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This Week's New Film Releases: Friday 24 March 2017

12a classification The Lost City of Z


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Genre: Action / Adventure / Biopic
Director: James Gray
Running time: 141 mins

At the dawn of the 20th century, British explorer Percival Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) journeys to the Amazon and discovers the traces of an ancient, advanced civilization. With indigenous peoples routinely dismissed by his peers as savages, Percy is determined to connect with and understand The Lost City of Z. This true story of adventure and obsession is told with grandeur and intelligence, culminating in a richly atmospheric and profoundly emotional piece with as many twists and turns as the jungle itself.

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12a classification Power Rangers (2017)


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Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-fi
Director: Dean Israelite
Running time: 124 mins

Most of the modern rehashes of superhero stories follow a now rather drearily predictable formula; making them darker and edgier and fleshing out the characters with interesting psychologies and intriguing back stories. However the reincarnation of this beloved early '90s franchise is just as camp and cheesy as the original, which in these times is a bold move. People who never liked Power Rangers probably won't like this, but if you spent Saturday afternoons with a bag of Monster Munch in one hand and a Tamagotchi in the other, sat in front of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, expect pleasant nostalgia and a whole lot of fun.

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15 classification CHiPs


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Genre: Action / Comedy / Crime
Director: Dax Shepard
Running time: 101 mins

Dax Shepard and Michael Peña star as cop buddies Jon Baker and Frank "Ponch" Poncherello of the California Highway Patrol. Ponch has been sent in by the FBI to investigate some crooked cops in the department, and Jon soon cottons on. This big screen adaptation of the famous '70s and '80s TV series of the same name takes the franchise in a much raunchier direction, with lots of motorcycle action, big explosions, macho posturing and toilet humour. When interviewed, Dax called the film a cross between Bad Boys and Lethal Weapon. Have fun!

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15 classification Life (2017)


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Genre: Horror / Sci-fi / Thriller
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Running time: 103 mins

Life is a smart but sadly unoriginal sci-fi thriller which imagines the moment humans discover the first evidence of life on Mars, answering David Bowie’s immortal question. However the six-member crew of the International Space Station are unprepared for the hostile nature of their little squelchy extraterrestrial discovery with consequences which put all their lives at risk. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson, Life is a masterfully tense nail-biter which is let down by jarring plot holes.

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12a classification Royal Opera 2017: Madama Butterfly


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Genre: Event Cinema / Art
Director: Moshe Leiser, Patrice Caurier
Running time: 180 mins

The beautiful and innocent geisha Cio-Cio San, otherwise known as Madame Butterfly lives in 19th century Nagasaki. When she is seduced by callous American naval officer B.F. Pinkerton a heart-breaking tale of love, honour and betrayal unfolds. In one of Puccini's most affecting masterpieces and one of the most popular operas of all time, Madama Butterfly is food for the soul.

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