Now showing at ABC Bournemouth 27-28,Westover Road,Bournemouth,Dorset BH1 2BZ firstname.lastname@example.org 0871 224 4007
- A Hologram For The King
- Florence Foster Jenkins
- Our Kind Of Traitor
- Planeta Singli
- The Angry Birds Movie
A Hologram For The King 3 stars
World-weary salesman Alan Clay is dispatched to Saudi Arabia to woo King Abdullah with his company's state-of-the-art 3D conferencing technology. The problems begin in earnest. Alan oversleeps on the first morning and his on-site technical team comprising Brad, Cayley and Rachel are consigned to a large marquee outside the main complex without access to WiFi, food or water. Tempers fray and Alan finds an alluring ally in a Danish IT contractor called Hanne.
- GenreAdaptation, Comedy, Drama, Romance
- CastAlexander Black, Tom Hanks, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen.
- DirectorTom Tykwer.
- WriterTom Tykwer.
- Duration98 mins
- Official sitewww.ahologramforthekingfilm.com
Adapted from Dave Eggers' novel by writer-director Tom Tykwer, A Hologram For The King is a misshapen, muddled yet curiously engaging love story that will draw comparisons to Salmon Fishing In The Yemen. Forbidden romance blossoms in the arid landscapes of the Middle East, irrigated here by sizzling screen chemistry between Tom Hanks and the luminous Sarita Choudhury. This is Satellite Dishing In The Next-To-Yemen in tone and intent, and Tykwer ensures that the central character's existential crisis doesn't weigh too heavily, courtesy of farcical narrative detours and side swipes at Saudi Arabian culture. These polished barbs are gifted largely to Alexander Black in the scene-stealing role of a taxi driver called Yousef, who ferries Hanks' beleaguered businessman to various meetings while commenting on the sorry state of his nation. "We don't have unions here. We have Filipinos," quips Yousef tartly during one expedition into the desert. He also pithily describes his sweetheart as "sweet but dumb as a goat". There are big laughs too when the men awkwardly bond through the medium of American rock music. A bulbous growth on the lead character's back provides the film with a puss-filled metaphor for the woes that weigh down Hanks' everyman. Under the influence of alcohol, he attempts to lance the cyst and not for the first time, we wince at Tykwer's film. An opening sequence set to the Talking Heads' anthem Once In A Lifetime introduces us to world-weary salesman Alan Clay (Hanks), who has been dispatched to Riyadh to woo King Abdullah (Mohamed Attifi) with his company's state-of-the-art 3D conferencing technology. The problems begin when Alan oversleeps on the first morning and misses a scheduled meeting with the King's assistant Karim Al-Ahmad (Khalid Laith). Moreover, Alan's on-site technical team comprising Brad (David Menkin), Cayley (Christy Meyer) and Rachel (Megan Maczko) have been consigned to a large marquee outside the main complex without access to WiFi, food or water. Tempers fray and Alan finds an alluring ally in a Danish IT contractor called Hanne (Sidse Babett Knudsen), who knows how to party hard with her Scandinavian countrymen. Meanwhile, the unsightly growth on Alan's back leads him to an emergency appointment with female doctor Zahra Hakem (Choudhury), whose tender bedside manner forces the businessman to question his priorities and future. A Hologram For The King relies heavily on Hanks' innate likability and comic timing, and he plies both with precision. The plot around him feels like it might blow away in the first sandstorm, but Hanks stands firm, kindling palpable sparks with Choudhury in her underwritten role. The pivotal sales pitch to the King almost becomes redundant, but does provide Tykwer with a bittersweet punchline to a gag he sets up much earlier in the film. Some things are worth waiting for.
Florence Foster Jenkins 4 stars
Amateur operatic soprano Florence Foster Jenkins is determined to further her musical ambitions with the help of her second husband and doting companion, St Clair. The couple auditions several accompanists and Cosme Moon lands the position of Florence's pianist. The grand dame pays Cosme well and he gradually falls under his wealthy employer's spell, acknowledging that she is just following her dream, like everyone else.
- GenreBiography, Comedy, Drama, Historical/Period, Musical, Romance
- CastMeryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson.
- DirectorStephen Frears.
- WriterNicholas Martin.
