After 22 years and two sequels, can the rebooted Jurassic series capture the magic of the groundbreaking original, which took audiences on a reptilian rollercoaster ride and surpassed $1 billion in ticket sales? Jurassic World and its new breed of computer-generated scaly stars certainly give it a good go.
Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited installment (we last saw the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park III back in 2001).
The remote Isla Nubla now has a huge dinosaur theme park, complete with a baby dinosaur petting zoo, presided over by the aloof operations manager, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard).
With visitor numbers declining, a new attraction is needed. Geneticist Dr Wu (B D Wong) obliges, cooking up a new genetically modified monster in his lab. When his creation, the giant Indominus Rex, escapes all hell breaks loose.
Step forward Chris Pratt – the hunky lead in Guardians of the Galaxy – who has formed a sort of emotional bond with four Velociraptors he has been training at the park.
While it might not be able to match the first film for inventiveness, it’s hugely entertaining with plenty of action and humour.
It’s wonderful to see the raptors back on screen and T-Rex even puts in a cameo appearance. The ending is left open, so clearly we haven’t heard the last of the dinosaurs yet.
A big-screen version of the award-winning American HBO TV show of the same name, picking up from the series finale. Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) has made it big and takes his four buddies along for the ride to Hollywood. Separated from his wife after nine days of marriage, Chase wants a new challenge for his career and persuades his agent to let him direct a new movie starring his brother, Johnny “Drama” Chase (played with gusto by Kevin Dillon). Fans of the show will love it, but critics have been less impressed.
Chinese films can be a bit potluck, but this computer-animated offering is charming. When her mum forgets about her 12th birthday, Rainie (voiced by Nickelodeon’s Victoria Justice in the English dub), runs away from home and is magically transported to a mystical jungle, where she meets a boy called Blue (Josh Peck). With the help of another newfound friend, Mulla (Jon Lovitz), they must work together to save the rainforest from evil scientist Boss Cain (David Spade) and make sure Blue becomes the leader he is destined to be. Director Xu Kerr handles the eco and morality messages with a subtle touch.
Y’s Choice: Dolphins
Premiering at last year’s Dubai International Film Festival, Dolphins was originally due for a wide release in March, but has only just hit cinemas. It was worth the wait. A 10-year labour of love for Emirati director, Waleed al Shehhi and originally a short film idea, this beautifully shot feature revolves around Fadel, an ambulance driver who is divorced and has one son, Saud, who’s anxiety about his parent’s separation leads him to embark on an adventure with an extraordinary outcome. This is essentially a story of destiny and three paths that intertwine, all shot on location in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Arabic with English subtitles.
Al Pacino plays a Texas locksmith who, after being left heartbroken by the woman he loved and lost, retreats into a self-imposed emotional exile, with only his cat for company. Holly Hunter is the woman who may or may not have the key to unlock his heart and life.