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Now showing at City Screen Picturehouse 13-17,Coney Street,York,Yorkshire YO1 9QL 0871 902 5726

  • A Touch Of Sin
  • Begin Again
  • Boyhood
  • Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
  • Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes 3D
  • Howl's Moving Castle
  • Monty Python Live (Mostly): Encore Screening

A Touch Of Sin 3 stars

movie title

A blood-soaked cautionary tale about the perils of consumerism in modern China. Money-strapped miner Dahai is enraged to learn of the corruption in his village. Elsewhere, massage parlour receptionist Yu is abused by a wealthy client and exacts her revenge, migrant Zhou discovers the possibilities open to him when he waves around a firearm and young factory worker Hui searches for more edifying employment only to be forced into a job as a waiter at a seedy hostess bar.

  • GenreDrama, World
  • CastLuo Lanshan, Wang Baoqiang, Jiang Wu, Vivien Li.
  • DirectorJia Zhangke.
  • WriterJia Zhangke.
  • CountryChi
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official site
  • Release16/05/2014 (selected cinemas)

Jia Zhang-ke directs this blood-soaked cautionary tale about the perils of consumerism in modern China, as seen through the eyes of four seemingly disparate characters from different provinces, who are driven to similarly violent ends. Money-strapped miner Dahai (Jiang Wu) is enraged to learn of the corruption in his village and when he sees first-hand the gluttony of the mine chief at the expense of impoverished worker, Dahai lashes out. Elsewhere, massage parlour receptionist Yu (Zhao Tao) is abused by a wealthy client and exacts her revenge, migrant Zhou (Wang Baoqiang) discovers the possibilities open to him when he waves around a firearm and young factory worker Hui (Luo Lanshan) searches for more edifying employment only to be forced into a job as a waiter at a seedy hostess bar, where businessmen and tourists degrade the girls.

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Thursday 24th July 2014

Begin Again 4 stars

movie title

Greta comes to Manhattan with her boyfriend Dave Kohl, who has landed a major recording contract. Dave succumbs to his new found celebrity by cheating on Greta and she flees their swanky apartment. Soon after, Greta crosses paths with down-on-his-luck record executive Dan. He boldly tells her, "I want to make records with you," and together they record an album in different locations around the city over the course of the summer.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Musical, Romance
  • CastKeira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, James Corden, Mos Def.
  • DirectorJohn Carney.
  • WriterJohn Carney.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration104 mins
  • Official sitewww.beginagainfilm.com
  • Release11/07/2014

Some film-makers spend entire careers striving in vain for one moment of cinematic perfection. Others, like Irish director John Carney, strike gold early and face the daunting prospect of living up to giddy expectation. In 2007, Carney sent audiences and critics into a collective swoon with his micro-budget fourth feature, Once.

Shot for a paltry 160,000 Euros, the modern-day romance between a Dublin busker and a Czech flower girl sparked a real-life relationship between actors Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. The subsequent stage adaptation won eight coveted Tony Awards including Best Musical and continues to play to packed audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Begin Again - which was originally titled Can A Song Save Your Life? but should perhaps have been re-christened Once Again - sees Carney orchestrate another musical collaboration between emotionally damaged misfits.

Shot against the backdrop of New York's iconic landmarks, this hugely entertaining romantic comedy is blessed with strong performances and an infectious soundtrack. Greta (Keira Knightley) comes to Manhattan with her boyfriend Dave Kohl (Adam Levine), who has just landed a major recording contract.

"We don't want anything to stand in your way," a record exec tells Dave, casting a wary glance at Greta.
"I'm just tagging along," she smiles soothingly.
Touring and promotion put a strain on the relationship and Dave succumbs to his new found celebrity by cheating on Greta.

She flees their swanky apartment in tears and crashes at the apartment of old friend Steve (James Corden), who busks for his supper. Soon after, Greta crosses paths with down-on-his-luck record executive Dan (Mark Ruffalo), who has just been fired by his business partner (Mos Def).

Dan is transfixed by Greta and boldly tells her, "I want to make records with you". He comes up with a simple concept - recording an album in different locations around the city - and ropes in various musicians to enrich Greta's sound including good friend Trouble Gum (CeeLo Green).

