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

  • Earth To Echo
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy 3D
  • Hercules
  • Hercules 3D
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2 3D
  • Kick
  • Pudsey The Dog: The Movie

Earth To Echo 3 stars

movie title

Best friends Alex, Munch and Tuck are devastated when a highway construction project tears apart their community of Clark County, Nevada, forcing the lads and their families to relocate to different parts of the country. On their last day together, they follow strange signals on their mobile phones into the desert and uncover a friendly alien robot, who has become stranded on Earth. The boys nickname the robot Echo and pledge to help their otherworldly friend return home.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Drama, Family, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastReese Hartwig, Astro, Teo Halm, Ella Wahlestedt.
  • DirectorDave Green.
  • WriterHenry Gayden.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration91 mins
  • Official sitewww.callhimecho.com
  • Release25/07/2014

In 1982, ET phoned home and now another stranded extra-terrestrial requires assistance from pint-sized heroes to safely return to the stars in Dave Green's fantastical family-oriented adventure. Earth To Echo begs obvious similarities to Steven Spielberg's classic coming-of-age story and the 1987 fantasy *Batteries Not Included.

Green's special effects-laden picture lacks the emotional wallop of the former and the unabashed charm of the latter, but does tread a familiar path through fresh eyes by employing the found footage format a la Paranormal Activity.

Characters address an omnipresent video camera, verbalising their excitement and fear as a night-time bicycle ride into the desert becomes a rescue mission of galactic proportions. "I'm Reginald. I'm a bit of an acquired taste... that's what my mom says," confesses one of the boys in his endearingly nervous introduction.

Like all examples of the genre, the lens invariably points in the right direction, regardless of realism, to capture important conversations and push forward the storyline.

"What you're about to see is what happened to me and my friends one year ago," explains Tuck (Brian "Astro" Bradley). In fragmented footage, we meet Tuck's best friends Alex (Teo Halm) and Reginald aka Munch (Reese Hartwig) after they learn that a highway construction project is going to tear apart their community of Clark County, Nevada.

The lads will have to relocate to different parts of the country, signalling the end of their balmy childhood. On their last night together, the boys follow strange signals on their mobile phones into the desert. "I never understood why people like the outdoors," wheezes Munch.

They uncover a friendly robot, who has become stranded on Earth, and the boys pledge to help their otherworldly friend locate the missing parts of his spaceship so he can return home.

Plucky classmate Emma (Ella Wahlestedt) joins the trio as they evade shady government officials led by Dr Lawrence Masden (Jason Gray-Stanford), who are also hunting Echo. "He just wants to go home!" pleads one of the children. "That will not happen," sneers Masden, "that thing is far too valuable."

Earth To Echo is a state-of-the-art ode to ET and its imitators that ups the technical ante for a generation that prefers to swipe at tablets and smart phones rather than go outside and play. Green employs special effects at key junctures, but, for the most part, he's reliant on the young cast to carry his film.

Halm, Bradley and Hartwig are appealing without being too winsomely cute, and there are some genuinely touching scenes of the boys choking back emotion as the enormity of the situation, and the risks, become clear.

The titular robot's personality is encapsulated in a few beeps and trills that should, if nothing else, remind audiences to keep their mobile devices switched off for the duration.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 28th July 2014
Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

Guardians Of The Galaxy 3D 3 stars

Abducted from his parents as a child and raised by thieves, gung-ho American pilot Peter Quill is content to gallivant around the far reaches of space. He steals an orb, which is sought by Ronan and his army of Sakaarans, and evades capture by aligning himself with a motley crew of rebels comprising green-skinned assassin Gamora, genetically engineered raccoon Rocket, his tree-like sidekick Groot and vengeance-seeking warrior Drax the Destroyer, whose entire family was slaughtered by Ronan.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Science Fiction
  • CastZoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Josh Brolin.
  • DirectorJames Gunn.
  • WriterNicole Perlman, James Gunn.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration128 mins
  • Official sitewww.marvel.com/guardians
  • Release31/07/2014

