Top 10 – Films not to miss in July 2015

4 Jul

Emotions take centre stage in new Pixar film Inside Out

Summer is now in full swing at the cinema, so the studios are beginning to play their ace cards in a bid to bag the best of the box office battle. July 2015 at UK cinemas will feature a new marquee release from Pixar, the climax of Marvel’s ‘Phase Two’ and the latest entry in a number of enormous tentpole franchises.

It’s not all big blockbusters, though, as there are several interesting new horror films in the mix, a sporty Oscar hopeful and arguably the best documentary of the year so far.

Here are ten films you should head out and see this July in UK cinemas.

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Review – Poltergeist

3 Jul

Poster for 2015 horror remake Poltergeist

Genre: Horror
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 22nd May 2015
Runtime: 94 minutes
Director: Gil Kenan
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kyle Catlett, Kennedi Clements, Jared Harris, Saxon Sharbino
Synopsis: A suburban family must seek specialist help when their daughter appears to be kidnapped by a demonic presence in their home.



The track record for horror remakes is far from a good one. Many of the best horror properties of the past have been mercilessly rehashed over the last few years, with most simply amplifying the noise of the previous film and adding in a couple more jump scares. The latest film to get the modern remake treatment is Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist, which has been taken by Gil Kenan and been butchered beyond belief.

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Review – Moomins on the Riviera

3 Jul

Poster for 2015 animated comedy Moomins on the Riviera

Genre: Animation
Certificate: U
UK Release Date: 22nd May 2015
Runtime: 75 minutes
Director: Xavier Picard, Hanna Hemilä
Writer: Trevor de Silva, Kevin Hood
Starring: Russell Tovey, Stephanie Winiecki, Nathaniel Parker, Tracy Ann Oberman, Ruth Gibson, Shelley Blond, Dave Browne
Synopsis: The Moomins find themselves on the French Riviera and struggle to fit in with the glamour and celebrity of Europe.



I was slightly too young to have caught the Moomins when they appeared on television in the early 1990s. Therefore, I was a little baffled when I first saw the trailer for Moomins on the Riviera, which seemed like a bizarre, offbeat piece of work. Having seen the film, I’m still none the wiser.

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Review – A Royal Night Out

3 Jul

Poster for 2015 historical dramedy A Royal Night Out

Genre: Drama
Certificate: 12
UK Release Date: 15th May 2015
Runtime: 97 minutes
Director: Julian Jarrold
Writer: Trevor de Silva, Kevin Hood
Starring: Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Jack Reynor, Rupert Everett, Emily Watson, Roger Allam
Synopsis: On VE Day, Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret, manage to convince their parents to let them celebrate incognito amongst the crowds.



It’s no secret at all that the movie industry is fascinated by the British royal family. In fact, The King’s Speech rode that train all the way to Oscar glory. The latest trip to the movies for the British royals is a homegrown, runaround dramedy that’s as light as a soufflé and just as delicate.

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Review – Pitch Perfect 2

2 Jul

Poster for 2015 comedy sequel Pitch Perfect 2

Genre: Musical
Certificate: 12
UK Release Date: 15th May 2015
Runtime: 115 minutes
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Writer: Kay Cannon
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Ben Platt, Flula Borg
Synopsis: Banned from acapella competition, the Barden Bellas pledge to win the world championships to clear their name and be reinstated.



From humble beginnings, Pitch Perfect became one of the biggest sleeper hits of 2012, scooping up an ample box office. At a time when Glee dominated the TV zeitgeist, the tale of Anna Kendrick’s journey into a bitchy acapella group was the show’s snarkier, cooler cousin. The inevitable sequel shakes things up a little and, despite a few bum notes, continues to sing in harmony.

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Bond Reloaded – A look back at You Only Live Twice (1967)

1 Jul

Ahead of the release of SPECTRE this autumn, the Bond Reloaded series takes a weekly look back at each film in the iconic James Bond franchise. It continues with a look at the debut of Blofeld in You Only Live Twice.

Donald Pleasence portrayed Blofeld in You Only Live Twice

Producers Saltzman and Broccoli wanted to adapt On Her Majesty’s Secret Service after Thunderball, but struggled to find the necessary snowy locations for filming. They chose Japan-set You Only Live Twice as the next film, culminating in the first appearance of Bond’s nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Meanwhile, chaos was raging behind the scenes as Sean Connery became even more disillusioned with playing the lead role in the world’s biggest action franchise. The producers also had to deal with an enormous budget for the extravagant sets and a villain who needed recasting at the eleventh hour.

You Only Live Twice relocates the franchise to Japan and, after Thunderball’s underwater finale, keeps its feet mostly on the ground.

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Review – Mad Max: Fury Road

29 Jun

Poster for 2015 action sequel Mad Max: Fury Road

Genre: Action
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 15th May 2015
Runtime: 120 minutes
Director: George Miller
Writer: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nico Lathouris
Starring: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoë Kravitz, Riley Keough, Courtney Eaton, Abbey Lee
Synopsis: In a post-apocalpytic wasteland, an act of theft spawns vehicular mayhem.



Few films have had a path to the big screen as troubled as Mad Max: Fury Road, formerly known as Mad Max 4. It was originally set to shoot in 2001, with Mel Gibson reprising the title role, until the 9/11 attacks put a spanner in the works. The film went through many different iterations through the years, including a potential 3D animated version, until it reached its eventual form, starring Tom Hardy as the titular road warrior.

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