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Time Out staff
10 The Dragon Pearl Director: Mario Andreacchio Stars: Sam Neill, Li Lin Jin and Louis Corbett
Billed as ‘the first Australia-China co-production’, this family movie (with a worrying PG15 rating) charts young Aussie kid Josh (Corbett) on a trip to the Far East to visit estranged father Chris (Neil), where the archaeologist is about to open a 3,000-year-old tomb. Safe thrills and broad comedy follow when the pair, joined by a Chinese scientist and her daughter (Lin Jin), discover a gateway to the dragon. Perpetual kids’ director Mario Andreacchio – one of only five directors to steer an Aussie production to an Emmy with TV hit Captain Johnno – is at the helm. On the big screen he’s known for Napoleon, parrot-drama The Real Macaw and Paradise Found, a biopic of French painter Paul Gauguin with Kiefer Sutherland oddly in the lead role. Here he’s had a Dhs75 million budget to play with and unprecedented access to China’s historic riches, so hopes are understandably high. Rob Garatt
Weekly box office: Dhs77,961 Weekly admissions: 2,246 Total box office: Dhs77,961 Total admissions: 2,246
9 Bol Bachchan Director: Rohit Shetty Stars: Ajay Devgn, Asin and Abhishek Bachchan
Director Rohit Shetty returns with yet another action-packed comedy and the result is more laughs and even more agonising loud SFX-laden action sequences. All the familiar tropes from Shetty’s popular Golmaal series are here: fights with numerous flying and rolling bodies and cars, dialogues filled with puns, an ensemble cast and a screenplay so crammed with gags that the story takes a back seat. This time around, Shetty’s tried-and-tested formula has a bunch of new faces including Abhishek Bachchan.
Abbas Ali (Abhishek Bachchan) arrives in Ranakpur with his sister, Sania (Asin), and immediately lands himself in a mess when he hides his Muslim identity from his stern boss, Prithviraj (Ajay Devgn). Soon he’s spinning a whole web of lies with the help of his friend, Ravi (Krishna Abhishekh), cooking up a new mother (Archana Puran Singh) and a lookalike step-brother – Bachchan himself as a gay kathak dance teacher (original indeed). To give the ladies something to do, Prithviraj’s ex bears an uncanny resemblance to Sania, while Prithviraj’s sister Radhika (Prachi Desai) romances Abbas. The game of deception goes on until Shetty and his dialogue writers Farhad-Sajid run out of jokes.
Bol Bachchan is less concerned with weighty issues of secularism and more engrossed in tickling the funny bone at all costs. This is a Shetty film so the audiences will figure out the conclusion by the halfway mark but may well stay on to listen to the jokes, the best of which are allotted to Devgn, whose character spouts inane English translations of Hindi phrases. Suhani Singh
Weekly box office: Dhs80,289 Weekly admissions: 2,436 Total box office: Dhs3,573,999 Total admissions: 108,999
8 The Decoy Bride Director: Sheree Folkson Stars: Kelly Macdonald, David Tennant, Alice Eve, Michael Urie, Federico Castelluccio
If a film is neither romantic nor funny, can it still be referred to as a rom-com? The Decoy Bride has all the trappings of the genre – likeable leads, great locations, cutesy soundtrack – but the absence of any on-screen chemistry or a memorable joke makes for an unsatisfying experience. Kelly Macdonald plays Katie, a loveless Hebridean islander tapped to act as a paparazzi-distracting patsy at the wedding of Hollywood star Lara (Eve) and successful novelist James (Tennant). Following a series of unconvincing mishaps, Katie and James are thrown together – and the inevitable happens. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs105,999 Weekly admissions: 2,767 Total box office: Dhs105,999 Total admissions: 2,767
7 Madagascar 3: Europes Most Wanted Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon Stars: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen
The first two Madagascar flicks earned more than Dhs3 billion, so it’s no surprise that the creators of the third instalment have pulled out all the stops on this one, sending Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman on an adventure that spans three continents in eye-popping, neon-bright 3D. While it’s all very impressive, the story zips and zings so quickly from one clever set piece to the next – it’s a heist flick set in Monte Carlo! No wait, it’s a psychedelic circus romance! – that it’s impossible, especially for kids, to catch all the nuances and jokes. And unfortunately, the message of discovering yourself on life’s journey gets lost in the hubbub. Marisa Cohen
Weekly box office: Dhs119,596 Weekly admissions: 3,376 Total box office: Dhs14,619,446 Total admissions: 344,661
6 Think Like a Man Director: Tim Story Stars: Romany Malco, Meagan Good, Jerry Ferrara, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Jenkins, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, Gabrielle Union
When a quartet of women get their mitts on comedian-turned-author Steve Harvey’s best-seller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, they set out to put the book’s man-wrangling rules to practice in their respective relationships. Mya (Good) forces her new player beau (Malco) to wait for intimacy; Kristen (Union) makes her manchild boyfriend (Entourage’s Ferrara) get his act together; Candace (Hall) tries to wrest Michael (Jenkins) from his mother’s clutches; and Lauren (Henson) attempts to pressure her dude (Ealy) into a higher tax bracket. Don’t reach for the sick bag yet. These men eventually realise that they’re being manipulated, so they game the ladies right back – which naturally blows up in their faces. This mega-rom-com may feature a minor-celeb-studded ensemble cast, but there’s no mistaking its true star: Harvey’s real-life 2009 dating-advice tome. But for what essentially amounts to a feature length advertisement, Think Like a Man is surprisingly entertaining, thanks to the cast’s collective chemistry and the film’s balance of appealing elements for both sides of the gender divide. In the midst of all the candlelit dinners and happy endings, you almost miss the fact that the Gospel of Harvey offers a depressingly businesslike view of love. It’s fitting; at heart this movie is all about transactions, both romantic and commercial. Jenna Scherer
