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Now showing at Scott Cinemas Penel Orlieu,Bridgwater,Somerset TA6 3PH 0871 230 3200

  • A Walk Among The Tombstones
  • As Above, So Below
  • Cuban Fury
  • The Boxtrolls
  • The Boxtrolls (Subtitled)
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey

A Walk Among The Tombstones 3 stars

When a shootout with robbers ends in tragedy, booze-sodden NYPD cop Matt Scudder hangs up his badge and gets sober with the help of AA then re-invents himself as a private investigator. He is hired by Kenny Kristo to track down the sadistic kidnappers, who demanded a hefty ransom for his wife Carrie, took the money and still killed their terrified captive. In the course of his enquiries, Matt befriends homeless teenager TJ, who wants to learn how to be a detective.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Thriller
  • CastLiam Neeson, David Harbour, Dan Stevens, Adam David Thompson, Boyd Holbrook, Brian 'Astro' Bradley.
  • DirectorScott Frank.
  • WriterScott Frank.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration114 mins
  • Official sitewww.awalkamongthetombstones.net
  • Release19/09/2014

A grizzled private detective meets his match in a pair of sadistic kidnappers in Scott Frank's gritty thriller. Adapted from Lawrence Block's novel of the same name, A Walk Among The Tombstones establishes its grim tone with soft-focus opening credits depicting a blonde woman (Laura Birn) rousing from slumber under the gentle caress of her lover.

As the camera pulls back, we notice a tear trickle down the woman's porcelain cheek and a strip of metallic tape across her mouth, transforming a beatific dream into a nightmare of intolerable cruelty.

Unspeakably bad things continue to happen to good people throughout Frank's film without any guarantee that justice will prevail. Liam Neeson wades through this moral quagmire in typically robust fashion as the private eye, who risks his life for clients in order to atone for one particular sin committed during his inglorious past as an NYPD cop.

The role is more cerebral than the gung-ho avenging angels in the Taken series and Non-Stop, but director Frank duly caters to fans of Neeson's renaissance as a tough-talking action hero with one bruising fight sequence. When a shoot-out on the streets of 1991 New York City ends in senseless tragedy, booze-sodden officer Matt Scudder (Neeson) hangs up his badge and embraces sobriety with the support of Alcoholics Anonymous.

He re-surfaces as an unlicensed private detective, working out of his apartment in Hell's Kitchen. Fellow AA member Peter Kristo (Boyd Holbrook) approaches Matt with an urgent request to help his brother Kenny (Dan Stevens), who has just paid a 400,000 dollar ransom for his wife (Razane Jammal).

The kidnappers took the money then dismembered their hostage. Matt visits Kenny in his plush apartment and the former cop deduces the grief-stricken husband is a drug dealer. Interestingly, the perpetrators knew this from their ransom demand: "You'd pay a million for her if she was product."

Despite initial misgivings, Matt agrees to help Kenny unmask the merciless perpetrators, Ray (David Harbour) and Albert (Adam David Thompson), who are already scoping their next target. In the course of his enquiries, Matt encounters homeless teenager TJ (Brian 'Astro' Bradley), who needs a father figure to keep him safe on the mean streets of the Big Apple.

A Walk Among The Tombstones is a solid and involving genre piece that lays the groundwork for further adaptations of Block's series of books dedicated to Scudder. Matt's sweetheart Elaine, who is prominent on the page, is missing in action from Frank's film, allowing us to concentrate on the case and the relationship between Matt and TJ that feels like a convenient plot device rather than a fully realised surrogate father-son bond.

Neeson doesn't have to stretch himself in the undemanding and hard-hitting lead role, while Downton Abbey heartthrob Stevens makes little impact amidst the explosions of brutality.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Wednesday 24th September 2014
Thursday 25th September 2014

As Above, So Below 3 stars

movie title

Scarlett is a gung-ho tomb raider and academic, who hopes to complete her late father's quest to uncover the resting place of the fabled Philosopher's Stone. This odyssey leads her to the spooky catacombs of the French capital, which houses the remains of six million dead, in the company of friend George, cameraman Benji and three locals. As the treasure hunters venture into the darkness, they come face to face with shocking visions from the past.

