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Now showing at ABC Bournemouth 27-28,Westover Road,Bournemouth,Dorset BH1 2BZ 0871 224 4007

  • Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Subtitled)
  • Annabelle
  • Horns
  • Horns (Subtitled)
  • Love, Rosie
  • Ouija
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D
  • The Book Of Life 3D
  • Vellimoonga

Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 3 stars

movie title

Every day seems to be a bad day for 11-year-old Alexander Cooper. He's the laughing stock of the entire school, his efforts to impress classmate Becky end in disaster. Ignored and misunderstood by his family, Alexander makes a birthday wish for the rest of the Cooper clan to experience just one calamitous day so they will all sympathise with his plight. Sure enough, the entire Cooper family endures a day crammed with mishaps and misadventures that threatens to leave them heartbroken and penniless.

Based on Judith Viorst's 1972 children's picture book, Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is an effervescent comedy about the trials and tribulations that unite a modern family.

Sweet and inoffensive to its candy-coloured core, Miguel Arteta's film bursts with good intentions and wholesome ideals, teaching the titular tyke a valuable lesson about weathering an emotional storm in the company of people you love. Even if they are the sample people who unwittingly set in motion the chain reaction of mishaps and misadventures.

Rob Lieber's simplistic and episodic script ricochets between the different family members as their carefully ordered worlds implode: a mother races against time to prevent Dick Van Dyke (playing himself) from reading her children's book replete with an embarrassing typo; a father inadvertently sets himself on fire while trying to impress potential employers at a job interview; a daughter guzzles cough syrup to overcome a stinking cold that jeopardises her starring role in a school production of Peter Pan.

Anything that can go wrong does and Arteta captures each cartoonish calamity with a light touch, playing for laughs rather than revelling in the pain behind the pratfalls.

Eleven-year-old Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) feels like the universe is conspiring against him. He's the laughing stock of the entire school, his efforts to impress classmate Becky (Sidney Fullmer) have ended in ignominy and Philip Parker (Lincoln Melcher), the most popular boy in the year, has just announced he is having his birthday party on the same day as Alexander.

Misunderstood by his picture postcard family - father Ben (Steve Carell), mother Kelly (Jennifer Garner), older brother Anthony (Dylan Minnette), sister Emily (Kerris Dorsey) and baby brother Trevor (Elise and Zoey Vargas) - Alexander makes a birthday wish for the rest of the Cooper clan to walk in his shoes for 24 hours.

"I wish they knew what it felt like to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day," he laments, blowing out the birthday candle on his cake. As if by magic, the entire Cooper family endures a day that threatens to leave them heartbroken and penniless.

As the calamities stack up, Alexander wonders if he should come clean to his loved ones about his involvement in their spectacular downfall.

Alexander And The Terrible... is an entertaining half-term treat for all ages that doesn't drizzle on the sentimentality too thick. Oxenbould is an appealingly awkward hero and Carell and Garner offer robust support, embracing the broad physical comedy that their roles demand including a frenzied bicycle ride and a bruising encounter with an ostrich.

"I think you've got to have the bad days so you can love the good days even more," philosophises Alexander towards the end of this madcap journey of self-discovery. All together now: awwwww.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 31st October 2014
Saturday 1st November 2014
Sunday 2nd November 2014
Monday 3rd November 2014
Tuesday 4th November 2014
Wednesday 5th November 2014
Thursday 6th November 2014

This film is also showing at:

Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Subtitled) 3 stars

movie title

Every day seems to be a bad day for 11-year-old Alexander Cooper. He's the laughing stock of the entire school, his efforts to impress classmate Becky end in disaster. Ignored and misunderstood by his family, Alexander makes a birthday wish for the rest of the Cooper clan to experience just one calamitous day so they will all sympathise with his plight. Sure enough, the entire Cooper family endures a day crammed with mishaps and misadventures that threatens to leave them heartbroken and penniless.

Based on Judith Viorst's 1972 children's picture book, Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is an effervescent comedy about the trials and tribulations that unite a modern family.

Sweet and inoffensive to its candy-coloured core, Miguel Arteta's film bursts with good intentions and wholesome ideals, teaching the titular tyke a valuable lesson about weathering an emotional storm in the company of people you love. Even if they are the sample people who unwittingly set in motion the chain reaction of mishaps and misadventures.

