English Language Movie in Tenerife, Battleship

Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson

Plot: Scientists beam a message into space and it’s answered… by an invasion force from Planet G. Mankind is doomed unless the good old US of A’s navy can kick some extraterrestrial ass and send the little green men home to think again.

TM Rating: Meddling scientists put the earth in danger by attracting the attention of stereotypically evil aliens and the good old boys of America’s armed forces have to try to save the day ““ originality is not Battleship’s USP. In fact it’s hard to figure out what is unique about a film that goes where many others have gone before. The language is clunky, the characters one-dimensional and the action so-so.

If you like no-brainer action movies where all the good guys are square-jawed gung ho heroes with nil personality then Battleship might create a ripple of excitement. Otherwise stay home and play the board game.

If you want to know more details about the plot then read the review on Gran Sur Cinema’s website has the whole lot right up to the closing scene ““ which means you don’t even have to see the movie.

5/10 ““ The aliens are going to invade earth… who cares? Pity Gran Sur didn’t stick with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Screening Times: Gran Sur Cinema, 3.30pm daily until 3rd May 2012


English Language Movie in Tenerife, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


Starring: Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench

Plot: A mixed group of British pensioners are seduced by promises of a luxurious retirement in a sumptuous hotel in Jaipur, India designed to cater specifically for the ‘elderly and beautiful’. The exotic dream turns out to be just that when the hotel turns out to be more street market than up market.

TM Rating: It stars Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Judi Dench ““ that should tell you what sort of quality you’re in for. Add Celia Imrie, Tom Wilkinson and Penelope Wilton and you’ve got a classy ensemble cast of some of the best of British actors. Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel adds an Indian flavoured icing on the cake.

The idea of throwing a group of conservative British pensioners into the madness and mayhem of Indian culture is rich with comic potential and this cast doesn’t let audiences down as the golden oldies struggle to adjust to life in a luxury retirement hotel that is decidedly short on the luxury but is all the richer for it.

8/10 ““ Charming, amusing and totally engaging. The sort of classically gentle comedy that the British do best.

Screening Times: Gran Sur Cinema, 5.50pm daily until 26th April 2012

Tickets: €6.50


English Language Movie in Tenerife, Contraband

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale

Plot: Former smuggler Chris (Mark Wahlberg) is forced to go back into business to save his brother-in-law’s hide after a botch drug deal has vicious criminal Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi) after his head. With a crack team in tow Chris, finds himself in a race against time, drug lords, cops and hit man in his bid to smuggle counterfeit dollars and a Jackson Pollock from Panama to New Orleans.

TM Rating: Mark Wahlberg plays his usual down-to-earth working class bad boy turned good and Giovanni Ribisi reprises his snivelling bad guy act in a solid and gritty action thriller.

There’s nothing particularly new but the conspiracies, twists and turns and thrills along the drug smuggling way make Contraband decent, if uninspiring Easter fare.

6/10: Entertaining enough but a bit to run of the mill to make it anything more than average.

Screening Times: Gran Sur Cinema, 5pm daily until 12th April 2012

Tickets: €6.50


English Language Movie in Tenerife, This Means War

Starring: Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy

Plot: When CIA spies and super friends FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) discover they’re dating the same girl Lauren, they resort to using all their super secret agent know-how to outdo each other in a wild and explosive bid to win the girl.

TM Rating: The other new English language movie this week, Chronicle (Grand Central Cinemas, 3.30pm daily) is a better movie than This Means War. The story about three teenage friends developing super hero powers after coming into contact with a mysterious substance in the woods is fresher, original and genuinely surprising. But a hi-concept studio film like This Means War is going to have more mainstream appeal.

On paper it sounds like it could be a cringe-athon of a movie. Let’s take three attractive leads, have the two guys get up to all sorts of shenanigans in order to win the hot chick, but for fun let’s make them spies. That way audiences get a chick flick and spy thriller rolled into one. The concept smacks of studio suits rubbing their hands together with glee.

It sounds awful… but with Chris Pine playing a cocky earth based version of Captain Kirk, Reese Witherspoon high-heeling a fine line between being likeable to women and hot enough to make two men cause havoc and Tom Hardy playing a sensitive loner with a hard edged exterior, the chemistry between the unlikely ménage à trois carries the movie through all its outrageous scenarios.

