A fearsome creature of yore returns to claim his crown on the big screen this week.
In his time he’s been a hero, a villain, even a figure of fun – his very name a byword for chaos and destruction.
Capable of quelling opponents with one deadly flash of his eyes, he lumbers from city to city, leaving carnage in his wake.
Yep, Liam Gallagher’s on the comeback trail in As It Was. There’s a new Godzilla film out too…
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
When it comes to long-running cinematic franchises, even James Bond has to bow down before the mighty Godzilla, who first terrorised audiences back in 1954.
This latest big screen outing serves as a sequel to the 2014 Hollywood reboot, and sees the iconic monster duking it out with a trio of new enemies: Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed Ghidorah.
Adding a human element to proceedings are Kyle Chandler (Super 8) and Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), as an estranged scientist couple whose work has enabled human communication with the monsters – while Stranger Things’ Mille Bobby Brown makes her feature debut as their daughter.
Director Michael Dougherty previously oversaw carnage of a different kind in 2015’s festive horror comedy Krampus.
A group of teenagers find their middle-aged neighbour’s generosity is not all it seems in this latest chiller from horror maestros Blumhouse (Get Out, Insidious).
Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water) plays Sue Ann, a loner in a quiet Ohio town who one day finds herself enlisted by new girl on the block Maggie (Diana Silvers, Glass) to buy some booze for her and her mates.
She goes one further, offering them the use of her basement for parties whenever they want – and blissfully unaware that they’re in a horror film, they jump at the chance.
That house rule about never going upstairs? Well, she probably just doesn’t want them getting mud on the carpets…
One of the nice things about this time of year – between awards season and the full-on onslaught of summer blockbusters – is that it’s often when you can find some great hidden gems: the kind of smaller films that studios don’t seem to know quite what to do with, but which can end up being among your favourites.
Thunder Road seems like a case in point – the tale of a Texas police officer whose life falls apart after the death of his mother might not sound like a laugh riot, but it’s earned plenty of praise for its blend of heartbreak and hilarity. 20
The feature debut of writer-director Jim Cummings – who also takes the lead role – it follows officer Jim Arnaud as he tries to process his grief whilst also dealing with a custody battle for his daughter Crystal (Kendal Farr).
As the title indicates, it’s inspired in part by the music of Bruce Springsteen, and was developed from a short film Cummings made in 2016, which you can see in full on Vimeo.
Fitzgerald! Gallagher! Minelli!
The greatest Glastonbury headlining trio that never was? I’ll leave you to decide, but you can catch all three of them at the cinema this week.
City Screen’s ongoing Headline Acts musical season this week sees the Kit Kat club reopening its doors on Sunday 2nd, with a screening of Cabaret.
Bob Fosse’s classic 1972 film, based around a cabaret club in 1930s Germany, was the winner of eight Oscars at the 45th Academy Awards – including gongs for Liza Minelli as singer Sally Bowles and Joel Grey as the club’s master of ceremonies.
It’s followed on Monday 3rd by Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things, a tribute to the legendary jazz singer, interspersing archive footage and audio clips of Fitzgerald with interviews with her peers and famous fans.
Meanwhile, all three York cinemas host a night with a Britpop icon on Thurs 6th, with a screening of new documentary Liam Gallagher: As It Was followed by a live set from Alexandra Palace.
The film casts a beady eye over Gallagher’s efforts to rebuild his career in the post-Oasis wilderness years – and while his musical output has been, um, variable in quality, he’s always remained a highly entertaining interviewee, so this should be good for some choice quotes at the very least.
Moving away from music, Thurs 6th also sees screenings of Steven Spielberg’s powerful World War II drama Saving Private Ryan at Vue York and Everyman, to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
On Tues 4th, City Screen have a showing of new documentary XY Chelsea, which follows transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning as she fights to begin a new life following Barack Obama’s commution of her 35-year prison sentence in January 2017.
Finally, Studio Ghibli fans can catch a screening of perennial favourite My Neighbour Totoro at Everyman on Sun 2nd.
South Bank Community Cinema continues its season marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landings with an intriguing Hungarian sci-fi drama.
It may be called Jupiter’s Moon, but the lunar theme doesn’t extend beyond the title – instead, the film tells the story of Aryan (Zsombor Jéger), a Syrian refugee who develops the ability to fly after being shot while illegally crossing a border.
The latest film from director Kornél Mundruczó – who memorably flooded the streets of Budapest with an army of canine avengers in 2014’s White God – this is by all accounts an even more idiosyncratic tale, which drew mixed reviews on its release in 2017, but few critics could fault its ambition: “Jupiter’s Moon isn’t a total success,” Peter Bradshaw concluded in the Guardian, “but it’s aiming at the stars.”
It shows at Clements Hall at 8pm on Fri 31st. Tickets are £3 for members, £4 for guests.