The official blog of The Cinema at Gloucester Guildhall and its Film Club. News, reviews and everything to do with the films showing at Gloucester Guildhall.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

PREVIEW: Cloud Atlas (15)

Taking centre stage at The Cinema At Gloucester Guildhall this week is perhaps the most ambitious cinematic undertaking in recent memory. From Lana & Andy Wachowski, the visionary creators of The Matrix Trilogy, comes the long awaited adaptation of David Mitchell's award-winning epic novel Cloud Atlas. Starring a heavyweight ensemble cast including Academy Award winners Tom Hanks and Halle Berry alongside the likes of Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Ben Wishaw and Susan Sarandon, this science-fiction drama will take you on an incredible journey from the the remote South Pacific in the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future where each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the stories move through time.

Because it would be impossible to fully divulge in the film's plot, Cloud Atlas can be best described as an exploration into how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future.  Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future.

Spending nearly four years in development hell due to lack of funding, this seemingly "unfilmable" novel was eventually produced to the tune of $102 million from a number of independent sources making it one of the most expensive independent films of all time. Yet even when you remove this accolade out of the equation, and that much like the original source material its sprawling, ambitious blend of thought-provoking narrative and eye-catching visuals might prove too unwieldy for some, you are still left with a film which exhibits an immense sense of scope and scale that make it almost impossible to ignore.

Premiering at last year's Toronto Film Festival whereupon it received a 10 minute standing ovation, Cloud Atlas now takes its deserved place on the Gloucester Guildhall screen for a very limited engagement so don't miss your chance to witness a film that boasts incredible cinematography and visual style, along with a superb ensemble cast and a Golden Globe nominated score from co-director Tom Twyker (Perfume).

*Breathtaking action, profound emotion and a dark sense of fun make this the most ambitious, original movie event in years.* Hannah McGill, The List

*It's an adventure into the very concept of storytelling: magical, enthralling and thrilling*
Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine

*Tykwer and the Wachowskis have labored long and hard to turn Mitchell's very literary material into something cinematic* Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph

Check out the trailer here:

Cloud Atlas (15) opens on Friday 3rd and closes on Tuesday 7th May. Performances are at 7:45pm everyday except Sunday and Monday along with Screen Tea shows at 10:45am on Saturday and 2pm on Tuesday.

PREVIEW - Citizen Kane (U)

 One of the greatest films ever made Citizen Kane returns to the big screen in May for a limited time only.

Citizen Kane pioneered by the great Writer, Director Orson Welles at the tender age of 25 has earned no only Welles but his film 'classic' status amongst filmmakers and cinemagoers alike.

Upon it's released in 1941 the film was a box - office flop quickly being withdrawn from release however, Welles picked up an Oscar for Best Writer, whilst also being nominated for Best Actor and Best Director.
It wasn't until it's re - release in the mid 1950's that Citizen Kane was recognised for it's brilliance and setting a whole new cinematic vocabulary for cinema, whilst setting the benchmark for film production.

The cast of the film were relatively unknown at the time however, due to the success and status of the film has put the likes of Joseph Cotten and Agnes Moorehead to name a small selection of the outstanding cast.
The real surprise is knowing that Orson Wells added another role of actor to his credits on the film, playing the role of Kane, making this very much Welles's very own masterpiece.

Welles was of course aided by two names in particular that brought his masterpiece to life. Cinematographer Gregg Toland brought his very own style to the film seen by many as ground breaking for it's time. Toland's use of deep focus photography and unchartered camera angles making the film stand out as an art piece as well as a film.
Bernard Herrman composed the music for the film and has since go on to compose the music for Hitchcock's Psycho, Taxi Driver and Kill Bill Vol 1 (after his death).

For those who don't know the story behind the great film, many people over the years have suggested the film is a biopic of one of the greatest newspaper barons of all time William Randolf Hearst however, this was heavily denied by Welles who states his film is based upon a composite of characters from that era of America.

 The film starts with the death of Kane in a crumbling and ornate Xanadu mansion.
The film centres around the final words of Kane 'Rosebud'. What follows is snippets and flashbacks through Kane's life from the people who knew him the most as we see a young boy who turns into one of the most powerful businessman of the time as he builds a media empire whilst dabbling in politics and women has his power eventually starts to alienate him from all those around that know him.

An iconic/classic film for all those who have seen it, it's one of those films everyone should see once and then again to really appreciate it's importance.

