Film Screening 13th February, 2016

Poster for Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie

Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie 

7:00 PM, 13th February, 2016
No Guests

  • G
  • 93 mins
  • 2015
  • Steve Martino
  • Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz, Cornelius Uliano
  • Noah Schnapp, Anastasia Bredikhina, Rebecca Bloom, Kristin Chenoweth

I am probably one of the worst people to ask for an unbiased review of this movie. Let’s see... I’ve collected the comic books; I’ve got a number of old “Peanuts” episodes on DVD; I’ve got a huge poster of Charlie and Snoopy. I am also convinced that the main Charlie Brown characters were used as the basis for the main characters in the Star Wars movies. Think about it.

Charlie Brown is the Luke Skywalker of modern America. A leader trapped in the body of an overly anxious teen. Yet you know that he is going to go on to accomplish impossible deeds (like finally talk to that Red Headed girl).
Snoopy just has to be Han Solo. A charismatic adventurer pilot who is extremely loyal to his buddy Luke. I mean, Charlie. If anything goes wrong, Snoopy will be there to save him (and the day). And of course Snoopy is always aided by Woodstock, a Chewbacca-type character who does not really say anything but makes up for it in noises and emotion.

Whereas Star Wars is all spectacle and intergalactic battles of good versus evil, Charlie Brown is a hero of everyday reality. Will he kick the ball? Probably not. But what matters is that he still tries. Will his team win a baseball game? Of course not. Yet somehow Charlie will convince his team to go out there and play another game, even though they most certainly will lose. Just like when Luke led the X-Wing fighters to try to blow up that Death Star in a galaxy far, far away. All in all, fun for the whole family.

Christopher Patterson

Poster for Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies 

8:43 PM, 13th February, 2016
No Guests

  • M
  • 141 mins
  • 2015
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Noah Schnapp

When a film includes the names Spielberg, Hanks and the Coen brothers, you’re expecting something special, right? Thankfully, Bridge of Spies doesn’t disappoint one bit. This American historical drama-thriller set in the Cold War period sees Tom Hanks play James B. Donovan, a lawyer who specialises in insurance settlements. Much to his surprise, he is appointed to defend a Soviet agent, Colonel Rudolf Abel (Rylance). Donovan is later involved as the neutral negotiator in a tense spy swap for Colonel Abel set in the rain and darkness of a frosty Berlin, just as the Wall is being built.

The film is a tad overlong and could have done with some tighter editing to maintain tension but the production values are high and the film has been handsomely shot by Janusz Kaminski. Hanks is superb in a role that could so easily have been preachy and overblown. This is Hanks at his laconic best, reminding us of his star turn as Jim Lovell in Apollo 13: always ‘the standing man’ who keeps his wits and his principles under immense pressure. The film also works as a beautiful two-hander between Hanks's Donovan and Rylance, who is equally impressive as the Soviet spy.

For all budding legal eagles, the film upholds the rule of law and returns to themes that are familiar to many of Spielberg's films – specifically, the value of human life and the ability of an individual to make a difference.

Deborah Dawkings and Oscar Bosman