Ironclad Weekly box office (April 21-27): Dhs1,256,786.5 Weekly admissions: 35,268
Action anti-hero James Purefoy’s follow-up to Solomon Kane is a medieval siege tale that pits his atrocity-haunted Templar Knight against a maniacal King John (Paul Giamatti, over-acting insanely). One has to admire the spirit of this independent production, which aims for the sweeping spectacle of El Cid, but it falls way short of its epic ambitions. Total box office: Dhs1,256,786.5 Total admissions: 35,268
Dum Maaro Dum (Hindi) Weekly box office: Dhs869,865 Weekly admissions: 30,386
On his way to Griffin University in the United States, Goa-based Lawrence Eduardo Gomes is arrested and held at the Airport by ACP Vishnu Kamath as his baggage concealed drugs. While attempts by Lorry and others are made to clear Lawrence's name, Vishnu, a cop known to accept bribes, continues his investigation aided by Inspectors Mercy D'Costa and Rane. This investigation will not only pit him against politically-connected drug-dealers, but also international gangsters who operate in Goa with impunity. Total box office: Dhs869,865 Total admissions: 30,386
Rio Weekly box office: Dhs1,167,420 Weekly admissions: 26,954
A friendly domesticated macaw named Blu (voiced by Eisenberg) travels from small-town Minnesota to Rio de Janeiro, when he meets the bird of his dreams. But the object of his affections, the fiercely independent Jewel (Hathaway) is no pushover: cue a comedic animated rewriting of the gender stereotypes yet again, with Jewel assisting (a rather emasculated) Blu to learn to fly, while making all sorts of friends, including will.i.am and Jamie Foxx. Total box office: Dhs5,292,362 Total admissions: 119,689
Hop Weekly box office: Dhs616,117.5 Weekly admissions: 20,120
Director Tim Hill’s follow-up to Alvin and the Chipmunks is a less obnoxious affair, but it’s still low on charm and laughs. A hare-brained slice of Easter confection, Hop is at best an affable mix of live action and CG animation that bounces along with a modest spring in its step. The story concerns young rabbit EB (Brand) – heir to the Easter Bunny crown – who, on the eve of assuming the mantle from his father (Laurie), flees the family candy factory on Easter Island to pursue his dream of becoming a drummer in Los Angeles. Expect passable, if fairly unexceptional, family fodder. Total box office: Dhs616,117.5 Total admissions: 20,120
Born to Raise Hell Weekly box office: Dhs370,167 Weekly admissions: 12,266
Both written and directed by veteran action man Steven Seagal, this film sees him as an Interpol agent who’s assigned to a drug task force in Romania. While we can’t fault ponytail’s high kicks, we’d suggest he leaves the dialogue to Hollywood’s many scribes. The plot, which deals with the seemingly Southern and certainly potty-mouthed Seagal attempting to quash a Russian gun dealer, is thinly spread, but the camera work, cinematography and martial arts make it just about worthwhile for action fans. Total box office: Dhs370,167 Total admissions: 12,266
The Resident Weekly box office: Dhs412,239 Weekly admissions: 11,190
Like Paranormal Activity, this creepy psychological thriller taps into fears about invasions of our private space. But the threat here is tangible rather than supernatural. Still raw from her husband’s betrayal, ER surgeon Dr Juliet Devereau (Swank) moves into a new apartment. The low rent and charming landlord, Max (Morgan), both seem too good to be true, and so it proves. Max is soon ogling her though spyholes and creeping around her bedroom while she sleeps.
