Thursday, 28 November 2013

Alan Partridge Alpha Papa

Alan Partridge has had many ups and downs in his life. National television broadcaster. Responsible for killing a guest on live TV. Local radio broadcaster. A nervous breakdown in Dundee. His self-published book, 'Bouncing Back', subsequently remaindered and pulped. This film portrays the events of the greatest low-to-high-ebb spectrum in his life to date - specifically how he tries to salvage his public career while negotiating a potentially violent turn of events at North Norfolk Digital Radio.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Hunger Games Catching Fire

A change of rules leads to an even deadlier death match in this blazing sequel to the global blockbuster. At the end of 'The Hunger Games', Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) made a suicide pact with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). This forced Panem's President Snow (Donald Sutherland) to back down. Now Snow is determined to regain the upper hand. Since Katniss has become a beacon of hope to the impoverished people of District 12, he begins by deviously manipulating public opinion against her. But he then realises that other winners pose a similar threat in their own districts. So when the 75th annual Hunger Games are announced, there's a rule change to make this the most brutal fight to the death ever! Only previous victors can compete, which means Katniss's ordeal has only just begun. This second film adapted from Suzanne Collins's bestselling trilogy continues the incredible story of one of modern cinema's most compelling heroines.

Thursday, 14 November 2013


Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are cast adrift in space in this intense sci-fi thriller - Amazing in 3D! Medical engineer Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is on her very first mission aboard the space shuttle Explore. Her commander is veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), who's on his final flight before retiring. But a seemingly routine spacewalk 372 miles above the Earth ends in disaster when satellite debris ploughs into the shuttle. The impact catapults Stone and Kowalsky into the unforgiving blackness. An eerie silence tells them they have also lost contact with NASA altogether. With a finite supply of oxygen, their prospects seem bleak. But panic and fear gives way to a realisation that their only hope of survival is to work together and travel further into deep space. 'Children of Men' director Alfonso Cuaron returns to sci-fi with this palm-moistening survival thriller, brilliantly shot in immersive 3D.


Judi Dench and Steve Coogan star in the moving true story of a woman's epic search for her son. Fifty years ago, naive young Irish girl Philomena Lee (Sophie Kennedy Clark) fell pregnant. This landed her in one of the Catholic Church's notorious Magdalene Laundries as a 'fallen woman'. Her baby boy was subsequently snatched away by nuns and sold to a rich American couple. Today, Philomena (Judi Dench) is a retired nurse who's still desperate to track down her son. Former BBC TV correspondent turned government spin-doctor Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) is sufficiently intrigued to help her. The mismatched duo then embark on a journey that creates a surprising bond between them. Adapted from Sixsmith's book 'The Lost Child of Philomena Lee', this is a charming, touching and unexpectedly funny drama. Directed by Stephen Frears, of 'The Queen' fame, 'Philomena' was received rapturously by critics when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Captain Phillips

Last Thursday I went to see Captain Phillips.

Tom Hanks stars in the incredible true story of the first US ship to be seized by pirates in 200 years. In 2009, the unarmed US container ship Maersk Alabama is charting a course off the coast of Somalia. On his radar, Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) observes speedboats heading in their direction. He then launches a well-planned emergency procedure that puts the ship into lockdown while its crew hide. The heavily armed pirates led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi) board the vessel, take Phillips hostage, and flee in a lifeboat. So begins a tense, high stakes stand-off that quickly makes international headlines. This true-life thriller is adapted from Captain Phillips' own book about his experiences by 'The Hunger Games' screenwriter Billy Ray. 'The Bourne Ultimatum' director Paul Greengrass delivers a typically complex, nuanced, politically charged action film that focuses on the two contrasting men at the centre of the unfolding drama.