Throw a heinous villain and gadgets galore into the action and what you get is a fast paced, exciting and funny film that successfully combines rom-com with a hi-octane action movie.

7/10 ““ It’s a load of nonsense but the characters are likeable and it’s as slick as an Armani suit, This Means War is escapist fun that is actually a lot better than it sounds.

Screening Times: Gran Sur Cinema, 5.15 daily until 22nd March 2012

Other English language movies on Tenerife
John Carter continues at the Zentral Center in Playa de las Américas at 5.10pm daily, 12.30 on Saturday and Sunday

Tickets: €6.50 Buy Your Tickets Here


The English Language Movie on Tenerife, John Carter

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Mark Strong

Plot: US Civil War veteran turned gold prospector finds himself transported from an Arizona cave to the planet of Barsoom where his unwitting actions fuel a vicious civil war that threatens the future of the planet… and Earth.

TM Rating: First of all, there’s the title of the movie, John Carter. It sounds like this is going to be a contemporary drama starring someone like Denzel Washington and not a space travelling adventure that mixes Avatar with Star Wars with The Wild, Wild West.

The names of people and races are typically sci-fi silly; Zondagons, Heliumites, Matai Shang and so on. And the premise of a renegade human mixing it up with the oddly coloured locals isn’t the newest concept on the interplanetary block. But this tale of heroism, funny looking creatures, epic battles, mutant apes and princesses in bikinis pre-dates just about every other sci-fi movie you can think of given that it’s based on a novel written by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs 100 years ago.

A strong cast and visuals which come close to matching those of Avatar’s help John Carter a lot, as do the lashings of imagination on show… but it doesn’t quite reach the dizzy heights of Avatar’s Hallelujah Mountains.

John Carter’s Dialogue can be clunky and the big action scenes don’t quite thrill as much as they should but it does look lavishly good. Ultimately John Carter is entertaining without being exceptional.

7/10 ““ John Carter ticks all the right sci-fI boxes with good versus evil, planets to be saved, lots of heroic derring do and funny looking alien critters. It should please fans of the genre and anyone else who enjoys escapist and impressive looking blockbusters.

Screening Times: Zentral Center, 6.30pm daily, 12.30 on Saturday and Sunday until 15th March 2012

Other English language movies on Tenerife
The Descendants with George Clooney continues at Gran Sur Cinemas at 5.10pm daily.

Tickets: €6.50 Buy Your Tickets Here


The Descendants, The English Language Movie on Tenerife

Starring: George Clooney, Beau Bridges, Shailene

Plot: When the wife of Hawaiian property tycoon Matt King (George Clooney) lapses into a coma following a jet-ski accident, he finds himself looking after, and getting to know, two independent and headstrong daughters whose lives he knows nothing about.

TM Rating: Middle aged man’s wife is in a coma; the daughters he is subsequently landed with are strangers to him and he to them; a revelation rocks middle-aged man’s life.

That’s it, that’s basically the plot. Doesn’t sound exactly enthralling; if anything it sounds more like the TV Movie of the Week and the trailer doesn’t really do anything to dispel this notion.

But there are two clues that should give audiences the heads up that The Descendants is worth making the trip to the cinema for.

The first is that George Clooney is in it. George doesn’t make bad films and even when they’re not classics he is always watchable. George Clooney could read the phone book and it would be interesting.

The second is that The Descendants was written and directed by Alexander Payne, the person responsible for the delicious Sideways 7 or so years ago.

Like Sideways, The Descendants is a film about people and relationships and also like Sideways the movie ambles along at an easy pace allowing us time to enjoy the interaction between characters. The cast is perfect, especially George Clooney (playing down his super cool image by portraying a man who is really quite dull) and Shailene Woodley as his seventeen year old daughter.

The Descendants isn’t a comedy but it is funny, neither is it a drama but it is moving. In many ways it’s just like real life. If you’ve seen Sideways or any of Alexander Payne’s other movies (About Schmidt, Election) you’ll know exactly what to expect.

