New in Cairo Cinemas: What to Expect from This Week’s Film Releases
It’s that time of the week – when Cairo’s cinemas welcomes the newest film releases and there have been few weeks as varied and eclectic as this one, with moviegoers set to be served up with a unique Arnofsky vision, a sci-fi disaster film, the fictionalised tale of a martial arts legend and – shock, horror – a documentary.
What’s it About? This one’s difficult to put into words – Darren Aronofsky’s psychological horror is a mine of metaphors and allegories in telling of a couple’s idyllic life which is disturbed by the arrival of another, seemingly mysterious couple. It’s difficult not to say more without spoilers.
Why it Might Be Good: Arnofsky directing Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer is impressive enough, but what has thus far been a divisive film is said to be creatively thought-provoking and of a unique artistic vision. Again, it’s really difficult not to say more without giving it away.
Why it Might Be Bad: ‘Pretentious’ is a word that has been thrown around freely in the discussion of Mother!, while cartoonish, nonsensical, showy and excessive have also been used to describe its distinct visual style.
What’s it About? A disaster movie with a sci-fi twist, Geostorm tells of a network of satellites that have been designed to control global climate which then go awry as they start to ‘attack’ Earth by creating a giant geostorm.
Why it Might Be Good: Surprisingly, this has a very decent cast; say what you will about Gerard Butler, but he’s pretty effective in this kind of over-the-top thriller. But his supporting cast is particularly impressive – Abbi Cornish, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia and even Amr Waked!
Why it Might Be Bad: The concept is pretty ludicrous, but what’s really worrying is that, after poor test screenings, Geostorm underwent some pretty severe reshoots – reshoots that went as far as to completely recast a character and add several more. Yikes.
What’s it About? A rare documentary in Cairo cinemas, Human Flow is Chines artists and activits, Ai Weiwei’s take on the current global refugee crisis.
Why it Might Be Good: Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, with praise going to its sheer scope. The film was shot in 20 different countries, with 25 different crews, while the drone sequences have gained particular praise. It’s a real-life humanitarian issue, portrayed with a simple, but effective visual style.
Why it Might Be Bad: One of the most cynical criticism aimed at the film has described it as ‘Refugees for Dummies’, while others have criticised it for being a veiled criticism of the Trump administration that offers no answers and few suggestions.
Birth of the Dragon
What’s it About? Acting as some kind of fictional origin story for Bruce Lee, Birth of the Dragon tells of the martial arts legend’s career-defining showdown with kung fu master, Wong Jack Man.
Why it Might Be Good: There are few figures in the history of film quite like Bruce Lee and his showdown with Wong Jack Man is the stuff of legend. But, somehow they’ve managed to make a complete mess of it…
Why it Might Be Bad: Because despite this being a potentially fantastic adaptation of an equally fantastic real-life event, its drowned in fictional characters and other needless, diluting embellishments in the name of making it Hollywood friendly – the worst of which is a fictional white character, Steve McKee, who is essentially the main character, while Bruce Lee is demoted to a secondary character who McKee uses to free his girlfriend from some kind of Chinese sex slavery ring. Or something.
To find out where and when you can catch these films in the capital, check out the Cairo 360 Cinema Guide.