Films around Cheltenham from 9 April 2022

The Roses

The Phantom of the Open and The Bad Guys continue their respective rounds next week. The Batman starts on Monday and then on Monday, for the first of two screenings, there is Uncharted, directed by Ruben Fleischer, a film adaptation of a video game which stars Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas. At the end of the week, with an eye on the school holidays they have Sonic the Hedgehog 2 directed by Jeff Fowler and Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore, directed by David Yates and starring Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law in another spin-off from Harry Potter. As a bit of a change from the franchises there is also Coppelia (pictured above), directed by Jeff Tudor. It is a retelling of the classic story, combining animation and live action. Darcey Bussell stars – in the live dancing I hope. (PW)

The Guildhall

Guess what – The Phantom of the Open, The Bad Guys and The Batman continue and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 starts on Friday 15th. However, before I give up in despair, there is the opening, also on Friday 15th of Master Cheng a droll Finnish film directed by Mika Kaurismäki, brother of the more famous and quirkier Aki. A Chinese stranger, who happens to be a chef, arrives in a remote Finnish village looking for his friend. What follows is a gentle tale story of friendship and cultural connections formed through the sharing of delicious food. Granted it’s a bit predictable, but the scenery and the reindeer give it a different angle. (PW)

The Cineworlds

The only new film at the Cineworlds at the start of the week is Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore, mentioned above, the latest from the Harry Potter machine, which now seems to be functioning without the engine driver. (Obscure reference to J. K. Rowling, who is effectively unwelcome in the universe she created.)

On Wednesday, though, there is a comedy: The Lost City. Sandra Bullock plays a desk-based writer of adventure stories. Tatum Channing plays the dumb male model who appears as the dashing hero on the books’ covers. They go on a promotional tour together (reality check: that doesn’t happen) and somehow get kidnapped by a loony billionaire (Daniel Ratcliffe), who wants them to find a Lost City full of gold and jewels or something. In the trailer, poor Sandra falls over a lot and endures various ‘I’m a Celebrity’-type jungle horrors. It’s all a kind of retread of Romancing the Stone crossed with Raiders of the Lost Ark, and while I like Ms Bullock a great deal I would rather have a tooth out than sit through this.

Rex Reed in the Observer delivered an excellent slapping: ‘I squirm and moan my way through stinkers all the time, but I can’t actually remember the last time I saw a submental farce this witless, boring and stupid.’ Bonus point for ‘submental’, Rex. I don’t know what it means, but I get the gist. In fairness, Whelan Barzey in Time Out (which used to know about films) said ‘Not since Muhammad Ali and George Foreman have heavyweights been this entertaining in the jungle. A deliriously madcap combination of laughs, guilty pleasures and jungle foliage.’ (JM)

The Tivoli

The Tivoli has brought back Belfast at 10:30 in the mornings (£18? Are you joking me?). It’s new films are the Dumbledore thing, plus a 1950s-set Chicago crime caper called The Outfit: ‘A master tailor (Academy Award winner Mark Rylance) must outwit a dangerous group of mobsters in order to survive a fateful night.’ This seems a pretty silly premise, but the trailer looks OK in a rather old-fashioned, theatrical way: it was shot on a single soundstage in London during lockdown. ‘The Outfit follows a pattern set by countless gangster flicks of the past, but its freshness is in the intelligence and surprise of the script. Like a well-made suit, it’s not old-fashioned — it’s classic,’ says Olly Richards in Empire. Rylance’s performance has also been highly praised. (JM)

The Sherborne

Nothing new here, sadly.

2 thoughts on “Films around Cheltenham from 9 April 2022

  1. Yes John, the Regal in dreary Evesham is a gem. We used to have a gem – the Daffodil on Suffolk Parade, a bit scruffy but it showed great films. Unlike Evesham’s Regal.

    1. You’re so right. I love the Daffodil. It’s just been beautifully redecorated as a posh restaurant, but I couldn’t care less. The last cinema we lost was the Ace Bingo in the lower High Street. I made some enquiries when I knew it was going, and an architect friend agreed with me that it had potential, but the council had given permission for some flats and the owners had pound signs in their eyes so weren’t interested in any alternative. A lot of quite interesting decorative features, junked.

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