Sunday, 15 December 2019

‘Histories’ spin-off is a real education

‘Histories’ spin-off is a real education

FOR families of just-broke-up-from-school children, a long and rather hot summer stretches ahead.

School may be out, but there’s no reason why the learning has to stop altogether. And many cinemas are so beautifully air-conditioned these days.

Which is where Horrible Histories: The Movie comes in. The first cinematic offshoot of the hugely popular series of books begun by Terry Deary and Martin Brown more than 25 years ago, it sets out to answer some questions of key historical importance.

Namely, who are the Celts? What have the Romans ever done for us? And why is the Emperor Nero dousing himself in horse wee?

Featuring an all-star cast, Rotten Romans offers you the chance to find out the answers in the course of 90 minutes of historical hi-jinks.

Friends, Romans, Celts… lend us your ears! We are transported back to a time when the all-conquering Romans rule the civilised world — and that includes “the stain” that is Britain.

While the young Emperor Nero must battle his scheming mother Agrippina for ultimate power, Celt queen Boudicca gathers an army in Britain to repel the rotten Romans.

Mixed up in this battle for liberation are the teenage Atti, a reluctant Roman soldier, and Orla, a young Celt with dreams of becoming a warrior like Boudicca.

Atti, a Roman youth with brains but no muscle, is always coming up with schemes, but one of these upsets Emperor Nero.

For his punishment, he is sent to cold wet Britain on the fringes of the Roman Empire.

There he is captured by Orla, a feisty Celt, but they eventually come to an understanding.

Then to Atti’s horror, when he is returned to his regiment, he finds himself pitted against Orla and her tribe at the Battle of Watling Street.

Will they fall on opposite sides or forge a friendship in the chaos of Celtic-inspired rebellion?

Rotten Romans is up against The Angry Birds Movie 2, which is released today (Friday).

King Mudbeard, the ruler of the Bad Piggies, plots revenge against the Angry Birds after they devastated his homeland in a prior battle to regain their eggs.

But what will happen when both sides are threatened by a mysterious purple bird named Zeta, who plans to usher in a new ice age using cryokinetic technology.

Both films are now showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse cinema.

Matthew Wilson

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