*Orson Welles' directorial debut's topicality and energy remain undiminished*
Kevin Harley
*Citizen Kane remains a gloriously entertaining classic*
Empire Film Magazine
Here is the original theatrical trailer for you all, to remind you of what the film has to offer;
Citizen Kane is showing at Gloucester Guildhall on Friday 3rd May at 2pm and Saturday 4th May at 3pm.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

PREVIEW: Hitchcock

Our last film of April is the new film about Alfred Hitchcock.  Hitchcock has a face which is immediately recognisable to audiences the world over.

This is a film which shows off Alfred Hitchcock’s extraordinary film career often obscured his creatively explosive romance with his steadfast wife and filmmaking collaborator, Alma Reville, revealed now through the sly, shadowy lens of their most daring filmmaking adventure: the making of the spine-tingling 1960 thriller Psycho, which would become the director's most controversial and legendary film. When the tumultuous, against-the-odds production was over, nothing about movies would ever be the same - but few realised that it took two to pull it off.

Be sure not to miss a fantastic film, Helen Miriam, Anthony Hopkins and Scarlett Johansson provide audience with rich performances through a riveting and articulate screenplay.

*a knockout from start to finish* New York Observer

*This narrative directing debut by Sacha Gervasi remains absorbing and aptly droll despite a few dramatic ups and downs and, led by large performances by Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren.*

Watch the trailer below:

Screening on Monday 29th at 7.45pm, Tuesday 30th at 7.45pm, Wednesday 1st May at 2pm & 7.45pm, Thursday 2nd at 10.45am (CineCubs) & 7.45pm.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

PREVIEW: Compliance (15)

Based on a true story comes the gripping, disturbing and unique film Compliance. Brought to the screen by the multi-skilled Writer, Director and Producer Craig Zobel. Following on from his highly successful 2007 feature film debut Great World of Sounds, Zobel brings us a fresh look at what happens when you answer a phone.
Zobel has assembled an array of acting talent within both film and TV, with the lead going to the young Dreama Walker (Gran Torino, Sex and the City, Gossip Girl and Ugly Betty)
Walker is supported fantastically by actress Ann Dowd (Marley and Me and Side Effects). Other support comes from Matt Servitto (Enchanted) and Pat Healy (Magnolia).
As far as independent cinema goes, Compliance is a film that pays tribute to the small budget, completed for just $270,000 it's sure to cash in way above that.
Based upon the horrific work of a sociopathic serial phone-prankster, who for a decade got away with endless hoax calls to innocent members of the US.
Compliance is based upon the phone call that took place in 2004 and what followed was a masterstroke of pure evil.

It's a normal day at work for the young and innocent fast food worker Becky (Walker), who shares the regular chitter chatter with her colleagues and the normal tensions with her manager Sandra (Dowd).
The day takes a chilling turn once Sandra takes a call from who she believes to be Officer Daniels (Healy).
The phone call leads to an accusation towards Becky, once pulled to the back of the store by her manager, what plays out in front of us is a satanic demonstration of the weakness and suggestibility of human nature all from the voice and demands of Officer Daniels.

*It is a cold, hard, shrewd film: satire with a drop of cyanide*
Peter Bradshaw

*A provocative little drama that really gets under the skin*
Allan Hunter

Have a look at the Trailer for Compliance below;

Compliance is showing at Gloucester Guildhall on, Friday 26th April at 7.45pm, Saturday 27th April at 10.45am and 7.45pm and Monday 29th April at 2pm

PREVIEW: The Sessions (15)

Playing at The Cinema at Gloucester Guildhall this week is the Amercian indie drama The Sessions considered to be one of Sundance 2012's breakout hits. Based on the essay "On Seeing Sex Surrogates" by polio-suffering poet Mark O'Brien, the film stars Golden Globe winning John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) in the lead role alongside Academy Award-winning Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets) as Cheryl-Choen Greene, the woman who would O'Brien's seemingly impossible and unthinkable dream a reality.

Confined to an iron lung after suffering from polio, 38-year old poet Mark O'Brien seeks the advice of his priest on how and if it is possible, given his age and condition, to loose his virginity in as a God-pleasing way possible. Seeking the advice and aid of a sex surrogate, the pair embark on a journey of self-discovery and ultimately the true meaning of love.

Too long we have seen many Hollywood comedies approach the notion of sex as taboo or as something reserved to a teenage right of passage with often crass crude end results. So it is therefore refreshing to see a film directed by Ben Lewin (a polio sufferer himself) as tender, funny, and touching as The Sessions which provides an acting showcase for its talented stars, especially Helen Hunt who was nomianted for a BAFTA and Academy Award, and evidently proves it's possible for Hollywood to produce a grown-up movie about sex.

