Mad about movies

City Times takes to the multiplexes to find out what’s in store for movie buffs this week



By Davina Raisinghani

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2010, 8:42 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 12:13 PM

The Tourist

IT’S THE SORT of pairing that makes you ask, ‘How has this not been done before?’ Putting together Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp seems completely natural – Hollywood pundits laud it as the perfect mix of A-list glamour and acting prowess.

But, The Tourist does in fact mark the very first time that the two high-profile celebrities have come together. Directed by multi award-winning German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others), the thriller also features Paul Bettany, Rufus Sewell, Timothy Dalton and Haley Webb.

As the film’s poster suggests, ‘It all started when he met a woman’ - a remake of Anthony Zimmer’s 2005 French feature, The Tourist follows Frank (Depp), an American man in Italy to mend his broken heart, as he runs into Elise (Jolie), who is on the run from dangerous men after her former lover.

Surprisingly, the perfunctory early screening of the film for critics was pushed back – something that most well versed reviewers unanimously hail as a bad sign. A few online reviews suggest that the movie proves a disappointing watch.

Trivia:

· Tom Cruise and later Sam Worthington were set to play the lead in The Tourist before Depp was decided on. Meanwhile, Charlize Theron was to initially play Jolie’s character.

· The film also went through several directorial changes – first, Lasse Hallström (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Cider House Rules and Chocolat) was to direct. Then Bharat Nalluri came on board and eventually, Donnersmarck was picked.

Also out this week is British comic writer and director Debbie Isitt’s Nativity! Starring Martin Freeman, Ashley Jensen, Jason Watkins and Marc Wootton, the 105-minute flick follows primary school teacher Mr. Maddens (Freeman) who desperately wants to best his rival, Gordon Shakespeare (Watkins) at the annual school play. To win the support and cooperation of his students and fellow faculty members, Maddens starts a false rumour that his ex-girlfriend and Hollywood producer Jennifer Lore (Jensen) is planning on turning this year’s production into a big-budget film. Andrew Pulver writes in his review of Nativity! in The Guardian, “it’s hard to dislike this warm fuzzy hot-water bottle of a movie, which insists on packing every second with tinkling Christmas music and winsome kids doing their utmost to hoof it up like the pros.”

Daft about DVDs

With the upcoming festive season in mind here’s our pick of the top holiday movies

1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

2. Gremlins (1984)

3. Home Alone (1990)

4. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

5. Love Actually (2003)

And if you’re a Blackadder or Rowan Atkinson fan, we recommend you rent out Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, a special one-off episode from the series

Or you can catch Anees Bazmee’s proclaimed laugh-riot No Problem featuring Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Sushmita Sen, Suneil Shetty, Kangana Ranaut, Paresh Rawal and a speacial appearance from singer-songwriter Shakira. In the comedy brothers Yash and Raj Ambani (Dutt and Khanna) are small time crooks looking to leave the business. But being accused of a murder foils their plans.

davina@khaleejtimes.com


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