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Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted:
So far a trilogy, Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted comes third in line to Madagascar and Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa. Generally made up of the same characters, with the extras only changing, this third part sees the group made up of Alex (Stiller), Marty (Rock), Melman (Schwimmer) and Gloria (Pinkett) go on a new adventure to Europe.
The story begins in Africa where it left off in the previous part. Alex, as always, longs to return to New York City where he enjoyed a life of fame in the zoo. Deciding that this is what they would do, the foursome makes their way over to Monaco to find the crafty penguins that landed them there in the first place. Locating the penguins (and monkeys that come with them) in a casino, the group recklessly barges into the public area, scaring off the crowds and as a result end up with animal control Captain Chantel DuBois (McDormand) on their trail. An animal head collector herself, she is especially interested in acquiring a lion head for her wall. In trying to escape, the group and the penguins, along with Julien (Cohen) and his posse, find a circus train whose animals luckily let them in.
The story essentially revolves around them being chased by DuBois and developing relationships with the animals from the circus. The latter begins with Stefano (Short), an Italian sea lion, unravelling the history of the circus and what led to its demise. Vitaly (Cranston) is the mysterious tiger that had once been the star of the show, but after an accident nothing was the same again. Coming together as a team, Alex decides to take control of the situation and bring the circus back to stardom.
The characters’ animation is delightful with exaggerated facial features, comic expressions and swift body movements. DuBois is especially nimble despite her rounded shape and her wide set eyes and full red lips appropriately match her dubious character. McDormand does a very good job with the French accent and even has a small singing part.
Cohen as Julien is as entertaining as ever, the lemur even embarks on a romantic journey with a depressed girl bear he finds on the train. Alex also has his share of sparks with the tigress Gia with whom he practices his trapeze skills. While the old characters delivered their roles consistently to the previous films, it is nice to be introduced to the new ones as well. Stefano especially is funny to watch as he talks through big teeth and is oblivious to most of what’s happening around him.
The four penguins are as excellent as they always were; nifty with all their makeshift gadgets which magically work perfectly. They’re sarcastic and sort of evil but nonetheless pretty hilarious.
Towards the end of the film the story drags on a bit. The action sequences lost our attention a little and when the grand finale came about, instead of become engaged in all the new tricks the animals learnt to perform in the circus, it was merely a mesh of colours and non identifiable rings of colour in the air; scored to Katy Perry’s ‘Fireworks’ – which really didn’t help.
Overall the film is entertaining and kids would love it but essentially it’s just the same story told over, using slightly different characters.
Since George A. Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead, flesh-eating Hollows – aka Zombies, Lurkers, Biters or the Undead – have become a part of a phenomenon that is still dominating the horror-scene today.
However, with the release of Nick Lyon's Rise of the Zombies, one can’t help but wonder: who in their right mind would allow for this TV movie travesty to be released in cinemas in Egypt?
Set in a run-down and abandoned San Francisco, Rise of the Zombie's opening scenes show a group of panic-stricken folks trying to escape from the hungry hands of the infected monsters. Their mission, unfortunately, soon fails and – thanks to a badly executed CGI car crash – everyone, apart from one young pregnant woman who manages to escape, is left behind as food.
The film then shifts focus to a different group of people who have taken refuge in the infamous Alcatraz Prison. The troop is led by the sturdy Dr. Lynn Snyder (Hemingway), fellow scientist Dr. Dan Helpern (Burton) and the barmy-looking Caspian (Trejo). While Dr. Helpern continues to do his research and find a cure to kill the 'virus' which has been spreading like wildfire, Dr. Snyder believes that it's the peculiar researcher, Dr. Arnold – who has been sending in video transmits from the mainland – has all the answers.
However, it's not long before the zombies – who have apparently learned how to swim over the years – infiltrate the prison, forcing its refugees to flee and search for another safe-house and quite possibly the cure for the fast-spreading 'infection'.
The producers and the distributors for this film – The Asylum – are known for their exclusively B-list, straight-to-DVD productions, and Rise of the Zombies is a complete mockery of a film from minute one. Apart from the plot being completely unoriginal, the characters – whose survival and well-being is imperative to drive the story – fail to register with the audience and the poorly scripted dialogue, and its flimsy delivery, only adds to the absurdity of it all, though the make-up isn’t entirely dreadful
Unfortunately, the cast – which includes a few recognisable faces – can’t rise above the shabby material. Hemingway, an actress who has been seen in a good share of mindless action flicks, has never been worse. Failing to add an ounce of personality to her character, she is almost robotic in her delivery, while badass Trejo looks embarrassed the entire way through.
Predictable, cheesy, and downright upsetting, Rise of the Zombies is definitely like no other zombie-fest you'll ever see – and that is not a compliment.
Scary Movie 5 – aka Scary MoVie – marks the latest and slightly belated entry to one of the laziest spoof series in the history of cinema. The franchise, which continues down a shameless road of riff-raff, turns its attention to recent box office hits such as Mama, Black Swan, Sinister, The Cabin in the Woods, Evil Dead and of course, Paranormal Activity.
The premise hasn't changed one bit, but the outlandish formula that may have once incited a few laughs – or at least some guilty chuckles – has finally reached a point of no return: rock bottom.
Scary Movie 5's so-called plot focuses on Jody (Tisdale) and Dan (Rex); a young married couple who have come to care for three young girls who, after the tragic disappearance of their father – Dan's older brother – spend most of their time living in 'the cabin in the woods'. They are feral and wild, and continue to creep everyone out with constant references to someone called 'Mama'.
Keen to rid the house of any unwanted demons, Jody and Dan wire up their house with multiple cameras – à la Paranormal Activity. Meanwhile, the couple struggle to tend to their careers; Dan keeps himself busy researching apes at a scientific facility run by scary boss, Martin (Crews), while Jody tries to resurrect her career as a ballerina – à la, yes you've guess it, Black Swan – and auditions for the lead in a production of 'Swan Lake', working opposite pole-dancing ballerina, Kendra (Ash).
This is the first film in the series that has not been moulded by the hands of original creators, the Wayans Brothers, who declined the invitation to return, and the franchise's charmingly nutty lead, Anna Faris, who is currently pregnant. Needless to say, the film suffers from both omissions and doesn't have the foolish charm that made the franchise so popular, showing little-to-no intelligence in its humour.
The plot is incredibly inconsistent and plays out as a series of unconnected set-pieces, each telling their own story, just for the sake of it. Seriously, how many more Paranormal Activity spoofs do we have to sit through?
Tisdale, who has some pretty big shoes to fill after Farris' departure, is appalling and she still hasn't shaken off her Disney roots. Rex is just as horrendous and although the film has several talented actors at its disposable – Morgan Freeman narrates – none of them are given the right material to work with. Even cameos by Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson, Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan all feel like missed opportunities.
Sitting in the wrong side of ridiculous, Scary Movie 5 is unfunny and too on-the-nose – wasting anymore column inches writing about it is infuriating.