"Hunt is a prodigy. No other actress could have brought such easeful transparency, such a glow of givingness, such heedlessness of glamour each time she strips naked."
Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

"Three days after viewing, the film's questioning generosity and sense of perspective will still be knocking around your head."
Paul Fairclough, Little White Lies

"It sends viewers out of the theater with a heightened sense of the physical and a real feeling for all the things that sex means in human life."
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Check out the trailer below:


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

PREVIEW: Bullhead (15)

Matthias Schoenaerts, star of the critically acclaimed Rust and Bone, stars in the Belgian Oscar nominated film Bullhead.

A steroid-fuelled cattle farmer finds that his decision to do business with the Belgian cattle-hormone mafia could have potentially deadly consequences in this brooding Belgian crime drama that was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards. Jacky makes the biggest mistake of his life when he goes into business with a nefarious meat trader with mob ties. After hearing that a federal agent was murdered while investigating the underworld meat trade and crossing paths with a woman he thought he would never see again, Jacky realizes that his only hope is to delve headlong back into his harrowing past.  

Selected for the panorama section of the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, Bullhead received critical acclaim, with many critics praising Schoenaerts performance. He went on to win the best actor prize at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, with the film also being nominated for prizes at other film festivals. 

*It's compelling, and Schoenaerts is a treat as this taciturn knot of angst and muscle tone, but Michaël R Roskam's film is short on humanity and dash*
Daily Telegraph

*This thriller about a steroid-boosting farmer lost in the moral maze of Belgium's mafia underworld is a stylish, meaty treat*
 The Guardian

Check out the trailer here:

Gloucester Guildhall are showing Bullhead on Monday 22nd April at 7.45pm, Tuesday 23rd April at 7.45pm and Wednesday 24th at 2pm and 7.45pm.

PREVIEW: Wreck It Ralph

Wreck It Ralph has been credited as the new Toy Story by many critics, with it being hailed as one of the best animations of recent times. With multiple references to classic games and a great voice cast, Wreck It Ralph has been much anticipated by children and adult alike.

From Rich Moore, who previously directed for The Simpsons and Futurama, Wreck It Ralph is his first feature film. Based on the classic game Fix It Felix Jr, Wreck It Ralph follows the story of Ralph (John C. Reilly), the bad guy who just wants to be accepted. After decades of being overshadowed by Felix, Ralph decides that he no longer wants to be the bad guy and game-hops to try and win a medal. Accidentally wrecking everything, Ralph unleashes a deadly virus, threatening all the games. His only hope is Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). Working together, they might be able to help each other achieve their dreams.

There's no doubt that Wreck It Ralph in an impressive animation. Mixing together all sorts of game animation designs from 8-bit to state of the art CGi, Wreck It Ralph looks brilliant - 8-bit Skrillex is pretty cool! Bringing together assorted gaming cameos, this film is truly for all the gamers out there. From Q*bert to Dr Eggman, Wreck It Ralph covers the past 30 years of gaming, see which other characters you can spot.

The animation is the best feature of Wreck It Ralph with all the characters jumping off the screen in their full animated beauty. My favourite character was Jane Lynch's Calhoun, a ballsy female which made a change from the sickly sweet girls of Sugar Rush kingdom like Venellope. The adorable glitch wins hearts with her sugary voice and no nonsense attitude.

Overall, Wreck It Ralph is a decent animation suitable for all ages, and with a sequel already in the works, it looks like Wreck It Ralph will be here for a while.

Watch the trailer here:

Wreck It Ralph will be shown at Gloucester Guildhall on Saturday 27th April 3pm.

Find the original review over at Steph on Screen

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

PREVIEW: To The Wonder

The anticipated new feature from renowned filmmaker Terrence Malick, boldly and lyrically explores the complexities of love in all its forms comes to Gloucester Guildhall on Monday 15th April.  Parisian single mother Marina and Midwestern tourist Neil fall madly in love in France and relocate to Oklahoma with Marina’s young daughter to start a life together. 

As their relationship wanes and her visa nears expiration, Neil’s entanglements with Marina and childhood sweetheart Jane forces him to consider different kinds of love.  Should the commitment he has made be undertaken as a duty, sometimes full of effort?  Or should we accept that love often changes, and doesn’t always last?  Can sorrow bind lovers more tightly than joy?

In March's edition of Sight & Sound (The BFIs monthly film magazine) To The Wonder was Film of the week!  The full article can be found here but I feel it is this line which sums up the journey of both the article and film 'The film leaves us with this longing vantage, in a state of perpetual, unfulfilled becoming.  That is to say it leaves us precisely where we are – but we are not the same.'