  • GenreHorror, Thriller
  • CastFrancois Civil, Ali Marhyar, Edwin Hodge, Marion Lambert, Ben Feldman, Perdita Weeks.
  • DirectorJohn Erick Dowdle.
  • WriterDrew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration93 mins
  • Official sitewww.asabovesobelowmovie.co.uk
  • Release29/08/2014

A globe-trotting, puzzle-laden treasure hunt a la The Da Vinci Code gets the found footage horror treatment in As Above, So Below. Taking its title from ancient words linked to magic and the occult in Hermetic texts, John Erick Dowdle's picture ventures into the catacombs beneath Paris, which house the remains of more than six million people - more the double the population of the French capital.

This claustrophobic labyrinth of skeletal remains is a spooky setting for Dowdle's descent into subterranean madness, co-written by his brother Drew, which follows a gung-ho academic as she searches for the alchemical substance known as the Philosopher's Stone.

The film cuts between helmet-mounted cameras and a surprisingly robust handheld device, which document this foolhardy journey through the city of the dead. Natural jerks and twitches of the footage disguise the filmmakers' limited budget for special effects, ensuring a couple of jump-out-of-your-seat jolts as something nasty emerges at speed from the dark.

If the bones of this archaeological quest are grounded in myth or documented fact, the flesh and gristle of the Dowdles' story are an overblown conflation of hocus pocus and forced psychological terror.

Scarlett Marlowe (Perdita Weeks) is a gung-ho tomb raider, who intends to complete her late father's quest to uncover the fabled Philosopher's Stone. Ignoring the dire warning of a friend, who describes her father's obsession as "a path to madness", Scarlett uncovers a vital clue in the Middle East that leads her to Paris with a trusty cameraman called Benji (Edwin Hodge) in tow.

In the French capital, Scarlett reunites with old pal George (Ben Feldman), who agrees to translate the symbology of the relic in Iran. Their back-and-forth reasoning of cryptic clues points to a secret chamber beneath the city. Thus Scarlett enlists the help of three Cataphiles - Papillon (Francois Civil), Souxie (Marion Lambert) and Zed (Ali Marhyar) - who know their way around the tunnels and can safely shepherd the expedition.

Passing beneath a doorway which bears the inscription, "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here", the sextet crawls into the dark. Paranoia runs rampant and the interlopers confront shocking visions from their past, which systematically drive each member of the team to the brink of madness.

As Above, So Below is reminiscent of the 2005 British horror The Descent and the film's best sequences focus on characters as they panic or hyperventilate with fear in confined spaces. Weeks essays a no-nonsense heroine, whose penchant for peril is neatly explained by her determination to honour her father's memory.

The remainder of the good-looking cast are easy fodder for grisly demises. The script's tenuous grasp on reality slips completely in a frenetic and bewildering finale that will leave many in the audience scratching their heads.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Wednesday 24th September 2014
Thursday 25th September 2014

Cuban Fury 3 stars

movie title

As a teenager, Bruce Garrett won salsa dancing trophies with his sister Sam under the tutelage of teacher Ron Parfitt. Alas, at the height of their success, Bruce suffered horribly at the hands of bullies and quit dancing forever. Twenty-five years later, Bruce learns that his new boss Julia loves to salsa so he nervously heads back to the dance floor in the company of outrageously camp buddy Bejan to sashay into her affections.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
  • CastNick Frost, Chris O'Dowd, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rashida Jones.
  • DirectorJames Griffiths.
  • WriterJon Brown.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration98 mins
  • Official site
  • Release14/02/2014

When dance films are well choreographed, they can jive happily into our affections. A fresh-faced John Travolta swivelled his hips to perfection in 1977's Saturday Night Fever and six years later, Jennifer Beals traded her welder's mask for ballet pumps in the sweat-drenched Flashdance.