The Marvel Comics big screen universe continues to expand at a frightening pace in this big budget fantasy directed by James Gunn. Abducted from his parents as a child and raised by thieves, gung-ho American pilot Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is content to gallivant around the far reaches of space, entertaining as many otherworldly lovelies as his stamina will allow. He steals an orb, which is sought by Ronan (Lee Pace) and his army of Sakaarans, and evades capture by aligning himself with a motley crew of rebels comprising green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), genetically engineered raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), his tree-like sidekick Groot (Vin Diesel) and vengeance-seeking warrior Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), whose entire family was slaughtered by Ronan. When Peter subsequently learns that the orb is an ancient artefact, which arch-villain Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin) needs to wreak havoc upon the universe, he must rally the troops to repel assaults from Ronan and his underlings including fearsome intergalactic hunter Korath (Djimon Hounsou), and prevent the orb from falling into the wrong hands.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

Hercules 3 stars

movie title

Greek demigod Hercules completes his 12 mythical labours, which include slaying a hydra, capturing the Cretan Bull and defeating hellhound Cerberus, which guards the entrance to the underworld. The deposed King of Thrace hires Hercules and his band of mercenaries to train his army and bring to an end a bitter civil war. Unimaginable villains test Hercules's mythical power and he rages against his fate to be blessed with the strength of a God but endure the suffering of a mortal.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Romance
  • CastDwayne Johnson, Joseph Fiennes, Aksel Hennie, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, John Hurt, Peter Mullan.
  • DirectorBrett Ratner.
  • WriterEvan Spiliotopoulos, Ryan Condal.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration98 mins
  • Official sitewww.herculesmovie.co.uk
  • Release25/07/2014

Classical Greek mythology gets a campy, testosterone-pumped rewrite in Brett Ratner's swaggering swords 'n' sandals romp. Based on the comic book series Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore, this laboured re-imaging of the demi-God son of Zeus boasts slow-motion action sequences reminiscent of 300, albeit with reduced on-screen bloodshed to secure a 12A certificate.

Parents should exercise caution. These ancient civilisations are predisposed to outbursts of bad language that escape the wrath of Olympus, and when the film's lone female warrior is verbally dissed by a compatriot, she lowers the tone by sniping, "If only your manhood was as long as your tongue."

The minds of screenwriters Ryan J Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos remain in the gutter when it comes to the two-dimensional women that festoon the screen. These wenches swoon helplessly in Hercules' presence or encourage his valour with the promise of personal services.

Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend, Russian model Irina Shayk, makes fleeting appearances in flashbacks as Hercules' wife, who casually drops her robes for a gratuitous flash of her pert derriere. "You think you know the truth about [Hercules]? You know nothing..." growls the narrator as he transports us back to a time when power was seized with swords rather than diplomacy.

Hercules (Johnson) has completed his 12 labours, which included slaying a hydra and defeating the mighty Nemean Lion, and now this muscle-bound man of myth roams the land as a mercenary for hire.

His band of travelling companions includes soothsayer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), warrior Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), mute orphan Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Amazonian archer Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and silver-tongued storyteller Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), who is also Hercules' cousin.

Lord Cotys (John Hurt), the ailing King of Thrace, promises Hercules and his company their weight in gold if they can train his farm hands to become an army and bring to an end a bitter civil war with rebel leader Rhesus (Tobias Santelmann).

The king's daughter Eugenia (Rebecca Ferguson) is wary of Hercules, so too is Cotys' loyal general Sitacles (Peter Mullan), but he cannot fail to be impressed as the king's weakling subjects are transformed into a well-drilled fighting machine.

Directed with destruction-oriented bombast by Ratner (Rush Hour), Hercules is undecided whether to take itself seriously or descend into tongue-wedged pantomime. Certainly, Sewell and McShane seem to be having a ball and Johnson trots out a couple of droll one-liners.