The all star cast includes Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem.  All three portray deep and interesting characters.  Which are seen within these film which contains familiar Malick touches - fragmentary narrative, impressionistic visuals and a poetic voiceover.

*You have to accept Malick on his own terms, and for those who do, To The Wonder will feel like a tall pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea on a hot summer's day: glistening, sweet and restorative.*  Daily Telegraph 

*100 per cent pure, unadulterated Malick, an absorbing, thoughtful, moving meditation on the things that matter.*  Empire Magazine

Don't forget that this is our film club film this month.  So join us on Thursday 18th April at 7:15 - 7:30 in the Cafe-Bar 

Watch the trailer below:

Screening:  Monday 15th at 7.45pm, Wednesday 17th at 2pm & 7.45pm, Thursday 18th at 10.45am  (CineCubs parent & baby screening - no admittance without a baby under 12 months) & 7.45pm.

PREVIEW: I Give It A Year (15)

From Dan Mazer,writer of Bruno and Borat, comes his directorial debut I Give It A Year, starring a slew of top British talent including Rafe Spall, Rose Byrne and Stephen Merchant.

Since they met at a party, ambitious high–flyer Nat and struggling novelist Josh have been deliriously happy despite their differences. Josh is a thinker, Nat‘s a doer, but the spark between them is undeniable. Their wedding is a dream come true, but family, friends and even the minister who marries them aren‘t convinced that they can last. With their first anniversary approaching, neither wants to be the first to give up, but will they make it? A charming British comedy full of genuine laughs.

As the first British comedy of the year, it delivers plenty of laughs. Full of typically awkward family situations and recognisable characters, this a film that will keep you giggling.

*Dan Mazer's comedy about a couple who got married too quickly is both funny and plausible, if slightly constricted by its romcom template*
The Guardian

*Spall and his co-star Rose Byrne are two incredibly likeable comic performers, and Dan Mazer's cheerfully abrasive capitalises on that quality to tell a story that might otherwise have been too sour to swallow*
Daily Telegraph

Watch the trailer here:

I Give It A Year is showing at Gloucester Guildhall on Friday 12th April at 7.45pm, Saturday 13th April at 10.45am and 7.45pm and Monday 15th April at 2pm.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

PREVIEW - Flight (15)

From Director, Producer Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump and Cast Away) comes an adrenaline, tense, thriller Flight, that will have you amazed but its effects and gripped by its storyline.

Written by actor turned writer John Gatins (Coach Carter) Flight is a clever and powerful film that celebrates the actions of a hero as his secrets and sins are exposed.

In a film with a huge cast it contains many a talented actor form a host of youngster and rising stars such as Nadine Velazquez and Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes) to leading actor Denzel Washington (Training Day and American Gangster) and supports John Goodman (Argo) and Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2 and Crash).

Flight is built around details that emerged from a real-life air disaster in 2000. The film is hinged on one fine detail from the report, that a passenger jet in free-fall can be levelled glide to safe. This all relies on one manouevre a manouevre so dangerous and technical that if pulled off can save many lives.

Whip Whitaker (Washington) is the pilot in charge of saving the lives of others as his plan heads nose first towards the ground. We wake a battered Whitaker in a hospital bed... a hero to many and the saviour of hundreds.
However, as the film unravels and the lead up to the crash is shown we learn the sins and secrets of Whitaker from his drug and drink addiction to his affair with stewardess Katerina (Velazquez), as we see Whitaker deal with the highs of a hero, to the lows of addiction and to the constant onslaught of media and the charges he may face.

Nominated for 2 Oscars and 1 Golden Globe, Flight was recognised worldwide for its screenplay, performance and special effects, it's a gripping thriller not to be missed.

*Denzel Washington is excellent as an alcoholic airline pilot in Robert Zemeckis’s addiction drama, Flight*
Jenny McCartney
*Steered by an on-form Zemeckis, Flight is well worth boarding*
James Mottram

Still not convinced by Flight? Have a look at the trailer below;

Flight is showing at Gloucester Guildhall on;
Friday 5th April at 7.45pm, Saturday 6th April at 10.45am and 7.45pm and Monday 8th April at 2pm.

PREVIEW - No (15)

Chilean filmmaker, Director and Producer Pablo Larrain brings us his new film No, a dramatisation about the 1988 referendum of General Augusto Pinochet's rein.

