There’s no doubt about it, on-screen human-canine partnerships are back, back, back at the moment (or should that be bark, bark, bark?).
First, Disney inexplicably remade 80s Tom Hanks favourite Turner & Hooch as a TV series (then callously sent it to the pound after just one season) – then Hanks himself starred alongside a new four-legged friend in sci-fi heartstring-tugger Finch.
Now, Channing Tatum gives us his own take on that most 80s-tastic of subgenres in the enigmatically titled Dog, out in cinemas this week.
Maybe it’s finally time to pitch my long-gestating passion project, Apocalypse Bow Wow – a musical remake of Apocalypse Now with an all-Labrador cast.
What do you mean, Netflix are already doing it? That’s it, I’m calling my lawyers…
Channing Tatum steps up to the big screen after quite a while away (surprisingly, this is his first lead role since 2017’s Logan Lucky) in this new riff on the K-9/Turner & Hooch formula.
Tatum plays US Army Ranger Briggs, who’s tasked with driving his fellow Ranger Lulu (a Belgian Malinois military working dog) from Washington to Arizona in time to attend her handler’s funeral – and as is traditional, Lulu subjects her chauffeur to plenty of canine carnage along the way.
Tatum also steps behind the camera on this one, co-directing with his longtime producing partner Reid Carolin (Magic Mike fans will be pleased to know that the pair’s next project sees them reunite with Steven Soderbergh for a third chapter in the hit series).
There have been rave reviews – and three Oscar nominations – for this animated documentary which sees a middle-aged academic, now settled in Denmark, looking back at his teenage escape from Afghanistan.
The use of animation allows its subject, Amin (his name has been changed), to preserve his anonymity while painting a deeply personal picture of his childhood in Kabul and the events that led him to leave.
Based on a series of interviews with Danish director (and Amin’s old schoolfriend) Jonas Poher Rasmussen, the film was acclaimed by Empire as ‘an extraordinary blend of personal reflection and inspired craft…showing there’s always a new way to make a documentary’.
|Cert 15, 90 mins|
|From Fri Feb 18|
The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert
It’s a safe bet that a fair few Disney+ households saw a festive tug of war for the remote between kids clamouring to watch Encanto and music-loving parents keen to immerse themselves in director Peter Jackson’s epic documentary of the Fab Four’s last few months together, Get Back.
For those who lost the battle – or don’t fancy committing to the three-part series’ near eight-hour runtime – here’s a chance to cut to the chase with a 60-minute film of the gang’s legendary final live performance on the roof of the Apple building in 1969.
The film shows daily at City Screen from Fri 18th to Weds 23rd, and at Everyman and Vue on Fri 18th only.
|Cert 12A, 65 mins|
|City Screen, Everyman, Vue|
|From Fri Feb 18|
Half term round-up
As ever during half term, there’s an expanded range of budget family-friendly viewing options running throughout the week.
The ever-popular Encanto is Cineworld’s Movies For Juniors selection, showing daily at 10am from Fri 18th (tickets £2.50) – it’s also on at Everyman from Sat 19th to Mon 21st (tickets at standard price).
Vue’s Mini Mornings strand has a Julia Donaldson double bill of The Stick Man and The Gruffalo’s Child, showing daily at 10am from Sat 19th (tickets £2.49).
Meanwhile, City Screen’s Kids’ Club has a selection box of recent releases on offer, starting with The Boss Baby: Family Business on Sat 19th, followed by an autism-friendly screening of the same film on Sun 20th – both showing at 11:15am, tickets £3.00.
Then during the week, take your pick from Ron’s Gone Wrong (Mon 21st), The Croods 2: A New Age (Tues 21st), The Addams Family 2 (Weds 22nd) and a dubbed version of Kiki’s Delivery Service (Thurs 22nd) – all showing at 10:45am, tickets £3.00.
And of course, newer releases are still widely available at standard ticket prices – the animal stars of Sing 2 are banging out the pop hits at all four York cinemas, Clifford the Big Red Dog continues to lollop about at Vue and Cineworld, and older kids can catch up with Peter Parker’s latest adventures in Spider-Man: No Way Home at Cineworld, Everyman and Vue.
City Screen pay tribute to the late Sidney Poitier with a screening of his 1967 classic In the Heat of the Night on Sun 20th.
Winner of five Oscars (including Best Picture), the film sees Poitier’s Detective Virgil Tibbs form an uneasy alliance with Rod Steiger’s bigoted sherriff to solve a murder in a small Mississippi town.
And if you’re looking to find out more about Poitier’s trailblazing career, then the brilliant BBC series Black Hollywood: They’ve Gotta Have Us is a great place to start.
Also showing at City Screen is a newly restored version of 1919 documentary South (Mon 21st), which charts the incredible Antarctic expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew – this reissue comes with a newly commissioned score by renowned silent movie composer Neil Brand.
There’s still time to catch acclaimed Japanese drama Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy at City Screen this week, with screenings on Fri 18th, Tues 22nd and Weds 23rd, while on Tues 22nd there’s a preview of Master Cheng, a culture-clash comedy drama from Finland about a Chinese chef whose signature dishes cause a stir among the locals of a remote Finnish fishing village.
And finally, Summer Nights may seem a little way off yet but Grease is still the word at Vue – Pink Ladies and T-Birds can party like it’s 1958 on Sat 19th, Sun 20th and Thurs 24th.
Originally broadcast on ITV in 1975, this comedy-drama is a biopic of the famously flamboyant writer, actor and raconteur Quentin Crisp, based on his 1968 memoir of the same name (the title nods to his early career as an artist’s model for life classes).
John Hurt plays the LGBT+ icon, while the supporting cast includes Patricia Hodge, John Rhys-Davies and Roger Lloyd-Pack.
The screening is in association with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation – tickets are £3 with all proceeds going to charity, and you can buy tickets online, at the Folk Hall, or on the door on the night.
The film shows at the Folk Hall, New Earswick on Fri 18th – doors 7pm, film starts 7:30pm.