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Game Over: Farcical Remake of Monster in Law
Yosra, Mai Ezz El Din and Iman El Sayed take over for Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez and Wanda Sykes respectively in this remake of Monster in Law.
Nada (Ezz El Din) is a housekeeper at a hotel who works around the clock to save up enough money to open a restaurant. While working, she meets Amr (Nour), a hunky guy, who takes one glimpse at her (very fake) wig and French maid outfit and asks her to be his girlfriend. Soon enough, they're back in Cairo meeting his newly laid-off, neurotic mother Liqaa (Yosra) and her assistant Wafaa (El Sayyed). Confident that they’ll get along swimmingly, the hunk proposes then jets off on a work trip leaving mummy dearest and his bride-to-be living together in a state of war.
The question poses itself: why remake a seven-year-old, mediocre film if you're going to stick so closely to the source material? The whole point of remakes is that all the faults are blatant, making it that much easier to evade them. What Game Over does is ‘Egyptian-ise’ the source material by amplifying anything that could possibly be construed as humorous until the joke’s practically being screamed in your face and is no longer funny. People hitting each other is not going to make anyone laugh the 50th time it happens, especially not when the score is as subtle as a cue card dictating the expected response to the scene. Slapstick can be good in comedy, hilarious even, but when used sparingly and if there’s one thing this film lacks, it’s a sense of balance.
Another problem with the film is that we don’t know anything about Amr. Nour is probably on screen for a total of five minutes which you’ll spend cringing because his lines, and delivery, are beyond cheesy. We were constantly asking ourselves why Nada cared so much; what does she know about him that makes her put up with his mother’s abuse? It’s a complete mystery and a very someday-my-prince-will-come attitude to romance that doesn’t jive with what we know about Nada as a career-oriented woman who doesn’t fall in love easily.
Ezz El Din and Yosra are adequate - they fare far better than Nour anyway - but they aren’t helped by the script. El Sayed, however, gets better material to work with and frequently cracked up the audience with her one-liners. Did we mention that Yosra and Ezz El Din, in between all the slapping, get into a shaabi sing off? An auto tuned one no less.
The best that can be said about the film is that it isn’t as bad as its catastrophe trailer suggests. The audience during the screening were laughing their heads off but at this point it seems that audiences are willing to comply and laugh at anything.
The latest reboot and retelling of one of the most cherished and iconic comic book characters, makes one thing clear right from the very start; Superman is the original and ultimate superhero.
Man of Steel opens with a lengthy – yet extremely gratifying – prologue of Superman’s origins on the distant planet of Kryptonite, where noted scientist Jor-El (Crow) and his wife Lara Lor-Van (Zurer) have just welcomed a healthy baby-boy into the world, which they name Kal-El. Their planet, as Jor-El anticipates, is dying and before an attempted military coup by General Zod (Shannon) and his gofers, the worried parents transport Kal-El to down to the safety of planet Earth in an effort to preserve their people.
Jumping ahead thirty years, we find a grown-up Kal-El (Cavill) – now Clark Kent – trying to find his place in the world. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn about the different stages of his upbringing in Smallville, Kansas and the issues that arise as he comes to discover his superpowers. His adoptive parents, father Jonathan Kent (Costner) and mother Martha Kent (Lane), have always tried to impart wisdom on the boy and his dad, who has played a major role in his life, has continuously encouraged self-control and advised him never to reveal his superhuman abilities to anyone.
Soon, Clark is left with no choice but to have his identity exposed when General Zod, along with his commander – the menacing Faora-Ui (Traue) – arrives on earth and threatens to invade Earth if he doesn’t surrender. Along with the help of the persistent journalist, Lois Lane (Adams) – the only person who knows his true identity – Superman needs to do everything in his power to protect the innocent and serve as a beacon of hope.
Helmed by 300 director, Zack Snyder, and scripted by The Dark Knight screenwriters, David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan, Man of Steel has been one of the most anticipated film of the year and delivers in no uncertain terms. Sophisticated and sleek, everything about Man of Steel feels unvaryingly tight and incredibly easy to follow, and the two-hour plus running time never poses as an obstacle to the story.
Gone are the days of whimsical optimism and goofy humour; this Superman is exceptionally dark – ala The Dark Knight – and boasts a surprisingly relatable and highly-complex storyline. Snyder, who has already showcased his incredible visual panache in 300, once again delivers some of the most thrilling and head-spinning action sequences in the busniness. But then again, it’s the dream-like quality to the flashback scenes and Hans Zimmer’s phenomenal and moving score that provides real richness and depth to the story throughout.
Cavill, the first British actor to take on this iconic role, is truly superb. His depiction of a troubled superhero, who strives to always do well by everyone, is wonderful and never sappy. The role of Lois Lane stays away from the usual damsel in distress dramatics and Adams takes it on with aplomb; she’s charming, strong and incredibly feisty. As the antagonist of the story, Shannon is incredibly compelling and demands attention every time he appears on screen, while Crowe, Costner and Lane contribute just as much in their briefer roles.
This is it. This is the one Superman film everyone has been waiting for and we’re happy to report that Man of Steel is everything we hoped and expected it to be; it’s the sophisticated, adult take that the world’s most famous superhero has so desperately needed.
Dino Time – also known as Dino Mom – is the latest animated feature to hit cinemas and is brought to us by CJ Entertainment - apparently one of the biggest entertainment companies in South Korea. Helmed by a couple of relatively unknown directors, Dino Time's premise offers a lot more than it suggests.
We meet Ernie (Adlon); a mischievous little boy who is always on the lookout for a new and an exciting adventure. He spends most of his day cruising around on his rocket-powered skateboard whilst dodging the spying eye of his annoying younger sister, Julia (Strong), who gets her own kicks by landing her older brother into trouble with their live-by-the-rules mom, Sue (Lynch).
One day, after sneaking out from his bedroom window, Ernie drops in on his best friend Max (Lowenthal). Rummaging around the family garage, the boys stumble upon, and are instantly intrigued by, a shiny egg-shaped time machine that Max's inventor dad is still trying to perfect. Naturally, things soon get out of control when they accidentally set off the time-machine and are transported to another time and place where dinosaurs and other supposedly 'extinct' creatures roam the earth.
They soon come face-to-face with a real life T-Rex named Tyra (Griffith) and her hyperactive orphan dinosaur son, Dodger (Schneider). What makes things even worse is that they seem to have lost the time-machine power key and are unable to return home. Meanwhile, more disturbing obstacles appear – involving the spiteful pair of dinosaurs (voiced by two of the Baldwin brothers) – who are plotting to steal Tyra's precious egg.
The expectations of watching a film that has never been released on the big-screen anywhere else in the world is usually pretty low. However, in this case, one is pleasantly surprised to see a story with so much vivacity and heart. Sure, there's a certain ‘TV-movie’ quality to it and it's far from the visual excellence we're all used to, but the drawbacks of its relatively inexpert computerised imagery never divert from the more amusing moments that the story itself brings.
The cast, which includes some of Hollywood's best, do a super job in keeping Dino Time fun and entertaining. Best-known for her role as Marcy in the popular and controversial TV-show Californication, Ms. Adlon lends her voice to our main protagonist, Ernie; bubbly and incredibly enchanting, Adlon carries the story like a pro. Other stars such as veteran actress Melanie Griffith and funny man Rob Schneider are a perfect fit for their roles, while the Baldwin Brothers – Stephen and William – serve up slightly bland and forgettable performances.
All in all, Dino Time is not a blockbuster nor is it a ground-breaking work of art. However, it does manage to take you back to a much simpler time, when the story actually mattered. Take your youngsters, they will have a blast!