Tag Archives: MOVIE

NEWS: Grease is back! 40th Anniversary Re-Issue in cinemas April 19th

One of the world’s best-loved movie musicals is back to celebrate its 40th Anniversary and will be screened at Cineworld’s three Glasgow sites on April 19th.

It’s 1958, summer is over and the hormonally-charged seniors of Rydell High are reluctantly returning to school, ready to fall back in with old friends and trade stories of the previous months’ conquests. Danny Zuko, leader of a local greaser gang called the T-Birds, brags to his crew about nights of passion spent on the beach with a mystery girl.

Elsewhere, sweet Sandy Olsson – the new girl in town – is taken under the wing of the no-nonsense Pink Ladies and shares fond memories of a brief romance with an unknown sweetheart. When it turns out that Danny and Sandy’s mismatched tales are about each other, Sandy is humiliated and Danny has to win her back.

To do so, he’ll have to negotiate all of the romantic rites of passage a teenager in America’s golden age could imagine: jiving school dances, awkward drive-in movies, deadly drag-races and the looming threat of graduation.

The much-loved classic is back and will be screening at Cineworld 7 Renfrew Street, G2 3AB, Glasgow, Forge Shopping Centre, 1221 Gallowgate, G31 4EB, Glasgow and Silverburn Shopping Centre, 763 Barrhead Road, G53 6AG, Glasgow on April 19th at 8pm.

Details here: https://www.cineworld.co.uk/films/grease-40th-anniversary-re-issue#/buy-tickets-by-film?in-cinema=glasgow&at=2018-04-19&for-movie=ho00005248&view-mode=list

Images courtesy of Park Circus/Paramount

MOVIE REVIEW: The Last 5 Years

This article was originally written for and published  by The Public Reviews at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/film-review-the-last-five-years/

There’s no doubt that it is with a mixture of trepidation and as well as anticipation that fans of Jason Robert Brown’s little seen but much-loved, cult, off-Broadway hit, The Last Five Years, will greet the release of Richard LaGravenese’s movie adaptation: what works on stage can often be a damn sight trickier to pull off on screen.

The emotional two-hander charts the disintegration of the relationship of Jamie (Jeremy Jordan) and Cathy (Anna Kendrick), two New Yorkers with big ambitions: his to be a successful novelist, hers, a Broadway star. Its unique take on the typical relationship tale being that the duo’s stories are told in reverse: Jamie’s from optimistic start to end, Cathy’s from agonising end to start, the pair only meeting onstage briefly in the middle, at their wedding.

As Kendrick’s first notes ring out on the show’s most famous, and arguably best song, the heartbreaking “I’m Still Hurting”, you know that, in vocal terms at least, Brown’s cherished work is in safe hands. What is less certain is if newcomers to the musical will pick up on the converging timelines, unlike the stage musical, the pair share the screen in almost every scene, indeed, the penny may only fully drop for many at the very end when Jamie writes the letter we see Cathy reading in the first moments of the movie.

What this screen adaptation does do that the stage can’t, is give full life to the relationship build up and break down, fleshing out the back story, providing atmosphere and life, and it manages, save for a minuscule on-street dance sequence, to keep it very real and resonant. It is a welcome addition to the movie musical theatre library, providing as it does a more relatable work for the contemporary audience.

There’s no trickery in LaGravenese’s direction, it is simplistic, more hand-held camera, docu-drama than glossy Hollywood musical, and though this may be due to necessity because of its small budget, a glitzier approach just would not have worked with this material. The reality is also enhanced greatly as the whole thing is filmed entirely on location.

Both Kendrick and Jordan are deserving of praise, you would be hard pressed to find a pair more suited to the roles, and the Tony Award-nominated duo will certainly win favour with musical theatre purists. The witty, melodic songs are given full justice by both leads, but it is Kendrick’s portrayal of Cathy that garners the greatest sympathy: as Jamie is wined and dined, fawned and feted over, she struggles from one unsuccessful audition to the next, his ebullience and soaring ambition in contrast to her frustration, as she increasingly becomes a bystander in their relationship: there’s an inevitability that Cathy was always going to be the one left behind. It is to Brown’s great credit that he manages to successfully convey the female perspective so strongly and resist the urge to excuse Jamie’s descent into adultery.

This painful depiction of a relationship will strike a chord with many and the film remains an affecting piece of work but it never fully captures the onstage emotion and the visceral experience of being in the same room, watching these two people sing their hearts out. Some of the clarity of the stage production is lost in the shared screen time, but existing fans will find much to admire and it might just get some non-fans to look at movie musicals in a new light.

What this movie adaptation does do though, is cement Jason Robert Brown’s place as the rightful successor to his hero Stephen Sondheim.

The Last Five Years was released in the US on 13 February 2015  and will be released in the UK in June