Dirty Dancing sent 1980s teenage hearts into a swoon as Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey performed that iconic overhead lift to the rousing (I've Had) The Time Of My Life. Australian director Baz Luhrmann was king of the dance floor in 1992 with Strictly Ballroom and more recently, Jamie Bell proved a miner's son likes to boogie in the Oscar-nominated fairytale Billy Elliot.

Now, Nick Frost kicks up his heels in Cuban Fury, a rags-to-sequins tale of a one-time dance champion, who rediscovers his mojo in order to impress a woman.

Jon Brown's script owes a debt of gratitude to Luhrmann, replacing the smouldering glances of the Paso Doble with the seductive sway of salsa. As a teenager, Bruce Garrett (Frost) won trophies with his sister Sam (Olivia Colman) under the tutelage of dance teacher Ron Parfitt (Ian McShane).

Alas, at the height of their success, Bruce suffered horribly at the hands of bullies and quit dancing forever. "That fire in my heels, it just went out," he tells Ron tearfully. Twenty-five years later, Bruce designs lathes and enjoys infrequent nights out with best mates Gary (Rory Kinnear) and Mickey (Tim Plester).

The arrival of new boss Julia (Rashida Jones) kindles a spark of life in Bruce but he knows she's too good for him. "She's a 10, I'm a two," he tells Gary and Mickey, "It's an eight-point swing, like a butterfly going out with a parsnip."

When he learns that Julia loves to salsa, Bruce nervously heads back to the dance floor in the company of outrageously camp buddy Bejan (Kayvan Novak). However, chauvinistic work colleague Drew (Chris O'Dowd) also has his sights set on Julia, crassly informing Bruce, "I'm gonna leave a stink on her that she's never going to get off!"

Cuban Fury means well and has its heart in the right place. Unfortunately, the script performs horrible missteps with some of the peripheral characters.

Also director James Griffiths introduces fantastical flourishes including a dance battle in a car park between Bruce and Drew complete with gravity-defying somersaults and friction-defying 50m knee-skids on asphalt that take away from the countless hours of work invested by the cast perfecting the complicated routines.

O'Dowd's nemesis is grotesque while Jones's love interest is too thinly sketched to deserve Bruce's fragile heart. Frost's everyman is instantly likable though and we root for him to emerge victorious on the dance floor when the rest of the film threatens to fall apart.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 24th September 2014

The Boxtrolls 4 stars

movie title

An orphaned boy named Eggs is raised by gentle subterranean creatures that have been unfairly demonised by the terrified, fromage-fixated residents of Cheesebridge. When pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher and his henchmen begin to exterminate the Boxtrolls, Eggs joins forces with the surviving creatures and a girl called Winnie to protect the beasties from harm.

  • GenreAdaptation, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Fantasy
  • CastToni Collette, Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Jared Harris, Sir Ben Kingsley.
  • DirectorGraham Annable, Anthony Stacchi.
  • WriterIrena Brignull, Adam Pava.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration97 mins
  • Official sitewww.theboxtrolls.co.uk
  • Release12/09/2014

Based on the novel Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow, The Boxtrolls is a rollicking stop-motion animated romp from the makers of Coraline and ParaNorman that proves weird can be truly wonderful. With faint echoes of Raymond Briggs' Fungus The Bogeyman, Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi's quirky fantasy imagines a race of subterranean creatures, who root through bins in search of spare parts for their mechanical creations.

Despite a hearty appetite for slimy bugs, these pungent, green-skinned denizens of the underworld are cute rather than scary, possessing relatable human traits such as a passion for music or a quivering fear of the unknown. They spare troll blushes by wearing empty cardboard boxes and the former contents of these mouldering cartons provide each expressive character with a name such as Fish, Knickers, Sweets, Clocks and Fragile (ho ho!).

The meticulous detail of the movable figures and miniature sets is impressive, and co-directors Annable and Stacchi corral a vast team of animators, who produce thrilling chases and quieter moments of ribald humour.

