. It’s just a shame we have to have so many false accents along the way. I understand why you’d want to cast Idris Elba in any movie but perhaps it would have been better to choose a role a little less ‘forced’; it feels as if the accents get in the way of a good script being delivered.

If you can look, or rather listen past the accents it’s a great film with twists and turns and bits that make you jump with a nice happy-ish ending to boot!

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★½

By Hannah


Jungle Book

Jungle Book 

Release Date: 15th April 2016

Originally a firm Disney favourite of old, it was a brave move to re imagine The Jungle Book using live action and CGI, and one that for the most part pays off.

The CGI itself is faultless and the bright colours of the Jungle mark improvements on the 1967 animated original.

A basic tale at its heart, as man-cub Mowgli comes to learn about himself and his humanity while meeting various friends and foes in the Jungle, the film is given more of an edge through several darker moments that permeate the film.

When the film really succeeds though is when the audience is shown all the joys of the Jungle particularly through the growing build-up of Mowgli and Baloo’s friendship.

There will always be die-hard fans who prefer the original Disney musical version, and the film does pay homage to the music of the original several times.

While this works well with the fun and breezy beats of the ‘Bare Necessities’ it does strike the audience as slightly out of place when King Louis bursts into a rendition of ‘I Wanna Be Like You’.

The lead performance from newcomer Neel Sethi does occasionally encroach from child-like naivety into annoying arrogance, but there is growth in his character making for an exciting climax, which he performs very well for someone so young.

The all-star cast themselves also step up to the plate, with great voice performances making for a re-imagining that more than does justice to the original.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Mark


Eddie The Eagle

Eddie The Eagle

Release Date: 1st April 2016 

Most people have heard the story of the Jamaican Bobsled team thanks to the Disney movie Cool Runnings. However, at the same Winter Olympic Games, Britain had their own plucky underdog in the shape of Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. This film tells his tale… sort of.  

The story follows Edwards (played by Kingsman star, Taron Egerton) as he makes a bid to fulfil his dream of taking part in the Olympics. Along the way he meets Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a former ski jump champion who left the American team in disgrace.  

In the same vein as movies such as Rocky, and the aforementioned Cool Runnings, this film is about overcoming the odds and never letting anything stand in your way. It has some wonderful uplifting scenes and a few laugh out loud moments.  

The film is far from perfect; some of the ski jumping scenes are clearly CGI (and not the best quality either), plus there are a couple of sections that seem slightly over the top and out of place.

Nevertheless, the movie is very enjoyable thanks to an inspiring (almost true) story and the charisma of both leading men.    

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Kerry


Zootropolis

Zootropolis 

Release Date: 25th March 2016 

Judy Hopps voiced by (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a bunny with a big ambition. She wants to become the first bunny police officer in the big city of Zootroplis. The city were all animals. Predators and Pray live together peacefully. Judy leaves her family in BunnyBurrow to fulfil her dreams.  

Her first assignment given to her by her sexist boss Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) consigns her to parking duty, where she meets a "Nice" fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) who turns out to be not so "Nice" and a con artist. Using some of his sly tactics, she manages to get  him to agree to team up with her to help solve a major crime. The mystery of a missing mammal.   The movie deals with very adult themes such as stereotyping, prejudice and drugs but in a child like manner.  

The film is funny and very witty, having children and adults laughing throughout. You really do warm to the characters especially the donut eating police officer to Flash the Sloth.   My 5 year old nephew said " He loved everything about it, and all the characters".  

Great feel good family movie. Disney do not disappoint on this one. Worth a watch.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Tracy Clarke and Phoenix (5)


10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane 

Release Date: 18th March 2016 

IT’S been described by Producer JJ Abrams as a “blood relative” of the 2008 survival footage film Cloverfield. But once you unlock the door and make your way inside this sci-fi thriller, you’ll soon realist the blood types are very different.  

The title sequence sets the tone of the film spectacularly as a young woman called Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is caught up in a collision – it’s shocking, spins her around and leaves the audience confused yet craving more.  

Suddenly she wakes up in a bunker with her leg in a cast and chained to a wall. A man called Howard (John Goodman) insists that he saved her from the car crash before a nuclear catastrophe made the outside world unsafe and that she must never attempt to leave. But can she really trust him?  

And it’s this question of trust that really drives the film, which John Goodman plays out superbly. With a slight inflection of a smile, his eyes stern then softening to his towering presence, his unpredictability is as frightening as what could be waiting outside the bunker doors.  

Torn between trusting her saviour and escaping his homely prison, Michelle digs a little deeper to discover the truth. It’s not until the final act that we discover what is outside the bunker – a moment that felt a little disjointed from the rest of the film. But none the less, it made for a gripping cinematic treat.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Michelle


Kung Fu Panda 3

Kung Fu Panda 3 

Release Date: 11th March 2016 

With the third Kung Fu Panda film landing in cinemas in time for Easter, it was time to see if the third movie lived up to expectations, and it certainly did.  

Jack Black brings to life a lovable, clumsy, hungry, Kung Fu Panda that is loved by all. This time, Po reunites with his biological father; and takes on a powerful, supernatural enemy.  

As a family friendly movie appropriate & enjoyed by all ages, the focus was on family and knowledge, and it’s sure to get anyone a little teary. I had not expected so much depth and goodness from an animated feature film.   

Characters from the previous two films were pushed aside to make room for the new friends which was a little disappointing after following them for so long.  

The film is fun, entertaining and filled with brilliant sight gags that keep your eyes glued to the screen, and keeps a smile on your face.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Julia 


The Divergent Series: Allegiant

The Divergent Series: Allegiant  

 Release Date: 11th March 2016

As part 3 of 4, this film was a good base built to prepare us for the final instalment. Tris and crew escape Chicago across the wall. As they continue their journey into a new world, they find it is more dangerous than ever before.  

Despite the reviews, I thought this film was brilliant. The acting, as always, was fantastic by Shailene Woodley, Theo James and supporting roles (Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoe Kravitz and Naomi Watts). The chemistry between Tris and Four is fantastic.  

At parts, the CGI was a little off, however for the majority of the film, it presented the future as an exciting and extremely structured place. The hierarchy in the outside world almost mirrors some societies in reality – interesting portrayal of this and how humans in the experiment are treated. Like the previous two films, there were plenty of serum injections that forced me to squirm away from the screen!  

If you’re following the Divergent films, you will enjoy this. It’s a good stepping stone and leaves you in anticipation for the next and final film. Action packed. Great characters. Cinematography was on point. Thought provoking. If you haven’t seen any of the series, then I think you should get watching before the final film is released!  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Katherine 


London Has Fallen

London Has Fallen 

Release Date: 4th March 2016 

London Has Fallen is a ridiculous mess... But when you're not being offended it's quite ok!

All the leaders of the world are flocking to London to attend the funeral of the British Prime Minister, who has inexplicably died after a knee operation.... Told you it was ridiculous! 

Within a few days all the leaders of several nations arrive for the state funeral and within 2-3 minutes most of them are dead or dying after a violent Islamic terrorist attack that more than beggars belief in its execution (no pun intended)

As half of London's historic land marks a blown to bits along with any number of dignitaries and innocent; faceless bystanders we spend the next two hours watching Gerard Butler as Bruce Willis without the vest running around making everyone else on screen look like idiots - albeit British idiots with a variety of dodgy London, Scottish and upper class twit accents - who have no idea what is happening, where it's happening and who it's happening to!

