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What's On

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Now showing at Electric Palace Kings Quay Street,Harwich,Essex CO12 3ER 01255 553333

  • Clouds Of Sils Maria
  • Minions

Clouds Of Sils Maria 3 stars

movie title

Celebrated actress Maria Enders is on a train travelling through the Alps with her personal assistant Valentine when she learns her screenwriter friend Wilhelm Melchior has died. During a reception dedicated to his life, talented young director Klaus Diesterweg approaches Maria to star in a revival of the play that made her name 20 years ago. He wants to cast her in the role of the older woman and has earmarked publicity-grabbing starlet Jo-Ann Ellis to fill the role of the manipulative ingenue.

  • GenreDrama, Romance
  • CastKristen Stewart, Juliette Binoche, Lars Eidinger, Chloe Grace Moretz.
  • DirectorOlivier Assayas.
  • WriterOlivier Assayas.
  • CountryFr/Switz/G
  • Duration124 mins
  • Official site
  • Release15/05/2015 (selected cinemas)

Kristen Stewart became the first American actress to win a Cesar, the French equivalent of the Oscar, for her impressive supporting performance in this drama directed by Olivier Assayas. Celebrated actress Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is on a train travelling through the Alps with her personal assistant Valentine (Stewart), bound for an awards ceremony, where she is due to collect a prize on behalf of her reclusive screenwriter friend, Wilhelm Melchior. En route, Maria learns that Wilhelm has died and what was supposed to be a celebration of his life's work becomes a memorial to his cinematic legacy. During the post-awards reception, a talented young director, Klaus Diesterweg (Lars Eidinger), approaches Maria to star in a revival of the play that made her name 20 years ago. He wants to cast her in the role of the older woman and has earmarked publicity-grabbing starlet Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloe Grace Moretz) to fill the role of the manipulative ingenue. Valentine encourages Maria to accept to role but as opening night approaches, the veteran actress struggles to escape spectres of the past.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 2nd August 2015

Minions 3 stars

movie title

Since the dawn of time, the Minions have gravitated towards the most despicable master they can find. One Minion named Kevin embarks on an epic quest to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. Flanked by teenage rebel Stuart and diminutive scaredy-cat Bob, Kevin leaves the Minions' current home in Antarctica bound for 1968 New York City, where he stumbles upon the world's first female super-villain: Scarlet Overkill.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastChris Renaud, Sandra Bullock, Pierre Coffin, Steve Coogan, Allison Janney, Michael Keaton, Katy Mixon, Jon Hamm.
  • DirectorPierre Coffin, Kyle Balda.
  • WriterBrian Lynch.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration91 mins
  • Official sitewww.minionnation.co.uk
  • Release26/06/2015

You can have too much of a good thing. In small doses, Despicable Me's goggle-eyed hench-creatures are a deranged delight. As unwittingly heroes of their own big screen adventure, these pint-sized "knights in shining denim" lose some of their loopy lustre, hindered by Brian Lynch's flimsy script, which is disappointingly light on storyline and belly laughs.

A dazzling vocal cast of gifted comic actors is repeatedly short-changed. Very young children, who gurgle with glee at the Minions' bonkers vernacular combining Esperanto and gobbledygook, will adore the slapstick, pratfalls and the tiniest member of the Minions clan, Bob, who clutches a well-loved teddy bear called Tim.

Adults will be considerably harder to win over. The lack of a coherent storyline grates as much as the lazy cultural stereotyping of the British as tea-sipping, corgi-riding folk, who frequent pubs called The Pig's Spleen.

Since the dawn of time, Minions have gravitated towards despicable masters including Tyrannosaurus Rex, Count Dracula and Napoleon. Unfortunately, these masters die prematurely - at the hands of the clumsy, yellow hench-creatures - leaving the Minions in a state of deep depression.

One brave soul named Kevin steps forth to find an evil boss for his bald, jaundiced brethren. Flanked by Stuart and scaredy-cat Bob, Kevin leaves the Minions' ice cave retreat bound for 1968 New York City. Cue a President Richard Nixon billboard proclaiming "Finally: a name you can trust". Could the Minions have stumbled upon their arch-villain?

No. The plucky trio learns about a gathering of criminals in Orlando and hitches a ride to the convention with a bank-robbing family led by Walter Nelson (voiced by Michael Keaton) and wife Madge (Allison Janney).

Their daughter Tina (Katy Mixon) points the Minions in the direction of bouffant super-villain Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). "If I was a minion, that's who I'd want to work for," she swoons. Thus the trio pledges allegiance to Scarlet and her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm), who are plotting to steal the Crown Jewels from Queen Elizabeth II (Jennifer Saunders).

While the soundtrack swings its flares to The Kinks and The Who, Kevin, Stuart and Bob careen around London armed with Herb's nifty gadgets: a robo-suit, lava lamp gun and hypno-hat.

Minions has a sprinkling of giggles and doesn't outstay its welcome but there's an unshakable feeling that Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda's film falls short. The groovy time period should be a velvet goldmine of visual gags but the best the film can muster is a nod to The Beatles and a faked moon landing.

The 3D version doesn't exploit the eye-popping format so parents with tykes in tow should save their money for the inevitable raid on the concessions stand. Animation is colourful and pristine, opting for shiny surfaces and sharp angles that reduce the need for meticulous detail and realism. Despicable? Meh.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 2nd August 2015