The Light Cinema

Avengers (12A) - Review

And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for: the final chapter of the Avengers saga and the continuation of last year’s Infinity War. Without revealing too much, Endgame does a great job at delivering the bleakness and despair and counteracting that with epicness and overwhelming joy. Gasps will be heard, tears will be shed, claps will resound around the auditorium. Book your tickets now! Before you have the chance to hear spoilers and have your dreams reduced to dust. Snap to it!

Rating: 5/5 ★★★★★

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Greta (15) - Review

Greta at first does not appear to be a gripping psychological horror circling around a cunning stalker and a naive young woman who falls for her scheme. It starts out seeming like a touching narrative of an unlikely friendship between a lonely but sweet old French woman and a lonely young woman from Boston who has recently lost her mother and is struggling to fit in to life in the big city. But that’s the genius of it: Greta lurs you in in the same way she does, with a sense of style and sweetness that preys on kindness and naivety. A cautionary tale of sorts.

Rating: 3/5 ★★★☆☆

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Red Joan (12A) - Review

Red Joan is loosely based off the true story of Melita Norwood, the British civil servant who supplied the KGB with state secrets in the 1930s. Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson play the older and younger versions of the titular character Joan Smith, a Theoretical Physics major at Cambridge. Joan finds herself in the communist circle when she befriends a foreign languages student and subsequently falls in love with her friend’s cousin. It’s a fascinating story with questions of morality and patriotism, which will leave you hooked until the end.

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆

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Wild Rose (15) - Review

Based on the journey of Glaswegian country singer Rose-Lynn Garlan, Wild Rose, like the titular character, is a breath of fresh air. Her character, voice and story will not only engage you but leave you transfixed. Jessie Buckley truly delivers a transformative performance that takes you on a wild ride in a heart-renching story full of heart and power, regret and mistakes, and the tug of war between chasing dreams and knowing when to let go.

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆

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Pet Sematary (15) - Review

As the second modern Stephen King horror adaption in the last two years, succeeding the most recent remake of the iconic It (2017), I expected more from Pet Sematary. There are good aspects to it – the pacing, the original story it is adapted from, and some striking, disturbing visuals – but I have a feeling this remake will be buried and forgotten within the next couple of years. Sometimes, dead is better.

Rating: 2/5 ★★☆☆☆

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Shazam (12A) - Review

Shazam! is the DC superhero film fans and non-fans alike have been waiting for. It’s funny and witty with a tiny side of cheese, emotional in all the right places and an all-round interesting, action-packed, well-made film. The main character is not perfect, but he is all the more relatable for it, and we are all there with him willing him to grow and truly become the superhero he feels he is not.

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆

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Fisherman's Friends (12A) - Review

Does anyone recall that one glorious bizarre moment in 2010 when a group of local ageing Cornish fishermen unexpectedly captured the public’s hearts and bagged a spot in the UK’s top album charts? I didn’t realise I did, until I watched ‘Fisherman’s Friends’ and was transported back into recent history with this endearing, true-to-life tribute.

The story begins with the world’s worst stag do as four friends from London embark on a doomed trip to Port Isaac. There they stumble across a group of ten singing fishermen, the Fisherman’s Friends, putting on a show for the locals, as they have done for years. The friends, who happen to be music producers, discover that actually, they’re not half bad. Lead character Danny (Daniel Mays) takes it upon himself to sign the unlikely band and attempt to turn them into the next Beatles.

Based on a true story, ‘Fisherman’s Friends’ is a fun, light-hearted, feel-good film. It reteaches the public fishermen’s sea shanties that they didn’t even know they knew and will get stuck in your head, and teaches about Cornish culture and fishermen’s traditions that go back centuries. This is a sweet, patriotic, family-friendly film that will have you tapping your toes, singing along and smiling at the fishermen’s corny – or should I say, Corn-y (ha) – jokes.

Rating: 3/5 ★★★☆☆

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What Men Want (15) - Review

‘What Men Want’ – the gender-flipped, loosely connected version of the 2000 Mel Gibson film. This is definitely a film for the ladies who want to get in the mood for a great night out with friends. Get ready to kick back with a gin and slimline tonic and bask in the opulence and sass of Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson), a driven, intelligent, fierce businesswoman dipping and swerving to succeed in a man’s world.