The set pieces are orchestrated at full pelt with a generous three-figure body count but once the screaming ends, deficiencies in the script are exposed. When the truth about Hercules' tragic past is revealed, Johnson's wail of anguish in close-up epitomises the film's heavy-handed approach to matters of the heart: more volume, less palpable emotion.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 28th July 2014
Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

Hercules 3D 3 stars

movie title

Greek demigod Hercules completes his 12 mythical labours, which include slaying a hydra, capturing the Cretan Bull and defeating hellhound Cerberus, which guards the entrance to the underworld. The deposed King of Thrace hires Hercules and his band of mercenaries to train his army and bring to an end a bitter civil war. Unimaginable villains test Hercules's mythical power and he rages against his fate to be blessed with the strength of a God but endure the suffering of a mortal.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Romance
  • CastDwayne Johnson, Joseph Fiennes, Aksel Hennie, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, John Hurt, Peter Mullan.
  • DirectorBrett Ratner.
  • WriterEvan Spiliotopoulos, Ryan Condal.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration98 mins
  • Official sitewww.herculesmovie.co.uk
  • Release25/07/2014

Classical Greek mythology gets a campy, testosterone-pumped rewrite in Brett Ratner's swaggering swords 'n' sandals romp. Based on the comic book series Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore, this laboured re-imaging of the demi-God son of Zeus boasts slow-motion action sequences reminiscent of 300, albeit with reduced on-screen bloodshed to secure a 12A certificate.

Parents should exercise caution. These ancient civilisations are predisposed to outbursts of bad language that escape the wrath of Olympus, and when the film's lone female warrior is verbally dissed by a compatriot, she lowers the tone by sniping, "If only your manhood was as long as your tongue."

The minds of screenwriters Ryan J Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos remain in the gutter when it comes to the two-dimensional women that festoon the screen. These wenches swoon helplessly in Hercules' presence or encourage his valour with the promise of personal services.

Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend, Russian model Irina Shayk, makes fleeting appearances in flashbacks as Hercules' wife, who casually drops her robes for a gratuitous flash of her pert derriere. "You think you know the truth about [Hercules]? You know nothing..." growls the narrator as he transports us back to a time when power was seized with swords rather than diplomacy.

Hercules (Johnson) has completed his 12 labours, which included slaying a hydra and defeating the mighty Nemean Lion, and now this muscle-bound man of myth roams the land as a mercenary for hire.

His band of travelling companions includes soothsayer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), warrior Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), mute orphan Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Amazonian archer Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and silver-tongued storyteller Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), who is also Hercules' cousin.

Lord Cotys (John Hurt), the ailing King of Thrace, promises Hercules and his company their weight in gold if they can train his farm hands to become an army and bring to an end a bitter civil war with rebel leader Rhesus (Tobias Santelmann).

The king's daughter Eugenia (Rebecca Ferguson) is wary of Hercules, so too is Cotys' loyal general Sitacles (Peter Mullan), but he cannot fail to be impressed as the king's weakling subjects are transformed into a well-drilled fighting machine.

Directed with destruction-oriented bombast by Ratner (Rush Hour), Hercules is undecided whether to take itself seriously or descend into tongue-wedged pantomime. Certainly, Sewell and McShane seem to be having a ball and Johnson trots out a couple of droll one-liners.

The set pieces are orchestrated at full pelt with a generous three-figure body count but once the screaming ends, deficiencies in the script are exposed. When the truth about Hercules' tragic past is revealed, Johnson's wail of anguish in close-up epitomises the film's heavy-handed approach to matters of the heart: more volume, less palpable emotion.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 28th July 2014
Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

How To Train Your Dragon 2 3D 4 stars

movie title

During one of his regular sorties with Toothless, Hiccup stumbles upon a lost world full of rescued dragons and a valiant dragon rider named Valka, who turns out to be Hiccup's long lost mother. A tearful family reunion with Hiccup's father Stoick is cut short when diabolical dragon hunter Drago Bludvist storms the lost world and takes control of all of the majestic creatures using a gargantuan Alpha dragon called a Bewilderbeast.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Family, Family
  • CastKristen Wiig, Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Djimon Hounsou, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler.
  • DirectorDean DeBlois.
  • WriterDean DeBlois.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official sitewww.howtotrainyourdragon.co.uk
  • Release27/06/2014 (Scotland); 11/07/2014 (nationwide)

Based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the 2010 computer-animated adventure How To Train Your Dragon soared tantalisingly close to perfection. Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois' brilliantly executed story of one boy's remarkable friendship with a supposedly fearsome dragon was deeply touching, distinguished by richly detailed visuals and an intelligent script.

