In an age of streaming services like Netflix and easy availability of DVDs one of the most frequent questions movie goers ask of themselves is "should I make the effort to go and see this at the cinema or should I just wait and catch it later?" The answer will probably be determined by both the quality of the cinema and expectations of the film itself.
The Giant Screen at Millennium Point (five minutes walk from Moor Street Station and opposite the much-loved Woodman pub) satisfies the first requirement admirably. A massive screen in a massive building fills a viewer's entire range of vision while sound and picture quality are crisp. Furthermore, I personally find the 3D experience in this cinema immeasurably better than many of its competitors.
So which movie to try?
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a film that has received widespread critical acclaim and broken box office records whilst making many breaks with the style of its predecessor (Captain America: The First Avenger). The first film was a nostalgic throwback to a halcyon cinematic age where the villains wore black hats, red skulls and unsavoury armbands and our star-spangled hero threw himself into the fray like a steroid enhanced Indiana Jones. This film is darker, murky grey areas abound, and has much more in common with 1970's political thrillers like Three Days Of The Condor (it is no coincidence that the star of that movie, the legendary Robert Redford, plays a major role in this one).
Chris Evans (I will resist the temptation to make any poor jokes about the similarly monikered British celebrity) does a remarkable job of making a character that could be boring and bland into a likeable and inspiring everyman who just happens to have been gifted with an Adonis like physique and enhanced fitness (Note to self: you really need to start going to the gym)
However, this is very much an ensemble piece. Evans receives sterling support from Scarlett Johansson as the mysterious Black Widow, Samuel L Jackson as the manipulative Nick Fury and rising star Anthony Mackie as the high-flying Falcon. The plot twists and turns at breakneck speed and is punctuated with bursts of blistering action, whether exciting chases or bone crushing fights, that probably exceed those in another little film you may have heard of called the Avengers. It is practically impossible to review the plot without giving out spoilers so I won't try but it is worth pointing out that the trademark Marvel Studios mid and end credit scenes make their expected appearance.
In short this is a popcorn flick but one that manages to provide the requisite bang for buck without skimping on those underrated factors of movie making like acting and script. Michael Bay should be strapped into a chair, have his eyes held open and made to watch this until he realises what he is doing wrong.
By “Numbers” Mike Ward who can be contacted on Twitter