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Now showing at Cineworld Solihull 47,Mill Lane Arcade (Upper), Touchwood,Solihull,West Midlands B91 3GS 0871 200 2000

  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron
  • Danny Collins
  • English National Opera Live Encore Screening: Pirates Of Penzance
  • Far From The Madding Crowd
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Mad Max: Fury Road 3D
  • Man Up
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • Poltergeist
  • Poltergeist 3D
  • San Andreas
  • San Andreas 3D
  • Spooks: The Greater Good
  • Tomorrowland: A World Beyond

Avengers: Age Of Ultron 3 stars

movie title

Tony Stark hopes to jumpstart world peace using a dormant artificial intelligence program but he unwittingly unleashes the villainous Ultron. Nick Fury marshals superhero team of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye to protect mankind from annihilation, testing the bonds of trust between the team members in the process. Uneasy alliances are forged and the Avengers cross paths with mysterious and powerful siblings Wanda and Pietro Maximoff.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastChris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, James Spader, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
  • DirectorJoss Whedon.
  • WriterJoss Whedon.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration141 mins
  • Official sitewww.marvel.com/avengers
  • Release23/04/2015

As the roaring success of last year's Guardians Of The Galaxy confirmed, our appetite for films set in the Marvel Comics universe is voracious. This eagerly anticipated sequel to the 2012 action adventure Avengers Assemble is poised to smash box office records with the same unstoppable clobber of a rampaging Incredible Hulk. Director Joss Whedon is back at the helm to lay the narrative groundwork for the 2016 blockbuster, Captain America: Civil War, which will tear the eponymous team apart as governments worldwide prepare to pass an act regulating superhuman activity. In many respects, Avengers: Age Of Ultron is business as usual. Whedon's film fleshes out the back stories of existing characters, introduces new friends and foes to the fray, and continues the relentless cross-pollination of this menagerie of mighty misfits. Marvel Comics chairman Stan Lee makes his traditional cameo and Whedon's script glisters with polished one-liners, including one gem to pithily illustrate how quickly an evil artificial intelligence can infect the World Wide Web: "He's spreading faster than a Catholic rabbit." While the sequel delivers exactly what we expect, it lacks some of the pizazz of the first film and pacing noticeably sags in the middle, plus overly enthusiastic editing of set pieces reduces some skirmishes to an incomprehensible blur, which strain the eyes in 3D. In the breathless action sequence which opens the film, the Avengers storm a Hydra stronghold in the central European city of Sokovia under the control of Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) in order to reclaim Loki's magical staff, the Chitauri Scepter. During the melee, emotionally scarred siblings Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who have been subjected to secret Hydra experiments, are unleashed. Wanda infects the mind of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), using her dark sorcery to convince the billionaire that he will bring about the deaths of the entire team. Tormented by his nightmarish vision, Stark secretly plans to harness the power of the Chitauri Scepter to awaken a dormant artificial intelligence program to protect mankind. "I don't want to hear that 'man wasn't meant to meddle' medley," Stark tells scientist Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) as justification for his covert operation. Instead, Stark unwittingly unleashes the villainous Ultron (voiced by James Spader). Steve Evans aka Captain America (Chris Evans) clashes with Stark for control of the Avengers comprising Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha Romanov aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Banner aka The Incredible Hulk and Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Rivalries intensify and fragile bonds of trust fray as mankind's survival hangs in the balance. Thankfully, the Avengers have a new, yet familiar, ally: an android called Vision (Paul Bettany). By introducing a hulking automaton arch-nemesis, Avengers: Age Of Ultron duplicates some of the large-scale digital destruction of the Transformers franchise. Spader's vocal performance lends gravitas to his mechanised megalomaniac while Downey Jr predictably snaffles the majority of the droll quips. Seeds of romance between Ruffalo and Johansson, sown in the first film, are heavily watered as a diversion from the bone-crunching. Running jokes about Captain America's aversion to swearing and the size of Thor's hammer don't run out of puff before the 141 frenetic minutes come to a suitably bombastic close. Marvel films have a habit of sneaking a teaser into the end credits. Age Of Ultron doesn't disappoint the ardent fan boys and girls on this front either.

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Tuesday 2nd June 2015
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Danny Collins 3 stars

movie title

Irascible showman Danny Collins sacrificed his artistic integrity years ago at the altar of commercial success. For a birthday present, his straight-talking manager Frank Grubman presents Danny with an undelivered, handwritten note from John Lennon that makes the singer-songwriter realise he has squandered his talent. So he ditches his trophy girlfriend, attempts to rediscover his artistic mojo and summons the courage to rebuild bridges to his estranged and embittered son Tom.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Musical
  • CastAnnette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Plummer, Josh Peck.
  • DirectorDan Fogelman.
  • WriterDan Fogelman.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration106 mins
  • Official sitewww.bleeckerstreetmedia.com
  • Release29/05/2015

A caption at the beginning of writer-director Dan Fogelman's cliche-riddled yet uproarious comedy reveals there is a germ of fact buried beneath the tears and cloying sentiment. "The following is kind of based on a true story. A little bit." The seed of Fogelman's script was British folk singer Steve Tilston, who received a supportive fan letter from John Lennon, more than 25 years after the death of the former Beatle.

The handwritten missive, penned in 1971, advised the then 21-year-old Tilston to cling to his dreams because "being rich doesn't change your experience in the way you think". Lennon added his telephone number and invited Tilston to call for advice.