- Duration110 mins
- Official site
Auditions for televised talent shows throw up a limitless supply of deluded wannabes, who refuse to let a lack of musicality or rhythm hamper their quest for pop superstardom. Occasionally, these lovable misfits strike a chord because of their unfettered enthusiasm - witness the inexorable rise of The Cheeky Girls and Jedward. Amateur operatic soprano Florence Foster Jenkins was one such endearing eccentric, who became a cause celebre in 1930s and 1940s New York precisely because she was unable to hold a note during her infamous recitals of Verdi, Brahms and Mozart. Recordings of her caterwauling became collector's items and her concerts were always sold out. Jenkins brought joy to millions and remained convinced of her soaring abilities until her glorious end, aged 76. This real-life story of triumph against sniggering cynicism provides rich inspiration for Stephen Frears' rollicking comedy drama. Anchored by tour-de-force performances from Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant that perfectly harmonise humour and pathos, Florence Foster Jenkins is an unabashedly joyful period piece that stands resolutely behind the eponymous socialite as she massacres the Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus or the Queen Of The Night aria from The Magic Flute. As the heroine remarks, "People may say I couldn't sing but no one can say I didn't sing." Florence (Streep) is determined to further her musical ambitions with the help of her second husband and doting companion, St Clair (Grant). "I shall need a pianist. Someone young, someone with passion!" declares Florence excitedly. The couple auditions several accompanists but they fail to meet Florence's exacting standards. "He's raping my ears. Make him stop!" she pleads after one hopeful tinkles the ivories. Cosme Moon (Simon Helberg) eventually lands the position of Florence's pianist and his first experience of Florence in full voice is played for tear-streaming belly laughs by Frears. The grand dame pays Cosme well and he gradually falls under his wealthy employer's spell, acknowledging that she is just following her dream, like everyone else. Vocal coach Carlo Edwards (David Haig) and venerated conductor Arturo Toscanini (John Kavanagh) prepare Florence for a big concert at the world-famous Carnegie Hall. However, St Clair worries that the stress of the forthcoming engagement is playing havoc with her faltering health. "What if it kills you?" he frets. "Then I shall die happy," smiles Florence serenely. Audiences will certainly die happy after watching Florence Foster Jenkins. Streep is mesmerising, bringing tenderness and vulnerability to a role that could so easily have been played as a pitiful figure of mockery. Grant is a wonderful comic foil and he demonstrates a light touch in moving scenes that remind us of his oft-ignored abilities as a dramatic actor. Period design is impeccable and Frears builds to a rousing emotional crescendo worthy of one of Jenkins' standing ovations. Bravo!
Our Kind Of Traitor 3 stars
University lecturer Perry Makepeace and barrister girlfriend Gail are on holiday in Marrakesh, hoping to salvage their relationship after his indiscretion. At a bar, they encounter rowdy Russian businessman Dima Krasnov, who unexpectedly takes Perry into his confidence and secretly gives the academic a flash drive to deliver to British intelligence with the instruction that it is "a present from the number one money launderer in Moscow".
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Drama, Romance, Thriller
- CastDamian Lewis, Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Jeremy Northam.
- DirectorSusanna White.
- WriterHossein Amini.
- Duration108 mins
- Official site
The BBC adaptation of The Night Manager was a delicious reminder of writer John Le Carre's ability to wring nerve-shredding tension from spy games orchestrated by self-serving members of the British Secret Service. Screenwriter Hossein Amini's adaptation of another Le Carre page turner, Our Kind Of Traitor, is perfectly timed to capitalise on the resurgent interest in the Dorset-born author and his expert dissection of MI6 practices. Hinging on a chance encounter between a naive British everyman and a flashy East European powerbroker, Susanna White's film flits across international borders as it asks us to believe that a plummy academic would risk his humdrum life for a total stranger by virtue of his unshakable goodness. "Why are you still here?" the Russian criminal asks his stuffy saviour as they prepare to face a team of sharp-shooting assassins. "I don't know," dryly responds the lecturer. Nor do we and that frustrating lack of clarity about the lead character's motivation proves the film's undoing as the cogs of a serpentine plot click neatly into place, setting up the inevitable final showdown that decides if virtue or vice emerges unscathed from the melee. University lecturer Perry Makepeace (Ewan McGregor) and barrister girlfriend Gail (Naomie Harris) are on holiday in Marrakesh, hoping to salvage their relationship after his indiscretion. At a bar, they encounter rowdy Russian businessman Dima Krasnov (Stellan Skarsgard), who unexpectedly takes Perry into his confidence and secretly gives the academic a flash drive to deliver to British intelligence with the instruction that it is "a present from the number one money launderer in Moscow". British agent Hector Meredith (Damian Lewis) and colleague Luke Weaver (Khalid Abdalla) take delivery of the flash drive at Heathrow, which contains evidence implicating MP Aubrey Longrigg (Jeremy Northam) in a money-laundering scam masterminded by sadistic Russian mobster The Prince (Grigoriy Dobrygin). Hector's direct superior Billy Matlock (Mark Gatiss) refuses to sanction an official operation, but Hector ploughs on regardless, since he harbours a private grudge against the politician. Unfortunately, there is a caveat to smuggling Dima to the UK as an informant. "He will only deal with us if you and Gail are there," Hector explains to Perry. Thus the lecturer and his sweetheart become globe-trotting pawns in a deadly game of espionage alongside Dima's proud wife Tamara (Saskia Reeves) and their children. Anchored by Skarsgard's eye-catching portrayal of a family man with a twisted moral code, Our Kind Of Traitor simmers pleasantly, but never turns up the heat sufficiently on McGregor and Harris' do gooders. White choreographs some memorable interludes, including a hallucinogenic party where one naked lovely trots around an opulent house on horseback, but protracted chase sequences aren't particularly suspenseful. Amini's script telegraphs its intentions, sustaining dramatic momentum, if not the vice-like tension we crave.
