Film Screening 28th October, 2017

Poster for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 

7:00 PM, 28th October, 2017

  • M
  • 137 mins
  • 2017
  • Luc Besson
  • Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna

In the 28th century, Valerian (DeHaan) and Laureline (Delevingne) are tasked with keeping order throughout the human territories of the universe. Sent on a mission to Alpha – an interspecies metropolis where knowledge, intelligence and culture are shared – they discover that dark forces are conspiring to endanger the entire universe. And only Valerian and Laureline can stop them.

It’s been 20 years since Luc Besson made The Fifth Element, and we still haven’t seen a denser, more wildly, insanely, or amusingly strange sci-fi spectacular to match it. Perhaps until now. The source material for this ambitious new film is a series of French comics that ran from 1967 to 2010 and has inspired countless other comics and films: from the “lived in” future of Star Wars up to and including The Fifth Element itself, which counted Jean-Claude Mézières, the artist who drew the comics, among its production designers.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is officially the most expensive French film thus far (beating the previous record holder by about 150%), and promises true spectacle and imaginative adventure. Featuring a strong international cast – including Clive Owen, John Goodman, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer, jazz legend Herbie Hancock and Australian glamourpuss Elizabeth Debicki – this is the big-screen epic blockbuster turned gloriously insane.

Simon Tolhurst

Poster for A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls 

9:27 PM, 28th October, 2017

  • PG
  • 108 mins
  • 2016
  • J.A. Bayona
  • Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson

A Monster Calls is the engrossing tale of Connor (newcomer MacDougall), a young British boy who is enduring a confusing time of his childhood. His mother (Jones) is dying, he is being bullied at school, and his grandmother (Weaver) is placing pressure on him to accept the inevitability of his mother’s death.

Help to guide Connor through this period comes from an unusual and unexpected source: an old yew tree in a cemetery visible from his window. As voiced by Neeson (and what an appropriate voice it is), the tree is there to tell Connor three stories. In exchange, Connor will be obligated to tell the tree a story of his own.

As a tale of a young child dealing with emotional issues, A Monster Calls rates up there with Inside Out. Where the Pixar classic dealt with anxiety and depression, this film expertly and compassionately guides us through grief and anger. You can’t help but be caught up with young MacDougall’s audacious performance, and the supporting performances are great too: Jones will break your heart, Weaver has a significant scene towards the end showing the reasons behind her motivations, and Neeson is a terrific, soothing, strong storyteller.

This is a compelling, cathartic and thrilling movie for all audiences.

Travis Cragg