Kung Fu Panda 3
One of the most successful animated franchises has finally returned to the box office. The third high-kicking instalment from the DreamWorks studio has already chopped down the screen opposition, beating the latest in The Divergent Series and big action release, London Has Fallen, in takings, raking in US$327.3 million (RO126 million) since its January release.
Po, the unlikeliest of martial arts experts, is back, and this time the loveable panda has got some growing up to do when he finds himself having to lead from the front.
When Po – voiced wonderfully again by Jack Black – reunites with his long-lost father Li, the pair travel to a secret panda paradise where they meet a host of new panda characters.
Menacingly on the horizon is a new villain, Kai, a warlord yak, who has stolen power from lots of kung fu masters and needs cutting down to size.
Step forward Po, who must do the seemingly impossible and train the clumsy rag-tag bunch of panda bears to become mean, lean fighting machines. Lessons in life, as Po must go from student to master and confront his past along the way, might not be the most subtle and the message of good overcoming evil is nothing new, but it’s terrifically entertaining.
Superstars Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson and Jackie Chan all lend their voices to bring the animals to life, elevating the movie beyond mere animation.
It’s perhaps the most dramatically visual of the three so far, so well worth seeing in 3D and the set pieces are excellent.
Kids will be charmed and adults will enjoy the return of the cuddly warrior hero as much as their little ones.
Review by Kate Ginn
Anthony Hopkins starring in a film about the FBI hunting a serial killer with the help of a clever but damaged psychiatrist? Sound familiar? This time, however, Hopkins is on the side of the goodies, playing retired forensic psychiatrist John Clancy, who is drawn into the hunt for a killer. The twist is that both the hunter and the hunted are clairvoyant. Colin Farrell takes on the role of the murderer, with Abbie Cornish playing the ingenue FBI officer (a poor woman’s Clarice Starling). Silence of the Lambs it isn’t and our advice is to avoid this movie.
Set in 1950s Australia, Kate Winslet (with a passable Aussie accent) is the eponymous dressmaker, Tilly Dunnage, who returns to the dusty backwater that used to be her hometown, armed with her trusty Singer sewing machine and a wish to make amends for past wrongs. Along the way, she sets her sights on a transformative fashion makeover for the town. It has echoes of Mary Poppins and Chocolat but lacks the guile and charm of those classics. Liam Hemsworth is the rugby-playing love interest.
Muscat International Film Festival Choice
Part of the 10th edition of the Muscat International Film Festival (MIFF), which runs until March 28, this 2014 Egyptian film weaves together three stories taking place over the course of a single day in Cairo. There’s Lila, a retired actress who is searching for her last co-star, while Salma is facing a marriage break-up and Hazem, a young drug dealer on the run from Alexandria, picks up an old man with Alzheimer’s. The six disparate characters are brought together by destiny. The film brings out pitch-perfect performances by some of Egypt’s leading actors, including Ayten Amer and the late Nour El-Sherif, with the best of Cairo as the backdrop.
Preview: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
The wait is almost over as the highly anticipated battle between two superheroes is about to hit the screens in Oman. City Cinema Oman had a special screening of the movie on Wednesday, but the full release is set for this weekend. Fearing that Superman (Henry Cavill) has got a bit out of hand, Batman (a beefed-up Ben Affleck) takes on the man of steel, while arch-enemy Lex Luthor cooks up a plan to end the world. Can Superman and Batman put their differences aside and, with the help of Wonder Woman, save the world?