The events written for the screen by writer Pedro Peirano, sees the two collaborating for the first time since Young and Wild.
No, is led by well-known Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries and Y Tu Mama Tambien).
Bernal leads the film well displaying once again all the traits that has seen him emerge of one of the best talents of world cinema.

No, set in 1988 Chile after 15 year under the rein of dictator General Augusto Pinochet in. A referendum has been called by the US in what is portrayed as a simple 'YES' or 'NO' option.

Prior to the big vote we join a team of two men from a prosperous Santiago advertising agency. The head of the company Lucho Guzman and his smartest employee Rene Saavedra (Bernal) are approached by a coalition of 16 opposition parties to head a media campaign for the 'NO' vote.

Guzman, Saaverdra and their team believes that the public must be won over by a carefully orchestrated positive campaign that looks to a hopeful future however, as the "No" movement gathers strength, the Pinochet government resorts to dirty tricks as we live through the tense final weeks before the vote.

No, is witty, clever and no ordinary film of political structure. It's a film recognised globally with a nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at the Oscars as well as being selected Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and New York.

*Pablo Larraín's film about Chilean democracy is simple and direct, heartfelt and involving*
Peter Bradshaw
*“We have to find a product that’s appealing to people!” says Garcia Bernal at one point. And that’s just what Larraín’s created with this Latin spin on Mad Men*
Neil Smith
Check out the trailer for No below;

No is showing at Gloucester Guildhall on;

 Monday 8th April at 7.45pm, Tuesday 9th April at 7.45pm,Wednesday 10th April at 2pm and 7.45pm and Thursday 11th April at 7.45pm

PREVIEW- Classic Matinees: Singin' In The Rain (1952)

We began our season of cinema from the Golden Age last month with the Academy Award-winning A Streetcar Named Desire. Following on from its tremendous reception, the monthly Classic Matinees programme continues with what can only be described as the greatest movie musical ever made. Whilst only a modest hit on its original release in 1952, it has since cemented itself into the pantheon of cinema history thanks to its memorable moments and wonderful music. Often imitated, rarely equalled and never surpassed it can only be as the poster screams: 'MGM's musical treasure...Singin' In The Rain' co-directed and starring the irreplaceable Gene Kelly.

The year is 1927. The place is Hollywood. The silent-film romantic team of Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) is the toast of Tinseltown. While Lockwood and Lamont personify smoldering passions onscreen, in real life the down-to-earth Lockwood can't stand the egotistical, brainless Lina. He prefers the company of aspiring actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), whom he met while escaping his screaming fans. Watching these intrigues from the sidelines is Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor), Don's best pal and on-set pianist. Cosmo is promoted to musical director of Monumental Pictures by studio head R.F. Simpson (Millard Mitchell) when the talking-picture revolution commences. That's all right for Cosmo, but how will talkies affect the upcoming Lockwood-Lamont vehicle "The Dueling Cavalier"? Don, an accomplished song-and-dance man, should have no trouble adapting to the microphone. Lina, however, is another matter; put as charitably as possible, she has a voice that sounds like fingernails on a blackboard. The disastrous preview of the team's first talkie has the audience howling with derisive laughter. Can Don, Cosmo and Kathy save the studio and their careers from ruin?

Whilst parallels could be easily be drawn to that of 2011's Best Picture Oscar winner The Artist, Singin' In The Rain is nevertheless an untouchable masterpiece for two reasons. The strength of the clever, concise and funny plot alone, concocted by the dream writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green who were responsible for the libretti of some of Hollywood’s most memorable musicals of the genre’s heyday, makes it an absolute delight. Yet the addition of MGM's catalog of Arthur Freed-Nacio Herb Brown songs including "You Were Meant for Me," "You Are My Lucky Star," "The Broadway Melody," and of course the title song, combined with Gene Kelly’s supreme choreography sets it as the benchmark that many movie musicals have since failed to reach. Forget Les Miserables, forget Moulin Rouge! and forget Mamma Mia!....there’s only one Singin' In The Rain and there’s only one place to see it on the big screen where it belongs: The Cinema at Gloucester Guildhall.

"There is no movie musical more fun than Singin' in the Rain, and few that remain as fresh over the years."
Roger Ebert- Chicago Sun-Times

"For humour and sheer energy, no musical betters Singin' In The Rain."
Film 4

"If you've never seen it and don't, you're bonkers"
Stephen Garrett- Time Out

Check out the original trailer below:

Singin' In The Rain (U) plays on Friday 5th April @ 2pm and Saturday 6th April @ 3pm. For an extra £1 you can enjoy a Screen Tea which includes a hot drink and a slice of cake.