Rob Lieber's simplistic and episodic script ricochets between the different family members as their carefully ordered worlds implode: a mother races against time to prevent Dick Van Dyke (playing himself) from reading her children's book replete with an embarrassing typo; a father inadvertently sets himself on fire while trying to impress potential employers at a job interview; a daughter guzzles cough syrup to overcome a stinking cold that jeopardises her starring role in a school production of Peter Pan.

Anything that can go wrong does and Arteta captures each cartoonish calamity with a light touch, playing for laughs rather than revelling in the pain behind the pratfalls.

Eleven-year-old Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) feels like the universe is conspiring against him. He's the laughing stock of the entire school, his efforts to impress classmate Becky (Sidney Fullmer) have ended in ignominy and Philip Parker (Lincoln Melcher), the most popular boy in the year, has just announced he is having his birthday party on the same day as Alexander.

Misunderstood by his picture postcard family - father Ben (Steve Carell), mother Kelly (Jennifer Garner), older brother Anthony (Dylan Minnette), sister Emily (Kerris Dorsey) and baby brother Trevor (Elise and Zoey Vargas) - Alexander makes a birthday wish for the rest of the Cooper clan to walk in his shoes for 24 hours.

"I wish they knew what it felt like to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day," he laments, blowing out the birthday candle on his cake. As if by magic, the entire Cooper family endures a day that threatens to leave them heartbroken and penniless.

As the calamities stack up, Alexander wonders if he should come clean to his loved ones about his involvement in their spectacular downfall.

Alexander And The Terrible... is an entertaining half-term treat for all ages that doesn't drizzle on the sentimentality too thick. Oxenbould is an appealingly awkward hero and Carell and Garner offer robust support, embracing the broad physical comedy that their roles demand including a frenzied bicycle ride and a bruising encounter with an ostrich.

"I think you've got to have the bad days so you can love the good days even more," philosophises Alexander towards the end of this madcap journey of self-discovery. All together now: awwwww.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 2nd November 2014

This film is also showing at:

Annabelle 3 stars

John and Mia Gordon survive an attack in their home by two murderous members of a satanic cult. The Gordons move to a new apartment but dark forces follow them in the form of a doll in the baby's nursery and drive poor Mia to the brink of a nervous breakdown. She seeks emotional support from local priest Father Perez and a kind bookshop owner called Evelyn.

  • GenreAdaptation, Horror, Romance, Thriller
  • CastWard Horton, Alfre Woodard, Annabelle Wallis, Tony Amendola.
  • DirectorJohn R Leonetti.
  • WriterGary Dauberman.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration99 mins
  • Official sitewww.annabellemovie.com
  • Release10/10/2014

According to the opening credits of Annabelle, dolls have frequently been used as conduits of evil. Modern filmmakers have certainly had great fun transforming inanimate figures into demonic vessels.

Anthony Hopkins fell under the spell of a possessive ventriloquist's dummy in Richard Attenborough's 1978 thriller Magic and mannequins ran amok the following year in the gruesome horror, Tourist Trap. In the late 1980s, audiences squealed with delight at opening instalments of the Child's Play and Puppet Master series.

More recently on the small screen, Doctor Who and his plucky companions faced malevolent mannequins and creepy life-sized dolls. This prequel to the 2013 supernatural horror The Conjuring fleshes out the blood-soaked history of a garish figurine called Annabelle, which sent chills down the spine in the first film and remains under lock and key in the home of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Director John R Leonetti replays the opening scene of The Conjuring then rewinds 12 months to sun-baked 1967 Santa Monica, California where picture perfect couple John (Ward Horton) and Mia Gordon (Annabelle Wallis) are preparing to welcome their first child into the world.

Late one night, Mia is woken by a disturbance next door and when John checks on neighbours Pete and Sharon Higgins (Brian Howe, Kerry O'Malley), he and Mia are attacked by two murderous cult members.

Police arrive in the nick of time, shooting dead the crazed attackers and spilling the blood of female perpetrator Annabelle Higgins on Mia's favourite limited edition doll. Thankfully, Mia, John and baby daughter Mia survive the hellish ordeal.

"Crazy people do crazy things," explains investigating officer Detective Clarkin (Eric Ladin), who tells the Gordons that the killers were members of a sect called the Disciples of the Ram, who conjure demonic forces with their human sacrifices.

