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What's On

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Now showing at Brighton's Big Screen Madeira Drive,Brighton BN2 1TW

  • Big Hero 6
  • Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
  • Gravity
  • Shrek
  • The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
  • The Lion King

Big Hero 6 4 stars

movie title

Fourteen-year-old Hiro Hamada idolises his older brother Tadashi, who is one of the star pupils of Professor Robert Callaghan, head of the robotics program at San Fransokyo University. A fire at the university ends in tragedy and poor Hiro is consumed with grief until his brother's greatest creation, a self-inflating personal healthcare robot called Baymax, helps the teenager to come to terms with his loss.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Science Fiction
  • CastRyan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, TJ Miller, Daniel Henney, James Cromwell, Genesis Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr.
  • DirectorDon Hall, Chris Williams.
  • WriterRobert L Baird, Daniel Gerson, Jordan Roberts.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration114 mins
  • Official sitemovies.disney.com/big-hero-6/
  • Release30/01/2015

Never underestimate the soothing power of a hug. With one simple squish, you can provide comfort, encouragement or a simple how-do-you-do that transcends a thousand well-chosen words. Big Hero 6 is the cinematic equivalent of a warm hug, embracing the old-fashioned family values of the Walt Disney brand alongside cutting-edge computer technology that audiences now expect to dazzle their senses.

Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams marry dizzying action sequences that look even more spectacular in 3D to an emotionally rich story of a lonely boy's unshakable bond with his self-inflating robot protector, recalling the magical 1999 animated feature The Iron Giant.

The inquisitive automaton Baymax is the stuff that sweet celluloid dreams are made of: tender, loving and unwittingly hilarious. Every child will want their own marshmallow man to snuggle at night and keep them safe from the harsh realities of modern life that weigh heavily on the film's grief-stricken adolescent hero.

"I see no evidence of physical injury," informs the robot as he scans the boy's body.
"It's a different kind of hurt," laments the teenager.

Fourteen-year-old Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) idolises his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), who is a star pupil of Professor Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell), head of the robotics program at San Fransokyo University.

A fire on campus culminates in tragedy and shell-shocked Hiro is inconsolable until his brother's greatest creation, a personal healthcare robot called Baymax (Scott Adsit), helps the teenager to confront his loss. As the boy discovers Baymax's functionality, he also stumbles upon a secret: the fire might not have been an accident.

Indeed, a greedy entrepreneur called Alistair Krei (Alan Tudyk) might have started the blaze. Aided by Tadashi's loyal friends GoGo (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (TJ Miller) plus an upgraded Baymax, Hiro resolves to discover the truth about the deadly inferno.

Based on an obscure title from the Marvel Comics universe, Big Hero 6 is a rip-roaring opening salvo in a potential new franchise. Directors Hall and Williams orchestrate the requisite thrilling set pieces with brio, including an unconventional dash through the undulating streets of San Fransokyo that knowingly flouts traffic laws.

"There are no red lights in a car chase!" squeals GoGo. The animators and script never lose sight of the central relationship of Hiro and Baymax, sketching that bond in exquisitely deft strokes. Grown men will be choking back tears.

Big Hero 6 is preceded by Patrick Osborne's Oscar nominated short Feast, which charts the relationship between a Boston terrier and his master from puppyhood to middle age in a series of vignettes. It's a pick of the animated litter that leaves an indelible mark on the heart, just like Hall's and Williams' turbo-charged main feature.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 7th September 2015

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes 4 stars

movie title

Simian flu has ravaged the globe, killing almost the entire human race. In San Francisco, one-time military man Dreyfus, who lost his entire family to the virus, leads the human survivors. The truce between humans and apes is tested to breaking point when a diplomatic mission led by Malcolm, his wife Ellie and teenage son Alexander enters the forest to request access to the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with its electricity.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastKeri Russell, Gary Oldman, Andy Serkis, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell.
  • DirectorMatt Reeves.
  • WriterMark Bomback, Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official sitewww.dawnofapes.com
  • Release17/07/2014

Blending state-of-the-art special effects with an intelligent script, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes conjures two hours of animal magic that looks set to be crowned king of the blockbuster swingers. Tim Burton's abortive Planet Of The Apes is now a distant memory thanks to the 2011 revamp Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and this superior sequel, which pushes the art of motion-capture performance to new limits.