The well-to-do, Victorian-era city of Cheesebridge is visited under the cloak of darkness by the eponymous beasties. One dark night, a Boxtroll called Fish (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) kidnaps the infant son of a local inventor (Simon Pegg) and spirits away the child to the underground lair.

This shocking act plays into the grubby hands of pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Sir Ben Kingsley). "Prepare to say bye-bye to your brie, cheerio to your cheddar!" cackles Snatcher, striking fear into the heart of Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris) and the other fromage-fixated noblemen.

They grant Snatcher a place at the cheese-tasting top table if the exterminator and his henchmen - Mr Trout (Nick Frost), Mr Pickles (Richard Ayoade) and Mr Gristle (Tracy Morgan) - kill every last Boxtroll. Unaware that he is human, abducted boy Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) ventures above ground with the Boxtrolls and encounters Lord Portley-Rind's snooty daughter, Winnie (Elle Fanning).

She initially believes the horror stories about Boxtrolls devouring children - "Eat me. I'm sure I'm delicious!" - but once Winnie learns the truth about Eggs' past, she agrees to help vanquish Snatcher and his snivelling cohorts.

The Boxtrolls is a delight for the young and young at heart, hinging on the notion that families come in all shapes and sizes. Irena Brignull and Adam Pava's script is laden with verbal and visual gags, striking a gently mischievous tone throughout like when Winnie spots Eggs tugging at the crotch of his uncomfortable suit and whispers, "Don't snatch them in public. That's why they are called privates!"

Frost, Ayoade and Morgan provide the majority of the comic relief between action-packed set-pieces. Remain seated during the end credits for a hilarious scene of existential angst, which succinctly reminds us how pain-staking and time-consuming the stop-motion animation process is.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 24th September 2014
Thursday 25th September 2014

The Boxtrolls (Subtitled) 4 stars

movie title

An orphaned boy named Eggs is raised by gentle subterranean creatures that have been unfairly demonised by the terrified, fromage-fixated residents of Cheesebridge. When pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher and his henchmen begin to exterminate the Boxtrolls, Eggs joins forces with the surviving creatures and a girl called Winnie to protect the beasties from harm.

  • GenreAdaptation, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Fantasy
  • CastNick Frost, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Sir Ben Kingsley.
  • DirectorGraham Annable, Anthony Stacchi.
  • WriterIrena Brignull, Adam Pava.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration97 mins
  • Official sitewww.theboxtrolls.co.uk
  • Release12/09/2014

Based on the novel Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow, The Boxtrolls is a rollicking stop-motion animated romp from the makers of Coraline and ParaNorman that proves weird can be truly wonderful. With faint echoes of Raymond Briggs' Fungus The Bogeyman, Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi's quirky fantasy imagines a race of subterranean creatures, who root through bins in search of spare parts for their mechanical creations.

Despite a hearty appetite for slimy bugs, these pungent, green-skinned denizens of the underworld are cute rather than scary, possessing relatable human traits such as a passion for music or a quivering fear of the unknown. They spare troll blushes by wearing empty cardboard boxes and the former contents of these mouldering cartons provide each expressive character with a name such as Fish, Knickers, Sweets, Clocks and Fragile (ho ho!).

The meticulous detail of the movable figures and miniature sets is impressive, and co-directors Annable and Stacchi corral a vast team of animators, who produce thrilling chases and quieter moments of ribald humour.

The well-to-do, Victorian-era city of Cheesebridge is visited under the cloak of darkness by the eponymous beasties. One dark night, a Boxtroll called Fish (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) kidnaps the infant son of a local inventor (Simon Pegg) and spirits away the child to the underground lair.

This shocking act plays into the grubby hands of pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Sir Ben Kingsley). "Prepare to say bye-bye to your brie, cheerio to your cheddar!" cackles Snatcher, striking fear into the heart of Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris) and the other fromage-fixated noblemen.

They grant Snatcher a place at the cheese-tasting top table if the exterminator and his henchmen - Mr Trout (Nick Frost), Mr Pickles (Richard Ayoade) and Mr Gristle (Tracy Morgan) - kill every last Boxtroll. Unaware that he is human, abducted boy Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) ventures above ground with the Boxtrolls and encounters Lord Portley-Rind's snooty daughter, Winnie (Elle Fanning).