Fogelman repurposes this cruel twist of fate as the catalyst for an ageing singer-songwriter's belated redemption in Danny Collins. Tales of triumph against musical adversity litter the Hollywood hills and are warmly received by Oscar voters, most recently in 2009 when Jeff Bridges won a golden statuette for his portrayal of a fading country music star in Crazy Heart.

Al Pacino delivers a similarly show-stopping turn as the irascible showman of the title, who sacrificed his artistic integrity years ago at the altar of commercial success.

For a birthday present, straight-talking manager Frank Grubman (Christopher Plummer) presents Danny with a note from Lennon that makes the singer-songwriter realise he has squandered his talent. "I haven't written a song in 30 years. I'm a joke," concedes Danny.

So he ditches his trophy girlfriend (Katarina Cas), cancels the remaining dates of a greatest hits tour and heads for the nearest Hilton to rediscover his artistic mojo. Hotel manager Mary Sinclair (Annette Bening) catches his roving eye, but steadfastly refuses his amorous overtures.

When Frank eventually catches up with his superstar client, he is pleasantly surprised by the object of Danny's affection.
"She's lovely," agrees Frank.
"And age-appropriate," dryly retorts Danny.

Thus Danny begins to compose songs again and he summons the courage to rebuild bridges to his estranged and embittered son Tom (Bobby Cannavale), who has a pregnant wife (Jennifer Garner) and a needy daughter (Giselle Eisenberg) to protect from celebrity-tainted ghosts of the past.

Danny Collins strums a familiar tune and as existential crises go, the lead character's is relatively brief and painless, but the onscreen rapport between Pacino, Bening and Plummer is irresistible. "You're a huge dinner tease," twinkles Danny after Mary shoots down one of his cheesy chat-ups.

Plot revelations involving Cannavale's working-class provider are emotionally manipulative, but it's difficult to hold back tears when the ensemble cast plays these archetypes with such gusto. Fogelman's picture is a guilty pleasure: a slick cover version of previous journeys of self-discovery that were undoubtedly more soulful but seldom more entertaining.

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Tuesday 2nd June 2015
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English National Opera Live Encore Screening: Pirates Of Penzance 3 stars

Mike Leigh's operatic directorial debut.

  • GenreSpecial
  • DirectorMike Leigh.
  • CountryUK
  • Official site

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Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Far From The Madding Crowd 3 stars

movie title

Bathsheba Everdene turns down a marriage proposal from sheep farmer Gabriel Oak because she does not believe that she needs a husband to possess or tame her. Soon after, Bathsheba inherits her uncle's estate and defies expectation to turn around the ailing farm. Gabriel, who has fallen on hard times, is hired by Bathsheba as the estate's shepherd and he continues to pine for her from afar as Bathsheba entertains amorous advances from wealthy farmer William Boldwood and dashing Sergeant Troy.

  • GenreAdaptation, Classic, Drama, Historical/Period, Romance
  • CastCarey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, Jessica Barden, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple.
  • DirectorThomas Vinterberg.
  • WriterDavid Nicholls.
  • CountryUS/UK
  • Duration119 mins
  • Official site
  • Release01/05/2015

The 2015 re-release of John Schlesinger's 1967 version of Far From The Madding Crowd provided a timely reminder of the raw emotional power of Thomas Hardy's late 19th-century novel and Julie Christie's luminous portrayal of spirited heroine, Bathsheba Everdene.

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg brings a delicate touch to this handsome new incarnation, which runs 50 minutes shorter than its predecessor and is undernourished as a consequence.

One tragic supporting character, who should shatter our hearts to smithereens, is reduced to a simplistic two-dimensional plot device, and the heroine's vacillations between three potential suitors seem more haphazard than usual in a noticeably rushed final act.

Moreover, one of these paramours has significantly more screen time, so her choice is inevitable. Feelings are tightly buttoned beneath Janet Patterson's splendid costumes and when one of the characters does eventually lose control and commits a fatal "crime of passion" at a Christmas party, we're just as surprised by the outburst as the film's clucky social set.

The film opens in 1870 with Bathsheba (Carey Mulligan) living with her aunt Mrs Hurst on the adjacent property to handsome sheep farmer, Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts).

She rebuffs his heartfelt advances, telling a crestfallen Gabriel, "I don't want a husband. I don't want to be some man's property". Soon after, Bathsheba inherits her uncle's vast estate and defies expectation to turn around the ailing farm, aided by her companion Liddy (Jessica Barden).

Gabriel, who has fallen on hard times, is hired by Bathsheba as the estate's shepherd and continues to pine for her from afar.

Meanwhile, emotionally repressed and wealthy farmer William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) makes his feelings for Bathsheba known, but her head is turned by dashing and reckless Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge), whose heart was broken at the altar by servant girl Fanny (Juno Temple).

These three suitors leave Bathsheba in an emotional whirl and when Boldwood offers her financial security as his bride, she turns to brooding Gabriel for advice.
"I need some who's objective, indifferent," Bathsheba tells the shepherd.
"Then I'm afraid you're asking the wrong man," pointedly responds Gabriel.

Anchored by Mulligan's nuanced performance, Far From The Madding Crowd is a visually arresting, but ultimately anaemic portrait of rural desires. Schoenaerts wrestles in vain with a West Country accent, while Sheen and Sturridge have limited screen time to match fond memories of Peter Finch and Terence Stamp in respective roles in the 1967 film.

While Vinterberg's vision, filmed on location in pastoral Dorset, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, lacks emotional heft, it packs a mighty visual punch thanks to cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen.