It's strange to see an SAS team running around taking orders from Gerard Butler who makes all of them look like the keystone cops!

If you like your action films with lots of snappy one liners, stand out actions pieces and a couple of protagonists you can really care and root for... Then stay away from this. If you spend most of your time playing shoot-em-up computer games and like the way Gerard Butler hasn't changed his acting style since 300 this is the film for you.

There is a plot, of sorts, and the action is fast and unrelenting but the script is poor with no sparkle and the CGI special effects look dated and made on a very old and tired looking Nintendo gameboy! (Despite its alleged $105 million budget) - Just look for all the people in the background completely not reacting to London's best tourist attractions exploding around them. 

Even if you try to overlook the xenophobia, islamaphobia and all the other phobias that it holds up for ransom then this is still a very poor film indeed.

The Die Hard films remains a foundation for action cinema, but part of that formula is the hero has to be an everyman who is in over his head and you should actually like him, but Gerard Butler can’t be an everyman, he has to be the Most bravest, fightest, strongest, deadliest, scariest, funniest, nastiest, handiest with a knife-ist killing machine ever! 

I liked seeing London despite it being blown to bits. 

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★

By Ian


Grimsby

Grimsby

Release Date: 26th February 2016

Grimsby is Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest comedy and it doesn’t disappoint. Cohen plays Noddy, a stereotypical football fan who has grown up in a run down area of Grimsby where he now has 9 kids and an obese girlfriend who he loves dearly. Noddy still misses his long lost brother Sebastian, they were separated when they were kids and it turns out that he grew up to be a secret agent. The brothers are reunited when Sebastian is on a mission to stop an assassination. As you can imagine, it all goes wrong and they end on the run together while they try to clear their names (and see if England can win the World Cup).

Grimsby has everything you would want and expect from a Sacha Baron Cohen film.. It’s hilarious all the way through with lots of laugh out loud moments. It’s crude and shocking at times, offensive and politically incorrect.. He’s not afraid to push the boundaries to see what he can get away with!

My only slight criticism would be that it is short (80 minutes) compared to most films these days and the overall story line is predictable.. The story doesn’t really matter though, this film is about the comedy and this is definitely one of the funniest films you will see in a long time. The action sequences are really well done too!

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Sarah 


The Finest Hours

The Finest Hours 

Release Date: 19th February 2016

tells the true story of a little known, yet daringly incredible coast guard rescue mission launched in 1952.  A fearless four man band of coast guards, lead by the likeable Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), went above and beyond the call of duty, when one dark night they are sent out into a savaging storm with impossible sea conditions to reach the stricken oil tanker SS Pendleton, which has been violently split in two and sinking fast.

With the moto "you have to go out, but you do not have to come back", the main story follows the brave band of coastguards who set out to rescue the crew of the distressed SS Pendleton and a little of the stories behind them and who they really are.  This can get a little slow on occasions and detracts from the main storyline without purpose.

Meanwhile on board the SS Pendleton, amidst the raging storm which is depicted with some incredible visual effects, we are introduced to a surly team of sea dogs being captained by loner Ray Sybert (superbly played by Casey Affleck) who calmly takes control when it is becomes very clear that the doomed tanker is running out of time and options for survival. 

Whilst this is not an overly fast paced production and there are no huge pyrotechnics, the characters are likeable and endearing, so for me - 'the finest hours' does exactly what it sets out to do;  its a simply gripping true story about bravery and survival told in a good old-school style adventure story.

Festival Film Club Review: ★★★★

​By Mel


Alvin and The Chipmunks

Alvin and The Chipmunks  

Release Date:  12th February 2016

This was a great, fun film with really good music and a great, family friendly message. There's a little something for everyone in this movie. It has a good plot with action, adventure, comedy and romance all rolled in to it. It has plenty of humour to keep both adults and children entertained.

The plot started off a little slow and didn't make much sense as to why the chipmunks were no longer performing but soon everything made sense and the characters motives became clear. The story really kicked off once the chipmunks began their road trip and from there it was a funny, clever, musical adventure.

Even at my adult age I enjoyed all the funny, cheesey lines, the many accidents and mess ups they make leading them into more trouble and most of all the music was fantastic. My 4 year old was dancing his way through half the movie and even I found myself tapping my feet and bopping my head along! All in all it was a great way to spend a cold February morning and I'd definitely watch it again (even without the kids!) 

We really enjoyed it!

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★★

By Kat 


Goosebumps

Goosebumps

Release Date: 5th February 2016

WHEN it comes to adapting a well-loved book onto the big screen, it can be somewhat tricky. But when you’re trying to adapt over 200 Goosebumps books into just one movie, they become less Goosebumps and more a puff of hot air.  

The Jumanji-style film, that sees monsters literally sucked out from the pages of the original kid-horror manuscripts and brought to life on screen, stars Jack Black as the iconic author RL Stine – a creepy and mysterious man that lives next door to teenager Zach (Dylan Minnette).  

Having just moved in, Zach is drawn to the house by a young girl living there called Hannah (Odeya Rush). But one night, he hears a scream and when he investigates with his geeky buck toothed friend Champ, they unwittingly ‘unlock a book’ and all Goosebumps hell breaks loose.  

Complete with the Abominable Snowman, the Haunted Car, Graveyard Ghouls, a Giant Praying Mantis, the Invisible Boy, evil Lawn Gnomes, a Werewolf, all lead by the wicked Slappy the Dummy, the film is full to the brim with monsters from the classic books, who all want revenge on Stine for locking them away.  

Finding the balance between nineties kid nostalgia and appealing to younger audiences as a first time Goosebumps experience, there are some great comedy moments and plenty of fun along the way. There’s even a cameo from the original RL Stine.  

But the whole point of a Goosebumps book is to be scary and that’s something this film is lacking. Even one of the characters points out ‘Kids books help you go to sleep but Goosebumps books keep you up at night’.  

And I can honestly say that I slept soundly.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Michelle

 


Spotlight

Spotlight 

Release Date: 29th January 2016

A gripping true story of The Boston Globe’s discovery and exposure of child abuse by the Catholic Church, this film takes you on a whirlwind search for answers.

We’re taken through the thought process and procedures of investigative journalism team Spotlight in 2001, uncovering the buried allegations that priests molested young boys after newbie editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) wants the truth.

But what is so great about this film is that it strips back the glamourous life of journalism in America that films gone by have focused on and gives us the gritty, time-consuming hard graft, making it all the more real.

Feeling dubious about the journalist played by Mark Ruffalo and wondering if I could ever get The Hulk out of my head, I was pleasantly surprised that he portrayed his frustrated character with real depth.

My hat also goes off to Stanley Tucci, a dismissive lawyer on the outset who, paired with Ruffalo, created a delightful combination of hard-hitting story-telling.