Lead character Ali Davis works for the male-dominated magazine Sports Illustrated and is frustrated at being constantly undermined and overlooked by her colleagues, and she is livid when she is passed up for the position of partner. So when she is suddenly gifted with the power to hear men’s inner thoughts, she decides to use this new gift to play to her advantage, and Ali definitely plays to win.

‘What Men Want’ is a very funny watch, full of hilarious, head-throwing-back moments. (The scene with the tarot reading will have you rolling!) It’s a film that celebrates girl power while also touches on the importance of owning your identity and not bowing to higher powers. The film also has a lot of heart and helps Ali to understand herself as well as men, with many touching moments and lessons scattered throughout. Come for the laughs, stay for the ‘awwww’s. Now showing at the Light Cinema, Stockport. And remember, you can take alcoholic drinks from our lovely bar into the theatre with you!

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆

– Bethan Holt – The Light

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Us (15) - Review


“A deeply layered masterpiece that demands to be rewatched.”

Wow. What can I say about ‘Us’, the new psychological horror thriller directed by Jordan Peele, succeeding his sensational debut feature film ‘Get Out’ (2017). If you thought that was a hit, ‘Us’ will blow you out of the water. Prepare to be hiding your face behind your hands while being unable to get certain haunting images out of your head for the foreseeable future.

‘Us’ revolves around the main character Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), who suffered a traumatic event on the beach of Santa Cruz as a child. In the present day, she realises she will have to face her fears when her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) takes her and their kids to Santa Cruz for a family vacation. It’s the first time Adelaide’s been back since the incident. The closer the family get to the beach, the more things around them just don’t seem to add up. Later that night, things come to a head when the family is confronted in their holiday home by strangers who look exactly – EXACTLY – like them.

‘Us’ is not your typical run-of-the-mill horror film. Similarly to ‘Get Out’, the terrifying horror is interlaced with moments of humour, but don’t get it twisted. The horror is amplified, the disturbing images impossible to unsee, and the symbolism and metaphors run deep like tunnels. There are so many nuggets of meaning and foreshadowing to pick up, that you will want to see the film again immediately to go back and catch things you may have missed the first time.

Instead of being just another forgettable jumpscare fest, ‘Us’ definitely has longevity in the horror genre. It is a deeply layered masterpiece that begs, no, DEMANDS, to be re-watched, picked apart, discussed. Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a horror fan (and I certainly wouldn’t consider myself one, the massive baby that I am), I urge you to come down and give ‘Us’ a try. Unless you don’t want nightmares of course! Now showing at the Light Cinema, Stockport.

Rating: 5/5 ★★★★

– Bethan Holt – The Light

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Captain Marvel (12A) - Review

The story before the Avengers

At the time of writing this review, Marvel’s first female-led superhero origin story ‘Captain Marvel’ has just overtaken ‘Black Panther’ in its opening weekend revenue, raking in a whopping $455,000,000. Audiences have spoken: stories featuring someone other than a buff white male as the main character sure do make that dollar!

Without revealing too much, ‘Captain Marvel’ centres around the main character Vers (Brie Larson), a resident of Hola, capital of Kree civilization. Vers has no memory of her life prior to six years ago, and she is also gifted with unusual powers that she struggles to control. The story begins with her taking a mission to the planet Torfa to rescue a colleague infiltrating a group of Skrulls, an alien race on the opposing side of a war that has lasted centuries. Circumstances lead to Vers finding herself falling to Earth in the year 1995. There she meets Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and the mysteries surrounding her mission and her life unravel along the way.

Even before its initial release, ‘Captain Marvel’ prejudged to look underwhelming, with a potentially stifling feminist narrative. Having watched the film twice already in its first week, I have nothing but positive things to say about this movie. As far as Marvel origin stories go, it is on par with the likes of ‘Black Panther’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, and so on.