The Gordons move to a new apartment but dark forces follow them and drive poor Mia to the brink of a nervous breakdown. She seeks emotional support from local priest Father Perez (Tony Amendola) and kind bookshop owner Evelyn (Alfre Woodard), who buoy the couple's spirits by speculating, "You don't come out of something like this weaker - you come out stronger."

Annabelle appropriates elements of Rosemary's Baby and The Omen for an increasingly silly tale of demonic possession and maternal sacrifice. Director Leonetti achieves a couple of decent scares but when it comes to burrowing deep beneath our skin, both he and scriptwriter Gary Dauberman fall short.

Visual effects are sparing which is more than can be said of Joseph Bishara's deafening orchestral heavy that turns up the volume to 11. Wallis works through a dizzying array of screams, shrieks and caterwauls as the plot careens out of control around her, and we eventually lose interest.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 31st October 2014
Saturday 1st November 2014
Sunday 2nd November 2014
Monday 3rd November 2014
Tuesday 4th November 2014
Wednesday 5th November 2014
Thursday 6th November 2014

This film is also showing at:

Horns 4 stars

movie title

Ig Perrish is accused of the rape and violent murder of his beloved girlfriend, Merrin Williams, but he vociferously pleads his innocence. After a night of excessive booze, Ig regains consciousness with a raging hangover and discovers that he has a pair of horns growing out of his head. Even more bizarre, these horns possess the power to make people confess their sins. Ig uses his newfound abilities to discover the circumstances of Merrin's death and unmask the murderer.

  • GenreAdaptation, Horror, Romance, Thriller
  • CastDavid Morse, Daniel Radcliffe, Heather Graham, Juno Temple.
  • DirectorAlexandre Aja.
  • WriterKeith Bunin.
  • CountryUS/Can
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official site
  • Release29/10/2014

Something wicked this way comes as Harry Potter heartthrob Daniel Radcliffe becomes a horny little devil in Alexandre Aja's quirky supernatural thriller. Lord Voldemort would be proud of his transformation into a vengeful, flame-spewing demon, whose presence compels the damned to succumb to their most primal impulses. Lusty work colleagues throw off the shackles of politeness and engage in frenetic sex; an exhausted mother fantasises about inflicting physical violence on a screaming child; a recovering drug addict hungrily snorts an entire stash of narcotics - destined for the oblivion of an overdose. Aja, director of The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha 3D, remains rooted in the horror genre with Horns but there's more soul-searching than gratuitous gore in this serpentine whodunit about a young man who is suspected of murdering his girlfriend in a jealous rage. Ig Perrish (Radcliffe) only has eyes for neighbour Merrin Williams (Juno Temple). Their romance blossoms in childhood when they play together as part of a gang with Ig's older brother Terry (Joe Anderson) and good friend Lee (Max Minghella). On the day that Ig is poised to go down on bended knee, Merrin orchestrates a very public break-up in a diner. The following morning, police discover Merrin's lifeless body below her favourite treehouse in the forest and a drunken and dishevelled Ig in his car with no memory of the night before. A voracious media scrum descends and Merrin's father Dale (David Morse) makes clear that he believes Ig is the killer. "As long as he is free, there is no way her soul can be laid to rest," rages the father. After a night of excessive booze - a pitiful attempt to salve his grief - Ig regains consciousness with a raging hangover and discovers that he has a pair of horns growing out of his head. The devilish outcrops compel locals to confess their sins and Ig realises he can exploit his new-found powers of persuasion to uncover the circumstances of Merrin's death and unmask a murderer. Horns is blessed with one of Radcliffe's best screen performances. Sporting an impeccable American accent, he teases out his character's maelstrom of emotions, laced with mordant wit like when Ig survives a vicious beating and quips, "One thing I'll say in my favour, I'm hard to kill!" Anderson and Minghella offer strong performances, while Temple casts a dreamy glow as the flame-haired free spirit, who drives men to madness. Black humour walks hand in hand with brutality as Ig's haphazard investigation twists and turns. The blood-spattered and bone-crunching denouement can't resist a flourish of digital effects to unleash hell, literally, on earth. But for the most part, director Aja shows admirable restraint, revelling in the depravity and dark desires of a close-knit community, which assumes people are guilty until proven innocent.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 31st October 2014
Saturday 1st November 2014
Sunday 2nd November 2014
Monday 3rd November 2014
Tuesday 4th November 2014
Wednesday 5th November 2014
Thursday 6th November 2014

This film is also showing at:

Horns (Subtitled) 4 stars

movie title

Ig Perrish is accused of the rape and violent murder of his beloved girlfriend, Merrin Williams, but he vociferously pleads his innocence. After a night of excessive booze, Ig regains consciousness with a raging hangover and discovers that he has a pair of horns growing out of his head. Even more bizarre, these horns possess the power to make people confess their sins. Ig uses his newfound abilities to discover the circumstances of Merrin's death and unmask the murderer.