Rolling landscapes look invitingly wild and untamed, bathed largely in natural light, and the nascent beauty of leading lady Mulligan shines through the artfully composed muck and grime.

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Tuesday 2nd June 2015
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Mad Max: Fury Road 4 stars

movie title

Immortan Joe rules the Citadel with an iron fist and he intends to mastermind the propagation of mankind in his own cruel image using five women called The Wives. Imperator Furiosa kidnaps these slaves and flees across the Wasteland. They join forces with Max Rockatansky, who has knowledge of the Wasteland and can help the fugitives find sanctuary in the deadly shifting sands. In the process, Max lights a fuse on a bitter and bloody road war between Furiosa and Immortan Joe.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastNicholas Hoult, Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
  • DirectorGeorge Miller.
  • WriterGeorge Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris.
  • CountryAustralia/
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official sitewww.madmaxmovie.com
  • Release14/05/2015

Fasten your seat belts and hold on white-knuckle tight as writer-director George Miller invites you to an orgy of high-octane auto mayhem that makes Fast & Furious 7 looks like a sedate Sunday afternoon drive. Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth instalment of the post-apocalyptic franchise, delivers a blitzkrieg of propulsive pursuits featuring almost 150 hand-built death machines of every conceivable shape and size.

These thrillingly choreographed sequences of carmageddon build to a jaw-dropping finale, replete with roof-mouthed metronome-like poles that allow road warriors to swoop down and snatch their prey from adjacent vehicles.

If the original Mad Max released in 1979 was soaked in testosterone, Fury Road adds a heady whiff of oestrogen by introducing a badass tribe of warrior women called the Vuvalini, who ride proudly into battle armed with explosive-tipped spears.

One prime specimen is Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the enigmatic driver of a mighty 18-wheeler mobile war rig. She reports to Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), despotic leader of the Citadel, who is propagating the species in his cruel image using The Wives.

These five enslaved women (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Courtney Eaton, Abbey Lee) are impregnated by Immortan Joe to provide him with a viable male heir. Furiosa kidnaps The Wives and flees across the Wasteland with Immortan Joe and his army in hot pursuit.

Among the chasing horde is shaven-headed, tattooed acolyte Nux (Nicholas Hoult), who believes that death in battle will grant him entry to the warrior paradise of Valhalla. As Nux puts the pedal to the metal, his poisoned blood is replenished by a living donor, Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), strapped to the front of the hot rod.

During the chase, Max breaks free from Nux and begrudgingly helps Furiosa and The Wives to evade Immortan Joe's clutches, bound for a lush oasis known as the Green Place.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a tour-de-force of adrenaline-pumping thrills. Computer trickery is kept to a bare minimum: stunt drivers actually performed these mind-boggling feats in real vehicles at dizzying speeds.

When director Miller briefly does take his foot off the accelerator, he hopes we'll be giddy enough on exhaust fumes to care deeply about plot and characterisation. Both sit quietly in the back seat, waiting for the next rev of a V-8 engine.

Hardy perfects an array of grunts and growls in place of dialogue. He's a dull boy though next to Theron's gutsy alpha female, who goes toe-to-toe and trades blow for bone-crunching blow with the grizzled anti-hero, channelling her character's sense of loss into vengeance.

Keays-Byrne takes a leaf out of Hardy's book from The Dark Knight Rises and dons a nightmarish face mask made of horse teeth. Miller's rambunctious ride is heightened by a deafening soundtrack courtesy of Grammy-nominated composer Junkie XL.

You'll feel the teeth rattle in your head as his sonic boom of drums, strings, thrashing electric guitars and a soaring 80-voice choir competes with the crash-bang-wallop of the on-screen carnage.

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Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
Thursday 4th June 2015

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Mad Max: Fury Road 3D 4 stars

movie title

Immortan Joe rules the Citadel with an iron fist and he intends to mastermind the propagation of mankind in his own cruel image using five women called The Wives. Imperator Furiosa kidnaps these slaves and flees across the Wasteland. They join forces with Max Rockatansky, who has knowledge of the Wasteland and can help the fugitives find sanctuary in the deadly shifting sands. In the process, Max lights a fuse on a bitter and bloody road war between Furiosa and Immortan Joe.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastNicholas Hoult, Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
  • DirectorGeorge Miller.
  • WriterBrendan McCarthy, George Miller, Nick Lathouris.
  • CountryAustralia/
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official sitewww.madmaxmovie.com
  • Release14/05/2015

Fasten your seat belts and hold on white-knuckle tight as writer-director George Miller invites you to an orgy of high-octane auto mayhem that makes Fast & Furious 7 looks like a sedate Sunday afternoon drive. Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth instalment of the post-apocalyptic franchise, delivers a blitzkrieg of propulsive pursuits featuring almost 150 hand-built death machines of every conceivable shape and size.

These thrillingly choreographed sequences of carmageddon build to a jaw-dropping finale, replete with roof-mouthed metronome-like poles that allow road warriors to swoop down and snatch their prey from adjacent vehicles.

If the original Mad Max released in 1979 was soaked in testosterone, Fury Road adds a heady whiff of oestrogen by introducing a badass tribe of warrior women called the Vuvalini, who ride proudly into battle armed with explosive-tipped spears.

One prime specimen is Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the enigmatic driver of a mighty 18-wheeler mobile war rig. She reports to Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), despotic leader of the Citadel, who is propagating the species in his cruel image using The Wives.

These five enslaved women (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Courtney Eaton, Abbey Lee) are impregnated by Immortan Joe to provide him with a viable male heir. Furiosa kidnaps The Wives and flees across the Wasteland with Immortan Joe and his army in hot pursuit.

