Now showing at The Dukes Moor Lane,Lancaster,Lancashire LA1 1QE 01524 598500
- A Hologram For The King
- Miles Ahead
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.
Demolition 3 stars
Banker Davis Mitchell is left emotionally numb by the death of his wife Julia in a car accident. Unable to grieve and unmoved by his colleagues' and loved ones' concern, Davis turns to customer services representative Karen for support. They eventually meet and Davis becomes entwined in Karen's life and that of her troubled teenage son Chris, who has become cold and distant to her lately. As time goes on, Davis reverts to more extreme tactics to feel again.
- GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
- CastNaomi Watts, Heather Lind, Jake Gyllenhaal, Judah Lewis, Chris Cooper.
- DirectorJean-Marc Vallee.
- WriterBryan Sipe.
- Duration99 mins
- Official sitewww.foxsearchlight.com/demolition
Grief, we're told, comes in many different forms. There's no wrong way to grieve, apparently. Except of course, there is. And nowhere is grief more structured than in Hollywood. There, grief is either a granite albatross weighing the sufferer down until eventually they crack and, more often than not, scream at a coldly beautiful landscape until finally, their artful tears fall, or, it is quite the opposite; it is a fully formed thing from the offset. This much-seen Hollywood version of grief is a blanket which the sufferer is wholly covered and fully in tune with, basking in their loss while a soundtrack of touching acoustic songs play out as the screen is flooded with a golden-tinged montage of 'better times'; long beach walks, ice creams licked off noses and soft punches on the arm, before realising with a shrug, that of course, "This..." - be it selling the house, finding a new partner, or donating their beloved's cardigan - "...is what he/she would have wanted". Demolition, the new comedy drama from Wild and Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallee, then offers neither trope for its anti hero, Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal). It's not a version of grief any of the dearly departed would want for their loved ones. Widowed after a car accident killed his wife Julia (Heather Lind), the young banker is left with a numbness he can't shake. He's not just numb about his high-flying job at the bank, where his father-in-law Phil (Chris Cooper) also happens to be the boss, or his covetable home and possessions, he's also indifferent to Julia's death and unmoved by his colleagues and loved ones' needs for him to heal, or at least heal in a way they understand. The only person who penetrates his apathetic exterior is Karen (Naomi Watts). As the customer services representative for a vending machine company, Karen receives a letter of complaint from Davis about the machine in the hospital which gobbled his money, but didn't give him his goods on the night of his wife's death. But while he writes about the complaint, he also expands on his life and loss, until eventually his letters become increasingly confessional in tone to the point where Karen and Davis meet and strike a friendship. Soon, Davis becomes entwined in Karen's life and that of her troubled teenage son Chris (Judah Lewis) who has become cold and distant to her lately. As time goes on, Davis reverts to more extreme tactics - much to the shock of Phil - to feel again and, with the help of Karen and Chris, to rebuild his life and, in turn, unlock the struggles Chris is going through. While sentimentality could be rife, Demolition avoids it largely due to the welcome flashes of humour and thoughtful performances from Gyllenhaal and his young co-star Lewis, but it's just a shame that Watts is underwritten.
Miles Ahead 3 stars
Rolling Stone reporter Dave Brill confirms an interview with Miles Davis to discuss his years out of the limelight. During these candid confessions, Dave becomes enmeshed in his subject's affair including Davis' tempestuous relationship with his wife Frances Taylor. Past and present collide as Davis attempts to resolve conflicts and retain control of a session tape that everyone in town wants to get their hands on.
- GenreBiography, Drama, Musical
- CastEwan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg, Keith Stanfield, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Don Cheadle.
- DirectorDon Cheadle.
- WriterSteven Baigelman, Don Cheadle.
- Duration100 mins
- Official sitewww.indiegogo.com/projects/join-miles-ahead-a-don-cheadle-film#/stor
Protegee. Pioneer. Heroin addict. That there were many shades to musician Miles Davis' life is a given. But what's not, is that a memorable life lived means a memorable biopic made. Happily then, Hotel Rwanda and Boogie Nights actor Don Cheadle does a sterling job - or numerous jobs - as the co-writer, leading man and co-producer in Miles Ahead, his directorial debut about the late jazz trumpeter's 65 years. Like Davis' music and the mythology surrounding him, Miles Ahead follows its own rules, swerving the standard cradle-to-grave structure and instead offering up an elegant snapshot of Davis' life in the late Seventies. Set five years on from his self-induced exit from public life - and his subsequent pause in releasing new music - Miles Ahead sees him drug-addled and in pain from a chronic hip complaint. Living alone in a chemically induced stupor, he is taunted by memories of the breakdown of his marriage to muse and dancer Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi) some years before. That the relationship was marred with his infidelity and abuse is neither glossed over nor glamourised, and consequently the portrayal is all the better for it. Equally plaguing his thoughts are demands from his record label, who are desperate to bring the world another recording. When wily - and fictional - Rolling Stones journalist Dave Braden (Ewan McGregor) forces his way into Davis' house to get the scoop on a rumoured tape of his latest compositions, the mercurial musician is seething and angrily accompanies him to the record label which, according to Braden, arranged the chat. There they meet unscrupulous music executive Harper Hamilton (Michael Stuhlbarg), who sneakily gets his mitts on the recording. Hamilton is hell-bent on delivering a new Miles Davis record to his fans and, in doing so, netting a handsome profit for the company. He's also eager to secure Miles' support for his new jazz wonderkid Junior (Lakeith Lee Stanfield), which would also create a healthy and lucrative buzz around him. Unfortunately for Hamilton, Miles couldn't give a fiddle about sales and ingenues and stops at nothing to take back what is his, taking Dave with him to write up his adventure. United though they are in the pursuit; buddy movie this ain't. If anything, the distance and cold resentment - though there are occasional flashes of camaraderie - between Miles and Dave adds a pitch-perfect humour to the already whip-smart script. Told through flashbacks, which are more free flowing than formulaic, and sharp performances, Miles Ahead is a stylish and instructive sideways glance at the late legend's life, that like all good things, leaves you wanting more.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Wednesday 1st June 2016