The film had the potential to be slow and sluggish, but thankfully portrayed a riveting story that left chills down your spine when, at the credits, you are reminded it’s a true story and the sorrow and hurt you feel for the fictional victims were once children’s actual lives

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★★

By Holly


The Revenant

The Revenant  

Release Date: 15th January 2016

The Revenant is a semi-biographic Western. Set against the snow-capped wilderness Montana and South Dakota. The year is 1823 when things ‘go south’ real fast for our group of Trappers. Their Guide, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), is badly injured from a rather grizzly Bear attack, and through deceit and deception from certain party members, he is left for dead. Above all else this is about survival. What follows is Glass’ journey against the adverse, and all odds, to get back to his family, or get revenge.

Performances are excellent all round. DiCaprio clearly gives his all, as per usual, to the personable protagonist role. Tom Hardy does a great job at the detached, callus, baddie role, too. And then there's this Domhnall Gleeson, who seems to be everywhere now (seriously, ‘Google him), is Captain of our group with yet another one of his varied roles which he pulls off extremely ably. Supporting cast are all great too, there's not a single let down, very convincing.

Music by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto, and Bryce Dessner is extremely unobtrusive. Yet it compliments and encompasses all the themes of nature, war, emotion, and the elements . Very intuitive. Perceptive sound design, from the distant crack of glaciers, to the sound of soil through the fingers, range of detail is amazing and further pushes the immersion.

This film is brutal, and pushes that 15 certification. But it's also one of the most immersive films. Cinematography and clever ‘continuous shots’ really put you in the fray; it's very in-your-face. While it's no 'thinker', The Revenant IS a visceral experience well worth catching.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Jamie 


The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight

Release Date: 8th January 2016

This film has received a huge mix of reviews, some raving about it and others heavily criticising. I must say, I am disappointed.

I am a big Tarantino fan myself so I had high expectations for Hateful Eight. Firstly, it was a 3 hour film and whilst this was first praised, this was a strong negative. The film practically took place in one log cabin so to drag for a good three hours was not ideal.

I was also unimpressed with the sole female role covered in spit, punches, blood, vomits and brains – a faint representation of women’s involvement in affairs at the time maybe, but REALLY? I enjoyed the film to an extent – a part of me feels that the film is made for those who will understand the cinematic elements, as opposed to a general audience. Had it been cut a little shorter and the lengthy dialogues sharpened down, this could’ve done a bit better. 

 Festival Film Club Rating: ★★

By Meghan


The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl  

Release Date: 1st January 2016

With 2015 Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne leading the way in The Danish Girl, I was sure there was no room for disappointment. Luckily, I was not proven wrong.

Admittedly the film took a little while to really get going, but once it had there was no way they would lose your attention.  The story was proven to tug at all heartstrings, beginning as a light-hearted romance, which soon turned to be a trauma ridden life.

I believe The Danish Girl tackled gender reassignment in both a moving and successful manner, outlining the ups and downs for all parties involved. 

Undoubtedly Eddie Redmayne was triumphant, but Alicia Vikander truly excelled throughout.  

 Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Kerry


Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Release Date: 18th December 2015

Having never seen a Star Wars film before, I went into the cinema very open minded. The story is one of an action-packed Sci-Fi which follows Ray and Fin on their journey to save the Galaxy.

 For a new, younger actress, Daisy Ridley portrayed the new Star Wars character of Ray incredibly well. She was feisty, loveable and her on screen romance with also new character Fin was one that everyone in the screen was able to fall in love with too. Returning character Han Solo played by the formidable Harrison Ford added a touch of tradition and style for hard-core fans, as did Carrie Fisher.

On a different note, transitions between scenes mirrored the editing style used in previous films, however felt a little dated and cheesy. But, the very opening scene where the well-known Star Wars music blasted through the speakers felt like a special moment that whether you liked Star Wars or not, was pretty awesome.

The plot was easy to keep up with making this an enjoyable film for those who have or haven't seen Star Wars.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Beth

By The Sea

By The Sea 

Release Date: 11th December 2015

This movie is a bit of a picture postcard and one to watch if you've watched everything else. It's not offensive or bad, per say. It's just a bit flat.

The fact that it has two top Hollywood stars, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, taking the lead roles (and apparently writing and directing too) would infer it's cutting edge for something. It's not really.

It's a good comfy movie that floats along telling the story of how a couple who aren't very happy with their marriage go on holiday to try to resolve their issues. They sort a few things out, and we get to watch some gorgeous scenery and some other people at the hotel at the same time.It's as if you get a free holiday whilst watching. Only without the sun, or sand or the booze consumed.

It’s a nice film; but I'm not sure anyone wants to be called 'nice' do they?

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★

By Hannah


The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur

Release Date: 27th November 2015

Imagine if Dinosaurs were never made extinct by a large meteorite? Well this is what happens in The Good Dinosaur.

This movie is about a young dinosaur called Arlo who is the smallest and most frightened in his family. When his Dad takes him out to conquer his fears and trap the little human (Spot) that was eating their food, they get caught in a storm and his Dad dies.

Arlo goes out hunting for Spot and winds up lost and far away from home, as he makes his way home Spot helps him come to terms with his fear and learn to live on his own.

Although not as good as hit summer movie Inside Out, Disney have made a great movie for kids and adults alike. My 5 year old son loved the fight scene between the T-Rex's and cattle Rustling Velociraptors, as he loved the fact that Arlo fought back and they won.

Overall the movie is a lot of fun, it has a lot of laughs and handles some really difficult scenes well enough for my 5 year old to be scared but in a good way. I would definitely pick this as the movie of the week.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Lee and Brandon (aged 5)


Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies

Release Date: 27th November 2015

Steven Spielberg's deft directing hand falls on the true events surrounding the Cold War exchange of American and Russian spies following the downed U2 spy plane. "Bridge of Spies" is an atmospheric and nostalgic look at 1960's America filled with rising fear and anxiety over the threat of thermo-nuclear war! But it's also funny, witty, warm and optimistic. A Capraesque view of American values.  

Tom Hanks plays James B. Donovan an insurance lawyer who is  asked to represent a suspected Soviet spy caught operating in Brooklyn. The Shakespearean actor, Mark Rylance, plays soviet spy Abel. The two men share a mutual respect for each other and Donovan tries to defend Abel using all the powers of the American constitution that he can muster.  

After a dramatic crash sequence that sees the U2 spy plane downed by a soviet missile, which seeing it's unfortunate pilot; Gary Powers, captured and put on trial by the Soviets for spying.  Donovan is asked to negotiate an exchange: Abel for Powers.  

Bridge of Spies is an absorbing and entertaining 60's spy thriller with an adept touch for detail and comedy, having had the Cohen Bros. provide a polish to the screenplay that adds a great deal of warmth to an otherwise Cold War drama.  

I highly recommend it.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Ian


The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Release Date: 20th November 2015

IT’S the final chapter and a grim end to The Hunger Games series – and despite a few wobbles here and there, Mockingjay Part 2 stayed on target for a climactic finale. Picking up where we left off in Mockingjay Part 1, the film opens to our leading lady Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) being treated after the ferocious attack from her brainwashed friend Peeta (Josh Hutcherson).

As the war between the districts and the Capital continues, Katniss is sent into the warzone to shoot propaganda footage – casually referred to as ‘props’ – to encourage more civilians to join the rebels in their fight against President Snow. But Katniss has another mission in mind – assassinating Snow. Complete with spectacular action sequences, the film flicks from war movie, to drama, to horror. In particular, a sequence where Katniss and her team face off against genetically modified ‘mutts’ is truly terrifying.