  • GenreAdaptation, Horror, Romance, Thriller
  • CastDaniel Radcliffe, David Morse, Heather Graham, Juno Temple.
  • DirectorAlexandre Aja.
  • WriterKeith Bunin.
  • CountryUS/Can
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official site
  • Release29/10/2014

Something wicked this way comes as Harry Potter heartthrob Daniel Radcliffe becomes a horny little devil in Alexandre Aja's quirky supernatural thriller. Lord Voldemort would be proud of his transformation into a vengeful, flame-spewing demon, whose presence compels the damned to succumb to their most primal impulses. Lusty work colleagues throw off the shackles of politeness and engage in frenetic sex; an exhausted mother fantasises about inflicting physical violence on a screaming child; a recovering drug addict hungrily snorts an entire stash of narcotics - destined for the oblivion of an overdose. Aja, director of The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha 3D, remains rooted in the horror genre with Horns but there's more soul-searching than gratuitous gore in this serpentine whodunit about a young man who is suspected of murdering his girlfriend in a jealous rage. Ig Perrish (Radcliffe) only has eyes for neighbour Merrin Williams (Juno Temple). Their romance blossoms in childhood when they play together as part of a gang with Ig's older brother Terry (Joe Anderson) and good friend Lee (Max Minghella). On the day that Ig is poised to go down on bended knee, Merrin orchestrates a very public break-up in a diner. The following morning, police discover Merrin's lifeless body below her favourite treehouse in the forest and a drunken and dishevelled Ig in his car with no memory of the night before. A voracious media scrum descends and Merrin's father Dale (David Morse) makes clear that he believes Ig is the killer. "As long as he is free, there is no way her soul can be laid to rest," rages the father. After a night of excessive booze - a pitiful attempt to salve his grief - Ig regains consciousness with a raging hangover and discovers that he has a pair of horns growing out of his head. The devilish outcrops compel locals to confess their sins and Ig realises he can exploit his new-found powers of persuasion to uncover the circumstances of Merrin's death and unmask a murderer. Horns is blessed with one of Radcliffe's best screen performances. Sporting an impeccable American accent, he teases out his character's maelstrom of emotions, laced with mordant wit like when Ig survives a vicious beating and quips, "One thing I'll say in my favour, I'm hard to kill!" Anderson and Minghella offer strong performances, while Temple casts a dreamy glow as the flame-haired free spirit, who drives men to madness. Black humour walks hand in hand with brutality as Ig's haphazard investigation twists and turns. The blood-spattered and bone-crunching denouement can't resist a flourish of digital effects to unleash hell, literally, on earth. But for the most part, director Aja shows admirable restraint, revelling in the depravity and dark desires of a close-knit community, which assumes people are guilty until proven innocent.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 4th November 2014

Love, Rosie 2 stars

movie title

Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart have been best friends since they were children: completely at ease in each other's company. They are perfect for each other but afraid to reveal their true feelings. This seemingly unbreakable bond shatters when Alex moves to Boston to attend university, leaving behind Rosie in familiar surroundings in Dublin.

  • GenreComedy, Romance
  • CastJaime Winstone, Tamsin Egerton, Lily Collins, Art Parkinson, Christian Cooke, Sam Claflin.
  • DirectorChristian Ditter.
  • WriterJuliette Towhidi.
  • CountryGer/UK
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/LoveRosieFilmUK
  • Release22/10/2014

The course of true love never did run smooth and it follows an infuriatingly long-winded route in Love, Rosie. Based on Cecelia Ahern's 2004 novel Where Rainbows End, Christian Ditter's exasperating comedy of errors concerns two attractive, intelligent and good-humoured best friends, who waste some of the best years of their lives ignoring how ideally suited they are.