Among the chasing horde is shaven-headed, tattooed acolyte Nux (Nicholas Hoult), who believes that death in battle will grant him entry to the warrior paradise of Valhalla. As Nux puts the pedal to the metal, his poisoned blood is replenished by a living donor, Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), strapped to the front of the hot rod.

During the chase, Max breaks free from Nux and begrudgingly helps Furiosa and The Wives to evade Immortan Joe's clutches, bound for a lush oasis known as the Green Place.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a tour-de-force of adrenaline-pumping thrills. Computer trickery is kept to a bare minimum: stunt drivers actually performed these mind-boggling feats in real vehicles at dizzying speeds.

When director Miller briefly does take his foot off the accelerator, he hopes we'll be giddy enough on exhaust fumes to care deeply about plot and characterisation. Both sit quietly in the back seat, waiting for the next rev of a V-8 engine.

Hardy perfects an array of grunts and growls in place of dialogue. He's a dull boy though next to Theron's gutsy alpha female, who goes toe-to-toe and trades blow for bone-crunching blow with the grizzled anti-hero, channelling her character's sense of loss into vengeance.

Keays-Byrne takes a leaf out of Hardy's book from The Dark Knight Rises and dons a nightmarish face mask made of horse teeth. Miller's rambunctious ride is heightened by a deafening soundtrack courtesy of Grammy-nominated composer Junkie XL.

You'll feel the teeth rattle in your head as his sonic boom of drums, strings, thrashing electric guitars and a soaring 80-voice choir competes with the crash-bang-wallop of the on-screen carnage.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
Thursday 4th June 2015

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Man Up 3 stars

movie title

On a train to London, thirty-something singleton Nancy meets a girl called Jessica, who is meeting a blind date under the station clock at Waterloo station. Jessica will recognise her beau because they will both be holding copies of the bestselling self-help book Six Billion People And You. When the train pulls into the station, Nancy discovers Jessica has left her copy behind and races after her, only to cross paths with the blind date, Jack, under the clock.

  • GenreComedy, Romance
  • CastOphelia Lovibond, Olivia Williams, Simon Pegg, Lake Bell, Rory Kinnear.
  • DirectorBen Palmer.
  • WriterTess Morris.
  • CountryUK/Fr
  • Duration88 mins
  • Official site
  • Release29/05/2015

The romantic comedy goes back to basics in Man Up, a sweet, funny and charming tale of boy-meets-wrong-girl-but-doesn't-realise-it, filmed on location in London. Directed at a brisk pace by Ben Palmer, who helmed The Inbetweeners Movie, this contrived tale of mistaken identity strips away most of the gross-out interludes that have become de rigueur for the genre.

New York City-born writer and actress Lake Bell sports a flawless English actress as the hapless heroine, who bumbles and dithers in a Bridget Jones stylee minus the incessant self-doubt and criticism. She sparks a lively on-screen partnership with Simon Pegg, so we root for their unlikely lovebirds to overcome the various obstacles that screenwriter Tess Morris flings in their path.

These include Rory Kinnear as a lecherous old school mate, who threatens to tell tales out of class about Bell's protagonist unless she provides him with impromptu sexual favours. It's the closest Morris comes to peddling gratuitous muckiness.

The film opens with thirty-something singleton Nancy (Bell) trying to convince herself to "be more deviant... engage with life". She retreats from a party full of potential suitors to spend the evening alone in a hotel room.

"Put yourself out there," suggests her happily partnered sister, Elaine (Sharon Horgan). "Cook more, understand the Israeli Palestine conflict..."

On a train to London, Nancy meets a girl called Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond), who is meeting a blind date under the station clock at Waterloo station. Jessica will recognise her beau because they will both be holding copies of the bestselling self-help book Six Billion People And You, which is full of inspiring aphorisms including, "Your negative thoughts are ruining your life and everyone else."

When the train pulls into the station, Nancy discovers Jessica has left her copy behind and races after her, only to cross paths with the blind date, Jack (Simon Pegg), under the clock. On the spur of the moment, Nancy decides to pose as Jessica and see where the meeting leads.

Surprisingly, she gets on well with Jack but there are skeletons in both of their closets they would prefer to keep hidden including his icy ex-wife (Olivia Williams) and her new partner (Stephen Campbell-Moore).

Man Up is an unappealing title for a feel-good romp that relies heavily on the leads to carry the film through its occasional lulls. Screenwriter Morris doesn't overcomplicate her narrative, juxtaposing Nancy and Jack's eventful first date with preparations for the 40th anniversary party of her parents (Ken Stott, Harriet Walter), who know all about the ups and downs of married life.

Kinnear sinks his pearly whites into his intentionally garish supporting role with unrestrained vim. Dialogue is peppered with polished one-liners and Palmer sustains momentum until a suitably grand finale that proves you can't hurry love, even with GPS tracking.

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Tuesday 2nd June 2015
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Pitch Perfect 2 4 stars

movie title

Fat Amy suffers an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in the presence of President Obama, which threatens to bring Barden University's all-female a cappella group into disrepute. In order to restore their pride, the Bellas enter a global singing competition that has never been won by an American group. Beca, Fat Amy, Chloe, Lilly, new recruit Emily and the other Bellas prepare to pitch-slap their talented rivals into submission.