However, for a film depicting a final showdown, it could have done with a quicker pace and the repetition of Katniss waking up in a hospital bed and needing to be filled in, became somewhat frustrating, as was Peeta’s struggle to know what’s real or not. Despite each film in the Hunger Games series focussing on the fight for survival, there’s a different tone to this film, one that sadly rings true today. In fact, it really hit home when Katniss’ friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) claims that it’s okay to kill civilians, while President Coin (Julianne Moore) becomes blinded by power in her quest for justice.

This is a dark closing chapter to The Hunger Games, but one that makes a fitting end to a barbaric story.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Michelle

 


The Lady In The Van

The Lady In The Van 

Release Date: 13th November 2015

Based on the 1999 stage play by Alan Bennett, The Lady In The Van centres around Mary Shepherd, who rolls up to leafy Camden in her campervan and holes up there for 15 years nestling comfortably in Alan's driveway. 

Maggie Smith portrays the cantancerous Shepherd with relative ease, making the ungrateful and self-centred protagonist lovable to a fault. Everything Maggie Smith touches turns to gold,(Sister Act 2), and this film is no exception. The odourous and frequently rude leading characters adventures, whilst in the London suburb and the lead up to it, are extraordinary and this film has many a heartfelt moment.

Alex Jennings plays the Bennett, or should I say Bennetts, as he is 'the man' and 'the writer' in a quirky twist of the storyteller role in this film. Often appearing like a married couple in dealing with the arrival of the trespasser in the front garden, the mirrored fortunes of his mother's and his private torments about the various relationships Alan has in his life allowing for further quips about the life of the playright.

The film has some very funny and truly touching moments recanting the life and times of Miss Shepherd as we see her story unfold throughout the 1h 44mins. The encounters between Alan and Mary make for entertaining dialogue exchanges including classic Bennett wit especially when explaining that Shepherd won't be going into an asylum due to the need for many signatures.

A cosy and enjoyable film with a great cast.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Keely

 


Burnt

I’ll admit I hadn’t seen any promotional trailers for Burnt so I had no expectations going into the screening, aside from being a die-hard Bradley Cooper fan.  

I wasn’t disappointed; it would appear that Bradley can truly turn his hand to any role. Think Gordon Ramsey, on a really bad day, and you aren’t even close to the kitchen outbursts in Burnt. You can actually feel the pressure of the kitchen, and want to be able to taste some of the mouth-watering dishes that they serve up.  

The whole film is based on the present day of Cooper’s character, a 2 time Michelin star chef who has made some bad choices in life and, on the whole, is a fairly unlikeable character for most of the movie.  

There is a twist near the end that I never saw coming which makes Cooper’s character more vulnerable and you can’t help but hope for a happy ending for him and Sienna Miller’s character. The reason the film is so good is that there is a really meaningful underlying message throughout, and that is that no one can do it alone.  

Burnt isn’t action packed or full of romance but it is definitely worth a watch – be prepared to leave hungry!!  

Festival Film Club Rating:  ★★★★

By Kayla


Suffragette

Suffragette 

Release Date: 16th October 2015

I was looking forward to seeing this film for a long time, having teared up at the trailer. Whilst the film was relevant as it outlines the importance of women’s rights and the history involved that brought us to this point regarding the equality of men and women and feminism, I was disappointed by this film.  

The list of stars is great; Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter…all who played their roles great, particularly Mulligan who I still adore from The Great Gatsby. The men in the film played their roles substantially well, outlining how vicious and horrific the treatment of women was around this time.  

The plot of the film circles around Mulligan’s character and her journey into the suffragettes. Rather than presenting the main parts of the movement, it showed us a glimpse of it, mostly focusing on her character and how she experiences loss through her involvement with them. I was expecting a more informative and step by step throughout the suffragette movement.

Despite this, there were extremely uncomfortable parts, which made me look away and at times, get emotional; sexual abuse involving young women, the breaking up of mother and child and physical abuse in the prison. This was the strongest point as it presented the horrific nature in which women were treated.  

However, the rest of the suffragette movement was dwindled down to 4/5 lines of words, explaining the advances that were made in future years. As one who has an avid interest in feminism and the history of women’s liberation, I was expecting a much better outline of how the movement progressed and eventually won the right to vote. Whilst I understand it presented the longevity of the process and how hard women had it, I think the film could have taken a more informative approach to educate viewers on what occurred during this time.  

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★

By Emily


Spectre

***SPOILER ALERT***

As a Bond fan myself, I was impatiently awaiting the release of Spectre, since the second Skyfall finished back in 2012. I am so pleased to say that Spectre lived up to its expectations. The story outlines James Bond unravelling the terrorist organisation that is Spectre, which linked to previous villains, allies and loved ones, which kind of helped fans make sense of all the past films.

Daniel Craig as Bond is so cool; he is witty and retained the entitled rebellious streak, defying all back at MI5, including M and Q. All the characters were great; I loved that M and Q had bigger parts in this film, alongside Moneypenny. Also loved Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann. It was nice to see Bond and his happily ever after at the end. However, for me, Christoph Waltz was the showstopper. When I heard he was the villain, I was pleased because he’s a fantastic actor but his performance in this was creepy, collected and threatening with his cackling laugh.

The plot also saw the modernisation of national security and the attempt to shut down MI5 for good. I think this was a strong storyline as reality is heading this way, however the film proved that the need for agents will always be apparent. I was also glad to see a link to Bond’s family ties, giving us a peek into his upbringing.

Like any Bond film, the locations were brilliant – the first scene in Mexico City amidst the Day of the Dead parade was a great way to open the film, filled with lots of action involving a helicopter almost diving into crowds of people! They went to Rome, Tangiers and Austria, before coming back to London for the epic conclusion.

I’m aware Sam Smith’s theme has been ridiculed for not living up to Skyfall, however when the animation was playing at the beginning of the film, the theme could not have been more perfect.

Bravo Sam Mendes; he knows what Bond is about, what Bond fans want and how to deliver it. I may be bias, but I thought this film was an incredible instalment and I would recommend it to anyone! 5 stars all day long. 

 

Festival Film Club Rating:★★★★★

 By Meghan 


Pan

 

Release Date: 16th October 2015

THE thing I love about Disney recreations is the way the audience leave the cinema feeling like a young child again, but I’m afraid to say I didn’t get that fuzzy feeling of nostalgia from this version of Pan.

Based on the original play by J.M. Barrie, the film takes us back to the beginning of Peter Pan’s life, showing us his friendship with Captain Hook before their relationship, as we know it, turned sour and letting us discover his roots.

With Hugh Jackman (who can do no wrong in my eyes) playing the thrilling Blackbeard, it really was his casting that saved the day, as Garrett Hedland’s Hook had little to offer compared to the likes of Jason Isaacs who have taken it on before and remained ingrained in my memory.

Kudos to young Levi Miller as well, who took on his role of Pan in a mature way and is destined to have a cracking career as an actor. But it was Adeel Akhtar as Mr Smee who stole the show, bringing light-heartedness and hilarity in a way that Hedland failed to do.