Instead, the perfectly aligned protagonists pursue unfulfilling relationships with other people or embrace solitude rather than taking a tiny leap of faith from friendship to something deeper. The film is built on traditional rom-com foundations, flinging obstacles in the path of the best friends to explain why we have to sit through 12 years of their dithering before the inevitable moment of surrender.

Juliette Towhidi's script surfs a wave of silliness and falls over in pivotal scenes including an argument, which culminates with the eponymous heroine caterwauling, "Can you stop the psychobabble and can we talk like English people?" On this evidence, no they can't.

Rosie Dunne (Lily Collins) and Alex Stewart (Sam Claflin) live across the road from each other and have been best friends since they were five-years-old. On her 18th birthday, a delirious and drunken Rosie shares a smouldering kiss with Alex but forgets about the smooch thanks to a bump to the head.

He doesn't forget and jokingly skirts the issue of romance, which Rosie shoots down by quipping, "You will forever by the guy who wiped bogies on my party dress." Their unseemingly unbreakable bond shatters when Alex moves to Boston to attend university, leaving behind Rosie with her parents Dennis (Lorcan Cranitch) and Alice (Ger Ryan) in Dublin.

The pals follow divergent paths. Rosie turns to sassy best friend Ruby (Jaime Winstone) to buoy her spirits and an old school crush called Greg (Christian Cooke) with impressive abs provides a passable substitute for her soul mate.

Meanwhile, Alex succumbs to the aggressive overtures of supermodel Bethany Williams (Suki Waterhouse) and social climber Sally (Tamsin Egerton).

Love, Rosie will test the patience of the most hopeless romantic. Collins and Claflin age over the course of the film from nervous 18-years-olds to jaded thirty-somethings simply by changing their hairstyles.

Our incredulity reaches its peak when a resplendent 25-year-old Collins stands next to talented 13-year-old actress Lily Laight and we're asked to believe they are single mother and daughter. Of the supporting cast, only Winstone registers, having a ball as a straight-talking confidante, whose dyed hair is as colourful as her language.

If it was possible to develop a 5D cinema experience that allows audiences to physically reach into the big screen and slap characters, we would have battered and bruised the two leads senseless within the opening 15 minutes.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 1st November 2014
Sunday 2nd November 2014
Monday 3rd November 2014
Tuesday 4th November 2014
Wednesday 5th November 2014
Thursday 6th November 2014

This film is also showing at:

Ouija 3 stars

movie title

High school student Debbie hangs herself and the girl's classmates struggle to make sense of her suicide. Best friend Laine is left in charge of the house and she decides to make contact with Debbie using a ouija board. A small circle including Laine's boyfriend Trevor, her sister Sarah, gal pal Isabelle and Debbie's boyfriend Pete use the board to speak to Debbie and say their tearful farewells. Unfortunately, the friends unwittingly unleash a malevolent force.

  • GenreHorror, Romance, Thriller
  • CastAna Coto, Olivia Cooke, Bianca Santos, Daren Kagasoff.
  • DirectorStiles White.
  • WriterStiles White, Juliet Snowden.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration89 mins
  • Official sitewww.ouijamovie.co.uk
  • Release31/10/2014