Weekly box office: Dhs151,721 Weekly admissions: 3,657 Total box office: Dhs 1,439,158 Total admissions: 36,469
5 Woman in the Fifth Director: Pawel Pawlikowski Stars: Ethan Hawke, Kristin Scott Thomas, Joanna Kulig
Pawel Pawlikowski – one of the smartest and least parochial heads in British cinema – directs his first film since 2004’s My Summer of Love, adapting Douglas Kennedy’s Paris-set novel to create a troubling study of loss, exile and despair. Ethan Hawke is the perfect choice for Tom, a scruffy American novelist and literature professor who arrives in Paris to visit his estranged wife and daughter, but ends up living in a dank suburban hotel run by a French-Arab businessman who puts him to work as a night guard. While trying to make proper contact with his family – his wife has an exclusion order on him – Tom finds solace in both a bookish woman (a well-cast Scott Thomas) and a young, blonde Polish emigré who works at his fetid temporary home. What’s real and what’s the product of Tom’s confused state is impossible to distinguish. Grief and a cruel search for companionship hang over the film and work to counter some of its more frustrating loose ends. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs146,710 Weekly admissions: 3,879 Total box office: Dhs146,710 Total admissions: 3,879
4 Tinker Bell & The Secret of the Wings 3D Director: Tom Rogers, Ryan Rowe Stars: Timothy Dalton, Lucy Liu, Megan Hilty, Anjelica Huston, Matt Lanter, Jesse McCartney, Mae Whitman, Raven-Symoné, Debby Ryan
Secret of the Wings is the fourth chapter in Disney’s fresh saga charting the exploits of Tinker Bell, the 100-year-old fairy originally born in JM Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan. In this instalment Tink explores a forbiddenland and discovers a secret. Former James Bond star Timothy Dalton voices Lord Milori. Rob Garratt
Weekly box office: Dhs307,585 Weekly admissions: 6,407 Total box office: Dhs307,585 Total admissions: 6,407
3 Choose Director: Marcus Graves Stars: Katheryn Winnick, Kevin Pollak, Nicholas Tucci, Bruce Dern, Richard Short, Alexi Wasser, Lenny von Dohlen, Cady Huffman, Billy Kay, Billy Magnussen
Generic post-Saw slasher about a serial killer on the loose in a small American town. Opening with a vomit-inducing scene where a teenage girl must ‘choose’ whether or not it’s her mother or father who should die – and then being forced to commit the deed herself – Choose quickly turns into a de-facto deductive thriller where the town sheriff is outfoxed by his journalism student daughter. Rob Garratt
Weekly box office: Dhs270,888 Weekly admissions: 7,583 Total box office: Dhs270,888 Total admissions: 7,583
2 Ice Age: Continental Drift Director: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier Stars: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Nick Frost, Queen Latifah
Blue Sky Studios’ series of family-friendly cartoons about the adventures of three prehistoric chums – Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth and Diego the sabre-tooth tiger – gears up for a fourth instalment. Its predecessor, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, is currently the fourth highest-grossing animated film of all time, making this follow-up wholly inevitable. This time, the movie is setting out to sea, as the continents begin to shift and our heroes are set adrift on a floating iceberg, where they encounter pirates, sea monsters and discover a new country. Time Out Dubai staff
Weekly box office: Dhs413,625 Weekly admissions: 10,585 Total box office: Dhs11,275,677 Total admissions: 266,598
1 The Amazing Spider-Man Director: Marc Webb Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan, Campbell Scott
It’s web 2.0. Five years since Sam Raimi hung up his ‘I Love NY’ cap and Tobey Maguire ditched the Spandex in Spider-Man 3, it’s the turn of director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) and British actor Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) to turn back the Spidey-clock and start again. Memories are short in Hollywood, and generations are measured in dog years.
This version of the Marvel Comics staple is an origin tale (dead dad, classroom bullying, spider-bite) which is low on psychological trauma and high on teen woes. Again we learn how Peter Parker (Garfield) lost his parents and gained a mask. But the evolution into a swinging city vigilante is framed by recognisable adolescent awkwardness and romantic troubles involving his schoolmate and new girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Stone), daughter of the city’s chief of police (Denis Leary). Garfield is more robust and charming than Maguire, and he forms a pleasing Brit-acting axis with Rhys Ifans, who plays his adversary Dr Curt Connors, later The Lizard.
Webb and the film’s writers have done a smart job of making a snappy blockbuster with few pretensions: The Amazing Spider-Man is light on its feet and feels both intimate and expansive, smoothly making the transition from hanging out in school corridors to hanging off the sides of buildings. Webb offers no radical rethink about how to craft a comic-book movie, but he delivers a enjoyable rush over a patchwork of genres – romance, action, sci-fi, horror and comedy – while avoiding bumps at the joins. The action sequences are gripping and have a bouncy, parkour-style giddiness to them. Garfield gets the best lines and is a comic, often slapstick, presence for much of the movie as he learns how to cope with his new powers.
Spidey is the ultimate New York superhero, and this is full of nods to the city’s movie heritage. There’s a touch of Woody Allen to some of Garfield’s twitchy scenes, while King Kong looms over Spidey’s skyscraper-top encounter with The Lizard. There’s even a scene where Parker mopes down the street with his shoulders hanging low like De Niro in Taxi Driver. This lone gun with a red sock over his head also feels an urge to clean up the streets – but his New York is mostly benign, a place where crane drivers and cops wave him on his way and the skyline sparkles in approval. Soft, yes, but also satisfying. Dave Calhoun
Weekly box office: Dhs 723,801 Weekly admissions: 15,826 Total box office: Dhs16,477,320 Total admissions: 360,144