Visually, the film was stunning and the flying ships and miniscule fairies really came alive on the big screen. I reckon youngsters would love this version of Pan but I was a tiny bit disappointed with the lack of magic that I felt when I left the cinema, as this film had such promise and, despite being a different storyline, it was hard not to draw comparisons to the 2003 live action version of Peter Pan.

 It was also left open-ended for a sequel as we never find out why Hook and Pan come to hate each other, which I was expecting too. Perhaps it’s because I’m now a fully fledged adult craving that childish enchantment that Disney always delivered, but if you want the real magic of Pan, stick to the 2003 adaptation.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Holly


Sicario

Sicario, starring Emily Blunt as FBI Agent Kate Macer, is a tense, gritty crime thriller based on the current day war on drugs against the Cartels, taking place between the border of the US and crime-ridden Juarez, Mexico. Macer is on a special assignment, recruited by unconventional official Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and led by the brooding mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro).

Immediately you're exposed to a harsh and intense, pounding soundtrack which lingers and foreshadows throughout the film to excellent effect. It's memorable and indicative, and returns to really rack up the tension.

Visual presentation is great. From the pastel, dusty U.S.-Mexico Border, to the bustling Juarez City, both are shot with appropriate grit. With clear appreciation to landscape, however, certain exposition shots linger noticeably too long and unfortunately sacrifice good pacing. And so, the atmosphere is high, but considering what the plot ultimately covers, so is the running time. At just over 2 hours I felt there's room for so much more detail, subtext, and exploration to be had considering the film's layered subject matter.

That said, acting ability is great all round from the cast in Director Denis Villeneuve's well portrayed thriller based on the war on drugs from what you see in the documentaries. Portrayal from each aspect of the fight is covered convincingly in all roles.

So if you're looking for a highly immersive, intense crime thriller based around a real world current issue: check it out and find out why 'Sicario' means 'hitman'...

Festival Film Club Rating:★★★

By Jamie

 


The Martian

The Martian Release Date: 30th September 2015

 The Martian is Ridley Scott’s latest blockbuster and it’s easy to see why it’s being labelled as one of the best films of 2015. The film gets off to a quick start as Matt Damon plays an astronauton Mars who is assumed dead after a massive storm hits and he is struck with flying debris. His crew can’t save him so they make the decision to abort the mission and head back to Earth.

Damon plays the role brilliantly, giving the audience a real feeling of what it would be like living on an inhabitable planet completely on your own, with only limited supplies and food to get by. The rest of the story shows how he uses his intelligence and science in creative ways to survive while he figures out a way to contact NASA to let them know he’s alive. Help is 141 million miles away, so he has to ration his food and find ways get more (on a planet where nothing grows). The supporting cast are also very good, helping to bring emotion and suspense to the film while NASA are trying to find a way to bring him home alive.

The cinematography is first class throughout, some of the shots really show the beauty of Mars and the dangers of space in an unforgettable way. The film is gripping all the way through but still brings some genuine laugh out loud moments. This shows that even during the toughest times we still have our sense of humour to help us get by.

I can’t say much more without giving too much a way, so all I can do is highly recommend going to see this on the big screen, you won’t be disappointed!

Festival Film Club Rating:★★★★★

By Samantha

 

 


Miss You Already

Miss You Already

Release Date: 25th September 2015

Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette play two best friends, with lives heading in very different directions. Drew Barrymore’s character, Jess, and her boyfriend are trying to get pregnant, whilst Toni Collette’s character, Milly, battles with breast cancer.   

A cinema full of women. Crying women at that. The film was brilliantly made, the actors were fantastic. The chemistry between Barrymore and Collette was magnificent, it is hard to believe they were acting. Dominic Cooper’s and Paddy Considine’s character was great also.   

This is a very realistic and non-romanticised depiction of cancer, highlighting the traumas one goes through during their journey and how it affects their surrounding loved ones. Very emotional whilst retaining a sense of humour throughout.   

Highly recommended but be prepared for lots of tears. It is hard to walk away without imagining if you were in the situation. The best best friend tear jerker since Beaches.   

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Katherine


Everest

Everest Release Date: 18th September 2015

I had high hopes for the adventure story based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest climbing disaster, unfortunately it didn't quite deliver.

The main focus is on the survival attempts of two expedition groups, one led by Scott Fisher (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the other by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) whose depictions of the brave men were good but seemed to be lacking something and I couldn't work out the dynamic between the two characters.

The cinematography and visual effects were stunning, I'm sure 3D or IMAX would of proved even better, but that is where my interested was peaked and I adjusted pretty quickly to the scenery and tried to absorb myself into the story but the character development just never went anywhere. I wanted to empathise with everyone battling on the mountain side and the family left at home praying for their safe return but it lacked emotion and real heart, maybe the use of flash backs and insight into everyone's background would of helped increase the audiences sympathy level more- I still don't know why the majority of the climbers wanted to attempt such a daring and extraordinary feet was it for guts or glory? I don't know as this didn't come across.

If you have any interest in Natural History and the stunning visualness of Planet Earth I would say see this film, if you like to absorb in a story and touch on the emotions, courage and determination of others I would say Everest fails to deliver and you would come away with the luke warm feelings of disappointment I experienced.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★

By Charlene


Legend

Legend Release Date: 11th September 2015

An incredible portrayal by Brian Helgeland of the infamous Kray twins. The film ‘Legend’ tells the story of the notorious gangsters that dominated the East End of London and built their crime empire. Tom Hardy does an exceptional job of playing both Ronald and Reginald Kray, highlighting their difference in personality with award-deserving acting. The 1950s/60s feel of the film was delivered with a soundtrack that made you feel a part of those decades.

Clever costume selection also contributed to this, alongside a bonus of making Tom Hardy look dapper in a tightly fitted suit. Emily Browning gave a delicate performance of Reggie’s spouse, Frances Shea. Her contribution to the film bought tragedy which directly contrasted the comedy from Ron and the action from the pair of them together.

A noticeable amount of effort went into each set of the film, making the clubs and casinos the Kray twins owned look just as formidable as the street of houses in Bethnal Green. All of these factors tied together make Legend unfaultable and highly recommendable. Definitely the best thing I have seen this year, beating The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Southpaw.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Bethany


The Transporter Refulled

The Transporter Refuelled Release Date: 4th September 2015

The latest action movie to hit the big screen is The Transporter Refuelled, from the producers of Lucy and the Taken trilogy. The film revisits the iconic role of Frank Martin (previously played by Hollywood hunk Jason Statham); a former special-ops mercenary, who is now living a less perilous life transporting classified packages for questionable people.

Following on from previous Transporter films in 2002, 2005 and 2008, the fourth instalment is bursting with action from start to finish. A definite hit with action lovers, there’s plenty of amazing stunts, chases and fighting, with the female characters manipulating how the story progresses. However, the plot is a little unenthusiastic, with no strong twists or turns to keep you gripped to your seat.

Newcomer Ed Skrein delivers a good performance throughout the movie, but unfortunately he’s no Jason Statham – highly picked upon by the critics and a definite disappointment from the ladies.

