Bank holiday boom at Cinema Day

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Crowds gathered at the latest Ellon Cinema Day on a rather soggy Bank Holiday Sunday recently.

John and Vicki Morgan reviewed the films.

The Muppets Most Wanted – John Morgan

This latest Muppet escapade follows on from the last instalment when the Muppets reformed after a long break. They are persuaded by a theatrical agent, Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) to go on a world come-back tour. However, it transpires that Badguy is actually working for Constantine, the most evil frog in the world, who has escaped from a Siberian Gulag. Constantine switches places with Kermit, who is then captured and sent to Siberia in Constantine’s place. Constantine poses as Kermit, as the Muppets tour various European capitals in search of items belonging to the 17th Century Colonel Blood.

Kermit is eventually sprung from the Gulag by Fozzie, Animal and Walter. But in the meantime Constantine, still posing as Kermit, has proposed to an unsuspecting Miss Piggy and the two are to be married in the Tower of London. This, however, is just a cover for the theft attempt. Will Kermit foil the plot in time? And will Miss Piggy and Kermit live happily ever after?

This, the second Muppet film since the franchise was taken over by Disney, has all that we have come to expect from the Muppets, riotous song and dance routines, zany characters, corny jokes, a convoluted plot, and some very famous cameos. Even Ingmar Bergman gets a nod. This film had children and parents alike in stitches. Definitely one to watch.

Brilliant. 8/10

A Long Way Down

– Vicki Morgan

Four strangers meet at the top of a block of flats on New Years Eve, a spot locally well-known as a favourite launch pad for suicides. They make a pact to not kill themselves until Valentines Day. What follows is the story of the group, how they make the tabloids, gather unwanted media attention to the point where they escape together on holiday and how their lives pan out over the following year.

As the film got going though I wasn’t quite sure what to think, it just didn’t seem to flow, was fast-paced in some parts and rather slow in the middle and then heart-wrenchingly sad near to the end. On top of this was a sprinkle of dark humour which lightened the mood every so often, but the film itself didn’t seem to know in which direction it was supposed to be going.

It was interesting to see Pierce Brosnan play a completely different role to that of Bond (a disgraced tv presenter who’s spent time in jail for sex offences), but to be honest all I could see was him as a more attractive version of Michael Barrymore.

The film gives us four characters which couldn’t be more different from each other yet all wanting to end it all and escape. Perhaps that’s one of the points of the film - suicidal thoughts can hit anyone, young, old, rich, poor, and in the case of JJ, depression can hit for no reason at all. Perhaps the film is trying to bring issues of mental health more into the open and be less stigmatised but for me it didn’t work. It used serious issues and then added humour and a dash of a romantic-comedy, it had all the elements needed to be a really good film but it left a lot wanting and the result was an average film instead.

Wait until the DVD comes out 6/10