She initially believes the horror stories about Boxtrolls devouring children - "Eat me. I'm sure I'm delicious!" - but once Winnie learns the truth about Eggs' past, she agrees to help vanquish Snatcher and his snivelling cohorts.

The Boxtrolls is a delight for the young and young at heart, hinging on the notion that families come in all shapes and sizes. Irena Brignull and Adam Pava's script is laden with verbal and visual gags, striking a gently mischievous tone throughout like when Winnie spots Eggs tugging at the crotch of his uncomfortable suit and whispers, "Don't snatch them in public. That's why they are called privates!"

Frost, Ayoade and Morgan provide the majority of the comic relief between action-packed set-pieces. Remain seated during the end credits for a hilarious scene of existential angst, which succinctly reminds us how pain-staking and time-consuming the stop-motion animation process is.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 23rd September 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey 3 stars

movie title

Papa Kadam and his family flee Mumbai after an arson attack on their restaurant, which results in the death of Papa's wife. They seek refuge in a French village, which boasts a Michelin star establishment run by widow Madame Mallory. The building across the road happens to be vacant and Papa purchases the property with the intention of opening his own eaterie serving traditional Indian fare. This rivalry sparks hostility between the Kadams and Mallory, which spirals out of control.

Made to a tried and tested recipe laid out in Richard C Morais's novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey is an uplifting comedy drama charting the battle of wits between two restaurateurs in a close-knit French village. It's a familiar story of feuds and reconciliation, love and loss, laced with the heady spices of one family's proud Indian heritage. Screenwriter Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) offsets the sweetness of the central narrative with tart one-liners, and garnishes with crowd-pleasing performances from Helen Mirren and Om Puri as fierce rivals, who learn to see eye to eye over the simmering saucepans. Lasse Hallstrom's handsome confection is comfort food for the soul. Myriad scenes of chefs searing fresh meats and fishes, or lovingly stirring the ingredients of thick sauces, tantalise the senses and make your mouth water. Papa Kadam (Om Puri) and his five children - Mansur (Amit Shah), Hassan (Manish Dayal), Mahira (Farzana Dua Elahe), Mukhtar (Dillon Mitra) and Aisha (Aria Pandya) - flee Mumbai after an arson attack on their restaurant, which results in the death of Papa's beloved wife (Juhi Chawla). Initially, the Kadams settle in London but they leave because talented chef Hassan discovers that "the vegetables have no soul, no life." So the clan seeks new horizons in Europe. Shortly after crossing the Swiss border into France, the brakes on the Kadams' van fail and they crash close to the village of Saint-Antonin, which boasts a Michelin star establishment Le Saule Pleureur run by widow Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). The building across the road from Mallory's restaurant is vacant and Papa dreams of serving traditional Indian fare to the good people of France. Eldest son Mansur tries to dissuade his father from competing with Le Saule Pleureur: "It is the best restaurant for 50 miles and the President of France eats there!" Unperturbed, Papa opens Maison Mumbai with Hassan as head chef. This sparks a bitter rivalry with Madame Mallory's own chef Jean-Pierre (Clement Sibony) that spirals out of control. Thankfully, Madame's pretty sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) is more welcoming and she inspires Hassan to learn classic French cuisine including boeuf bourguignon and pigeon aux truffes. The Hundred-Foot Journey trades heavily on the spiky banter between Mirren and Puri, the former adopting a cod-French accent as she tells the Kadams, "If your food is anything like your music, I suggest you tone it down." Their interplay is a solid and appealing foundation for a sweet romantic subplot between Dayal and Le Bon. When Knight's script veers into slightly darker territory, and adds the poisonous tang of fame to the feel good mix, the film stumbles. Thankfully, director Hallstrom restores balance with a last-minute dollop of shameless sentimentality to ensure audiences leave with their bellies full of unbridled joy.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Wednesday 24th September 2014
Thursday 25th September 2014
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