As the project gathers momentum, Greta reassesses her failed relationship and Dan rebuilds bridges with his teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) and estranged wife (Catherine Keener).

Begin Again dances to the same beat as Once, albeit with a starrier cast including Maroon 5 frontman Levine, who makes a solid acting debut. Knightley and Ruffalo are an attractive pairing, the latter giving parenting a bad name when he takes his daughter to a bar and asks her to pick up his beer tab with her pocket money. "I spent that on condoms," she tells him, enjoying her father's embarrassment.

Corden provides additional comic relief. Musical sequences are full of energy including a blistering guitar solo from Steinfeld on a rooftop rendition of the film's best song, Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home. We don't.

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Thursday 24th July 2014

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Boyhood 3 stars

movie title

Drama about a boy's coming of age, shot over 12 years with the same crew and cast. When we first meet Mason Jr, he's preparing to move house with his mother Olivia and precocious older sister, Samantha. Errant father Mason Sr takes the children ten-pin bowling and dispense pithy words of wisdom. As Mason Jr blossoms into a sullen and awkward teenager, Olivia ricochets from a bad marriage to a drunk professor to a bad marriage to one of her students.

  • GenreDrama, Romance
  • CastPatricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater.
  • DirectorRichard Linklater.
  • WriterRichard Linklater.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration166 mins
  • Official sitewww.boyhoodmovie.tumblr.com
  • Release11/07/2014

In 2002, filmmaker Richard Linklater had a dream. The celebrated Texan director of Dazed And Confused and Before Sunrise, whose mother and father separated when he was seven, wanted to make a drama that realistically captured the bonds between parent and child. He announced his intention to create a close-knit family of cast and crew, who would reunite every year to shoot new scenes that accurately reflected the physical and emotional changes of the young stars.

Seven-year-old Ellar Coltrane was cast in the lead role and Linklater chose his then eight-year-old daughter Lorelei to portray the central character's older sister. The result is a directorial doozy of dazzling ambition and scope that falls short in terms of pacing and compelling narrative arcs.

From a technical perspective, Boyhood is a staggering achievement - a testament to Linklater's determination that could have fallen apart at any point in the past 12 years. From the fragments of each annual get-together, the writer-director has fashioned a naturalistic slideshow of the awkward transition from childhood to adulthood that will doubtless garner an Oscar nomination and a deluge of critical plaudits.

When we first meet Mason Jr (Ellar Coltrane), he's preparing to move house with his mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and precocious older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), who keeps him awake with her rendition of Britney's Oops!... I Did It Again.

Errant father Mason Sr (Ethan Hawke) takes the children ten-pin bowling and the boy pleads for the introduction of safeguards to keep his ball out of the gutter. "You don't want bumpers - life doesn't give you bumpers," his old man counsels.

Major pop culture and political events including the publication of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince and Obama's presidential campaign allow us to date each chapter as Mason Jr blossoms into a sullen and awkward teenager.

En route, Olivia ricochets from a bad marriage to a drunk professor (Marco Perella) to a bad marriage to one of her students (Brad Hawkins), with occasional appearances from Mason Sr to dispense pithy words of wisdom.

By the very nature of its creation, Boyhood unfolds in fits and spurts, some more interesting than others. Coltrane starts the film as a cheeky cherub, who is slightly wooden in front of camera, but he grows in confidence and stature.

Arquette has surprisingly scant screen time considering she is primary care giver and the final edit runs close to three hours, while Hawke could almost have walked off the set of Before Midnight, given his character's penchant for rambling introspection.

It's easy to be blinded by the glorious gimmick that initiated Boyhood but if you judge Linklater's film purely on what made it to the screen, it's a fascinating yet flawed experiment.

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Thursday 24th July 2014

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes 4 stars

movie title

Simian flu has ravaged the globe, killing almost the entire human race. In San Francisco, one-time military man Dreyfus, who lost his entire family to the virus, leads the human survivors. The truce between humans and apes is tested to breaking point when a diplomatic mission led by Malcolm, his wife Ellie and teenage son Alexander enters the forest to request access to the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with its electricity.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastKeri Russell, Gary Oldman, Andy Serkis, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell.
  • DirectorMatt Reeves.
  • WriterMark Bomback, Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official sitewww.dawnofapes.com
  • Release17/07/2014

Blending state-of-the-art special effects with an intelligent script, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes conjures two hours of animal magic that looks set to be crowned king of the blockbuster swingers. Tim Burton's abortive Planet Of The Apes is now a distant memory thanks to the 2011 revamp Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and this superior sequel, which pushes the art of motion-capture performance to new limits.

