Now showing at Curzon Knutsford Civic Centre, Toft Road,Knutsford,Cheshire WA16 0PE 01565 633005
- Independence Day: Resurgence
- The Secret Life Of Pets
Independence Day: Resurgence 2 stars
It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore issued his rallying cry to repel alien invaders. Following the devastating showdown, the United Nations establishes a new early warning program named Earth Space Defense (ESD), which should alert us to future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. We are painfully unaware that the aliens from the initial attack sent a distress signal to the rest of their battalion before their defeat and more powerful aliens are poised to storm the planet.
- GenreAction, Science Fiction, Thriller
- CastBill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Maika Monroe, James Vanderbilt, Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner, Travis Tope.
- DirectorRoland Emmerich.
- WriterNicolas Wright, James A Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich.
- Duration120 mins
- Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/independence-day-resurgence
During the calm before the digital effects storm in Independence Day: Resurgence, Jeff Goldblum's quixotic scientist stares slack-jawed at an approaching alien mothership and gasps, "That's definitely bigger than the last one". Those words encapsulate the bombastic sequel to Roland Emmerich's 1996 sci-fi blockbuster, which famously blew up The White House as a symbol of extra-terrestrial hostility. Second time around, the German director isn't content with razing iconic buildings in Washington D.C. He deposits the whole of Dubai including the spearlike Burj Khalifa skyscraper on top of London, flattening landmarks with whooping abandon, then proceeds to pulverise America's eastern coast. Restraint isn't in the film's limited vocabulary and repeatedly, Emmerich and his army of special effects wizards conjure wanton destruction on a grand scale. With the benefit of this state-of-the-art trickery, eye-popping 3D and immersive sound, Independence Day: Resurgence should be a pulse-quickening thrill ride. So it comes as a crushing disappointment that the second film lacks the roughly hewn excitement and charm of its predecessor. Critically, the five scriptwriters have neglected to provide us with characters to care about before they unleash otherworldly hell upon the third rock from the sun. It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore (Bill Pullman) issued his rallying cry to the entrenched human race. In the aftermath, survivors salvaged the remains of fallen alien technology to create hybrid weapons systems. We also initiated the Earth Space Defense (ESD) under the direction of David Levinson (Goldblum) as an early warning system against future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. On the eve of the July 4 celebrations, a hulking otherworldly destroyer enters our atmosphere in response to a distress call from the fallen fleet. Current US President Elizabeth Lanford (Sela Ward) commands elite pilots to take to the skies, including Dylan Hiller (Jessie Usher), orphaned pals Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and Charlie Miller (Travis Tope), whose parents perished during the failed first invasion and Chinese golden girl Rain (Angelababy). "It's the fourth of July," bellows Dylan as he spearheads the rebellion, "so show 'em some fireworks!" On the ground, Levinson searches for a scientific miracle aided by Whitmore's plucky daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe), French psychiatrist Dr Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg), African warlord Dikembe Umbutu (Deobia Oparei) and Area 51 boffin Dr Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner), who suffers from the human-alien residual psychic condition. Independence Day: Resurgence lazily embraces disaster movie cliches including one mawkish subplot involving Levinson's father (Judd Hirsch), a school bus of stricken children and a dog. Performances struggle to make an impact above the din of pyrotechnics and a rumbustious orchestral score. Pivotal characters, who are clearly marked for death, serve their perfunctory purpose, blatantly teeing up a third instalment that will hopefully take another 20 years before it sees the flickering light of a cinema screen.
The Secret Life Of Pets 3 stars
Katie shares her Manhattan apartment with a terrier named Max, who relishes the close relationship with his owner. This special bond is threatened when Katie brings home a mongrel named Duke, who she has saved from a grim fate at the local dog pound. The two pooches are forced to put their rivalry to one side when a gang of abandoned pets led by a white rabbit named Snowball launches an intense campaign of revenge against contended owners and their pets.
- GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
- CastLake Bell, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Tara Strong, Louis CK, Albert Brooks, Kevin Hart.
- DirectorChris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney.
- WriterKen Daurio, Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul.
- Duration91 mins
- Official sitewww.thesecretlifeofpets.co.uk
Creatures great and small wreak havoc on the streets of New York City in Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney's colourful computer-animated romp. Employing a similar framework to Toy Story, The Secret Life Of Pets imagines what our four-legged, feathered and finned friends get up to when our backs are turned, suggesting that the fun begins when we go to work or school. A Jack Russell terrier and an affection starved mongrel replace Woody and Buzz Lightyear as the feuding central characters, whose rivalry mellows into mutual affection when they are separated from their owner. Screenwriters Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul have great fun in early scenes, revealing how a dachshund uses his owner's food mixer as a back massager or one tiny dog performs acrobatic leaps to water a hanging basket with a cock of its leg. The central concept isn't original but there's an infectious charm to every shiny frame of Renaud and Cheney's well-groomed picture, which mercilessly exploits our affection for the critters that share our homes. Katie (voiced by Ellie Kemper) lives in her Manhattan apartment with a mischievous terrier named Max (Louis CK). "Our love is stronger than words or shoes," explains Max, referring to his penchant for chewing his owner's footwear when he was a puppy in training. He is good friends with other domesticated animals and birds including a pampered Eskimo dog named Gidget (Jenny Slate), who is head over fluffy tail in love with Max, and a sardonic house cat named Chloe (Lake Bell), who nurtures a healthy disdain for anything that doesn't enrich her selfish existence. "Dog people do weird, inexplicable things," she purrs, "like they get dogs instead of cats." Max's bond with Katie is threatened when his owner brings home a lolloping mongrel named Duke (Eric Stonestreet), who she has saved from the pound. Intense rivalry spills out onto the city streets where Max and Duke fall foul of a Sphynx cat called Ozone (Steve Coogan) and are mistaken for strays by animal control officers. The snarling enemies are rescued by a maniacal white rabbit named Snowball (Kevin Hart), who pressgangs them into service in his army of unwanted animals, who live in the sewers. The Secret Life Of Pets is the brainchild of the makers of Despicable Me and Minions, and retains a similar visual style and family-friendly sense of humour. Behavioural tics of each breed are mercilessly exploited for slapstick laughs and co-directors Renaud and Cheney maintain a brisk trot to ensure young audiences don't go for walkies in the middle of the film. The main feature is accompanied by a cute animated short entitled Mower Minions in which the gibberish-spouting sidekicks tend the lawn of elderly neighbours. Alas, the diminutive do-gooders are yellow fingers and thumbs, propagating plentiful guffaws and giggles.