  • GenreComedy, Family, Musical, Romance
  • CastAnna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Elizabeth Banks, Brittany Snow, John Michael Higgins.
  • DirectorElizabeth Banks.
  • WriterKay Cannon.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration115 mins
  • Official sitewww.pitchperfect2-uk.tumblr.com
  • Release15/05/2015

Lightning almost strikes twice in the eagerly anticipated sequel to the feel-great comedy Pitch Perfect. Actress Elizabeth Banks nestles in the director's chair for this uproarious second outing and she confidently conducts a choir of familiar faces through soaring musical mash-ups and pitch-slapping putdowns.

Screenwriter Kay Cannon, who penned the original, enforces the message of femme power by contriving a spectacular fall from grace for the Barden Bellas in order that her plucky heroines rediscover their sisterly solidarity. Beyonce's anthemic "Run The World (Girls)" is a fitting opener for one medley of redemption, emphasising that while these girls wanna have fun, they won't do so at the expense of friendships or their careers.

Cannon pads out her admittedly flimsy premise with parallel romantic subplots and introduces a Latin American exchange student, whose life-or-death heritage becomes a running joke that limps before the two hours are up.

Thankfully, Rebel Wilson turbo-charges her scenes and is rewarded with the film's only solo - Pat Benatar's power ballad "We Belong" - that builds to a rousing call to arms for the broken-hearted.

Three years after all-female group the Barden Bellas triumphed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, the girls perform for President Obama and his wife. Fat Amy (Wilson) suffers a wardrobe malfunction during a Miley Cyrus-themed aerial routine and drags the good name of Barden University into the gutter.

In the wake of Muffgate, commentators John Smith (John Michael Higgins) and Gail Abernathy-McKadden (Elizabeth Banks) cast the Bellas into the wilderness and mock Beca (Anna Kendrick) when she claims they can become the first American group to win the World A Cappella Championships.

Beca, Fat Amy, Chloe (Brittany Snow), Stacie (Alexis Knapp), Jessica (Kelley Jakle), Cynthia-Rose (Ester Dean), softly spoken beatboxer Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) and new recruits Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) and Flo (Chrissie Fit) prepare for musical battle.

However, the path to glory in Copenhagen is blocked by well-drilled reigning champions, Das Sound Machine, led by the statuesque Kommissar (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen) and her right-hand herr Pieter (Flula Borg).

The Bellas' make-or-break performance beckons and Beca frets about her song choices. "You're the most talented person I know," gushes Fat Amy soothingly, "and I've met three of The Wiggles... intimately."

Pitch Perfect 2 hits many of the high notes of the original film. Beca's romance with boyfriend Jesse (Skylar Astin) is inert in the sequel so the spotlight shifts to Fat Amy's on-off-on-off flirtation with Bumper (Adam DeVine).

Banks and Higgins lasso some of the heartiest guffaws, the latter spewing chauvinism with aplomb as he casually describes the Bellas as "an inspiration to girls all over the country who are too ugly to be cheerleaders".

Musical sequences are choreographed with verve, including a rousing finale that astutely goes back to acca-basics to tug the heartstrings.

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Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
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Poltergeist 3 stars

movie title

Eric Bowen and his wife Amy move into a new home with their three children: teenage daughter Kendra, son Griffin and youngest child Madison. Angry spirits invade the home and focus their attention on little Madison, making contact with her through the white noise on a TV screen before spiriting away the terrified girl into the netherworld. Eric and Amy turn to supernatural expert Dr Claire Powell and medium Carrigan Burke to return Madison to the land of the living.

  • GenreAdaptation, Horror, Thriller
  • CastSam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clements, Jane Adams, Jared Harris, Kyle Catlett, Saxon Sharbino.
  • DirectorGil Kenan.
  • WriterDavid Lindsay-Abaire.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/poltergeist
  • Release22/05/2015

They're back!... the malevolent spirits from Tobe Hooper's 1982 horror resurface in director Gil Kenan's contemporary update, which supplants old school shocks with a whirlwind of computer-generated hocus pocus.

The original film was a masterpiece of sustained creepiness and inspired wild theories about a curse - supposedly borne when filmmakers used actual skeletons in the swimming pool scene - to explain the deaths of four cast members including angelic 12-year-old lead actress, Heather O'Rourke.

Regrettably, the might of modern technology dilutes the shock of the neat set-up and renders this revamp of Poltergeist an entirely scare-free affair. Screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire appears to have been influenced by modern horror films including Insidious and Annabelle, adding demonic toy clowns and a reality TV ghost hunter to his volatile mix.

There's a cute wink to the 1982 film in his script when the family learns that their home was built on a former cemetery and someone quips, "It's not as if it was an ancient burial ground." The iconic scene with a little girl and a flickering TV screen is also recreated.

In unconvincing fits and bursts, Kenan's film strives to set itself apart from the past, including the use of 3D that only really makes sense for a nasty moment with an electric drill.

Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell) and his wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) move into a new home with their three children: truculent teenager Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), scaredy-cat Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and cutie-pie Madison (Kennedi Clements).

The family notices odd electrical discharges around the house and Madison begins to converse with imaginary friends that live in her wardrobe. "They're lost people - not pretend, mommy," the tyke sweetly informs Amy.

Spirits make contact with Madison through white noise on a TV and spirit her away to the netherworld. Eric and Amy turn to Dr Claire Powell (Jane Adams), a professor of paranormal psychology, for assistance.

She brings in two trusty assistants, Boyd (Nicholas Braun) and Sophie (Susan Heyward), to capture evidence of the parallel spirit realm, where Madison is lost. "Someone should go in there and show her the way back here," suggests Griffin.

