The films to see in York this week – 6-12 December 2019

6 Dec 2019 @ 2.04 pm
| Entertainment

From Super Mario Brothers through to Pixels, when the worlds of film and video games collide the results can be less than inspiring.

Happily bucking the trend was the recent Jumanji reboot, which this week welcomes viewers back to the jungle for a new adventure.

Elsewhere, a couple face up to cancer in Ordinary Love and Edward Norton explores the dark underbelly of Motherless Brooklyn.

And don’t forget – York’s new Cineworld opens next week, and is offering tickets at just £3 for its first few days…

New releases

Jumanji: The Next Level

  • Cert 12A, 123 mins
  • Vue York, Everyman
  • From Weds Dec 11
  • Preview Screenings on Sat 7 and Sun 8
  • More details

It’s fair to say that 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – a reboot of the 1990s family favourite – wasn’t massively eagerly awaited when it arrived in cinemas two Christmases ago.

However, it proved a big hit with audiences, as well as winning quite a few critics over too – so it’s no surprise to find Karen Gillan and co reuniting for this sequel.

The plot sees the previous film’s teenage heroes mounting a rescue mission when one of their number, Spencer, goes missing inside the magical Jumanji video game.

Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black reprise their roles as the players’ in-game avatars – but don’t expect everything to be quite as it was last time, as an accident sees Spencer’s grandad (Danny DeVito) and his eccentric friend (Danny Glover) sucked into the game’s dangerous world too.

Ordinary Love

This new film from Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn – the directors of 2013’s too-little-seen feelgood music drama Good Vibrations – sees them swap the teenage kicks of 1970s Belfast for the tender travails of middle age.

Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson play Joan and Tom, a long-married and loving couple whose world is thrown into upheaval when Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer.

It premiered to critical acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year, with the Guardian calling it a ‘sweet, sad film’ performed ‘with impeccable intelligence and sensitivity’ by the two leads.

Motherless Brooklyn

  • Cert 15, 144 mins
  • Vue York, Everyman
  • From Fri Dec 6
  • More details

The long-gestating passion project of its star Edward Norton (who also writes, directs and produces), this film noir follows a private detective trying to unearth the truth about his friend’s death in 1950s New York.

Lionel Essrog (Norton) is a lonely PI with Tourette’s Syndrome, whose search for answers will take him from the city’s darkest corners to the epicentre of its political circles of power – as represented by the shadowy figure of Moses Randolph (Alec Baldwin).

Adapted from the acclaimed 1999 novel by Jonathan Lethem, Norton’s film co-stars Bruce Willis as Essrog’s murdered mentor and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a lawyer who becomes his ally as he journeys to the city’s dark heart.

Other screenings

This week sees two more offerings from the UK Jewish Film Festival 2019 playing at City Screen.

A Jewish teenage girl pretends to be a Norwegian boy to evade the Nazis in The Birdcatcher on Sun 8th, while Weds 11th sees Diane Kruger and Martin Freeman star in spy thriller The Operative.

Fans of a wee dram, meanwhile, will want to head down to City Screen on Fri 6th for whisky doc The Amber Light, followed by a live Q&A and tasting session with its director Adam Park.

Later in the week, City Screen have a treat for musical fans with matinee and evening screenings of 1964 French classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg on Thurs 12th.

Over at Vue, a dog crash-lands in a town where pets are banned in kids’ animation Stardog and Turbocat (Sat 7th/Sun 8th), and Saturday also sees a screening of Hindi war epic Panipat.

And finally, you can catch David Schwimmer before he turned to a life of crime in Blackpool as he hangs out with the Central Perk gang in Friends 25th: The One With The Anniversary (could that title be any more uninspired?). A three-part big screen outing for some of the show’s best-loved episodes, it starts with part 1 on Sun 8th, followed by part 2 on Weds 11th and part 3 on Sun 15th – all showing at Vue.

Christmas crackers

Festive faves continue to do the rounds in York this week. Let’s start with the home invasion hijinks of Home Alone – you can catch a double bill of Home Alone 1 and 2 at City Screen on Fri 6th, but if you can’t stomach the Trump cameo in the sequel, then head to Everyman on Sun 8th for a matinee screening of the original only.

Next up, two wildly different takes on the department store Santa – City Screen’s Vintage Sundays offering is the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street (Sun 8th), while on Sat 7th Everyman have a late-night screening of Billy Bob Thornton’s thoroughly disreputable antics in Bad Santa.

No-one, of course, could be more excited to see the man in red than Will Ferrell’s cheery man-child in Elf (Vue, Sun 8th/City Screen, Mon 9th) – though he could expect a less warm welcome from The Grinch. The 2018 Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced version screens at Vue on Sat 7th and Sun 8th.

Meanwhile, Zach Galligan once again fails to follow the basic rules of mogwai maintenance in Gremlins – showing from Fri 6th through to Sun 8th at Vue, and also on at Everyman on Mon 9th.

And finally, if evil critters exploding in microwaves isn’t your thing, then head down to Spark York for a free screening of Love Actually on Thurs 11th.

Community cinema

South Bank Community Cinema motor over to India for their road trip-themed season this week, with a screening of highly acclaimed 2017 comedy-drama Hotel Salvation.

The debut feature of director Shubhashish Bhutiani, it sees a young man (Adil Hussain) corralled into taking his dying father (Lalit Behl) on a journey to the titular establishment on the banks of the Ganges, and was hailed by Time Out as ‘a leisurely, wise and ultimately affecting meditation on the benefits of letting go’.

It shows at Clement’s Hall on Fri 6th – doors 7:30pm, film 8pm. Tickets are £3 for members, £4 for guests.