On two occasions in Stiles White's supernatural horror, ill-fated characters spell out the golden rules of how to play safely with a Ouija spirit board. Never play on your own, never play in a graveyard, and always sign off by moving the heart-shaped planchette over GOODBYE. It sounds simple enough but within minutes of establishing these dos and don'ts, grief-stricken high school students are recklessly ignoring their own advice and find themselves at the mercy of a malevolent force. "It's only a game," nervously whispers one girl. The naivete of characters in hoary horror films never ceases to amaze. White's film, co-written by his wife Juliet Snowden, punctuates a predictable and increasingly preposterous plot with obligatory cheap scares, which all involve a member of cast appearing unexpectedly, accompanied by a discordant screech from composer Anton Sanko. As a big screen Halloween haunting, Ouija is pitifully short of both tricks and treats. High school student Debbie (Shelley Hennig) consults a spirit board on her own and takes a tumble over her balcony with a string of fairy lights wrapped around her neck. Classmates struggle to make sense of her apparent suicide. "I never got a chance to say goodbye," sobs Debbie's best friend Laine (Olivia Cooke) to her boyfriend Trevor (Daren Kagasoff). During a nostalgic final tour of Debbie's bedroom, Laine discovers an antique Ouija board and decides to rally the troops to make contact with their late friend and say their tearful goodbyes. "Do not go seeking answers from the dead," warns Laine's superstitious grandmother (Vivis Colombetti), the only person in the neighbourhood who isn't blinkered to the neon-lit bad omens. "Get rid of the board!" Unperturbed, Laine convenes at Debbie's house with her truculent younger sister Sarah (Ana Coto), Debbie's boyfriend Pete (Douglas Smith), gal pal Isabelle (Bianca A Santos) and Trevor to open a connection to the spirit world. Unwittingly, the friends make contact with a dark force that inhabits the house and torments the teenagers with the same greeting: HI FRIEND. The body count rises and Laine follows a trail of clues leading to a patient in Hoover State Care Psychiatric Hospital with intimate knowledge of the house's previous occupants. Ouija follows a linear path from ho-hum to hokum and clearly signposts the characters' demises including a dip in a swimming pool that takes almost the entire film to come to lacklustre fruition. Cooke looks pretty with tears in her eyes and her mouth contorted in fear while attractive co-stars are content to put themselves in harm's way. Director White maintains a plodding pace, even during a climactic race against time to banish the evil. We're itching to grab the spirit board and say GOODBYE to Ouija well before the blessed relief of the end credits.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 31st October 2014
Saturday 1st November 2014
Sunday 2nd November 2014
Monday 3rd November 2014
Tuesday 4th November 2014
Wednesday 5th November 2014
Thursday 6th November 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D 3 stars

movie title

Genetically modified turtle brothers Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello grow up in the sewers of New York under the guidance of their mentor: a giant rat called Splinter, who teaches them Ninjitsu. Aided by plucky journalist April O'Neil and her cameraman Vern Fenwick, the turtles wage war on a shadowy figure called Shredder and his army, known as the Foot Clan, who are spreading fear and terror throughout the Big Apple.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance
  • CastTohoru Masamune, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Arnett, Megan Fox, William Fichtner.
  • DirectorJonathan Liebesman.
  • WriterAndre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum, Evan Daugherty.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration101 mins
  • Official sitewww.ninjaturtlesmovie.co.uk
  • Release11/10/2014 (Scotland); 17/10/2014 (UK & Ireland)

The adventures of turtle brothers Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael began life in the mid 1980s as an irreverent comic book and rapidly spawned an animated TV series, a trilogy of films and a dizzying array of merchandise. Turtle power has endured to the present day, including a computer-animated series on Nickelodeon.

It's no surprise then that Jonathan Liebesman, director of Wrath Of The Titans, has resurrected the heroes in a half shell for the big screen. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an outlandish, action-heavy romp that remains faithful to earlier incarnations, condensing the characters' back-story into a snazzy comic book-style opening sequence.

Die-hard fans will enjoy the heavy whiff of nostalgia, but if Liebesman was hoping to indoctrinate a new generation, he has cowabungled it. His film is incredibly violent, albeit bloodless, reducing two very young boys in my screening to distressed screams.

The lack of spilt blood is preposterous, especially when the turtles face chief villain Shredder, who sports armour festooned with blades. Razor sharp projectiles scythe through the air but miraculously don't nick flesh. Shredder by name but not by nefarious nature.

Leonardo (Pete Ploszek, voiced by Johnny Knoxville), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) grow up in the sewers of New York City. They flourish under rat mentor Splinter (Danny Woodburn, voiced by Tony Shalhoub), who teaches Ninjitsu to his surrogate sons.

During one of the turtles' sorties above ground, Channel 6 news reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) glimpses the crime-fighters, who are preparing for war with hulking terrorist Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) and his army, the Foot Clan.

Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello fear exposure so they track down April and spirit her to their subterranean lair. "It's our Fortress Of Solitude, our Hogwarts, our Xavier's Academy," whispers Donatello, piling on the pop culture references.

Once April learns of the turtles' noble quest to destroy Shredder, she pledges her allegiance and ropes in wisecracking cameraman, Vern (Will Arnett), and prominent businessman Eric Sacks (William Fichtner), who has publicly declared war on the Foot Clan in a televised speech.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles updates the characters for the modern era. Thus Mikey has a penchant for cat videos on the internet and the three scriptwriters shoe-horn verbal references to films and TV shows with abandon: "Maybe she's a Jedi," whispers Mikey after April reveals she knows Splinter's name without an introduction.

