Llanelli Star - - FILM REVIEWS -


OC­TAVIA SPENCER re­unites with The

Help direc­tor Tate Tay­lor for a twisted psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller.

Erica ( Juli­ette Lewis) and her teenage daughter Mag­gie (Diana Sil­vers) are new in town and are keen to settle into their close-knit Ohio com­mu­nity. Mag­gie quickly makes friends and out­side a con­ve­nience store, she ap­proaches lo­cal woman Sue Ann (Spencer, above) to buy al­co­hol for her un­der­age class­mates.

In­stead, Sue Ann in­vites Mag­gie and pals Ha­ley (McKa­ley Miller), Dar­rell (Dante Brown) and Chaz (Gianni Paolo) to her large house to party in the base­ment, which is un­used.

The young­sters are de­lighted by Sue Ann’s hos­pi­tal­ity. The owner has three rules: no one is al­lowed up­stairs in the main house, at least one of the group must stay sober and ev­ery­one should ad­dress her as “Ma”.

When the agree­ment is bro­ken, Sue Ann’s kind­ness turns to toxic ob­ses­sion and the stu­dents re­alise that a night at Ma’s house is to die for.

ALADDIN (PG) ★★★ ★★

A KIND of mag­i­cal live-action re­make of the Os­car-win­ning 1992 Disney an­i­ma­tion.

Street urchin Aladdin (Mena Massoud), runs amok on the streets of Agrabah with pet mon­key Abu. He falls hope­lessly in love with Princess Jas­mine (Naomi Scott, above), who re­sents the rules im­posed by her fa­ther, the Sul­tan (Navid Ne­gah­ban). Tra­di­tion dic­tates that Jas­mine marry a man of sim­i­lar so­cial stand­ing so Aladdin is denied the thing he de­sires most.

Mean­while, the Sul­tan’s chief ad­viser Ja­far (Mar­wen Ken­zari) plots to seize power us­ing a magic lamp, which lies deep within a Cave Of Won­ders in the desert. Only a “di­a­mond in the rough” is per­mit­ted to en­ter, so Ja­far dis­patches a clue­less Aladdin to steal the golden trin­ket.

Ja­far dou­ble-crosses Aladdin but the wily “street rat” sum­mons the Ge­nie (Will Smith) and uses the first of three wishes to rein­vent him­self as a dash­ing prince – surely a man wor­thy of Jas­mine’s fair hand.

ROCK­ET­MAN (15) ★★★ ★★

OC­CA­SION­ALLY thrilling biopic of El­ton John, trac­ing the mu­sic legend’s rise to star­dom from his early years grow­ing up in Pin­ner with his mother Sheila (Bryce Dal­las Howard) and grand­mother Ivy (Gemma Jones).

Reg Dwight (Taron Eger­ton, above) un­locks his gift for song­writ­ing by forg­ing a creative part­ner­ship with Bernie Taupin ( Jamie Bell). Dick James (Stephen Gra­ham), founder of DJM, signs Reg and Bernie to the la­bel and nur­tures the raw tal­ents as Reg changes his name to El­ton John and finds new pur­pose with man­ager John Reid (Richard Mad­den), who be­comes his lover.

For his fans, El­ton dons out­landish cos­tumes and em­braces his larger-than-life stage persona but be­hind the scenes, he wres­tles with sub­stance abuse, de­pres­sion and his sex­u­al­ity.

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