So Claire summons paranormal expert Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris), who hosts the reality TV show Haunted House Cleaners, to return Madison to the land of the living.

Poltergeist has creaking doors aplenty and bumps in the night but savvy 21st century audiences will be wise to these hoary scare tactics. Rockwell and DeWitt are solid while Clements exudes sweetness like her predecessor.

Harris is a poor replacement for Zelda Rubinstein's iconic spookfinder, Tangina, but the remake is already on shaky ground by the time he enters the fray, replete with wavering Irish accent. When Amy tells her son Griffin there is nothing to be afraid of, she was right.

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Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
Thursday 4th June 2015

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Poltergeist 3D 3 stars

movie title

Eric Bowen and his wife Amy move into a new home with their three children: teenage daughter Kendra, son Griffin and youngest child Madison. Angry spirits invade the home and focus their attention on little Madison, making contact with her through the white noise on a TV screen before spiriting away the terrified girl into the netherworld. Eric and Amy turn to supernatural expert Dr Claire Powell and medium Carrigan Burke to return Madison to the land of the living.

  • GenreAdaptation, Horror, Thriller
  • CastSam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clements, Jane Adams, Jared Harris, Kyle Catlett, Saxon Sharbino.
  • DirectorGil Kenan.
  • WriterDavid Lindsay-Abaire.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/poltergeist
  • Release22/05/2015

They're back!... the malevolent spirits from Tobe Hooper's 1982 horror resurface in director Gil Kenan's contemporary update, which supplants old school shocks with a whirlwind of computer-generated hocus pocus.

The original film was a masterpiece of sustained creepiness and inspired wild theories about a curse - supposedly borne when filmmakers used actual skeletons in the swimming pool scene - to explain the deaths of four cast members including angelic 12-year-old lead actress, Heather O'Rourke.

Regrettably, the might of modern technology dilutes the shock of the neat set-up and renders this revamp of Poltergeist an entirely scare-free affair. Screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire appears to have been influenced by modern horror films including Insidious and Annabelle, adding demonic toy clowns and a reality TV ghost hunter to his volatile mix.

There's a cute wink to the 1982 film in his script when the family learns that their home was built on a former cemetery and someone quips, "It's not as if it was an ancient burial ground." The iconic scene with a little girl and a flickering TV screen is also recreated.

In unconvincing fits and bursts, Kenan's film strives to set itself apart from the past, including the use of 3D that only really makes sense for a nasty moment with an electric drill.

Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell) and his wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) move into a new home with their three children: truculent teenager Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), scaredy-cat Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and cutie-pie Madison (Kennedi Clements).

The family notices odd electrical discharges around the house and Madison begins to converse with imaginary friends that live in her wardrobe. "They're lost people - not pretend, mommy," the tyke sweetly informs Amy.

Spirits make contact with Madison through white noise on a TV and spirit her away to the netherworld. Eric and Amy turn to Dr Claire Powell (Jane Adams), a professor of paranormal psychology, for assistance.

She brings in two trusty assistants, Boyd (Nicholas Braun) and Sophie (Susan Heyward), to capture evidence of the parallel spirit realm, where Madison is lost. "Someone should go in there and show her the way back here," suggests Griffin.

So Claire summons paranormal expert Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris), who hosts the reality TV show Haunted House Cleaners, to return Madison to the land of the living.

Poltergeist has creaking doors aplenty and bumps in the night but savvy 21st century audiences will be wise to these hoary scare tactics. Rockwell and DeWitt are solid while Clements exudes sweetness like her predecessor.

Harris is a poor replacement for Zelda Rubinstein's iconic spookfinder, Tangina, but the remake is already on shaky ground by the time he enters the fray, replete with wavering Irish accent. When Amy tells her son Griffin there is nothing to be afraid of, she was right.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
Thursday 4th June 2015

This film is also showing at:

San Andreas 3 stars

movie title

The San Andreas Fault, which runs for more than 800 miles through California, gives way, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake that decimates the west coast. Search and rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines takes to the air to hunt for survivors including his estranged wife Emma, who is engaged to wealthy real estate developer Daniel Reddick. Reunited in unimaginable tragedy, Ray and Emma head from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter Blake.

  • GenreAction, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • CastCarla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Dwayne Johnson, Ioan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi.
  • DirectorBrad Peyton.
  • WriterCarlton Cuse.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration114 mins
  • Official sitewwws.warnerbros.co.uk/sanandreas/
  • Release28/05/2015

In the closing moments of the computer effects-heavy disaster movie San Andreas, a tattered Stars And Stripes unfurls proudly on what remains of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It's the final, heavy-handed image of undaunted patriotism in a cliche-laden battle between puny mankind and mighty Mother Nature on the west coast of America.

Recent events in Nepal are still fresh in the mind as director Brad Peyton reduces cities to twisted rubble with a series of record-breaking earthquakes. Any discomfiting shivers of real-life tragedy are quickly dispelled by the hoary dialogue in Carlton Cuse's script and increasingly outrageous action sequences, which include the implausible sight of a rescue helicopter weaving between skyscrapers as they tumble into one another like giant metallic dominoes.

The best examples of the disaster genre, including The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno and Titanic, balance spectacular stunts with heart-breaking human drama, recognising that audiences need to feel emotionally attached to stricken characters in the midst of the sound and fury.

Screenwriter Cuse short-changes us here, hastily sketching a fractured family that is destined to reunite in the eye of the storm. That rebuilding of bridges is best summed up by one scientist's blunt assessment of impending doom: "It isn't a matter of if, it's a matter of when."