8/10 ““ The Descendants is for film fans who enjoy sharply written movies about people and relationships. It’s funny, sad, realistic and totally engaging. If you liked Sideways you’ll like The Descendants. But if you were one of those people who thought Sideways was dull, stay away.

Screening Times: 7.50pm daily from 24th February until 1st March at Cines Grand Sur, Costa Adeje.

Tickets: €6.50 Buy Your Tickets Here

NOTE: Still also showing at Grand Sur is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (5.40pm daily) whilst War Horse is still being screened at the Zentral Center in Playa de las Américas (8pm daily).


The English Language Movie on Tenerife ““ War Horse

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, David Thewlis, Jeremy Irvine

Plot: Young horse trainer Albert (Jeremy Irvine) develops an emotional bond with headstrong farm horse Joey. But when the storm clouds of war gather and money is short, Joey is sold to the British Army and before long is bound for French battlefields where the average life of a horse is shorter than some of the jumps at the Grand National. Albert, distraught at being parted from his friend, follows Joey to France.

English language films on Tenerife: There are two English language movies to choose from in Tenerife and both are worth making the trip to the flicks to see. John le Carré fans will already know the plot of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Gran Sur 7.40pm daily). This tale of master spy George Smiley trying to uncover a Soviet spy who has infiltrated the British Secret Service reveals a fascinating world which, unlike Bond, is unglamorous and decidedly seedy. An excellent cast including Colin Firth, Gary Oldman and Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch – in both English language films this week), tight direction and an intricate plot make this a classic and absorbing adaptation.

In truth it’s a better movie than War Horse, but its subject matter will have less appeal for a mainstream audience and as War Horse is being screened at both Gran Sur and the Zentral Centre we’ve decided to concentrate on that.

TM Rating: Black Beauty, National Velvet, Seabiscuit and Muffin the Mule; all four legged friends that tugged at our heartstrings… except in Muffin’s case it was more a case of just tugging at strings.

Now there’s War Horse to add to the ““ err ““ stable. War Horse is a nostalgically old fashioned family movie with a emotionally charged plot that puts its human and equine stars into the sort of danger that has audiences clutching a handkerchief for much of its running time.

Director Steven Spielberg is a master of knowing exactly how to press all the right buttons to have your emotions veering all over the place like a runaway steed as Albert and Joey struggle to find each other whilst surviving a war where an animal, no matter how brave-hearted he may be, is no match for a tank.

Sometimes we forget the most satisfying cinematic experiences can be about escapism, being enthralled and moved by what’s up on the big screen. Thankfully Steven Spielberg is on hand to remind us.

8/10 ““ War Horse is beautiful on the eyes and as emotionally charged as riding bareback through a spring meadow. A thrilling throwback to the days when a trip to the cinema was magical. You don’t have to be a fan of horses to enjoy this cavalry charge.

Dates: 10th to 16th February

Screening Times: Gran Sur 5.30 pm daily; Zentral Center 8.30pm daily.

Tickets: €6.50 Buy Your Tickets Here


The Immortals, English Language Movie on Tenerife

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto

Plot: King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) threatens to send the world spiralling into chaos by setting free an army of Titans to challenge the gods. Unable to use their powers to directly interfere in the destiny of man, the gods give Theseus (Henry Cavill) the task of stopping Hyperion and his muscle-bulging army.

TM Rating: Despite some dodgy scripts and creaky acting, movies involving Greek Mythology have been performing well at the box office ““ otherwise the critically panned Clash of the Titans wouldn’t have a second instalment coming out at the end of March. Although The Immortals storyline also revolves around Titans, the style and tone of this particular slice of mythological hokum is probably closer to 300 than Clash of the Titans.

It’s another tale of man taking on the gods in super stylish fashion (i.e. cinematography and effects rather than in the clothes sense) and there’s no denying The Immortals is stunning to look at, featuring gore galore as Theseus takes on overwhelming odds in a bid to save the world.
Like the Greek myths it’s based on, The Immortals is suitably epic in scope but unlike Greek mythology, not in substance. However, it’s a decent enough offering of its kind and people who were thrilled by 300 should lap it up as should people who get excited by any film involving that involves lots of gleaming breastplates and flashing blades.

