While Fast and Furious 8 (see exclusive review opposite) unofficially launches the Summer movie season this week, the official start is always Bank Holiday weekend – which is headlined by this highly-anticipated blockbuster sequel! Here’s a rundown of all the major releases out now and in the next few weeks at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema de Lux and Spalding’s South Holland Centre . . .
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL 2
Released: Friday April 28
The early screen test results for this sequel to Marvel’s surprise 2014 smash hit superhero ensemble were glowing – which bodes well for director James Gunn’s Volume Two.
Set to the backdrop of Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) Awesome Mixtape 2, the follow-up continues the new team’s adventures – which includes Drax (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and (now Baby) Groot (Vin Diesel) – as they look to unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage, which involves Kurt Russell’s ancient and mysterious cosmic being called Ego.
Along the way old foes – reportedly Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Karen Gillan’s Nebula – become new allies, and fan-favourite comic-book characters, such as Mantis (Pom Klementieff), are introduced.
One thing’s for sure, Marvel’s cinematic universe continues to impressively evolve, and this cinematic stepping stone will ultimately lead to the Guardians battling alongside the Avengers in next year’s Infinity War – which is a truly mouth-watering prospect.
THE GREAT WALL
Released: This Saturday (at South Holland Centre)
Matt Damon headlines this ancient fantasy-adventure which pays homage to Chinese-inspired martial arts films. Damon stars as a mercenary warrior imprisoned within the Great Wall, and discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world – as fiercely marauding beasts besiege the massive structure. Willem Dafoe (John Wick) and Pilou Asbaek (The Ghost in the Shell) co-star in this movie from the acclaimed director of The House of Flying Daggers and Hero, Yimou Zhang.
Released: April 21
The early reviews have been impressive for this World War II-themed comedy-drama with a heavily British feel. Set in 1940, with the nation in the midst of the war, the British ministry turns to propaganda films to boost morale at home – and try to add a ‘woman’s touch’ via Gemma Arterton’s snappy scriptwriter Catrin Cole. She joins forces with fellow scribe Buckley (Me Without You’s Sam Claflin) as they set out to make an epic film based on the Dunkirk rescue – and win the hearts of the nation.
Released: April 21
This Fatal Attraction-esque thriller sees Katherine Heigl’s (Knocked Up) recently divorced Mum making life hell for her ex-husband’s new wife. With Tessa (Heigl) barely coping with the end of her marriage to her ex David (J Edgar’s Geoff Stults) – who have a young daughter Lily together – he becomes quickly engaged to Rosario Dawson’s (Sin City) Julia who takes on the mantle of Stepmom. But Tessa’s jealousy takes a pathological turn and soon Julia’s dream becomes a living nightmare.
Released: May 2 (at South Holland Centre)
Octavia Spencer (Oscar winner for The Help), Taraji P Henson (Oscar nominee for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Janelle Monae (The Equalizer) headline this incredible true story as a team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions. Kevin Costner (JFK), Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man) and The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons co-star in the US number one box-office smash.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Released: Out Now at South Holland Centre and Showcase
It’s worth mentioning this box-office monster is playing in Spalding and Peterborough – particularly as it has just blasted past $1billion worldwide. Emma Watson stars as Belle, a young woman who falls in love with a monstrous-looking prince (Dan Stevens), which leads to her envious suitor Gaston (Luke Evans) going on the war path for vengeance. Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson co-star in this adaptation of Disney’s animation.