Planeta Singli 3 stars
The Angry Birds Movie 3 stars
Red is an outcast on Bird Island, where the rest of his flightless flock tweet peace and harmony. An unfortunate incident with an unhatched egg lands Red in court where Judge Peckinpah sentences him to a course in anger management led by perky clucker Matilda. When a ship full of pigs led by smooth talker Leonard arrives on Bird Island, supposedly in peace, Red is the only inhabitant to sense impending disaster.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
- CastPeter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Sean Penn, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride.
- DirectorClay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly.
- WriterJon Vitti.
- Duration97 mins
- Official sitewww.angrybirds-movie.com/en/
Strip back the pristine visuals, which were once meticulously hand-drawn, and most animated films are hard-wired with an important life lesson to cherish once the end credits roll. The Lion King: you can't run away from your responsibilities; Beauty And The Beast: don't judge someone by their appearance; Frozen: don't let naysayers hold you back from chasing your dreams; Inside Out: feeling sad is a natural part of growing up; Monsters, Inc.: mummy fibbed when she said the scary creature under your bed isn't real. The Angry Birds Movie, a feature-length animated spin-off from the fiendishly addictive smartphone games, tears out a new page from the self-help manual: it's OK to get mad as long as you can channel that aggression in a positive direction. The central character of Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly's film certainly spits feathers in the pursuit of a greater good. Screenwriter Jon Vitti peppers this haphazard, but energetic flight of self-discovery with a barrage of dreadful puns and dad jokes that will inspire as many groans as giggles. Thus, one anger-management therapist bird proudly advertises herself as a free-rage chicken, pigs aspire to wear Calvin Swine underwear, and a poster advertises Kevin Bacon's return to the stage in... Hamlet. Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is an outcast on Bird Island, where the rest of his flightless flock tweet peace and harmony. An unfortunate incident with an unhatched egg lands Red in court where Judge Peckinpah (Keegan-Michael Key) sentences him to a course in anger management led by perky clucker Matilda (Maya Rudolph). Fellow attendees include wide-cracking live wire Chuck (Josh Gad), who can move at superbird speed, the aptly named Bomb (Danny McBride), who self-combusts when surprised or stressed, and hulking Terence (Sean Penn), who communicates in booming growls. Red resists Matilda's techniques because, as he reminds his brethren, "We're descended from dinosaurs. We're not supposed to be nice." When a ship full of pigs led by smooth talker Leonard (Bill Hader) arrives on Bird Island, supposedly in peace, Red is the only inhabitant to sense impending disaster. Other birds fail to heed his warnings and when his doom-laden prophecy comes to pass, Red joins forces with Chuck and Bomb to locate the island's mysterious protector, Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage). The Angry Birds Movie is a glossy promo for the games and associated merchandise, showcasing the different birds and their associated powers, but it's also a lot of fun so long as you ignore the flimsy and predictable plot. Animation quality doesn't soar to the dizzy heights of Pixar, but co-directors Kaytis and Reilly maintain a brisk pace and the screen shimmers with bright colours. Vocal performances are solid and Demi Lovato's cover version of the Gloria Gaynor discoball classic I Will Survive flaps up the feel-good factor.