Finnish director Antti Jokinen makes effective use of CCTV security footage captured on motion-sensitive cameras; Swank is credible as a confident yet vulnerable professional woman; and Morgan is convincing as the insinuating Max. Sadly, Christopher Lee – in his first Hammer movie for 30-plus years – is wasted as Max’s crotchety grandfather. Total box office: Dhs412,239 Weekly admissions: 11,190
A Little Bit of Heaven Weekly box office: Dhs341,657.5 Weekly admissions: 11,267
Heaven’s above. This excruciating film has Kate Hudson as Marley, a bubbly, single New Orleans gal whose carefree approach to life – no-strings relationships, good pals, a wicked sense of humour – grinds to
a halt when she’s diagnosed with colon cancer. Luckily for Marley, one of her doctors is a reserved but handsome Mexican, Julian Goldstein (Gael García Bernal – what’s happening to his career?), who challenges his patient’s intractable attitudes to life and death by declaring his love for her just as the medical prognosis isn’t looking so good.
Director Nicole Kassell (who made the very different The Woodsman) and first-time writer Gren Wells betray Marley’s heart-on-your-sleeve honesty by giving us a dishonest depiction of sickness and death. A game and endearing Hudson is the best thing about the film, but otherwise it’s a cynical affair, only suited to those who like a cheap, forgettable weep. Total box office: Dhs341,657.5 Total admissions: 11,267
My Soul to Take Weekly box office: Dhs501,424 Weekly admissions: 11,157
Directing his first script since 1994’s New Nightmare, Wes Craven gives us an idiosyncratic serial-killer story that’s more teen-angst drama than sanguine horror show (and unfortunately postconverted to 3D). Introverted adolescent Bug (Thieriot) is one of seven kids born on the night when the Riverton Ripper supposedly died. Now he’s having spooky visions and speaking in voices while his friends are picked off one by one. There are plenty of formulaic ‘boo!’ moments, yet Craven intelligently treats Bug’s otherworldly issues like hormonal growing pains that must be tamed. Total box office: Dhs501,424 Total admissions: 11,157
Arthur Weekly box office: Dhs387,905 Weekly admissions: 10,882
Even Dudley Moore realised – all too late – that a second Arthur was a bad idea. So why have Christopher Cross’s words not been heeded (Once in your life you find her…)? Beware the hubris of today’s besotted British comedian, Russell Brand, who doesn’t exactly improve on Moore’s playboy billionaire so much as convert the character’s tragic immaturity into alcoholic toxicity. Brand, already a Dionysian visual joke of swirling hair and rock-star poses, is always funnier when saying less. Too bad he’s got a lot to convey here; he comes off as more of a match for his narcissistic arranged bride, Susan (Garner), than must have been intended.
The real casualty of this unwanted remake, though, is New York City (and why do we never see a moon?). The original film, for all its zaniness, existed in a recognisable Koch-era metropolis, one that paradoxically added to our hero’s likeable haze of denial. This time, the town is far shinier (what recession?): a place where space-case Greta Gerwig can give jaunty tours of Grand Central Terminal and heartbroken lovers can run barefoot through Queens. Total box office: Dhs1,299,227.5 Total admissions: 34,928
Source Code Weekly box office: Dhs302,562.5 Weekly admissions: 9,611
Based on a hardcore sci-fi premise, but staged with a Hitchcockian lightness that injects romance and humour into a potentially bleak terrorist bomb scenario, this second film from the director of Moon is an emotionally engaging time-travel puzzle piece.
Jake Gyllenhaal is edgy as confused Blackhawk helicopter pilot Captain Colter Stevens, who wakes up on a Chicago commuter train with no clue how he got there or what his ‘mission’ is. The attractive woman seated opposite, Christina (Michelle Monaghan), seems to think he’s a school teacher called Sean, and the face reflected in the train window is not his. Suddenly, an explosion rips through the train, and Colter finds himself in what may be the cockpit of his crashed chopper. Via a video screen, uniformed military ‘minder’ Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) explains that Colter is part of an experimental project, which allows access to a parallel reality for eight minutes at a time. And he has to keep going back in – not to stop the explosion, which has already happened, but to identify the terrorist on the train, who has also planted a ‘dirty bomb’ in the city. Total box office: Dhs2,767,738.5 Total admissions: 83,112