The Impossible (12A)
Dir: JA Bayona
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With: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts
Runtime: 114 minutes
JA BAYONA revisits the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 in this moving drama, based on the true story of one family's experiences. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts play the parents of three boys who have come to Thailand on holiday. Initially concerned about the usual worries of his job, her stalled career and who put the burglar alarm on, the family are soon engaged in the most primitive of all struggles after the wave hits. Bayona's drama tugs unnecessarily hard on the heartstrings at times, but McGregor and Watts play the tale as plainly as possible, and the special effects are fittingly awe-inspiring. The kids are remarkable too, particularly Tom Holland as the eldest son. Not an easy watch at times, but a memorable one.
Parental Guidance (U)
Dir: Andy Fickman
With: Bette Midler, Billy Crystal
Runtime: 104 minutes
THE HOBBIT and The Life Of Pi aside, it has been slim pickings this festive season for films all the family can watch. On that score, then, Andy Fickman's comedy deserves a cheer. As do the performances from those old pros Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as the grandparents forced to get to know their grandchildren better, and vice versa, when the youngsters' parents set off on a trip. Otherwise, this comedy of intergenerational manners goes for the easy targets such as oldies who don't know their internet from their inkwells. (Really? When even the Pope now has an Twitter account?) There are digs, too, at helicopter parents fussing endlessly over their children. Still, there are fart jokes for the kids, and Crystal and Midler for everyone else.
Dir: Randal Kleiser
With: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John
Runtime: 106 minutes
SUMMER loving, had me a blast; summer loving, happened so fast; I met a girl crazy for me; met a boy cute as can be ... If you can name that tune in one, and rather fancy singing along while Randal Kleiser's 1978 picture plays, then don a full petticoat skirt and jive down to the Glasgow Film Theatre. Outside of a Lottery win, it is hard to think of a better way to blast those January blues away.
Glasgow Film Theatre, January 6, 2pm.
Dirs: David and Jacqui Morris
Runtime: 95 minutes
"YOU do ask yourself, 'Why am I here?'" So says the legendary war photographer Don McCullin in this compelling documentary from David and Jacqui Morris. With the main interviews taking place in his home in Cumbria, the film sweeps across the globe as McCullin recalls his times in Vietnam, Mississippi, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Beirut and other theatres of war. All the famous photographs are explained, and lesser-known shots are given an airing too. While the film could have done with more in the way of talking heads (only Sir Harry Evans gets a look in), when you have as eloquent an exponent of the craft as McCullin, there is not a lot more that requires to be said.
Glasgow Film Theatre, until January 10.