Andy Serkis' exemplary work as Caesar, the super-intelligent chimpanzee who leads the ape uprising, is the film's emotional heartbeat. His ability to convey the character's rage, despair and passion through movement and subtle gesture is breathtaking.

Toby Kebbell is also compelling as Caesar's war-mongering rival, who believes the key to his species' survival is the extermination of humans. Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver's script elegantly draws parallels between the feuding primates, juxtaposing tender scenes of parenting with bruising skirmishes that create divisions on both sides.

Ten winters have passed since simian flu ravaged the globe. In the absence of law and order, basic resources such as water, food and electricity are dangerously depleted. One-time military man Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), who lost his entire family to the virus, leads survivors of the ALZ-113 virus in San Francisco.

He dispatches a team led by family man Malcolm (Jason Clarke) to access the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with electricity. In the forest that envelops the dam, the scouting party encounters apes led by Caesar, including his ambitious second-in-command Koba (Kebbell), impetuous son Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) and Bornean orangutan Maurice (Karin Konoval).

Malcolm's trigger-happy compatriot Carver (Kirk Acevedo) shoots one of the apes and the humans are banished to their stronghold. Once Dreyfus learns about the neighbouring ape community, he asks Malcolm and co to refrain from telling the other survivors.

"They're talking apes with big-ass spears!" shrieks Carver. Malcolm realises that he must earn Caesar's trust to gain access to the dam so he prepares to return to the forest with wife Ellie (Keri Russell) and teenage son Alexander (Kodi Smith-McPhee).

"If you're not back in three days, we're going to go out there and kill every last one of them," warns Dreyfus.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a slick thrill ride with brains as well as brawn. The grim mood, which permeates the first half, leads to all-guns-blazing war and director Reeves orchestrates these brutal sequences with elan.

Digital effects are jaw-dropping, giving birth to a realistic army of blood-thirsty apes who cram every chaotic, blood-spattered frame. The film's strong anti-gun message comes through loud and clear, but the appetite for destruction overpowers diplomacy.

"I always think ape better than humans," laments Caesar as his dream of lasting peace founders. "I see now how like them we are."

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 24th July 2014

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Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes 3D 4 stars

movie title

Simian flu has ravaged the globe, killing almost the entire human race. In San Francisco, one-time military man Dreyfus, who lost his entire family to the virus, leads the human survivors. The truce between humans and apes is tested to breaking point when a diplomatic mission led by Malcolm, his wife Ellie and teenage son Alexander enters the forest to request access to the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with its electricity.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastAndy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell.
  • DirectorMatt Reeves.
  • WriterRick Jaffa, Mark Bomback, Amanda Silver.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official sitewww.dawnofapes.com
  • Release17/07/2014

Blending state-of-the-art special effects with an intelligent script, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes conjures two hours of animal magic that looks set to be crowned king of the blockbuster swingers. Tim Burton's abortive Planet Of The Apes is now a distant memory thanks to the 2011 revamp Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and this superior sequel, which pushes the art of motion-capture performance to new limits.

Andy Serkis' exemplary work as Caesar, the super-intelligent chimpanzee who leads the ape uprising, is the film's emotional heartbeat. His ability to convey the character's rage, despair and passion through movement and subtle gesture is breathtaking.

Toby Kebbell is also compelling as Caesar's war-mongering rival, who believes the key to his species' survival is the extermination of humans. Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver's script elegantly draws parallels between the feuding primates, juxtaposing tender scenes of parenting with bruising skirmishes that create divisions on both sides.

Ten winters have passed since simian flu ravaged the globe. In the absence of law and order, basic resources such as water, food and electricity are dangerously depleted. One-time military man Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), who lost his entire family to the virus, leads survivors of the ALZ-113 virus in San Francisco.

He dispatches a team led by family man Malcolm (Jason Clarke) to access the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with electricity. In the forest that envelops the dam, the scouting party encounters apes led by Caesar, including his ambitious second-in-command Koba (Kebbell), impetuous son Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) and Bornean orangutan Maurice (Karin Konoval).