The sequel, directed solely by DeBlois, expands the narrative arcs of the characters, testing their mettle in the aftermath of tragedy and conflict. Boys cross the rubicon to manhood, parents make selfless sacrifices to protect their brood and evil poisons an innocent heart.

As a wise woman in the film proclaims, "Good dragons under the control of bad people do bad things". Five years have passed since Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) befriended Toothless and the inhabitants of the village of Berk now live in harmony with the dragons.

Hiccup's father Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler) continues to preside over the people. He hopes Hiccup will accept his destiny as the next tribal chief but the boy prefers to soar through the clouds astride his trusty Night Fury.

During a regular sortie with Toothless, Hiccup stumbles upon a lost world of rescued dragons and a valiant rider named Valka (Cate Blanchett), who turns out to be a long-lost face from the past. "It's not everyday you find out your mother is some kind of crazy, feral, vigilante dragon lady!" whoops Hiccup.

A tearful family reunion with Stoick is cut short by diabolical dragon hunter Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou), who storms this lost world and takes control of the majestic fire-breathing creatures using a gargantuan Alpha dragon. World domination beckons and all that stands in Drago's way are Hiccup, Toothless and the boy's plucky friends Astrid (America Ferrara), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Snotlout (Jonah Hill) and the twins Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Tuffnut (TJ Miller).

In almost every aspect, How To Train Your Dragon 2 matches its polished predecessor... except one. The addition of Oscar winner Blanchett to the vocal fold is a calamitous misjudgement. From the outset, the Australian actress is engaged in a futile tug-of-war with her Scottish accent that initially roams the British Isles and eventually strays across the entire Commonwealth.

Her verbal strangulations are horribly distracting and undermine some of the film's most emotionally charged moments of reconciliation and remembrance.

For his part, writer-director DeBlois charts a breathless course between drama, action and comedy, the latter delivered with scenery-chewing gusto by Craig Ferguson as Stoick's best friend Gobber the Belch. "[Valka's] meatballs could kill more beasts than a battle axe. I still got a few knocking around in here!" he grimaces, pointing to his belly.

Flying sequences deliver a vertiginous thrill, especially in 3D, including a couple of death-defying battles that slalom and swoop at dizzying speed. Blanchett aside, lightning nearly strikes twice.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 28th July 2014
Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014

This film is also showing at:

Kick 3 stars

Brilliant psychiatrist Shaina is compelled to marry an Indian police officer called Himanshu. She is opposed to the marriage but on a train journey to Warsaw, she meets Himanshu and discovers that he is a kind and intelligent man. They quickly bond and during the train journey, Shaina discloses a previous relationship with an adrenaline junkie called Devi. In turn, Himanshu discloses the details of his most famous case, pitting his wits against a clever thief, who always seemed to be one step ahead.

  • GenreAction, Bollywood, Comedy, Romance
  • CastSalman Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Jacqueline Fernandez.
  • DirectorSajid Nadiadwala.
  • WriterRajat Arora, Sajid Nadiadwala, Chetan Bhagat, Keith Gomes.
  • CountryIndia
  • Duration146 mins
  • Official site
  • Release25/07/2014 (selected cinemas)

