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Mad about movies
Adam Zacharias / 16 August 2012
We delve through the UAE’s latest cinema releases
The Dark Knight Rises
We’ve never used to the phrase “OMG” before, but this is probably the most tempted we’ve ever been to start.
Batman’s back, baby! (Which, incidentally, we think should be the title of the next reboot). After juggernaut successes with 2005’s Batman Begins and 2008’s The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan and his leading man Christian Bale end the trilogy with a flourish.
This time, Bruce Wayne’s nemesis comes in the form of the terrifying Bane – a role for which British actor Tom Hardy gained a massive 30 pounds of muscle – while Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) also joins in the Gotham City-based fun.
The Dark Knight Rises has already broken the $840 million mark at the box office in under a month, as it aims to beat its predecessor’s tally of $1 billion.
And, predictably, the reviews have been exceptional – surely making Nolan a shoo-in for Hollywood’s most consistent modern day director.
“A disturbing experience we live through as much as a film we watch, this dazzling conclusion to Nolan’s Batman trilogy is more than an exceptional superhero movie, it is masterful filmmaking by any standard,” said Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times.
“TDKR completes one the great trilogies in movie history,” concluded Richard Roeper of Richardroeper.com.
The Dark Knight Rises marks Christopher Nolan’s fifth film in a row in which Michael Caine has appeared – including The Prestige and Inception as well as the two previous entries in the Batman trilogy.
The Expendables 2
Ironically, The Expendablesdidn’t turn out to be very expendable – as the big screen’s buffest action heroes reunite for blood, sweat and explosions.
Following the runaway success of 2010’s original, which picked up $275 million in worldwide takings, this time the gang of mercenaries find themselves exposed in enemy territory when a seemingly simple operation goes awry.
Sylvester Stallone co-writes and stars in the sequel, though he vacates the director’s chair to Simon West (Con Air). Joining Sly in front of the camera are every single muscled action hero who ever existed – Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Liam Hemsworth and (insert joke here) Chuck Norris.
Early reviews look encouraging for the film, which comes out in the States tomorrow.
Tennis player Novak Djokovic made a cameo in the movie, after being invited on set by producer Avi Lerner thanks to his famously outgoing personality. However, his scene is believed to have ended up on the cutting room floor.
Opening worldwide to solid reviews, Pixar’s latest animated film has nonetheless failed to detonate the box office – currently sitting as the studio’s third least profitable effort.
Saying that, $375 million isn’t an embarrassing figure by any stretch, and Pixar has also won praise for finally introducing a female lead character to its canon (though some have suggested that this move may have alienated young male viewers).
The film is set in ancient Scotland, where the headstrong Merida (Kelly Macdonald) disobeys her elders and inadvertently creates chaos within her kingdom. She then turns to an old witch (Julie Walters) for help, before using all of her courage to destroy a terrible curse.
“Youngsters with a taste for adventure will no doubt overlook the movie’s workmanlike outlines and applaud its spirited, self-reliant heroine, who proves to be as appealingly unruly as her tumble of Titian curls,” said Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post.
Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave more measured praise, however.
“Although Brave is satisfying and spirited and laced with humour (haggis jokes, kilt jokes), it doesn’t quite mark a return to form for Pixar following the digital house’s disappointing 12th feature, Cars 2,” he remarked.
* Reese Witherspoon was originally attached to voice Merida, but was replaced by Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire) due to scheduling conflicts.
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