Hail Caesar

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Hail, Caesar!

Lights. Camera. Abduction.

20161 h 46 min
Overview

Tells the comedic tale of Eddie Mannix, a fixer who worked for the Hollywood studios in the 1950s. The story finds him at work when a star mysteriously disappears in the middle of filming.

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Director Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Runtime 1 h 46 min
Release Date 5 February 2016
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Movie Status
Movie Rating Average
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‘Would that it were so simple’ a line the young heartthrob Hobie Doyle is forced to repeat in the Coen brothers comedic homage to Hollywood.  I could empathise.  I came away wondering if there was a hidden storyline that was so complex it went completely over my head.  On the plus side it was beautifully stylish, sumptuous even and every actor surpassed in their portrayal of the world of movies in the 1950s.  However each role seemed like a cameo that really had little connection to the whole.  It was more pretty than plot.   There were a few funny lines but, on the whole, I came away bemused.

Hangmen

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Overview

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Release Date
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Movie Status
Movie Rating Excellent
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Starring: —

Okay this wasn’t a film but the National Theatre production of Hangmen, the Martin McDonagh play beamed live to Cineworld theatres.  This was the first time I’d ever been to see a play at the cinema and I wasn’t disappointed.  The gruesome opening hanging scene had me worried for the actor as he disappeared through the trap door but I soon became immersed in the story.  Set for most part in a smoky Oldham pub on the day that hanging was abolished in 1965, we find the landlord is Britain’s ‘2nd best hangman’ Harry Wade, played by the excellent David Morrissey.  We were steeped in an atmosphere of casual racism, sexism and everything ism accurately depicting 1960’s Britain.   Almost everyone smoked, alcoholism wasn’t really a ‘thing’ and ‘simpletons’ were to be mocked – it wasn’t pretty era despite the rose coloured, backward glancing at Beatlemania and Twiggy.  In the midst of the bar room banter an interloper from the south arrives, the menacing Mooney, played adeptly by Johnny Flynn and things begin to get nasty.  There were some great one-liners and the competitive relationship between the more famous hangman, Albert Pierrepoint and Wade was unexpected and hilarious.  Bronwyn James was fabulous as Wade’s 15 year old daughter, Shirley, both vulnerable and fiesty.  Her relationship with her parents was a demonstration of last century parenting strategies with teenagers in trouble for being ‘moody’.    Sharp, intelligent writing which is sadly absent from some of the films I’ve seen recently.

Grimsby

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Grimsby

Behind every hero is an embarrassing sibling

20161 h 22 min
Overview

Wrongfully accused and on the run, a top MI6 assassin joins forces with his long-lost, football hooligan brother to save the world from a sinister plot.

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Director Louis Leterrier
Runtime 1 h 22 min
Release Date 24 February 2016
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Movie Status
Movie Rating Very bad
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OMG!  No seriously I’ve always liked Sacha Baron Cohen, but really?  This has to win the prize for the grossest cinema moment EVER.  I began to feel physically uncomfortable at one point and realised I was cringing so hard my body was instictively trying to assume the foetal position in my cinema seat.   There were some funny lines, crazy action sequences and a pop at Donald Trump but even these and the motivational left wing speech near the end couldn’t compensate for the ridiculous story line and the horrible, horrible vision that is now burned on my brain forever.

How To Be Single

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How to Be Single

Welcome to the party

20161 h 35 min
Overview

New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

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Director Christian Ditter
Runtime 1 h 35 min
Release Date 10 February 2016
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Movie Status
Movie Rating Average
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Trying very hard to be the all new and feminist version of Sex and the City, (complete with voice over) this rom-com about how to find a man in New York attempts to subvert the genre but falls quite a bit short of the mark.  Despite there being a few laughs it felt pointless and devoid of any real feeling, as empty as a really bad one night stand.  I can’t fault the cast, they did what they could with questionable material but in the end it didn’t deliver the goods.  It was neither a shining light of feminism or so funny it didn’t matter.

Dad’s Army

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Dad's Army

2016Duration unknown
Overview

A cinema remake of the classic sitcom Dad's Army (1968). The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon deal with a visiting female journalist and a German spy as World War II draws to its conclusion.

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Director Oliver Parker
Runtime Duration unknown
Release Date 5 February 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not bad
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Which star will I draw for this film?  I’m totally spoilt for choice, I just hope these actors travelled separately when they made this because if there had been a terrible bus crash we would have lost half the great and the good of British acting.  Michael Gambon, Tom Courtney, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sarah Lancashire, Alison Steadman, Bill Paterson, Annette Crosby, Julia Foster and more

Okay, it was a silly predictable story but it was warm and funny in a nostalgic and bare bum sort of way.  I was hoping that there would be cameos from some of the original cast and it made me smile to see Ian Lavender in a role far removed from the original (stupid boy) Pike.  I rushed to Google after the movie to see if I had spotted correctly that the original vicar, Frank Williams was also included (in the parade scene right at the end).  Apparently they are the only two surviving cast members.

Definitely worth a watch if you can remember the original and are willing to get into the spirit of a 1970s sitcom.