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Features Live Action Movies

Hard Miles

Director – R.J. Daniel Hanna – 2023 – US – Cert. 12a – 108m

****1/2

A youth facility social worker takes a group of troubled young men on a transformative team bicycle ride – out in UK and Ireland cinemas on Friday, May 31st

Day-to-day life is one thing after another for Colorado medium-security correction school staff member Greg Townsend (Matthew Modine). He is in court defending, failing to get the court to see one of his charges as a human being rather than someone who committed an offence. Leaving, he finds someone has stolen his bicycle (it later gets found by the police, having sustained only minor damage). He is fielding calls from his prison-incarcerated brother about their father, who is in a care home and may not have much longer to live, and with whom Greg has not had contact for years. He is at the school, pulling boys apart as they attack each other for the most trivial remark.

However, not everything is about work and family responsibility. Greg is a cycling enthusiast, and is looking forward to taking his booked holiday of a week or more off cycling 1 000 (well, 762) miles to the Grand Canyon.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

The Flash

Director – Andy Muschietti – 2023 – US – Cert. 12a – 144m

*****

Tormented by the death of his mother, The Flash goes back in time to try and save her – out in UK cinemas on Wednesday, June 14th

Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) is running late for work again. The girl that usually makes his special sandwich at the shop near his workplace isn’t in today, so instead he has to deal with someone who needs to be talked through the order. On top of that, he gets a call from Alfred (Jeremy Irons) at the Batcave because no other Justice League superhero is available: could The Flash please attend to rescuing staff and patients from the explosives-rigged Gotham City Hospital?

So he races over there and while Batman (Ben Affleck) pursues criminals on the Batbike. Barry / The Flash, a superhero with the ability to move at incredible speed, saves falling babies and their ward sister from a collapsing, high-rise, maternity ward. The pursuit is mostly over when Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) turns up at a fight on at a bridge to save the day and wield the Lasso of Truth.

Barry has parental issues: specifically, he is trying to get his wrongly convicted father Henry (Ron Livingstone) exonerated for the crime of killing Barry’s mother (Maribel Verdú from Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, 2006; Y Tu Mamá También, Alfonso Cuarón, 2001) in their home when, as he claims, he was out buying a can of tomatoes at the time.… Read the rest

Categories
Animation Features Movies

Lightyear

Director – Angus MacLane – 2022 – US – Cert. PG – 107m

**1/2

Stranded on a hostile planet, Buzz Lightyear sets out on a series of missions which eventually lead to his first confrontation with the evil Emperor Zurg – plays in the Annecy Animation Festival 2022 which is taking place in a 100% on-site edition this year right now as a Screening Event on Friday, June 17th, and opens in UK cinemas the same day.

A caption at the start explains that this was the favourite film of child protagonist Andy (from Pixar’s Toy Story franchise) and the reason he got a Buzz Lightyear toy in the first place. Other than that, though, this is a completely separate and self-enclosed film.

As the literal meaning of its title implies, Lightyear delivers a narrative that races through vast periods of time at a stretch, so that we and ace space pilot Buzz Lightyear (voice: Chris Evans) and his colleague Alisha Hawthorne (voice: Uzo Aduba) land their spaceship on an unexplored planet which turns out to be populated with hostile life-forms, specifically (1) plant tendrils which burst out of the planet’s surface and try to drag anything they can back under the ground and (2) giant, flying bugs.… Read the rest