Andy Serkis' exemplary work as Caesar, the super-intelligent chimpanzee who leads the ape uprising, is the film's emotional heartbeat. His ability to convey the character's rage, despair and passion through movement and subtle gesture is breathtaking.

Toby Kebbell is also compelling as Caesar's war-mongering rival, who believes the key to his species' survival is the extermination of humans. Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver's script elegantly draws parallels between the feuding primates, juxtaposing tender scenes of parenting with bruising skirmishes that create divisions on both sides.

Ten winters have passed since simian flu ravaged the globe. In the absence of law and order, basic resources such as water, food and electricity are dangerously depleted. One-time military man Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), who lost his entire family to the virus, leads survivors of the ALZ-113 virus in San Francisco.

He dispatches a team led by family man Malcolm (Jason Clarke) to access the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with electricity. In the forest that envelops the dam, the scouting party encounters apes led by Caesar, including his ambitious second-in-command Koba (Kebbell), impetuous son Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) and Bornean orangutan Maurice (Karin Konoval).

Malcolm's trigger-happy compatriot Carver (Kirk Acevedo) shoots one of the apes and the humans are banished to their stronghold. Once Dreyfus learns about the neighbouring ape community, he asks Malcolm and co to refrain from telling the other survivors.

"They're talking apes with big-ass spears!" shrieks Carver. Malcolm realises that he must earn Caesar's trust to gain access to the dam so he prepares to return to the forest with wife Ellie (Keri Russell) and teenage son Alexander (Kodi Smith-McPhee).

"If you're not back in three days, we're going to go out there and kill every last one of them," warns Dreyfus.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a slick thrill ride with brains as well as brawn. The grim mood, which permeates the first half, leads to all-guns-blazing war and director Reeves orchestrates these brutal sequences with elan.

Digital effects are jaw-dropping, giving birth to a realistic army of blood-thirsty apes who cram every chaotic, blood-spattered frame. The film's strong anti-gun message comes through loud and clear, but the appetite for destruction overpowers diplomacy.

"I always think ape better than humans," laments Caesar as his dream of lasting peace founders. "I see now how like them we are."

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 8th September 2015

Gravity 4 stars

movie title

Commander Matt Kowalski, a veteran of the space program on his final mission, provides encouragement to fellow astronaut Shariff and specialist Dr Ryan Stone, who is in space for the first time to attend to the Hubble Telescope. A Russian missile strike on a defunct satellite creates a debris cloud that rips apart the Space Shuttle Explorer, killing Shariff and hurtling Stone into the inky void of space.

  • GenreAction, Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastSandra Bullock, George Clooney.
  • DirectorAlfonso Cuaron.
  • WriterJonas Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron.
  • CountryUS/UK
  • Duration91 mins
  • Official sitegravitymovie.warnerbros.com/index.html
  • Release08/11/2013

As misfortune stacks upon tragedy in Alfonso Cuaron's deep space survival thriller, the film's stricken heroine greets her seemingly inevitable demise with a moment of deadpan humour. "I hate space," she sighs, resigned to her terrifying fate. We hate it too by the heart-breaking conclusion of Gravity, which puts its lead character through the physical and emotional wringer as she drifts through that inky void, which will become her tomb. Scripted by Cuaron and his son Jonas, the film is lean and runs to a sprightly 91 minutes, most of which will be spent marvelling at the virtuosity of the camerawork, editing and spectacular visual effects. Avatar and Life Of Pi may have pushed the boundaries of 3D but Gravity propels the format into another universe. It is a film that demands to be seen on the largest possible screen, preferably IMAX 3D, which gives the impression of floating with the astronauts as they face life-or-death choices. Cuaron opens in silence with the striking orb of planet earth slowly rotating like a sleeping giant. Gradually, the Space Shuttle Explorer comes into view, docked close to the Hubble Space Telescope. Commander Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), a veteran of the space program on his final mission, provides encouragement to fellow astronaut Shariff (Phaldut Sharma) and specialist Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), who is in space for the first time. "Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission," jokes Kowalski as he yammers with Mission Control (voiced by Ed Harris), keeping the mood light as the three-strong team completes its delicate and precise work. Out of the blue, Mission Control orders Kowalski to abort the mission and return to Explorer: a Russian missile strike on a defunct satellite has created a debris cloud that is heading straight towards the crew's current position. As Steven Price's orchestral score reaches a deafening crescendo, razor-sharp debris rips apart Explorer, killing Shariff and hurtling Stone through space. Kowalski attempts to keep her calm over the radio. "What's your favourite thing about being up here?" he asks soothingly. "The silence," she replies, "I could get used to it." If Kowalski cannot locate Stone before her dwindling oxygen supply runs out then that silence will consume her. Gravity employs the latest ground-breaking technology to realise Cuaron's startling vision of one woman battling against the odds in the one place that no one can hear her whimper and scream. The complexity of the Mexican director's vision, and the effortlessness with which he realises it, are jaw-dropping. All of the oxygen seems to be sucked out of the cinema in those disconcertingly calm opening minutes but once hell breaks loose, we're gasping for air with Stone as the visual effects team throws everything at her and the screen. Oscar winner Bullock delivers a compelling lead performance that might be her finest work to date, struggling to keep her emotions in check as she prepares to take her final breath and be reunited with her dead daughter. The running time is perfect - any longer and we would be biting nails down to the bone let alone the cuticle.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015