After being referred to as a low-cost spy series previously, it seems the Transporter series may have come to an end. A good film, but you won’t be eagerly waiting for the next films release date.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★

By Jenny


We Are Your Friends

We Are Your Friends Release Date: 28th August 2015

Cole (Zac Efron), a small-time DJ looking to the Hollywood Hills to land his dream of hitting the big time. Opportunity and temptation quickly take hold as he hits the ground running into the EDM club scene.

Whilst having its darker moments there's no other way you can read into this movie apart from it being a good, inspiring journey. If electronic dance music is your thing, or even just a good night out, you’ll still find a piece that either has your finger tapping or your foot bouncing to the beat. Equally, for those educated in the science of how a track is born to how we embrace it, it is really cleverly shot and gives you such a newfound understanding for the genre. 

Performance-wise, whilst there aren't any show stealers, the whole cast fit the bill, and Efron even does his puppy-eyed thing. Presentation is sharp; from daytime LA to nighttime Hollywood, both are shot nicely in soft, warm lomo pastels. A particularly vivid scene appears to even be hand animated to particularly trippy effect. Sound design is clever here, elaborating on foley artistry, along with a great Soundtrack in what is Max Joseph's directorial debut.

You can come away inspired, feeling empowered in life towards bigger and better things, or just find yourself wanting to sample more of the soundtrack on your way home. Either way, 'We Are Your Friends' is good fun.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Dave


Paper Towns

Paper Towns Release Date: 21st August 2015

Paper Towns is a coming of age story about Quentin (played by Nat Wolff) and his neighbour Margo (played by Cara Delevingne) who’s loved mystery a from young age. She takes him on an all night Adventure through their home town and then in the morning she disappears. A lovely film about set in there last 2 weeks before school ends all about young love, bromances and adventures.

The film starts out with them both at a young age when they first met and they discover a Dead body. I thought this film could be a bit dark for 12a but the film went on to be a funny and light hearted.

Typical young teenage boys with their amusing comments but also a good mystery as when Margo disappears Quentin finds clues to where she could be so he sets out on a road trip with his friends to find her. It shows the relationships between the boys and the girls.

Me and my teenage son really enjoyed the film, it certainly had us laughing at the funny scenes especially when the boys were making fun out of each other, it was very interesting the whole way through. I would definitely recommend this film. 

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Claire


Pixels

Pixels Release Date: 14th August 2015

If you're a fan of 80's retro video games and Adam Sandler, then this is the movie for you.

The movie starts out with a 10 yr old Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler) coming second in a video game championship. 

When a U.S. air force base gets destroyed, Brenner’s childhood best friend, who is now the President of the United States of America, contacts Brenner to help with an extra terrestrial threat. The aliens have mistaken a space transmission containing video of 1980's video games as a threat them. Brenner takes command of the Arcaders, a team of classic video game pros, in an 8-bit battle for humanity’s survival against the aliens.

The special effects were excellent, made me feel like I was back in the 80's playing my Atari! The Centipede sequence is awesome. It's a bit like Aliens with Sandler advising a bunch of soldiers of the proper way to take out the Centipede. Of course, they don’t listen and get wiped out, and Sandler has to jump in and save them. If you’ve ever played Centipede in the arcade, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear during this scene.

The Pac-Man chase is also very cool. They hop in cars that have been modified to act as ghosts. Meanwhile, a giant Pac-Man chases them throughout the streets of New York. The sight of a giant Pac-Man eating cars, firetrucks, and even people is one I won’t soon forget. The scene ends on a perfect note too; one that left me cheering.

The last bit is Donkey Kong. The mock-up is just like the arcade game with Sandler and his pals jumping over barrels while trying to rescue Donkey Kong’s hostages. When Sandler grabs the hammer and starts smashing barrels to the tune of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”… well… I can’t lie… it was awesome.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Stephen


Fantastic 4

Fantastic 4 Released: 7th August 2015

If you are looking for a film that pulls at your heart strings, makes you laugh and has you sitting in the edge of your seat with tension, then this is the film for you. If you are looking for a superhero film, this isn't your average one and you may well end up disappointed.

This film tells the back story of how the Fantastic Four came to be. It is well written with convincing acting and great special effects. I went to see this film with my 11 year old daughter and she loved it as much as I did.

There are only three occasions where mild language is used and there are a few scenes of mild bloody violence but this is not consistent throughout the film.

From start to finish we were both completely drawn into the storyline. You feel like you are on the journey from childhood to adulthood with Reed. His friendship with Ben is endearing and is portrayed in a way that makes it a believable, true friendship.

No superhero movie is complete without the dark villain and Victor's reasons for darkness, from his past, to his fate in the movie, are justified.

Kate Mara is a perfect choice to play the part of Susan. One tough female in a rather male dominated environment. She plays the role of a strong minded and super intelligent female, brilliantly. The dulcet tones of Franklin Storm, are a good father figure voice.

This is a superb film.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Sarah


Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Released

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Released: 30 July 2015 

HANGING off the side of a plane as it hurtles down the runway, speeding along the cliff side on a motorbike with no helmet and being sucked around a water cooler system for over three minutes without oxygen are just some of the breath taking and impressive stunts in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – and it sure is fun!As the fifth instalment of the Mission Impossible franchise, it seemed almost impossible for first time series writer and director Christopher McQuarrie to top 2011’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. But, in the words of Ethan Hunt: Mission accomplished.

The film sees Tom Cruise return as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, who has been left out in the cold as a new threat called the Syndicate emerges – a network of highly trained operatives who are determined to establish a new world order through a series of terrorist attacks.

Familiar faces are back too as Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust, played by Rebecca Ferguson – a refreshing heroine who would rather take off her shoes and fight than run in heels – but can she be trusted as the group faces their most impossible mission yet?

The opening sequence is enough to put you on the edge of your seat – an image that fans will recognise from the trailer, where Ethan is seen gripping the side of an aeroplane as it takes off – a moment made even the more thrilling knowing that Tom Cruise is a man who likes to do his own stunts.

From take off, the film sends us right around the world with scenes in Austria, Morocco and London. And it’s the references to Britain that got the most response from the cinema audience as William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) insists that the team must ‘warn the British’ of a potential attack on the Prime Minister – although don’t expect to see a David Cameron lookalike here.

Unfortunately the reference of the PM seemed more laughable than threatening, which may not have been the film’s intention. It’s difficult to take something seriously when it’s based on a well known figure so close to home, especially when the plot takes the character to the extreme.

Our evil mastermind, Solomon Lane is played exquisitely by Sean Harris, a quietly calculating and somewhat sinister villain whose raspy voice and eye-twitching will haunt you all the way home.

Comic relief is back in the form of Simon Pegg as the loveable Benji and there a few humorous nods from Ving Rhames as Luther. Alec Baldwin also enters the Mission Impossible world as the CIA head Alan Hunley, who tries to shut down the IMF team.

The spy gadgets are just as fun as ever with keys that can unlock any door, those memorable masks to give the team seamless disguises, car windows with ID pads and an arm band registering how much oxygen is left in your lungs – plus that signature Mission Impossible theme tune to set the mood.

But despite its fast pace, it doesn’t leave the audience behind, explaining every move and plan in simple terms, even opting to use visuals and comedy to lighten the mood in what should have been a very complicated sequence.

