Mad about movies

Mad about movies

We delve through the UAE’s latest cinema releases

By Adam Zacharias (

Published: Thu 29 Sep 2011, 11:59 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:18 AM

Killer Elite

THIS ACTION FILM brings together Hollywood hardman du jour Jason Statham with the ever-intimidating Robert De Niro, plus our pick for the next James Bond, Clive Owen.

Based on the 1991 novel The Feather Men by adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the story sees a top hitman bribed into assassinating members of the British Special Air Service.

This task is set by a rich Omani sheikh, who has only one son alive after the others were all killed by the SAS. If Danny Bryce succeeds, he will become rich beyond his wildest dreams. If he fails, the sheikh will kill his former associate and friend Hunter (De Niro, trying his hand at an English accent).

Despite its strong cast, the film has been flicked away by critics. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times has called Killer Elite “A pile-up of sub-Bourne action set pieces, sad laughs and clichés”, while Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “If you want some meaning with your mayhem, or even a good line of dialogue or two, look elsewhere.”

Audiences have been more forgiving though, with the movie notching respectable user-generated scores online.


· An SAS consultant was brought on set to help the actors with any queries.

· Killer Elite may or may not be based on a true story – Sir Ranulph Fiennes insists its source material came from real-life events, something the British government has emphatically denied..

The Three Musketeers

THE UMPTEENTH RETELLING of Alexandre Dumas’ classic French tale unites an Englishman, an Irishman and an American to play the titular trio.

The adventure film has already come out across several European countries, although it doesn’t debut Stateside for more than three weeks.

Set in the 17th century, we see Athos (Matthew McFadyen), Aramis (Luke Evans) and Porthos (Ray Stevenson) saving Europe from destruction at the hands of manipulative villain Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) – who is attempting to frame an affair between members of the English and French upper classes.

The blockbuster is directed by Briton Paul W.S. Anderson, the man behind three of the five Resident Evil sci-fi film series. Milla Jovovich from the franchise also stars as the beautiful double agent Milady de Winter, and Orlando Bloom and funnyman James ‘Gavin & Stacey’ Corden put in appearances too.


· Logan Lerman, who plays D’Artagnan in the film, revealed he spent nine intensive months learning to fence before shooting started.

· Tubby comic James Corden claimed working on the film was “depressing…because all of my scenes are with four of the most handsome men [Logan Lerman, Orlando Bloom, Matthew Macfadyen and Luke Evans] you could ever meet.”

The Tortured

NOT FOR THE squeamish, The Tortured sees a young couple’s lives torn apart when their only son is kidnapped and killed by a local psychopath.

Though the murderer is quickly found and sentenced to 25 years in prison, Craig and Elise Landry (Jesse Metcalfe and Erika Christensen) decide that justice hasn’t been done. They agree to kidnap John Kozlowski (Bill Moseley) from custody and torture him to death.

If you’re a horror fan, the film may appeal – although even the internet’s genre aficionados have rubbished its quality. “For your own mental health, I strongly urge you to stay away from this movie. Far, far away,” said Kayley Viteo of, though Joe Martin at claimed it wasn’t “entirely bad”, praising the pacing and the filmmakers’ ability to give their audience what they want.


· Bill Moseley deliberately kept his distance from Jesse Metcalfe and Erika Christensen during filming. “The cast and crew treat you differently, because if you’re doing your job, you’re creeping them out,” he explained.

· Critics noted the film’s unfortunate similarity to Canadian movie 7 Days – released shortly before and with a near-identical storyline.

Daft about DVDs

Don’t fancy trekking to the cinema this weekend? Fancy freaking yourself out? Here are five films which scarred me psychologically in one way or another…

1) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

I watched it on TV at the age of 14 – late night, by myself – then had to miss school the next day as I didn’t sleep a wink.

2) The Dark Crystal (1982)

They don’t make ’em like this anymore. Essentially a horror movie for children, this, I saw this puppet fantasy film in a mall as an impressionable nine-year-old and the bad guys (Skeksis) still scare me witless 21 years later.

3) Jaws (1975)

Seriously, who hasn’t thought twice about going in the sea since seeing it?

4) Labyrinth (1986)

Intended as a less scary fantasy film after The Dark Crystal, Jim Henson and Frank Oz teamed up to create a film about goblins kidnapping children. It was still terrifying, so much so that my mum had to pick me up from the cinema when I saw it at the age of five.

5) Arachnophobia (1990)

Ewwwww! Spiders!

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