Salman Khan headlines Sajid Nadiadwala's Bollywood remake of the 2009 Telugu film of the same name, which was partly shot on location in Glasgow. Brilliant psychiatrist Shaina (Jacqueline Fernandez) is compelled to marry an Indian police officer called Himanshu (Randeep Hooda). She is opposed to the marriage but on a train journey to Warsaw, she meets Himanshu and discovers that he is a kind and intelligent man. They quickly bond and during the train journey, Shaina discloses a previous relationship with an adrenaline junkie called Devi (Salman Khan), who was never satisfied and was always looking got the next thrill. In turn, Himanshu discloses the details of his most famous case, pitting his wits against a clever thief, who always seemed to be one step ahead. Little does Himanshu realise that his nemesis was Devi, who intends to wreak havoc with the impending nuptials.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 28th July 2014
Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014

Pudsey The Dog: The Movie 1 stars

movie title

Stray dog Pudsey crosses paths with siblings Molly, George and Tommy, who are poised to move from London "to some stupid cottage without WiFi" with their mother Gail. The eponymous mutt stows away in the family's removal trailer and is discovered when they arrive at their new home in the sleepy village of Chuffington. While Gail placates scheming landlord Mr Thorne, who hates dogs, Pudsey befriends horses Nelly and Edward and a pig called Ken, who thinks he's a chicken.

  • GenreAdventure, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastJohn Sessions, Olivia Colman, David Walliams, Jessica Hynes, Izzy Meikle-Small.
  • DirectorNick Moore.
  • WriterPaul Rose.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration87 mins
  • Official sitewww.vertigofilms.com/film/pudsey.php
  • Release14/07/2014 (Scotland); 18/07/2014 (UK)

The sound of a pig repeatedly evacuating its bowels reverberates throughout Nick Moore's ham-fisted attempt to transform Britain's Got Talent's performing pooch into a modern-day Lassie. The porker's muck is an apt critique for Paul Rose's shambolic script that trades in toilet humour and misjudged innuendo. Some of the performances also beggar belief including John Sessions as the pantomime villain in tweeds.

He suffers the humiliation of a toe-curling flashback in which he plays a mother, father and infant in the same scene. Hopefully, Sessions was paid well for this half-hearted attempt at career suicide.

Elsewhere, David Walliams delivers a lifeless vocal performance as the four-legged hero, who hopes to travel the world and visit the Empire Sausage Building and Sausage Henge. The film handily omits to mention that if Pudsey realises his dream of scampering along The Great Sausage Wall, he could potentially end up on a local menu.

Closer to home, stray dog Pudsey (voiced by Walliams) crosses paths with siblings Molly (Izzy Meikle-Small), George (Spike White) and Tommy (Malachy Knights), who are poised to move from London "to some stupid cottage without WiFi" with their mother Gail (Jessica Hynes).

The eponymous mutt stows away in the family's removal trailer and is discovered when they arrive at their new home in the sleepy village of Chuffington. While Gail placates scheming landlord Mr Thorne (Sessions), who hates dogs, Pudsey befriends horses Nelly (Olivia Colman) and Edward (Peter Serafinowicz) and a pig called Ken (Dan Farrell), who thinks he's a chicken.

Pudsey The Dog: The Movie is a poor showcase of the eponymous cross breed. Viewers of Simon Cowell's talent search will be well versed in Pudsey's ability to perform acrobatic feats with guidance from trainer Ashleigh Butler.

On the big screen, he dances and twirls on hind legs, casts the occasional mournful glance at the camera and appears to converse with farmyard co-stars courtesy of digital trickery a la Babe.

Hynes and the younger cast are poorly served and parallel romantic subplots for Gail and Molly involving a handsome farmer (Luke Neal) and a teenage farmhand (Luke Tittensor) are sickly and unconvincing.

"Things are getting better," promises the chorus of one of the bubblegum pop songs that punctuate the soundtrack. Only when the end credits roll and we can leave. The ramshackle plot is interrupted by pointless diversions including the central character's incarceration in a secret dog prison that inspires a ludicrous Great Escape.

Amidst the pratfalls and a lame running gag about a giant pie, there are faint glimmers of heart-warming emotion including a timely mention of the Women's Land Army. However, good intentions are undermined by slapdash character development. If Pudsey The Dog: The Movie were an animal, we'd put it down humanely after 10 minutes.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

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