With twists and turns at every corner, this is a high action, immensely fun and incredibly clever addition to the Mission Impossible franchise. So buckle up, hold on tight and get ready to go rogue! 

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Michelle


Inside Out

Inside Out Release Date: 24th July 2015

Ever look at someone and wonder what they are thinking?

Well pixar's newest film takes you on that very journey. The film is set in the mind of Riley Andersen as she leaves her hometown in Minnesota to move to the city with her parents. As she embarks on this journey we meet her five emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. 

They all live in the headquarters (Riley's conscious mind) and are the control panel. Meaning that they are in full control of her actions, feelings and memories. Her memories are stored as "orbs" the most important ones being the "core" memories.

Each of the core memories are housed in islands which reflect Riley's personality. We watch as Riley's new move causes her to experience a rollercoaster of emotions. 

This causes her core memories to be sucked out of headquarters, along with Joy and Sadness. They find themselves stuck in long term memory and set off on their mission to return the orbs to headquarters. 

Meanwhile without them in headquarters, Anger, Fear and Disgust struggle to keep Riley's emotions under control. This leads her to make a terrible decision. Can Joy and Sadness make it back to headquarters in time to stop Riley making a big mistake? 

By far pixar's best film yet, it's bound to help children get a handle on their feelings. Great fun for all the family and didn't disappoint. Amazing graphics and humour for all ages. 

A great family treat for the summer holiday!

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Holly


Ant-Man

Ant-Man Release Date: 17th July 2015 

This is Marvel’s first underdog film when it comes to the ‘Superhero’ universe and it does not disappoint! but you wouldn't expect anything less from screenwriters Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish.

Scott Lang is a cat burglar who is fresh out of prison and needs to find a job quickly so that he is able to see his only daughter Cassie again. After having little luck keeping down a legitimate job his housemate tells him of a rich mans house he has heard of that has a safe in the basement. He quickly snaps up the offer, little does he know that the house belongs to Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) the original Ant-Man. It turns out to be a set up so that Pym can recruit the new Ant-Man with the help of his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily). Pym gives Scott his Ant-Man suit which allows him to shrink in size but also gives him super human strength! All 3 of them have to come up with a plan to pull off a heist and save the world from Pym’s previous assistant Darren Cross’s plan to build an army with a similar creation to what makes the Ant-Man suit work, the ‘Pym Particle’.

Paul Rudd was a great choice as the lead character because of his sarcastic humour and as always Marvel films have to have light-hearted comedy in them as well as lots of fight/action scenes.

The film passed all my expectations, the special effects were stunning and it even had a few surprises like a cameo from one of the Avenger’s and of course the obligatory Stan Lee cameo. Stick around at the end as well for 2 short clips in the credits, Ant-Man will return!

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Kerry


Ted 2

Ted 2 Release Date: 10th July 2015 

Seth MacFarlene and Mark Wahlberg return in this sequel to 2012’s Ted. Ted and girlfriend Tami-Lynn decide to have a baby and problems unravel, regarding Ted’s civil rights – whether he should be considered a person or property. Amanda Seyfried plays their playful lawyer who attempts to help them in a large court case.

The first film was hilarious, something different to what had been done before. The sequel had pressure to be good and it lived up to the expectations. The consistent jokes and the wit of the characters had the whole cinema laughing out loud! The story line was a little dry and parts of the film were slow, but this was made up through the one liners and comments from the cast. A few jokes were a bit too controversial for me, but still got laughs none-the-less. 

The performances were great – Mark Wahlberg plays a great clueless 30-something year old, trying to move past his divorce. Amanda Seyfried’s character was a little different to her normal roles and it was nice to see her play someone else. The on screen chemistry between the two was great – I thought Mila Kunis would have an obvious absence in the film, but Amanda filled it well. I also loved the cameos from numerous celebrities, Liam Neeson being my favourite – was almost in tears! Of course, Flash Gordon, an ongoing gag, is STILL funny.

If you liked the first Ted, you will love this. The jokes are hilarious, Ted is a hilarious character with quick wit and sass – if you want to laugh, this is the film you should watch!

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Sarah


Terminator: Genisys

Terminator: Genisys Release Date: 3rd July 2015 

I've been looking forward to the re-boot of The Terminator series and after sitting through the less than satisfactory Terminator: Rise of the Machines and 2009's equally disappointing Terminator: Salvations I was hoping that Genisys would take the best of Cameron's original 1984 classic and ramp up the action and storyline to the levels achieved in the best of all the Terminator films: T2:Judgement Day and relaunch the franchise for a new generation.

Unfortunately, Terminator Genisys is a bit of a mess and like Schwarzenegger's T-800 is definitely getting old and a little obsolete. 

As we're mainly in Terminator 1 territory with scenes lifted from the original and played with less impact and imagination here. If only this could have been more like the other time travelling classic, Back to the Future 2 where there is genuine fun and surprises to be had with time travel and the possibilities of seeing the same thing again from another perspective. 

Unfortunately, Terminator Genisys is trying so hard to relaunch the franchise it forgets to have fun with the story and spending too much time on seen it all before CGI and formulaic set pieces that don't have the wow or enduring effect of anything that was achieve by Cameron in T2.

Neither Jain Courtney (Kyle Reece) or Emilia Clarke (Sarah Connor) make anywhere near the impact that  Biehn and Hamilton made, and there is little or no chemistry on view between them that would even suggest that they would ever had been John Connor's parent!

The best I can say is that the effects are  top-notch and Schwarenegger adds a subtlety to the role of the ageing Terminator that I've not seen from him since Conan!

As an attempt to overhauls the franchise that made the phrase 'I'll be back' a part of pop culture I'd give it 3 out of 5 but more than anything go watch it for Arnold. For as once promised, he's indeed, back.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★

By Ian


Minions

Minions Release Date: 26th June 2015

After the success of the two Despicable Me movies, the Minions have returned to the big screen in their debut movie called...well, Minions!

Kevin, Stuart and Bob return to the screen, and the trio embark on a journey that leads them to their next potential master and work’s first-ever female super-villian Scarlet Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock.They travel from Antarctica to New York, ending up in London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind...from annihilation.

The film was entertaining throughout, although simple and a little disappointing, and had it been a standalone film without the two previous hits, it wouldn’t have been overly impressive.

Whilst it may not be the best movie in the world, and not one that you’ll be rushing out to buy on DVD, but it’s silly, fun and kept everyone in the screen giggling throughout. The kids will simply love it, making it one to see this summer.

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★

By Kacey


The Longest Ride

The Longest Ride Release Date: 19th June 2015

Sophia (Robertson) is a college student, who begins dating Luke (Eastwood) however it moving to New York within two months. She feels it will not work out, until a turn of events makes her question her life decisions. 

Scott Eastwood is gorgeous! He and Britt Robertson had such great on screen chemistry, which is vital for any Nicholas Sparks film. As a big fan of Nicholas Sparks myself, I had high expectations and I wasn’t let down. This is one novel I hadn’t read first so I went into it with a clear head.