The turtles are rendered through motion-capture performances and look rather creepy, but they somersault to perfection in action set pieces including a tumble down a snow-laden mountainside.

Alas, the hefty budget hasn't stretched to remedying basic continuity errors like when Fox's plastic heroine emerges from a downpour with dry, flowing hair. Believe that and you'll lap up this bland turtle soup.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 31st October 2014
Saturday 1st November 2014
Sunday 2nd November 2014

This film is also showing at:

The Book Of Life 3D 3 stars

In the town of San Angel on the Day Of The Dead, underworld gods La Muerte and Xibalba bet on the outcome of a love triangle involving friends Manolo, Joaquin and Maria. La Muerte, ruler of the Land of the Remembered, believes that sensitive Manolo will get the girl while Xibalba, ruler of the Land of the Forgotten, selects courageous Joaquin as his champion and secretly boosts the young man's chances with an enchanted medal of protection.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Romance
  • CastZoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Kate del Castillo, Diego Luna, Ice Cube.
  • DirectorJorge R Gutierrez.
  • WriterJorge R Gutierrez, Douglas Langdale.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration95 mins
  • Official sitewww.bookoflifemovie.co.uk
  • Release24/10/2014

In Mexican culture, Dia de los Muertos or Day Of The Dead is an important annual gathering for families and friends to honour the memory of loved ones who are no longer with them. The three-day celebration, which begins on October 31, traditionally involves adorning graves and specially constructed altars with sugar skulls, flowers and other gifts with special significance to the departed.

This fiesta of remembrance provides a vibrant and poignant backdrop to Jorge R Gutierrez's fantastical computer-animated fable about three friends, who discover there is love after death.

The Book Of Life razzle dazzles our eyes, especially in 3D, cramming as much retina-searing colour and detail as possible into each frame. Co-writer Douglas Lansdale adds plentiful humour to offset the film's air of tragedy including a chorus of singing nuns and a waspish grandmother, voiced by Grey DeLisle, who scene-steals with every purse-lipped outburst.

Museum tour guide Mary Beth (voiced by Christina Applegate) leads a group of unruly schoolchildren through an exhibition about Mexican folklore. She leads the whippersnappers to a chamber that houses the fabled Book Of Life and recounts one particular story, which unfolds in the town of San Angel on the Day Of The Dead.

Rival gods La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) and Xibalba (Ron Perlman) agree a wager on the resolution of a love triangle involving two boys, Manolo (Diego Luna) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum), who are both in love with their friend Maria (Zoe Saldana).

La Muerte, ruler of the Land of the Remembered, believes that sensitive Manolo will get the girl and realise his musical ambitions rather than take up the mantle of his matador father (Hector Elizondo). "Music is not a profession fit for a Sanchez bullfighter!" rages the old man.

Meanwhile, Xibalba (Ron Perlman), ruler of the Land of the Forgotten, selects courageous Joaquin as his champion and secretly boosts the young man's chances with an enchanted medal of protection.

When the time finally comes for Maria to choose between her suitors, conniving Xibalba attempts to influence her decision to ensure he wins the bet.

The Book Of Life inhabits a macabre universe that Tim Burton has made his own but director Gutierrez and his team of animators opt for a more jaunty, upbeat tone enhanced by a bouncy soundtrack replete with cover versions of Elvis Presley, Radiohead and Rod Stewart. "What is it with Mexicans and death?" asks a goth kid on the museum tour, somewhat tongue in cheek.

Luna and Tatum deliver lively vocal performances and Saldana essays a spunky heroine, who epitomises girl power, flanked by a cute porcine sidekick. Action sequences are orchestrated at a brisk pace, punctuated by soaring serenades.

Gutierrez's film strikes a pleasing balance between giggles and soul-searching, tackling tricky themes of mortality, self-sacrifice and the afterlife without giving young audiences nightmares.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 31st October 2014
Saturday 1st November 2014
Sunday 2nd November 2014

This film is also showing at:

Vellimoonga 3 stars

Comedy romance.

  • GenreComedy, Romance
  • CountryIndia
  • Official site

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 5th November 2014

This film is also showing at:

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