‘Captain Marvel’ succeeds in all the fronts you’d expect from some of the more popular MCU movies. It succeeds in telling an engaging story with memorable characters, eye-catching colours and scenery, seamless special effects, humour alongside the seriousness, the whole shebang. But moreover, while there is of course a feminist undertone (and I would be surprised if there wasn’t one), it’s never overpowering or a distraction from the story. Rather, it enriches it. It makes the film more interesting and layered, and the character Vers more dimensional. She’s a hero the audience can really identify with and root for.

In short, Marvel fans certainly shouldn’t miss this film, especially with ‘Avengers: Endgame’ right round the corner (out April 25th). Even if they weren’t connected, ‘Captain Marvel’ is a superb standalone film that deserves great praise for its accomplishments. And even if you don’t consider yourself a Marvel afficianado, you can sit back and bask in a gripping story with strong themes of justice, the importance of getting back up after getting knocked down and ultimately, girl power. Now showing at the Light Cinema, Stockport.

Rating: 4/5  ★★★★☆


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Fighting with My Family (12A) - Review

“Who doesn’t love to watch a good fight?”

If you think fights with your own family can be intense, wait until you get a load of the Knight family. The Knights are a family of professional wrestlers from Norwich, England. Saraya (Florence Pugh) has been wrestling since she was 13, along with her older brother Zak (Jack Lowden), heavily encouraged by their parents, Rick and Julia (Nick Frost, Lena Headey). At the age of 18 Saraya and her family’s dreams come true when she is talent-spotted and signed to WWE in America. This is the start of her troubled journey to Florida to train to be a world-famous wrestler under the ring name Paige, thousands of miles away from her close-knit wrestling family. It’s harder than Saraya could have ever imagined.

Based on a true story, Fighting With My Family is a film for everyone. While the plot is heavily centred around the world of wrestling, to be a hardcore wrestling fan is by no means a requirement to enjoy this film. It features lovable witty characters, a small but passionate wrestling community, drama, self-discovery, an inspirational training montage, even special appearances from The Rock… this film has it all. And honestly, deep down, who doesn’t love to watch a good fight? The film thrums with energy and makes you want to leap out of your seat and bounce off the walls while shouting “you want some of this” and wearing tight shorts… or maybe that’s just me.

If you want a good laugh, to get pumped up and to feel an emotional roller coaster along with main character Saraya, and feel the pride of her family behind her, Fighting With My Family will get you in the mood and give you a change of pace. Definitely take time out of your schedule to come down and see this brilliant, funny, inspirational film. Now showing at The Light Cinema, Stockport.

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆

~ Bethan Holt 7/3/19

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Instant Family (12A) - Review

Instant Family

A title that perfectly sums up our current age of convenience. Everything is instantly accessible, from ordering a coffee grinder online and having it arrive the next day, to your crush’s hobbies and interests listed on their Facebook page. So when Californian couple Pete and Ellie Wagner (Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne) get a belated interest in starting a family, they think adoption could be the perfect way to achieve it. No messy nine-month pregnancy, with children already past the diaper-changing stage – boom. Instant family. Suddenly becoming parental figures to three children, of course, isn’t as smooth-sailing as they hope.

Instant Family, while on the surface appears to be a simple light-hearted comedy, nonetheless tackles the subject of adoption and foster care with a lot of tact and heart. It doesn’t gloss over some of the sadder, grimmer details of children who go through the system. Children who find themselves in care often grew up surrounded by drugs and abuse, teenagers aren’t as sought after for adoption as much as younger children, and with the system of care being so overloaded the standards of adoption are usually pretty low.

While Instant Family is a comedy, it is also a very touching, informative, family-oriented film. You can truly see the relationship between the characters develop and their understanding of each other grow. The film features the trials of parenting, a foster parent support group and the overall importance of foster care, leading to people changing their minds and opening themselves up to the possibility. This film will make you laugh, may even make you cry, but no doubt it will warm your heart.

~ Bethan Holt – The Light – 28/2/19

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Solo: A Star Wars Story (12A) - Review

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is an action packed, enjoyable romp into the origins of Han Solo, which unfortunately isn’t without its own issues.

