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Warcraft

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Poster for the movie "Warcraft"

Warcraft

Two worlds. One home.

20162 h 03 min
Overview

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.

Metadata
Director Duncan Jones
Runtime 2 h 03 min
Release Date 25 May 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

In spite of the dire reviews from the critics I really enjoyed seeing WoW come to life on the big screen at Hinckley Cineworld.  Full disclosure:  I’ve been a WoW player off and on for over 10 years so may be biased, but I was really curious how this would pan out and had a horrible sinking feeling after reading the professional critics reviews, but maybe they’re not gamers.  During the first couple of minutes, as we were introduced to the Orc heroes I was like hmmm…not sure I can root for the Horde.  (I’m an Alliance girl through and through) but then we switched to the sight of a familiar fortress hewn from stone.  Ironforge! my spiritual home (dwarf/hunter).  Then onto Stormwind, Goldshire, Elwyn Forest – all so familiar.  Although this has obviously been made to appeal to the widest audience there are lots of nods to WoWers – the portals, the gryphon flights (that land in the right place at Stormwind) and even the fleeting sight and sound of a Murloc!  The storyline was okay, the CGI was pretty impressive and overall a good time was had by all, well me at least.  I’ll be interested to see if non-WoWers find it entertaining but I got a kick out of it and from the ending it looks like it was set up for a sequel.

For Azeroth! For the Alliance!

As I leaving I was greeted by the manager, jokingly telling me I should be barred (I’m there so often), at least I hope it was a joke – yes, I’m sure it was a joke!

The Lady in the Van

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Poster for the movie "The Lady in the Van"

The Lady in the Van

A mostly true story

20151 h 44 min
Overview

The true story of the relationship between Alan Bennett and the singular Miss Shepherd, a woman of uncertain origins who ‘temporarily’ parked her van in Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for 15 years.

Metadata
Director Nicholas Hytner
Runtime 1 h 44 min
Release Date 12 September 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Images
Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith as Miss Shepherd

I had high expectations for this film and I wasn’t disappointed.  Maggie Smith was faultless in her role as the ‘noble vagabond’ Miss Shepherd who lived the last 15 years of her life in a van on writer, Alan Bennett’s London driveway.  Alex Jennings was superb as Alan Bennett to such an extent that when the real Bennett made a brief cameo at the end I wondered, for a split second, who was this imposter?

Played mostly for comedy there is an underlying pathos in the exploration of Bennett’s relationship with his mother and his own self deprecation.  “You wouldn’t see Harold Pinter pushing vans down the street!”  he mutters after being bullied into push starting Shepherd’s van.

The story itself (mostly true) is a little on the thin side and rather than a monologue we are given two Bennetts, the writer and the one who lived the ‘real life’.   This technique allowed us to see Bennett talking to himself about Shepherd as he coped with her less than fragrant presence on his driveway.

Special mention for the fabulous Frances De La Tour as Ursula Vaughan Williams.  I was surprised that James Corden ranked so high on the billing, if you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen his complete role in the film.  One scene.

A sweet, unchallenging and heart-warming film.  Recommended.