The films to see in York this week – 24-30 May 2019

Inspired by the new Aladdin remake, I’ve been thinking of three wishes I’d like to ask Disney to grant, in relation to their ever-expanding portfolio of properties.

One – Mary Poppins to be installed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She already has powers and a costume, so this one’s a no-brainer. Plus, she can sing, and it’s high time the MCU did a musical.

Two – Commission a dark live action reboot of Scrooge McDuck, in which he’s a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed mercenary voiced by Peter Capaldi.

Three – All work on the fifth Indiana Jones film to cease with immediate effect, and all involved never to speak of it again.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed… Also out this week, more hair-raising adventures in The Secret Life of Pets 2, and end-of-term partying gets out of hand in Booksmart.

New releases

Aladdin

  • Cert PG, 128 mins
  • Vue York, City Screen, Everyman
  • From Weds May 22
  • More details

Here comes the Man in Blue… Will Smith takes on the much-loved character of the Genie in Disney’s latest live action remake, brought to the screen by none other than Lock, Stock geezer Guy Ritchie.

This new take on the 1992 animation sees Mena Massoud (from Amazon’s Jack Ryan series) as the titular kind-hearted street urchin, who is granted three wishes when he frees a powerful Genie from a magic lamp.

Naomi Scott (seen in the 2017 Power Rangers reboot) plays Princess Jasmine – and gets to sing what’s being talked up as a show-stopping new song by the original film’s composer Alan Menken (alongside The Greatest Showman writing team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul).

Booksmart

  • Cert 15, 102 mins
  • Vue York, City Screen
  • From Mon May 27
  • More details

Two straight-A high school students decide to kick back on the eve of their high school graduation in this highly acclaimed coming-of-age comedy.

Amy (Kaitlyn Dever, Beautiful Boy) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein, Lady Bird) may have aced all their classes, but as school comes to an end they realise they’ve missed out on all the fun stuff.

Their solution? To make up for lost time with one wild night before they graduate…

Inevitably drawing comparisons to Superbad (Feldstein is in fact the sister of that film’s star Jonah Hill), it’s been hailed as a fresh, funny take on the high school genre, with Rolling Stone calling it “outrageously entertaining and quietly revolutionary at the same time.

The film also marks the directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde, whom House fans will remember as the intern known simply as Thirteen…

The Secret Life of Pets 2

  • Cert U, 86 mins
  • Vue York, Everyman
  • From Fri May 24
  • More details

Max and the gang are back for more misadventures in this sequel to the popular 2016 original, which gave a glimpse into what our pets get up to when we’re out.

The story sees new challenges for Max and Duke when their owner Katie becomes a mum – sending Max’s neuroses into overdrive as he worries about being able to protect the new member of the family.

Meanwhile, Max’s feline girlfriend Gidget goes on a mission to rescue Max’s favourite toy, while newly domesticated rabbit Snowball has delusions of grandeur when his owner starts dressing him as a superhero…

US comedian Patton Oswalt takes over vocal duties for Max (following the departure of disgraced comic Louis C.K.), while Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish joins the cast as a fearless Shih Tzu, and Harrison Ford pops up as a gruff old sheepdog.

One-off screenings

It’s a quieter week for one-offs, but there are as ever a few worth flagging at City Screen.

Their music-themed Headline Acts season has tributes to two more legendary acts. On Sunday 26th, you can catch a film regularly celebrated as one of the all-time great concert docs – Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz.

It captures what was billed as the farewell performance by Bob Dylan cohorts The Band, including guest appearances from Dylan and other ‘70s luminaries such as Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Neils Diamond and Young.

It’s followed on Weds 29th by Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church, which documents the guitarist’s 1970 set at the Atlanta International Pop Festival, just two months before his untimely death.

City Screen’s Hirokazu Kore-eda season concludes on Tues 28th with 2008’s Still Walking, in which unspoken tensions erupt when a family comes together to mark the anniversary of their eldest son’s death 15 years before.

And finally, the last selection in their Empire 30 sci-fi season (celebrating 30 years of Picturehouse and Empire magazine) is a 3D screening of 2013’s Oscar-winning Gravity (Thurs 30th), starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts lost in space.

Director Alfonso Cuarón’s thrilling film won seven awards, including Best Director and Best Visual Effects – and perhaps most impressively of all, it even had dyed-in-the-wool 3D sceptic Mark Kermode admitting that this is one film worth digging out the fancy specs for…


Community Cinema

He gets about, that Ryan Gosling – following appearances at South Bank Community Cinema and City Screen earlier this month, moon landing drama First Man now touches down in New Earswick as Film at the Folk Hall’s next screening.

It’s showing on Friday 24th, and they’re trying something a bit different when it comes to payment this time – rather than paying for the ticket, you’re invited to ‘pay it forward’, as explained on their website:

“We’ll be covering the costs of putting on ‘First Man’ (12a) and all we ask is that you simply pay something forward to someone else after the event. It can be big or small, it’s completely up to you. You could have a chat and a sandwich with a homeless person, or perhaps give blood. Maybe you could reconnect with a friend who needs cheering up or start volunteering somewhere. Whatever it is, big or small, just pay something forward to make a positive difference!

Don’t worry if it’s not your thing – we’d still love you to come along and we will have a collection for York Food bank on the night for those who would rather donate. We have checked with them and cash donations are best so we will have a bucket!”

Sounds like a great idea. If you fancy taking them up on the offer, head down to the Folk Hall, New Earswick on Fri 24th. Doors are at 7pm, the film starts at 7:30.