Shrek 4 stars

Once upon a time, in a far away fairy-tale land, there lived a smelly green ogre called Shrek who had no time whatsoever for any of that Prince Charming nonsense. All he wanted was to find an equally ugly wife and settle down in hideous marital bliss. Unfortunately, the ruler of the realm, Lord Farquar, ruins that plan, and Shrek is forced to play the reluctant hero to save the Princess.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Children's, Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
  • CastCameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers.
  • DirectorAndrew Adams, Vicky Jenson.
  • WriterTed Elliott, Roger SH Schulman, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration90 mins
  • Official site
  • Release29/06/2001

Billed rather boldly as "the greatest fairy tale never told", Shrek is a wickedly entertaining and wildly imaginative fable about being true to yourself and following your heart. Across the pond, the film has out-grossed box-office heavyweights such as The Mummy Returns, Pearl Harbor and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. As Disney has known for many years, animation is a lucrative business - if you get the ingredients just right. So, if you're sitting comfortably, then I'll begin. Once upon a time, in a far away fairy-tale land, there lived a pungent green ogre called Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) who had no time whatsoever for any of that Prince Charming nonsense. Rude and abrasive, and not at all frightened of the torch-wielding locals, all Shrek wanted was to find an equally ugly wife and settle down in hideous marital bliss in his cosy little swamp. Unfortunately, the ruler of the realm, the diminutive Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) rather spoilt that plan when he banished the fairy-tale folk from his kingdom, forcing the likes of the three little pigs, Pinocchio and Sleeping Beauty to seek shelter on Shrek's property. Finding his home over-run with unwanted visitors - big bad wolf in his bed; the poisoned Snow White asleep on the kitchen table - Shrek paid Lord Farquaad a visit and struck a deal. He would rescue the Farquaad's bride-to-be, the beautiful and spirited Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), if Lord Farquaad would agree to remove the fairy-tale folk from the swamp. Farquaad consented, and Shrek reluctantly embarked on the quest of his life, accompanied by a donkey (Eddie Murphy) with a mean tongue and an even meaner attitude. Their journey took them to a tower guarded by an amorous dragon, and into the forest where Robin Hood (Vincent Cassel) came a cropper thanks to Fiona's nifty kung-fu moves. Shrek fell hopelessly in love with Fiona but didn't dare disclose his true feelings. After all - how could someone as radiant and refined as a princess ever feel anything but revulsion for someone as disgusting and uncouth as an ogre? Crafted by the computer animation wizards responsible for Antz, Shrek is a feast for the senses, with lush and colourful visuals, and plenty of uproarious humour for big and small kids alike. The humans are surprisingly life-like, and the expressiveness of the character's faces is extraordinary, conveying the gamut of emotions. Vitally, the film boasts a solid and engaging story which operates on two levels: plying slapstick and toilet humour for the little 'uns and innuendo and pop culture references for the parents. For example, the fight between Fiona and the merry men includes the now compulsory Matrix moment, and the credits sequence is a nod and a wink to Raymond Briggs's classic Fungus The Bogeyman. The film rattles along at a brisk 90 minutes, although it would have been nice to see a little more of the villain of the piece (and I'm not referring to his meagre stature). That said, Farquaad does have the best scene in the entire film, torturing the gingerbread man by firstly breaking off one leg then threatening to pluck his candy buttons. The poor biscuity lad spends the rest of the movie hobbling about on crutches. Shrek more than lives up to the hype. Bold and inventive, and uproariously funny, this is the best summer movie of the year so far. By a long, long way.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 9th September 2015

The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert 4 stars

Camp Australian comedy following two transvestites and a transexual en route to Alice Springs.

