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Now showing at Beck Theatre Grange Road,Hayes,Middlesex UB3 2UE 020 8561 8371

  • Jurassic World
  • Magic Mike XXL

Jurassic World 4 stars

movie title

The Jurassic World theme park is open on Isla Nublar under the control of Operations Manager Claire Dearing. The park's scientists play God by performing genetic modification experiments to breed a new dinosaur: the Indominus Rex. When this hulking beast escapes confinement and goes on the rampage in a park crowded with terrified tourists, animal wrangler Owen Grady races to the rescue.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Family, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastJudy Greer, Chris Pratt, Ty Simpkins, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Nick Robinson.
  • DirectorColin Trevorrow.
  • WriterRick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration124 mins
  • Official sitewww.jurassicworld.com
  • Release11/06/2015

In the original Jurassic Park, scientists reanimate dinosaurs on a tropical island and quickly discover their arrogant folly. "Life breaks free. It expands to new territories and crashes through barriers," wisely observes Jeff Goldblum's doom-mongering chaos mathematician. His words reverberate throughout this fourth instalment of the blockbusting dino-franchise.

Director Colin Trevorrow and three co-writers step back in time, using the structure and heightened human drama of the first film as a solid template for this return to Isla Nublar. Jurassic World begs, borrows and affectionately steals from the 1993 box office behemoth, including a cameo for the Mr DNA animation and a set piece in the iconic visitor centre (now overgrown).

Two stricken children are a focal point when the park goes into meltdown, and mission control boasts a nerdy computer wizard (Jake Johnson) for mild comic relief. If the nuts and bolts of the screenplay are unabashedly retro, the special effects are undeniably state-of-the-art, realising creatures great and small, which chomp through countless extras and the main cast.

This is by far the bloodiest chapter of the Jurassic saga, if not quite the best. Jurassic World opened to the public in 2005 and now welcomes more than 20,000 visitors a day. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) oversees park operations, while Dr Henry Wu (BD Wong) plays God in the laboratories, splicing DNA strands to create terrifying new breeds.

"Consumers want them bigger, louder, more teeth," Claire tells a group of investors. Thus the ferocious and highly intelligent Indominus Rex is born. "This will give the parents nightmares," shudders park CEO Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), who took up the mantle from John Hammond to open an isle of prehistoric wonders.

When the Indominus Rex escapes her paddock, Claire begs naval officer-turned-animal behaviour specialist Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) for help. He has been working on the island with Vic Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio), head of InGen Security, on a top-secret project involving four captive velociraptors.

Claire is distraught because her nephews, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), are trapped in the middle of the bloodbath. She implores Owen to rescue the boys, tracking them by footprints and scent. "I was in the Navy, not the Navajo," he reminds her.

Jurassic World is a muscular, rollicking romp that captures some of the adrenaline-pumping thrills and jaw-dropping awe we felt more than 20 years ago when Steven Spielberg first unleashed dinosaurs back into multiplexes.

Pratt is an instantly likable hero and he catalyses a simmering screen chemistry with Howard as the workaholic who faces the dino-pocalypse in highly inappropriate footwear. D'Onofrio glowers as one of the film's boo-hiss villains, who views the creatures as expendable assets. "We own them. Extinct animals have no rights," he snarls.

Action sequences are orchestrated at a lick, seamlessly integrating digital trickery with live action including chaotic scenes of a flock of pteranodons plucking visitors from the ground. "Remember: something chases you, run!" advises Zach and Gray's mom at the beginning of the film. Wise words.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 1st September 2015

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Magic Mike XXL 2 stars

movie title

Mike and his fellow dancers Ken, Richie, Tarzan and Tito have been at the top of their pelvis-thrusting game for too long and the end is nigh for the Kings of Tampa. The gang decides to bow out in style with a final performance in Myrtle Beach. En route to this emotional farewell, the men make a detour to Savannah to visit Mike's old stomping ground: the Domina private club run by sassy businesswoman Rome.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
  • CastElizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Amber Heard, Kevin Nash, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Matt Bomer.
  • DirectorGregory Jacobs.
  • WriterReid Carolin.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration115 mins
  • Official sitewww.magicmikemovie.com
  • Release03/07/2015

Size matters to Magic Mike XXL. Apart from the tease in the title of this pelvis-thrusting sequel, Gregory Jacobs' third feature is longer and showier than the original. The film dutifully thrusts its crotch towards the target demographics, intentionally showing paying women customers of every age, ethnicity and shape enjoying the raunchy dance solos, and shoehorning a superfluous scene in a gay club that enforces limp-wristed stereotypes.

Unfortunately, the breathlessly staged performances are forced to bump 'n' grind against a script that is flimsier than a moth-eaten G-string. The narrative lacks pace and purpose, most of the characters are limited to one scene of personal development, and a central romance between Channing Tatum and on-screen love interest Amber Heard remains unappealingly limp.

Tatum is the film's strongest asset and his athleticism and agility are repeatedly tested by choreographer Alison Faulk. Pulses quicken when the dancers have their clothes on, gyrating suggestively against whooping clientele.

As soon as the trousers come down and shiny posing pouches succumb to gravity, the electrical charge dissipates. This might be the first film about "male entertainers" where the audience rowdily cheers "put 'em back on!"

It's been three years since Mike Lane (Tatum) turned his back on stripping to pursue his dream of running a custom furniture business. Times are tough: his girlfriend has left him, he's struggling to pay his one employee, and when his signature song - Ginuwine's "Pony" - blasts from the radio in his workshop, he can't resist a feverish grind against the nearest workstation.

Consequently, Mike reunites with fellow dancers Ken (Matt Bomer), Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and Tarzan (Kevin Nash) for one final pelvis-thrusting hurrah as the Kings of Tampa at a strippers' convention in Myrtle Beach.

En route, the team's MC Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias) is waylaid in hospital, Richie finds a potential soulmate in an uninhibited Southern belle (Andie MacDowell), and the men learn new tricks from smooth operators Andre (Donald Glover), Malik (Stephen 'tWitch' Boss) and Augustus (Michael Strahan) at a private club called Domina run by sassy businesswoman Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith).

Aside from the protracted sequence at Domina that turns up the temperature several degrees, Magic Mike XXL is dull and disjointed. The road trip narrative is a creaky support for the poorly conceived vignettes in Reid Carolin's script, which conveniently forgets about Mike's faltering business, his customers and one employee as soon as he boards the van to Myrtle Beach.

Rome's affirmative message that all women deserved to be worshipped as "queens" by their men might ring true if the women in the film weren't dragged, pushed and spun around the floor like supermops by the dancers. It's one way to do the housework, I suppose.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015

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