Malcolm's trigger-happy compatriot Carver (Kirk Acevedo) shoots one of the apes and the humans are banished to their stronghold. Once Dreyfus learns about the neighbouring ape community, he asks Malcolm and co to refrain from telling the other survivors.

"They're talking apes with big-ass spears!" shrieks Carver. Malcolm realises that he must earn Caesar's trust to gain access to the dam so he prepares to return to the forest with wife Ellie (Keri Russell) and teenage son Alexander (Kodi Smith-McPhee).

"If you're not back in three days, we're going to go out there and kill every last one of them," warns Dreyfus.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a slick thrill ride with brains as well as brawn. The grim mood, which permeates the first half, leads to all-guns-blazing war and director Reeves orchestrates these brutal sequences with elan.

Digital effects are jaw-dropping, giving birth to a realistic army of blood-thirsty apes who cram every chaotic, blood-spattered frame. The film's strong anti-gun message comes through loud and clear, but the appetite for destruction overpowers diplomacy.

"I always think ape better than humans," laments Caesar as his dream of lasting peace founders. "I see now how like them we are."

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 24th July 2014

This film is also showing at:

Howl's Moving Castle 3 stars

Pretty 18-year-old Sophie is transformed into an old woman by the vindictive Witch Of The Waste. Abandoning the people she holds most dear, Sophie crosses paths with the magician Howl, whose moving castle may hold the secret to breaking the spell.

  • GenreAdaptation, Children's, Comedy, Drama, Family, Family, Romance
  • CastEmily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall.
  • DirectorHayao Miyazaki.
  • CountryJpn
  • Duration119 mins
  • Official sitewww.howlsmovingcastlemovie.co.uk
  • Release23/09/2005

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the visionary Japanese filmmaker who enthralled us with Princess Mononoke and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle is a magical animated feature based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones. Like his previous films, this colourful and fantastical fable is awash with wondrous creatures (including a bouncing scarecrow) and wildly inventive visuals.

It's a rich, lustrous feast for the senses, but unlike some of his other masterpieces, Howl's Moving Castle doesn't quite win our hearts. The heroine is a pretty 18-year-old called Sophie (voiced by Emily Mortimer), who works at a hat shop with her mother and sisters.

With no real friends to call her own, Sophie dedicates herself to her work, staying late while the others join the crowds which line the streets, cheering the Royal army as it marches towards the battlefront.

There is excitement in the air - the moving castle of Wizard Howl (Christian Bale) has been spotted in the wasteland close to the town. Young maidens chatter dreamily about the dashing and elusive wizard, while trains belch smoke as they rumble past the hat shop.

Walking home one evening, Sophie is confronted by legions of oily, black shape shifting creatures. She is saved in the nick of time by Howl, who takes Sophie's hand for a breathtaking stroll high above the town.

This dalliance with the wizard incurs the wrath and the jealousy of the vindictive Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall), who casts a spell on Sophie, transforming her into an arthritic 90-year-old woman (now voiced by Jean Simmons). As part of the enchantment, Sophie cannot tell anyone about her transformation. She is trapped inside the aching, weary body of a crone, perhaps for eternity.

Plunged into despair, Sophie abandons the people she holds most dear and heads into the wasteland, in search of Howl, the one person who may be able to break the curse. Installing herself as the castle's dogsbody, Sophie befriends the clearly tormented Howl, his pint-sized assistant Markl (Josh Hutcherson) and a fire demon called Calcifer (Billy Crystal), who inhabits the castle's hearth.

She also becomes embroiled in war that consumes the kingdoms, and threatens to destroy Howl too.

Howl's Moving Castle bears all of Miyazaki's trademarks and the two hours pass quickly, buoyed by lively vocal performances, including Crystal as comic relief. The quality of the animation is impressive but the narrative doesn't always flow smoothly, ending with a whimper rather than a bang.

Like Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle is being released simultaneously in this English dubbed version (perfect for younger audiences) and a Japanese subtitled version, aimed at purists and arthouse crowds. Check with your local cinema to see which one is playing near you.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 24th July 2014

Monty Python Live (Mostly): Encore Screening 3 stars

  • GenreComedy, Special
  • CountryUK
  • Official site

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 24th July 2014
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