Mad about movies: This week's new UAE film releases
Published on September 5, 2020 at 00.01
This week's enormous release is undoubtedly Disney's Mulan, the latest off the live-action remake production line. Unlike preceding hits including The Jungle Book (2016) and The Lion King (2019), however, Mulan's original cartoon version (1998) mainly starred human characters as opposed to talking animals so a reboot with real actors is an exciting prospect. The story is well known. Liu Yifei plays the eponymous heroine: a young woman who, to avoid her elderly father having to join up, disguises herself as a man to answer the Chinese Emperor's call for one male per household to join the Imperial Army. Severely tested, Mulan excels and earns the respect of her fellow soldiers before impressing the entire nation. IMDb gives it 3.8
Our nomination for movie of the week is this true-life story of a journalist trying to expose the truth behind the Soviet Union’s shiny façade in the 1930s. In 1933 Welsh newspaperman Gareth Jones (James Norton) is riding high after an interview with Adolf Hitler gained worldwide attention. He embarks for Moscow with the aim to interview Joseph Stalin on Russia’s expansion and its seemingly successful five-year development plan. While there he journeys to Ukraine and discovers the true human cost of the supreme leader’s ambition. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 84%
Shams Al Maarif (Arabic)
During 2010, YouTube filmmaking mania hit Saudi Arabia. Shams Al Maarif charts three middling high-school students and their movie-obsessed teacher as they try and produce a horror film for the platform with zero experience and zero financial backing. As you can imagine, things do not go smoothly. There are so far no ratings.
21 Bridges (re-release)
In honour of lead actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away at the age of 43 this week, 21 Bridges (2019) will be playing across theatres. In it Boseman plays a successful NYPD cop who takes the unprecedented decision to shut down all of Manhattan’s exit points (21 bridges) in order to trap a killer on the island. It’s just as intense as it sounds. IMDb gives it 6.6