Films of the Fortnight

Films of the Fortnight: The Belko Experiment, The Promise, Smurfs and more

By Mark Rocks at

Here’s the latest instalment of our fortnightly feature, where we hand-pick a selection of films showing at our only cinema, Vue Altrincham.

Film fan Mark Rocks takes you through them…

For full showing times and to secure your tickets, visit:

Out This Week

The Belko Experiment (18)

The everyday 9 to 5 office grind can really be grating for some. The same watercooler discussions about last night’s soaps, the flurry of infinite emails and the repetitive ‘day in, day out’ schedule are enough to drive even the sanest of minds doolally. Drawing ‘influence’ on this stress-inducing scenario, the twisted minds of director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and writer extraordinaire James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) showcase possibly the worse office day ever in The Belko Experiment.

A group of 80 Americans working in their high-rise corporate office in Colombia unknowingly become ensnared in a twisted social experiment as the shutters on the building come crashing down and a mysterious voice takes control of the intercom. In order to survive and escape, the employees must partake in a deadly game of kill or be killed against their co-workers. Think The Hunger Games meets Office Space, with heaps of bloody violence and you’re on the right tracks.

This very literal corporate ‘downsizing’ put to film is easily recommended for fans of horror franchises such as Saw or Hostel. The Belko Experiment is a white collar flick that will certainly deliver if you enjoy B-movie bloodshed by the bucket-load.

Out next week

The Promise (12A)

If you’ve no interest in a certain gang of interstellar superstars hitting the big screen this week, rambunctious racoon and all, there’s another release which is a little more ‘grounded’ just for you.

From the directing talent that is Terry George, a man who has previously proven his knack for fact-based dramas with the like of Hotel Rwanda and In the Name of the Father, comes The Promise. Starring some pretty formidable names as Oscar Isaacs and ex-Dark Knight Christian Bale, this is the tale of the final days of the Ottoman Empire as it crumbles into war-torn chaos. A love triangle tearing the ties between a medical student (Isaacs), an American photojournalist (Bale) and his wife (Charlotte Le Bon) is deferred while they join forces to get people to safety, surviving the ordeal in the process.

Sure Oscar season is over and the envelopes have been handed out to the winners (in one case, runner-up first), but with the calibre of acting talent on display here, you can’t really go too far wrong with this historical romance. The only promise I can make however is that there’s certainly no Starlord or space travel to be seen.

Last Chance to See

John Wick: Chapter 2 (15)

Keanu is still swinging. And kicking. And shooting. You get the picture.
But those who loved the first chapter of this unstoppable hitman saga and haven’t had chance to see John Wick: Chapter 2 yet, need to get to Vue Altrincham this week.

Out of retirement and out for vengeance, this sequel/part-two follows on from the explosive events of the first film, as John Wick has avenged his poor puppy partner. However, being dragged back into the shady underworld he once left, he’s on the hit list of some very angry and dangerous minds. I can’t state enough that if you’re a fan of great, stylish action and enjoy watching an actor who literally throws himself into his craft (and throws everyone else around in the process), look no further than John Wick.

Family Favourite

Smurfs: The Lost Village (U)

Back in the noughties, there was that weird period where Hollywood execs got nostalgic for the cartoon characters they grew up watching. Hence why every week we were seemingly reintroduced to an odd adapted version of some beloved animated hero who was now ‘cooler’ and in some cases, occasionally raps. Much like Alvin & The Chipmunks, The Yogi Bears and the Scooby Doos, The Smurfs found their way to the big screen. Long gone was Smurf Village however, traded for the live-action New York as CGI Smurfs caused trouble in the real world.

Despite names like Neil Patrick Harris on board, the reboot and its sequel, didn’t really sit with audiences. So Sony Pictures went back to the drawing board, returning to a full animated style adventure with Smurfs: The Lost Village. Here, everyone’s favourite personality-defined blue-bodies must team up to discover the hidden secrets of the Lost Village and avoid the evil wizard Gargamel.

An incredibly vibrant watch that will keep the kids happy and entertained, the Smurfs won’t leave even grown-ups viewers feeling all too blue themselves.

Coming Soon

A Dog’s Purpose (PG)

Did you get all teary-eyed at Marley & Me? How about all upset at Hachi: A Dog’s Tale? Then director Lasse Hallstrom (Safe Haven, Salmon Fishing on the Yemen) has the guaranteed formula to make you bawl with A Dog’s Purpose.

An inspired tale of reincarnation that goes beyond the whole ‘a dog is for life’ idea, A Dog’s Purpose follows Bailey, a canine who not only learns new tricks but keeps coming back as a brand new dog. Despite the endless cycle of life and death, Bailey must use his bizarre predicament to truly discover his purpose (hence the title).

With each life, Bailey discovers the ups and downs which come with being man’s best friend in a canine comedy which requires film and dog lovers alike to stock up on the Kleenex before watching.

For full showing times and to secure your tickets, visit: