Dumbo is flying high again
Continuing at The Cinema in Newton Stewart for another week is Disney’s remake of their 1941 classic Dumbo (PG).
This is the latest in their never-ending remakes of their back catalogue of animated features and it has divided critical opinion 50/50. So, does it fly or flop?
Well of course the loveable little CGI baby elephant flies and very effectively too thanks to the CGI wizards.
But once the film has paid homage to the original – a Casey Jones Train, storks flying over the circus wagons as Mrs Jumbo gives birth and the demolition of the circus tent when it all goes wrong - the film veers off into a new plot line involving Danny De Vito, owner of the rundown circus falling for a tempting offer by wily theme park owner Michael Keaton.
As is common with current Disney and in the hands of Tim Burton the framing story is down beat although Keaton hams it up to terrific effect.
One time circus star Colin Farrell returns from WW I, having lost an arm and his wife while away and his two children are the key to discovering Dumbo’s talents.
Once we are whisked away to the glitzy super park, Dreamland, we are treated to a Busby Berkeley spectacular and a hair-raising stunt with Dumbo and trapeze star Eva Green.
But the park has a darker side and an all-action climax leads to an ecologically and emotionally satisfying conclusion.
The original remains the classic best but the new one is entertaining in its own way despite being over-long and heavyweight.
There are no films at The Fullarton in Castle Douglas until April 12 but on Sunday the Event Cinema is a visit to Moscow for the Bolshoi Ballet in The Golden Age.
With music by Shostakovich this is a satire of Europe during the Roaring Twenties with a jazzy music score and music-hall atmosphere. It involves a love story and gangsters in seaside town - Romeo and Juliet set to tangos, rag-time and cabaret.
The Friday film tomorrow at the Birchvale Theatre in Dalbeattie is, Widows (15), based on the 1980’s TV series and follows three widows of deceased crooks who decide to ‘honour’ their memory by carrying out their menfolk’s $5 million heist. But there are more than the cops and the Banks interested in their activities in this stylish thriller.
At the Burns Centre Film Theatre in Dumfries most of the week is filled with, All Is True (12a), in which Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as William Shakespeare in this affectionate tribute to his literary hero.
Written by Ben Elton who also writes ‘Upstart Crow’ for TV, the film is the story of the last three years in Shakespeare’s life.
Following the destruction of the Globe Theatre in a fire, Shakespeare returns to Stratford and his wife Anne Hathaway, played by Judi Dench. He is haunted by the death of his eleven-year-old son and perplexed by the feisty personalities of his daughters. But the arrival of his old muse the Earl of Southampton (Ian McKellan), revives old memories and feelings.
Also, on Friday only is the emotional drama, Boy Erased (15), directed, produced and featuring Joel Edgerton as the leader of a gay conversion therapy programme.
Jared (Lucas Hedges) is the son of a Baptist preacher (Russell Crow) and his wife (Nicol Kidman) who cannot reconcile with his son’s situation. The result is a powerful conflict based on a true story. The Monday alternative is a film from Lebanon, Capernaum (15). It is a heart-wrenching story of 12 year- old Beirut street boy who has escaped from his abusive home life.
After he lands in prison, he takes part in a TV stunt in which he takes his parents to court for allowing him to be born.
But this is a means to highlight the poverty and suffering in the country.
The film won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
All Is True Starring Kenneth Brannagh as William Shakespeare