This film is very sweet and uplifting. It was different from the other Nicholas Sparks films in that there wasn’t a massive tragedy with the main characters that breaks your heart half way through. It’s heart-warming and depicts a love story that shows us what it’s like to love someone unconditionally. The young couple struggle to come together as their dreams collide,; she wants to be an artists, he a bull rider. It shows the strength of love and how important it can be over everything else. Have a tissue ready, because you WILL cry (if you’re anything like me). 

Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★★

By Emily


Jurassic World

Jurassic World Release Date: 12th June 2015

Creating a sequel to such a classic over 20 years later runs the risk of tarnishing the brilliance of the original. I tried not to have expectations as I entered the cinema, despite the fact the film broke records for the biggest opening weekend EVER.

But, Colin Trevorrow done an excellent job - I enjoyed every second of the movie. The CGI was fantastic and I think that the modern day technology compliments such a classic story. The laboratory created hybrid dinosaur ‘Indominus’ gave me chills – the special effects were astounding. The island of Isla Nubar also looked like paradise and the scale of the park was incredible– they painted the park beautifully and the rides looked amazing. The actors performed brilliantly and I loved the wit and subtle humour that was portrayed throughout – it keep the film playful. I also love the use of a strong woman as a lead role – Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt made a great leading couple. The references to the original were also warming!

The action sequences are fantastic and the finale blew me away. I loved each stage of how the story developed. The fact Chris Pratt’s character trained the raptors was brilliant – it’s adapted an old story to our modern culture.I don’t know what could happen after the end but I hope there will be another sequel some day!

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★★

By Meghan

 

 


Spy

Spy Release date: 5th June 2015

If you're in need of a giggle and can sit still for long enough then this is a film to improve your health!

The movie is a very typical spin on the spy genre and gives you all the expected laughs at 'British-ness', gimmick spy toys, glamorous settings, champers and arch-evil baddies. It also has a lovely twist on the typical car chases you see - worth going to see just for the one moped-inspired joke mid way through the film; I'm still giggling about it afterwards.

The main character is found in some ridiculous situations, which is the basis for much of the comedy in this film, absurdity, but that's the point. It's not real, it's a movie and it's a fun one to watch.

I found it a bit slow to start but if you're prepared to over look the American way of introducing running jokes, and the shameless promotion of 'Miranda' on more than one occasion then this movie is fun and just what you would expect of a spoof-spy-comedy. The special effects are good, the costumes are well thought out, the jokes funny, and just enough to keep you smiling 'til the next one comes along.

Jude Law is good, and Jason Statham very good. Melissa McCarthy is scarily funny, even when she delivering fill in lines! I did find it a bit concerning that the basis of Miranda Hart's character relied on her height for jokes, but I suppose it's not something they can hide, so they made the most of it. It did make for rather predictable jokes from her though. Watch out for the mopeds and sit back to enjoy a movie made for adults to giggle to.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Hannah


San Andreas

San Andreas Release Date: 29th May 2015

This film is a gripping tale involving the San Andreas earthquake. It's got good graphics and an engaging storyline from start to finish. It's well thought out and well made. The CGI is realistic and Dwayne Johnson brings an exciting vibe to the film. It really does capture the terrifying power of such a large, widespread earthquake.

It also becomes quite entertaining to watch, with the family getting their act together to survive the effects of the quake. I think the director was able to strike the perfect balance to keep us on the edge of our seats with the sense of imminent and potentially real danger and still have an exhilarating time.

The music is pretty catchy and entertaining too! You'll definitely pick up some handy earthquake survival tips along the way too! You know, just in case an earthquake that massive ever hits the UK!

Overall it makes for an enjoyable evening out so I'm giving it 5 stars! It's definitely a must watch movie for the summer.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★★

By Kat


Tomorrowland A World Beyond

Tomorrowland A World Beyond

Release Date: 22nd May 2015

Tomorrowland is the latest action/adventure movie from Disney to hit the big screen, starring Academy Award w

 

Not your typical Disney movie, the storyline follows bright teen Casey (Britt Robertson) and former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), by a shared destiny. Together they embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world-and them-forever.

Although not a movie that will leave on the edge of your seat throughout, the stunning visuals and pure imagination of the storyline makes this film one to see on the big screen.

Elements of Disney’s classic movies shine through, with the all-important movie message being clear throughout, but the ending is more teen-like rather than a grown-up Disney film, and will leave you disappointed.

Festival Film Club Rating:★★★

By Sarah


Mad Max: Fury Road

Max Max: Fury Road

Release date: 15th May 2015

Whether you’re a fan of the original Mad Max films or not, there’s something to get everyone’s engines firing in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Opening to a shot of Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) surveying stretches of desert landscape before stamping on a double headed lizard and eating it alive, the theme for the film is set – this is a story of survival.

Captured by the War Boys, the army of tyrannical cult leader Immortan Joe, Max is taken prisoner and labelled as a universal blood donor, before being hooked up to sick war boy Nux (Nicholas Hoult).

Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is sent out on a War Rig to collect gasoline but veers off course. Immortan Joe soon realises that she’s taken his five wives and so sends his entire War Boy army in pursuit – including Nux with Max the ‘blood bag’ tied to the front of his car.

And so a ferocious and spectacular road war begins. With sped up action, extreme close ups and wide pan shots showing off the sparse wasteland all through an instagram style filtered lens, this is two hours of stunning cinema.

Yet, despite being made 30 years after the last Mad Max film, there are glimmers of the original – from the hiss of a War Boy to the eye-popping close ups, there’s a certain nostalgic feel to the 21st Century film.

Tom Hardy does a good turn in Mel Gibson’s infamous character Max – he might not say much and even when he does, the odd four letter word is drowned out by the fierce engines on the sand – but he puts his own stamp on the much loved character. However, it’s Charlize Theron who steals the show as Imperator Furiosa. With one bionic arm and fuelled up for a fight, she makes the perfect feisty female lead.

This isn’t just any old action film, this is a full throttle, visually stunning and highly entertaining ride that’s action packed to the max...

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★★★

By Michelle


Big Game

Big Game

Release Date: 8th May 2015

Samuel L Jackson stars in a rather tongue-in-cheek, loud, typically ‘American President is the main target’ action movie. When the US President’s (Jackson) plane, Air-Force One is shot down over Finnish Woodland, the President finds himself stranded and betrayed by one of his closest employees, Morris (Ray Stevenson) and the target of a psychopathic ‘non-terrorist’, Hazar, the illegitimate son of one of the richest oil tycoons in the Gulf.

Lost in the wilderness, the President finds help from an unlikely source, a 13 year old boy, Oskari (Onni Tommila) armed with only a bow and arrow, out in the woods trying to prove himself to his Father in a hunting ‘rites of passage’ exercise.

What ensues is a race to find and save the President before Morris and Hazar (Mehmet Kurtulus) kill him and use him as martyr in their ‘Big Game’. Jackson, needing no introduction lands the one liners, action and comedy balance effortlessly, all whilst delivering a convincing emotional connection with Oskari.

Big Game does not promise to be anything more than good old fashioned action fun targeting a more youthful movie-going audience.

For those well-tuned in the action genre, you won’t be met with game changing set pieces, or amazing special effects but with big names including, Jim Broadbent and Felicity Huffman , Big Game aims to be an all-round American feel good film.

Festival Film Club rating: ★★★

By Emma