The San Andreas Fault, which runs for more than 800 miles through California, gives way, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake. Search and rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) hunts for survivors including his estranged wife Emma (Carla Gugino), who has filed for divorce so she can pursue a new relationship with wealthy real estate developer Daniel Reddick (Ioan Gruffudd).

Reunited in tragedy, Ray and Emma head to San Francisco to save their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who has joined forces with a handsome Brit called Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and his 11-year-old brother Ollie (Art Parkinson) to survive the devastation.

Just when it seems the worst is over for the Gaines family, a doom-saying professor (Paul Giamatti) at California Institute of Technology predicts a bigger earthquake and a massive tsunami from which there will be no escape.

San Andreas opens with a daredevil rescue sequence to emphasise Johnson's selfless heroic credentials before the destruction begins in earnest at the Hoover Dam.

The leading man looks physically pumped, taking to land, sea and air to reach his beloved daughter, while Gugino simpers with pride at his gung-ho antics. In the parallel plot strand, Daddario and Johnstone-Burt play out a sweet, yet lukewarm romance to justify their continued survival while thousands around them perish.

Digital effects vary wildly in quality but Canadian composer Andrew Lockington is consistent with his bombastic orchestrations. His thunderous beats and booming strings fittingly make the ground shake.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
Thursday 4th June 2015

This film is also showing at:

San Andreas 3D 3 stars

movie title

The San Andreas Fault, which runs for more than 800 miles through California, gives way, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake that decimates the west coast. Search and rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines takes to the air to hunt for survivors including his estranged wife Emma, who is engaged to wealthy real estate developer Daniel Reddick. Reunited in unimaginable tragedy, Ray and Emma head from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter Blake.

  • GenreAction, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • CastIoan Gruffudd, Alexandra Daddario, Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Archie Panjabi.
  • DirectorBrad Peyton.
  • WriterCarlton Cuse.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration114 mins
  • Official sitewwws.warnerbros.co.uk/sanandreas/
  • Release28/05/2015

In the closing moments of the computer effects-heavy disaster movie San Andreas, a tattered Stars And Stripes unfurls proudly on what remains of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It's the final, heavy-handed image of undaunted patriotism in a cliche-laden battle between puny mankind and mighty Mother Nature on the west coast of America.

Recent events in Nepal are still fresh in the mind as director Brad Peyton reduces cities to twisted rubble with a series of record-breaking earthquakes. Any discomfiting shivers of real-life tragedy are quickly dispelled by the hoary dialogue in Carlton Cuse's script and increasingly outrageous action sequences, which include the implausible sight of a rescue helicopter weaving between skyscrapers as they tumble into one another like giant metallic dominoes.

The best examples of the disaster genre, including The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno and Titanic, balance spectacular stunts with heart-breaking human drama, recognising that audiences need to feel emotionally attached to stricken characters in the midst of the sound and fury.

Screenwriter Cuse short-changes us here, hastily sketching a fractured family that is destined to reunite in the eye of the storm. That rebuilding of bridges is best summed up by one scientist's blunt assessment of impending doom: "It isn't a matter of if, it's a matter of when."

The San Andreas Fault, which runs for more than 800 miles through California, gives way, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake. Search and rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) hunts for survivors including his estranged wife Emma (Carla Gugino), who has filed for divorce so she can pursue a new relationship with wealthy real estate developer Daniel Reddick (Ioan Gruffudd).

Reunited in tragedy, Ray and Emma head to San Francisco to save their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who has joined forces with a handsome Brit called Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and his 11-year-old brother Ollie (Art Parkinson) to survive the devastation.

Just when it seems the worst is over for the Gaines family, a doom-saying professor (Paul Giamatti) at California Institute of Technology predicts a bigger earthquake and a massive tsunami from which there will be no escape.

San Andreas opens with a daredevil rescue sequence to emphasise Johnson's selfless heroic credentials before the destruction begins in earnest at the Hoover Dam.

The leading man looks physically pumped, taking to land, sea and air to reach his beloved daughter, while Gugino simpers with pride at his gung-ho antics. In the parallel plot strand, Daddario and Johnstone-Burt play out a sweet, yet lukewarm romance to justify their continued survival while thousands around them perish.

Digital effects vary wildly in quality but Canadian composer Andrew Lockington is consistent with his bombastic orchestrations. His thunderous beats and booming strings fittingly make the ground shake.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
Thursday 4th June 2015

This film is also showing at:

Spooks: The Greater Good 3 stars

movie title

Harry Pearce, Head of Counter-Terrorism Department at MI5, oversees the handover of deadly terrorist Qasim. The transfer is a disaster and Qasim escapes custody. Soon after, Harry vanishes without trace. High-ranking MI5 operatives enlist Harry's protege Will Crombie to track down his former mentor. In the process, Will stumbles upon a deadly conspiracy and a diabolical plot masterminded by Qasim to detonate a dirty bomb in the heart of London.

  • GenreAction, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • CastElyes Gabel, Kit Harington, Jennifer Ehle, Peter Firth, Tuppence Middleton, David Harewood, Lara Pulver.
  • DirectorBharat Nalluri.
  • WriterSam Vincent, Jonathan Brackley.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration104 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/spooksthemovie
  • Release08/05/2015

During a nine-year run on BBC One, Spooks thrilled viewers with the morally conflicted escapades of members of Section D of MI5, including one gruesome death sequence involving a deep fat fryer that sparked a deluge of complaints.

