Time to Shine
GREATEST DAYS Cert ★★★
In cinemas now
Unlike Elton John and ABBA, Take That never broke America, so their jukebox musical doesn’t have Rocketman or Mamma Mia’s Hollywood dollars to fund its trip down memory lane.
As director Coky Giedroyc’s adaptation of Tim Firth’s 2017 stage production is a British film, it has to rely on a certain ramshackle charm to paper over its slightly cheap-looking song-and-dance routines.
Thankfully, her excellent cast and her choreographer Drew Mconie have that in abundance. Irish comic Aisling Bea is hugely likeable as Rachel O’flynn, a children’s ward nurse haunted by a tragedy she suffered as a teen.
When she wins a radio contest offering an all-expensespaid trip to see 90s group The Boys stage a comeback concert in Athens, she contemplates a reunion of her own.
Snubbing her clingy partner Geoff (Marc Wootton), she invites her three best pals from school – Claire ( Jayde Adams), Heather (Alice Lowe) and Zoe (Amaka Okafor) – to revisit their favourite boy band from their teenage years.
Flashbacks to 1990s’ Clitheroe introduce us to their 16-year-old selves as they prepare to see The Boys in Manchester.
A younger Rachel (Lara Mcdonnell) is so excited, she imagines the lads performing Pray in her kitchen. These fantasy sequences recur as a sporadically amusing and touching script jumps between the 90s and the present day.
In the past, the girls gyrate with their idols on a bus to Relight My Fire, as the driver drags up to sing Lulu’s part.
Most entertaining is an easyjet flight that turns into a Busby Berkeley-inspired song and dance routine with the air hostesses kicking their legs to Shine.
“And this could be the greatest day of our lives,” sings Gary Barlow in the title track. And it could also be the most British musical sequence we’ll ever experience.
Take That’s jukebox musical relies on ramshackle charm
THE FLASH Cert ★★★
In cinemas now
Are you all multiversed out? If not, here’s another blockbuster where a hero enters a wobbly portal to meet an alternate version of himself.
And can you separate art from the artist? Because said hero is The Flash, also Barry Allen, the fleet-footed chap from the Justice League movies who is still played by Ezra Miller.
In an alternate universe, Hollywood executives replaced the actor after a 2020 video surfaced, appearing to show Miller choking a young woman in a bar in Iceland.
In this universe, they built a $200million solo movie around the B-lister, who faced a number of
PRETTY RED DRESS Cert ★★★★
In cinemas now
The X Factor winner Alexandra Burke hits the right notes in this low-key drama as Candice, who’s juggling auditions to play the lead in a new Tina Turner musical with getting reacquainted with her partner.
Burly Travis (Natey Jones) just returned to their London flat after a year in prison and has developed a strange fascination with the sparkly red frock she wears to auditions.
Both actors are excellent but talented newcomer Temilola Olatunbosun steals the show as their troubled teenage daughter.
allegations and arrests after the film wrapped in 2021.
And, after going through a rumoured 45 writers since the film was announced in 2014, here’s the plot they went with.
Allen, who is blessed with superspeed, discovers he can travel through time when he achieves a new personal best on the streets of Gotham.
As his backstory involves a dead mum and a dad accused of her murder, he tries to rejig past events to save them both. But meddling with the space-time continuum robs him of his superpowers and plonks him in an alternate timeline just as the plot from the 2013 DC movie Man Of Steel kicks into gear. As evil General Zod (Michael Shannon) arrives on earth, Superman fails to show up to sort him out.
So Allen has to shepherd a younger,
dorkier version of himself through his origins story and seek help from Superman and Batman.
But, this being an alternate universe, Batman is no longer Ben Affleck’s dour Dark Knight but the fun Michael Keaton version.
Meanwhile, Henry Cavill’s bland Superman has been replaced by Sasha Calle’s short-tempered Supergirl.
These are definitely improvements and if your answers to my opening questions are no and yes, you should find this one of the more entertaining DC movies.
It all moves along rather zippily until director Andy Muschietti tries to restage the 2013 film’s Cgi-heavy finale.
His alternate version isn’t much better.