7/10 ““ The Immortals is diverting enough, exciting and is visually stunning. But in terms of satisfying film fans” cinematic appetites it’s a snack rather than a slap up meal.

Screening Times: 3.30pm daily till 2nd February

Tickets: €6.50 Buy Your Tickets Here


English Language Movie on Tenerife, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Starring: Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Rooney Mara

Plot: When political journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is disgraced after losing a libel case, he takes up the offer of helping a rich businessman solve the mystery of a family member who was murdered decades earlier. His investigation pairs him up with the strange and aloof researcher Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), the girl with the dragon tattoo, and together they face danger from thieves, misers and bullies (i.e. the businessman’s family) on their quest to uncover the truth about the murder.

English language films on Tenerife: English speaking film fans are in for a big treat this week. There are three films in Tenerife’s cinemas being screened in their original language. Gran Sur in Costa Adeje has the funny and likeable Puss in Boots, getting his own starring role after stealing the show in the Shrek movies (3.30 and 5.10pm daily). Also at Gran Sur is Drive, a darkly violent and exciting thriller with Ryan Gosling (7.40pm).

But our choice of the week is the film that the Zentral Centre has chosen to re-launch screening film in their original language, the eagerly awaited English language remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

TM Rating: First there was the super successful book, then there was the moody and occasionally shocking film adaptation that was one of those rarities ““ a movie adaptation that didn’t disappoint and one that uncovered an actress who really was Lisbeth Salander.

So why remake an already successful and critically acclaimed film? Because the original movie was Swedish and like it or not, the great movie going public won’t fork out to see a subtitled film. So we get The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; the Hollywood version. It was a move that had film fans disliking the movie before it was even released.

But Hollywood’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo comes with strong credentials in a director, David Fincher, who rarely puts a foot wrong with his movies. The main cast – Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer and Stella Starsgard are all actors who don’t normally make poor choices with the roles they pick. It also introduces another strong and faithful characterisation of Lispeth Salander thanks to Rooney Mara this time. Most importantly, the movie doesn’t go all Hollywood and change key elements of the story to suit an American audience reared on the notion of the great American dream.-
Settings, mood and accents (except Daniel Craig) are all uniquely Swedish as this slow burner of a mystery unfolds against icy and unwelcoming landscapes. Like the original film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo can shock, with content that will make virgins to the series squirm uncomfortably. Also like the original it is an utterly compelling film.

8/10 ““ If there hadn’t been an almost perfect Swedish version, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo would have been an excellent movie…but there was, so that only makes it a very good movie.

Dates: 13 to 19th January

Screening Times: 4pm daily

Tickets: €6.50 Buy Your Tickets Here


English Language Movie on Tenerife – Tower Heist

Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda

Plot: Conscientious tower block manager Josh Kovaks (Ben Stiller) discovers his pension fund has evaporated and that the culprit is Wall Street bigwig Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) who just happens to be under house arrest and guarded by FBI agents in the heavily protected penthouse of Kovaks” tower block. With the aid of fellow disgruntled employees, Kovaks plans a daring heist on Shaw’s apartment to try to steal back what is rightfully theirs.

TM Rating: With a cast headlined by Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, you’ve probably guessed that Tower Heist isn’t going to be a hard-hitting social drama.

The plot involving blue collar good guys turning into bad guys in order to right a wrong and hit back at big business is the stuff of good pantomime and the wonderful Alan Alda is a perfect pantomime villain. Stiller, as usual, is likeable and funny and Eddie Murphy does what Eddie Murphy does best.

But in the end it’s a run of the mill heist movie with plans going wrong, red herrings, twists and double twists, coincidences and unlikely scenarios.

With Stiller, Murphy and Alan Alda involved, Tower Heist was never going to be a Christmas turkey (you might not like Ben Stiller, you might not like Eddie Murphy but everyone likes Hawkeye). It’s fun and funny and, unlike Christmas dinner, you won’t feel stuffed after digesting it.

6/10 ““ Tower Heist is a decent choice for a week in which many people’s brains have probably been addled by partying. For those who don’t want to have to think too much over the festive season, Tower Heist obliges with a serving of light and bubbly Christmas cheer.

Screening Times: 5.30pm daily

Tickets: €6.50 Buy Your Tickets Here