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City Times Home > Mad About Movies
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Mad about movies

Adam Zacharias (adam@khaleejtimes.com) / 28 June 2012

We delve through the UAE’s latest cinema releases

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

FOLLOWING THE CURRENT trend of American blockbusters hitting overseas markets first, Ice Age 4 arrives in the UAE a fortnight before its US release – as the prehistoric animal gang reunite for another money-spinning adventure.

And why not? While the films’ Rotten Tomatoes ratings have progressively worsened since the 2002 original, inversely their box office tallies have shot up – with 2009’s Dawn of the Dinosaurs nudging $900 million in receipts. 

This time around, Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Dennis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo) discover their continent has been set adrift, leading them to unchartered territories using an iceberg as their ship.

Along for the ride are the usual favourites like Queen Latifah and Seann William Scott plus new characters voiced by Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Drake.


  • This is the first film in the franchise not to be directed by Carlos Saldanha. Instead, the reins have been handed to Steve Martino (Horton Hears A Who) and Mike Thurmeier, who co-directed the third Ice Age installment, Dawn of the Dinosaurs



JIM CAVIEZEL, THE guy who played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, heads up this heist thriller about four robbers who hijack an armoured truck and make off with $4 million.

To pass police roadblocks, they stash the money in the unwitting Sidwell family’s car while they’re on a camping trip – leading to a terrifying game of cat and mouse.

“Entertaining, fast-paced, pulpy thriller enlivened by colourful performances, a decent script and a hefty dose of violence,” said Matthew Turner of View London.

Transit delivers little of value, and never with a smile,” said Catherine Shoard of The Guardian.


  • Transit marks Jim Caviezel’s first film in four years, since 2008’s Nature’s Grave.


Chernobyl Diaries

PRODUCED BY PARANORMAL Activity creator Oren Peli, Chernobyl Diaries is another low-budget horror flick which has struck gold at the box office.

It’s not quite the worldwide phenomenon of Paranormal, which to date has raked in an astonishing $576 million for three films costing a combined $8 million.

Still, $17 million in receipts for a $1 million production can’t be sniffed at. And now you’ve completed Mad About Movies: Economics 101, we’ll get onto what the film is actually about (Chernobyl, if you hadn’t guessed).

Six tourists in the Ukraine head to the site of the infamous 1986 nuclear disaster, where they decide to go on an ‘extreme tour’ with a local guide. However, the group’s trip is thrown into chaos when they discover they’re not alone.

“The real stars of the movie are the tired devices and plot points. They’re famous, but they’re as old as Betty White: The Guide Is Dead, The Van Won’t Start, Her Shirt Has a Plunging Neckline, Don’t Go in There,” said the delightfully sniping Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe.

“You might actively root for their collective demise, if you could rouse yourself to care one way or the other. Go gallivanting in Chernobyl and you get what you pay for, nimrods,” said Dana Stevens of Slate.

The film stars Jesse McCartney, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Nathan Phillips and Dimitri Diatchenko.


  • Oren Peli thought of the film’s idea after seeing a photo blog of a girl riding a motorbike through the ghost town of Prypiat, located near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.




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