Han Solo played by Alden Ehrenreich, is convincing in the role as a young solo, but Donald Glover’s remarkable portrayal of Lando Calrissian is true highlight of the film. Solo hits all the notes you would expect from Han’s origin story, from meeting Chewie to making the Kessel run in 12 parsecs and even learning about his first love Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke).

Crime syndicate Crimson Dawn leader Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) is convincing enough as the main antagonist, although he seems more like a Bond villain than galactic crime lord. I fear with Disney creating new stories for Star Wars, they may suffer with the same problem as many Marvel films do – unconvincing villains.

When compared to fellow standalone film Rogue One, Solo fails to resonate with the viewer as Rouge One did. Overall if you are a fan of action movies and Star Wars you will enjoy Solo, however you can’t escape the feeling there’s no reason for the film to exist and it all feels a bit pointless. The story throughout Solo seems to be building things up for a sequel – a questionable decision for a supposed ‘standalone’ entry.  Rogue One felt like a vital addition to the Star Wars cannon, Solo for all its charm doesn’t feel essential, but it’s still more fun than The Last Jedi!

Rating: 3/5 – Non Essential but enjoyable Saturday afternoon viewing.

Blockers (15) - REVIEW

Blocking was originally a theatre term that refers to the positioning and movement of the actors in the stage. But in today’s age definitely has a different meaning!

“Blockers” is one of those films that has you laughing from start to finish and feeling uplifted! A great A-list cast including – Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz. Alongside some great up and coming actors and actresses.

A film showing the lives of millennial’s and how out of touch parents can be!

Three best friends decide “prom night” is the night to take their relationships to the next level, unfortunately their parents catch wind of their plans and are determined to make sure that isn’t the case.

It all starts with a lot of egg-plant emojies that the parents see from a linked laptop, so the protective parents set off on their journey to keep their children in cotton wool and stop their plans.

With hilariously cringey moments of parents witnessing things they absolutely shouldn’t and crashing parties, even boyfriends being thrown through walls!

It perfectly sums up the new generation and the love parents have for their children, displaying heart warming moments alongside a laugh a minute! I would highly recommend this film it’s a brilliant R rated comedy guaranteed to make you smile! Full of well presented adult humour through-out it’s perfect for a “date night” or one to watch with friends!

Watch the trailer below.

Star Wars The Last Jedi (12A) - REVIEW

As someone who was not born for the originals, I often don’t feel the same level of nostalgia that older Star Wars fans experience watching the new saga. The Last Jedi steps away from the nostalgia heavy Force Awakens to create its own story which is closer to stand alone installment Rouge One, than episode seven.

Unfortunately for fans of J.J Abrams The Force Awakens, the great Finn and Rey dynamic is sadly absent for the majority of the film. But The Last Jedi successfully creates a compelling villain in Kylo Ren and his regular interactions with Rey are just one of the highlights of the film. But The Last Jedi falls flat in its attempts to make the audience fear the actions of General Hux.

The return of a much loved character from the original trilogy perfectly sums up where the new Star Wars is heading, however much of shock that would be to long-time fans of the series.

Overall The Last Jedi is an enjoyable film, with only a few negative points. Oh yeah and Porgs, we all love Porgs.

Rating: 3.5/5

Watch the trailer below

Paddington 2 (PG) - REVIEW

An adventure of what should be listed as the most polite little bear in history! Paddington tries to give a very special gift to his beloved aunt Lucy but as always nothing is straight forward for the little bear and he finds himself in a terrible situation leaving him wrongfully imprisoned, with the real thief cleverly on the run!

It’s touch and go as Paddington’s family fight for his justice and even break an entry to ensure their beloved bear is proven innocent. But in true Paddington style he manages to stay positive and encourages everyone he comes across to be kind and spread the love!

It’s a film that reminds you to always remain positive, emphasizing the importance of family strength and manners! A fantastic family friendly film, full of pantomime styled fun! It’s sure to make you shed a tear and remember the gift of giving and all the good in the world! definitely one not to be missed!

Watch the trailer here

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