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14th December
written by Adam

Following the death of her husband, the Dauphin of France, Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) Queen of Scotland returns home to lead her people to religious freedom and hopefully a united Scotland and England; but, cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) and her council have thoughts otherwise. Staying steps ahead of her opponents will be a match of wits and military intelligence, how exactly will she stay in the game, and for how long?

Mary Queen of Scots

Directed by Josie Rourke and Written by Beau Willimon and John Guy, this biopic recounting of history no doubt takes some liberties with the actual events depicted but none the less makes for an interesting shelf mate to Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, although from a significantly less humorous perspective. Performances from both Ronan and Robbie are inspired, as if 2018 wasn’t already overstuffed with strong female performances, here are two more to add to the pile. Notable care and attention to production design and costuming make this smorgasbord for the eyes even more complete; and, running two hours and four minutes welcomes are not overstayed. Worthy of your matinee dollar and attention, Mary Queen of Scots is rated R.

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30th November
written by Adam

It’s Christmas time in the small town of Little Haven, the trees are frocked, the tinsel is tinseling, and the dead are walking…Wait, what? That’s right, it’s a zombie apocalypse, and, young Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends find themselves in the unfortunate position of slaying, braining, mauling, and goring the ensuing onslaught of undead all the while performing to the aesthetic of a High School musical. Let the feast begin. Written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry, and Directed by John McPhail, this nutty Scottish work has a certain, don’t blink or you’ll miss it quality, combining simple zombie tropes with solid song writing to make for a breezy send up of the standard horror genre. With a clearly talented young ensemble, all parts seem in place for a new bloody spot next to your elf on a shelf. Nit picking, the makeup and FX aren’t top tier, but the sheer amount of spatter and splatter balanced with quippy one liners is enough to keep the cursory zombie fan enthused; and, clocking in with a swift 97 minute runtime, welcomes are clearly not overstayed. Quick down and dirty, it’s escapism for the holidays, although, a bit dated for the Glee and Zombie craze, relax, it’s okay to just have fun. Anna and the Apocalypse is rated R.

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21st November
written by Adam

It’s been thirty years since Apollo Creed was killed in the boxing ring by Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). And now, with the ascent of Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) to the position of the light heavyweight champion of the world Ivan is back on the boxing scene as well, this time as the coach of his own son, Viktor (Florian Munteanu). It’ll take the words and wisdom of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to condition young Adonis into the fighter he’ll need to be to maintain his title. But to achieve great success will also take great risk, in this case the possibility of death. Will Adonis find his mojo before he finds his fate, and what about the love of his fiance, Bianca (Tessa Thompson), and mother (Phylicia Rashad)? Directed by Steven Caple Jr. and Written by Cheo Hodari Coker this repeating of fictional boxing history makes for a poetic concept but ultimately fails to land all of its punches in comparison to its predecessor Creed (2015). Specifically lacking this round, intimacy within the ring, the absence of Cinematographer Maryse Alberti is felt in each action sequence with a lack of finesse to the overall choreography and scope, sigh. But, let’s be quick to point out, the punches that do land are massive body blows, and, even if the entire script is telegraphed from frame one, there’s still something inherently inspiring about the re-telling of an old legend in new form handing off the baton one more time. Ensemble wise, all players are on key and on point, success continues. Perhaps a matinee for your Thanksgiving weekend? Creed II is rated PG-13.

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