The show concluded in 2011 with the death of a pivotal character, effectively bringing down the curtain on the high-stakes spy game. After four years in dramatic limbo, familiar faces return in this glossy big-screen mission penned by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, who co-wrote the majority of episodes of the final two series.

There's a comforting air of familiarity about this Bourne Identity-style caper that serves as a reboot of the franchise and wedges the door ajar for further assignments, presuming lead actor Kit Harington can be wooed away from Game Of Thrones. Director Bharat Nalluri, who was closely associated with the TV version, maintains a brisk pace and orchestrates a couple of nail-biting action sequences.

Sir Harry Pearce (Peter Firth), Head of Counter-Terrorism at MI5, oversees the handover of terrorist Qasim (Elyes Gabel) to the CIA. The transfer, via the traffic-clogged roads of London, reaches a standoff when Qasim's gun-toting henchmen attack the police escort.

Harry makes the bold decision to avoid bloodshed by releasing the prisoner. Qasim narrowly escapes a subsequent pursuit by MI5 agent June Keaton (Tuppence Middleton) and her partner. Soon after, Harry vanishes without trace, shouldering the blame for the debacle.

Dame Geraldine Maltby (Jennifer Ehle), Deputy Director General of MI5, and Oliver Mace (Tim McInnerny), Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, enlist Harry's protege Will Crombie (Kit Harington) to track down his mentor. Will reluctantly agrees and unwittingly stumbles into a deadly conspiracy.

"I had to find someone I can trust: it's a short list," Harry informs Will when they eventually meet. With the clock ticking before Qasim detonates a dirty bomb in the heart of London, Will attempts to navigate a web of intrigue, some of it spun by Harry, aided by fellow agent Erin Watts (Lara Pulver).

Spooks: The Greater Good references tragic events from the final episode of the TV series and reopens old wounds to cast doubt on the ulterior motives of some of the key players.

Fans will savour these gossamer thin ties to the past but Nalluri's picture works well as a stand-alone feature for the uninitiated. Firth affects the same furrowed brow to suggest he is custodian of too many secrets, while Harington expends energy in bruising fight sequences.

The plot twists and turns, and threatens to tie itself in knots, but thankfully unravels with a satisfying dose of treachery. As Harry reminds his idealistic protege, "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later, they make you choose."

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 3rd June 2015

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Tomorrowland: A World Beyond 3 stars

At the 1964 World Fair, a young boy called Frank Walker takes a magical trip to a world called Tomorrowland in the company of a girl called Athena. Many years later, Frank is a grizzled, world weary inventor, who is haunted by his memories of Tomorrowland and the beautiful Athena. A spirited young woman called Casey Newton, who has also glimpsed this futuristic realm, gatecrashes Frank's life at the most inopportune moment and compels him to venture back to Tomorrowland.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastHugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Raffey Cassidy.
  • DirectorBrad Bird.
  • WriterBrad Bird, Damon Lindelof.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official sitewww.movies.disney.com/tomorrowland
  • Release22/05/2015

For a big budget fantasy which vociferously encourages children to dream, Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is disappointingly - and ironically - short on invention and ingenuity. Director Brad Bird, who cast early cinematic spells in animation with The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, engineers a trio of slick set pieces in the opening hour.

In particular, his female protagonist's first glimpse of the titular kingdom is a breath-taking assault on the senses including the haunting image of synchronised divers somersaulting downwards into circular pools of water suspended one above another.

Once the cogs of a preposterous plot begin to whir, any exhilaration quickly dissipates, leaving us to slog through an exceedingly pedestrian second hour that is heavy on exposition and light on wonder. As soon as one character starts ranting about a secret brotherhood founded by Gustave Eiffel, Thomas Edison, Jules Verne and Nikola Tesla - a narrative thread that might have come untangled from Dan Brown's outlandish Da Vinci Code - all hope is lost.

Aside from a pair of duelling robots, casually introduced into the underwhelming finale, it's difficult to see what will hold the attention of young children, who aren't already asleep or kicking the chair in front of them in boredom.

At the 1964 New York World Fair, young inventor Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) fails to impress judge David Nix (Hugh Laurie) with his misfiring jetpack. However, the boy does catch the eye of an enigmatic girl called Athena (Raffey Cassidy), who gives Frank a lapel pin emblazoned with a capital T that magically grants him access to a parallel dimension called Tomorrowland.

Eventually, Frank is banished from the fantastical realm and his beloved Athena. Many years later, Frank (now played by George Clooney) is a grizzled recluse, haunted by the past.

A spirited young woman called Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), who has glimpsed this futuristic realm by touching her own lapel pin, gatecrashes Frank's life at the most inopportune moment.

"You've been manipulated to believe you're part of something incredible," Frank warns Casey as they travel back to Tomorrowland to discover the fairy-tale realm has been corrupted beyond recognition.

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond has teasing flashes of the beguiling flight of fantasy that Bird surely intended. A high-speed pursuit with robot assassins around Frank's booby-trap laden home is executed at a breathless pace, and rising star Cassidy from Worsley near Manchester outshines Clooney and Robertson in their underwritten roles.

However, a framing device which allows Frank and Casey to jointly narrate the story - and constantly bicker - grates and is ultimately superfluous. Somewhere between Bird's plodding direction in the second act and his convoluted script co-written by Damon Lindelof, Tomorrowland becomes a test of endurance rather than a pulse-quickening tumble down the rabbit hole of the human spirit.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
Thursday 4th June 2015

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