It’s another one of those in-between weeks as far as cinema releases are concerned. As well as little direct competition to the overpowering release of The Lion King last week, new films are shying away from it this week as it still has a major stranglehold on the multiplexes. Forty four screening of the film in one day at my local Cineworld speaks for itself. So, this week sees a mixed bag of family friendly fun and deliberately counter programmed films that are hoping to appeal to an audience other than the school holiday crowd.
Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans
When a young Roman is banished to The Stain of the empire (Britain to you and me) he finds himself at the centre of a popular uprising led by the Celt queen Boudicca. Making friends with the daughter of a Celt leader he has to work between his reluctant duty as a soldier of Roma and a free spirited scholar. Based on the TV show and books of the same name, the film transposes the very particular brand of humour to the big screen. Always entertaining and absolutely factual, the film features Sebastian Croft, Emilia Jones, Nick Frost, Kim Cattrell, Kate Nash, Lee Mack and Derek Jacobi reprising one of his best known roles as Claudius.
The Current War
At the end of the 19th century a battle was raging between Inventor Thomas Edison and businessman George Westinghouse over who would supply electricity to the masses in the United States. Edison backed the use of DC while Westinghouse was a very vocal supporter of AC. The film tells the story of the rivalry and the cost it had on both men in professional and personal terms. Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon lead a cast that includes Nicholas Hoult, Kathrine Waterston, Tom Holland and Tuppence Middleton.
What if you got into a dispute with the former owner of your new home. This is the dilemma for young couple Scott and Annie Russell. Just married and installed in their dream house in the Napa valley they think they are set up nicely and are looking forward to their next adventure in starting a family. It quickly turns sour when the former owner of the house starts to work his way into their lives. For the couple it soon becomes a nightmare as their unwanted visitor shows the real reason he was after a quick sale. Dennis Quaid stars with Michael Ealy and Megan Good.
Violet lives with her Polish-immigrant mother on the brink of poverty in a small village on the Isle of Wight. To combat the monotony she sings in the choir and works waitress shifts after school, passing her tips to her mother. Whenever she can, she sneaks off to perform at a dingy pub to a thin audience of deadbeats. It’s there that she catches the attention of Vlad a former opera star whose life revolves around the bottle.
When a national singing competition comes to town to hold auditions, Vlad becomes Violet’s unlikely mentor and manager, accompanying her on a journey that takes the young singer all the way to the glamorous Teen Spirit finals in London. Elle Fanning stars as Violet alongside Zltko Buric as Vlad.