  • GenreDrama, Gay
  • CastTerence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Bill Hunter.
  • DirectorStephan Elliott.
  • CountryAustralia
  • Duration103 mins
  • Official site

Take a bevy of Australian drag queens shimmying across the outback to a gig in Alice Springs, add a bus (called Priscilla) and sprinkle with disco hits and Oscar-winning cossies and you have the surprise hit of 1994. Stephan Elliott's twist on the road movie is a refreshing and liberating comedy of sparkling proportions, boasting a wonderful turn from Terence Stamp as elegant transsexual "Bernie", hitting the road with Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce (trampling all over his Neighbours image in some fearsome platform stilettos). To be sure, much of the dialogue is a passe paste-up of yesterday's bitchy banter and the fact that the film works at all is a testament to Elliott's exuberant direction and pitch-perfect vision of drag-queen trash and glamour. Camp it surely is, and yet still finds room for a healthy shot of schmaltz and lots of human kindness, as it simultaneously blinds you with the glow of a million sequins.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 7th September 2015

The Lion King 5 stars

Elderly lion Scar plots to usurp his brother, King Mufasa, from the throne, only to find his route blocked by new born cub Simba. So, Scar orchestrates Mufasa's tragic demise then makes Simba believe he is to blame. The young lion is overwhelmed by guilt and flees his homelands, ending up in the jungle where he befriends Timon and Pumbaa. Years later, the now full-grown Simba is persuaded to return to Lion's Rock to overthrow the despotic Scar, and save the pride from extinction.

  • GenreAction, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Musical, Romance
  • CastMatthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Ernie Sabella, Nathan Lane.
  • DirectorRoger Allers, Rob Minkoff.
  • WriterIrene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration89 mins
  • Official site
  • Release07/10/2011

Disney's highest-grossing hand-drawn animation of all time strides majestically back onto the big screen. Directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, The Lion King may be 17 years old but its age doesn't show and this loose reworking of Hamlet still delights. The opening sequence to Circle Of Life dazzles the senses with a breathtaking aerial shot of flamingos soaring over the Pride Lands and the arrival of beasts large and small to celebrate the birth of their future leader.

The rich, lush colours of Africa shimmer while our hearts stir to Elton John and Tim Rice's Oscar-winning soundtrack. A potent blend of comedy, tragedy and utterly believable characters puts most recent animated features to shame and the pivotal stampede sequence is thrilling, dust seemingly clouding our vision as one king falls and another flees from his destiny.

Elderly lion Scar (voiced with villainous glee by Jeremy Irons) plots to usurp his brother, the majestic King Mufasa (James Earl Jones), and seize control of the grasslands in a fragile alliance with the hyenas. The scoundrel orchestrates a devilish plan to kill Mufasa and newborn cub Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), the rightful heir to Pride Rock, by luring them into a canyon during a wildebeest stampede.

Mufasa dies saving his son from being crushed under hoof. Poor Simba is overwhelmed by guilt - inflamed by Scar's cruel words - and he flees his homeland, finally collapsing in the jungle where he befriends the eccentric double-act of neurotic meerkat Timon (Nathan Lane) and flatulent warthog Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella).

Years later, the now full-grown Simba (Matthew Broderick) chances upon his former sweetheart Nala (Moira Kelly), who tells of Scar's despotic reign. Filled with anger, Simba returns to Pride Rock to overthrow Scar and save his family from extinction.

The Lion King is an unmissable roar from the past that effortlessly tugs the heartstrings. The script strikes a perfect balance between laughter and tears and vocal performances are excellent from Broderick's guilt-ridden exile to Irons's slippery usurper, who gets all of the best lines, including that classic retort to young Simba's question if he will like a surprise: "It's to die for!"

Lane and Sambella provide much of the comedy - Hakuna Matata and all that - aided and abetted by Rowan Atkinson as the officious hornbill Zazu, and Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings as a trio of deranged hyenas. More than 15 years after the film's original release, we can still feel the love for Simba and his furred and feathered friends. Allers and Minkoff's joyous odyssey remains the king of the animated jungle.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015